THE QUEST BEGINS

EXT. CASTLE COURTYARD – DAY (MEDIEVAL ERA)

YOASH, a knight in well-worn armor, carries a bloodstained URN beneath one arm and drags three large, white curving BONES behind him. A crowd has gathered in his wake and now everyone in the courtyard stares at him as well.

Yoash drops the ropes tied to the bones, sets down the urn, and raises his arms to the suddenly silent crowd.

YOASH

The great dragon is dead!

There’s a moment of confused silence, then the crowd erupts into a cacophony of cheering. As they rush in around Yoash, he lifts the urn and the ropes and begins to plow through them toward the archway leading inside the castle.

INT. KING’S CHAMBER – DAY.

Yoash sets down the urn and ropes and bows deeply before the KING, a middle-aged man sitting in the throne whose eyes are wide at the sight before him.

Yoash stands ramrod straight. A beat.

YOASH

The deed is done. Your promise fulfilled.

INT. TOWER STAIRWAY – DAY

Yoash climbs the winding steps of a large tower that ends in a wooden door. He pulls it open and enters.

PRINCESS’S QUARTERS

The PRINCESS, a fair-skinned young woman, lies in an ornate four-poster bed. She looks toward the window; damp cloths are visible draped over her face.

Yoash kneels at her bedside and rests his hand upon her arm.

YOASH

Milady.

The Princess turns to face him and takes his hand in hers weakly.

PRINCESS

Forgive me.

(blinking aside tears)

Forgive me, for my love could not survive us.

Yoash brushes his hand across her face then lightly holds a finger atop her lips.

YOASH

Speak nothing. I shall find you a cure. I have crossed demons and delusions and dragons for you. There is no end I will not climb to for our love, my love.

The princess smiles weakly before her face contorts in pain.

PRINCESS

There is no hope, Yoash, no hope at all. Every healer has been at my bedside, and every healer has failed to break my bane.

He smooths her hair in silence. He removes the cloths, dips them into a nearby bowl of cool water, then wrings out the cloths and returns them lightly to her face. Yoash glances at the window for a moment, peering out to the lands of he kingdom stretching onward far below.

YOASH

There is one cure no one has offered. The Elixir of the Sun.

PRINCESS

(shaking her head)

Th Sun God is dead, Yoash. The Elixir has not been seen nor smelt in centuries.

YOASH

I am the Son of Fire, my love; I know the way into his land. I will find the sun god and I will find his elixir. I shall return for you, milady. Our love will become the tales they tell to our grandchildren and to theirs.

Yoash kisses her lips and then rises to leave.

FADE OUT.

— adapted from Sun of the Damned

— originally posted in The Scenic Route

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