EXT. FIELD – EVENING
A KNIGHT reigns his horse to a stop. He sits and stares into the sunset. He turns in his saddle.
KNIGHT: Do you expect me to sit here all night?
His PAGE rushes to his side. He holds up his hand and leans over the horse’s rump, struggling to catch his breath.
KNIGHT (CONT’D): Pull yourself together. Honour waits for no man.
PAGE: Yes, sire.
The page places his hands under the knight’s arms as the knight swings his leg out of the stirrup. The page struggles to maintain his balance while he lowers the knight to the ground.
The knight’s feet crunch on the dirt. He stretches his arms, smacking his page in the face. The page stumbles back as the knight takes a step forward, but the knight still steps on his toes. The page falls to the ground.
The knight holds out his hand, palm up. He stands there a beat, but the page just grabs his toes and rolls on the ground. The knight glances down.
KNIGHT: Must I do everything myself?
He lifts a flap on his saddlebag and draws out a telescope. He extends it and brings it up to his eye, scanning the West.
KNIGHT (CONT’D): We’re close. I can smell it.
The page sits up and scrunches his nose.
PAGE: I believe that’s the horse, sire.
KNIGHT: Roses. Roses on the air.
The page glances up at him.
KNIGHT (CONT’D): It’s love. My princess awaits me.
The page stands, staring into the distance. He shades his eyes.
PAGE: What if she’s another man’s princess?
The knight turns to him.
KNIGHT: Another man?
The page shrugs. The knight laughs.
KNIGHT (CONT’D): A man like you?
He tussles the pages hair.
KNIGHT (CONT’D): You would have made a fine jester.
He grows serious, shoving the telescope into the page’s hands.
KNIGHT (CONT’D): No man is my equal.
The page raises the telescope to his eye. The knight places his foot in the stirrup. He glances over his shoulder.
KNIGHT (CONT’D): Hurry along.
The page points and passes the telescope over to the knight.
PAGE: There. She’s there. You were right.
The knight spots a castle in the distance.
KNIGHT: Of course I was.
He shoves the telescope into the saddlebag and waits for the page. As the page stares into the distance, the knight clears his throat, and the page hurries to his side, raising him into the saddle.
Once up, the knight kicks his horse’s sides and speeds away. The page watches after him. Dropping his head, he plods after him.
INT. COURTYARD – LATER
The knight rides into the center of the castle. He glances around, but it is empty of any life. He sits up in his saddle, staring up a tall tower before him.
His page catches up and rests on the horses rump. The knight turns to him.
KNIGHT: She must be up there.
The page follows his finger to the tower.
PAGE: There? Are you sure?
The knight turns back to the tower.
KNIGHT: Of course I am. Have I ever been wrong?
The page thinks about this.
PAGE: Well… I suppose nothing worth mentioning.
KNIGHT: Excellent. Onward.
He gallops to the tower. The page nearly falls when the horse leaves, but he regains himself. He chases after them.
INT. TOWER – LATER
The page steps inside the room at the top of the tower stairs. He glances around at the cold, damp room. No one is there. He shakes his head.
The knight enters, huffing and puffing. He leans against the doorpost.
KNIGHT: I told you I was…
He notices the room is empty.
KNIGHT (CONT’D): Where is my princess?
The page exhales.
PAGE: Perhaps you should refrain from calling a stranger yours.
The knight glares at him.
PAGE (CONT’D): Then again I am merely your page.
The knight straightens. The page steps to the doorway, but the knight grabs his arm.
KNIGHT: No. Please continue. What would you suggest I do?
The knight glares into his eyes.
PAGE: Well, if I lived here all by myself, I’d find somewhere nice and warm.
The knight releases him.
KNIGHT: Of course, the great hall.
He dashes down the stairs.
PAGE: I was thinking something smaller. Like a blacksmith.
The knight stops. Chuckling, he turns back to the page.
KNIGHT: A princess in the blacksmith? Surely you jest.
The page shakes his head.
KNIGHT (CONT’D): Fine. I will humour you.
He turns and stomps down the stairs. The page breathes a sigh and follows.
INT. BLACKSMITH – LATER
The PRINCESS is lying beside the hearth. She stretches out and the flames create dancing shadows on her skin. She twitches as footsteps come clopping up to the blacksmith.
Her eyes dart open, and she glances to the door as it begins to swing open. The princess rolls over and gets to her feet. Glancing around, she spies a blacksmith’s hammer and seizes it.
The knight steps inside. He glances back as his page enters.
KNIGHT: See. No one’s here.
The page points, and the knight glances over. The princess raises the hammer. The knight drops to one knee.
KNIGHT (CONT’D): Fear not, beautiful maiden. I have come to rescue you.
The princess drops the hammer. As she steps closer, the knight gets back to his feet with his page’s aid.
PRINCESS: You’ve brought something to eat?
The knight turns to his page. The page shakes his head.
KNIGHT: I fear we…
PAGE: You, sire.
The knight turns to the princess.
KNIGHT: We exhausted the last of our supplies this morning.
The princess drops her head.
PRINCESS: Oh, that is dreadfully unfortunate.
The knight steps closer.
KNIGHT: Worry not for I am now here.
The princess looks into his eyes.
PRINCESS: I’m not worried for myself.
The page glances around the blacksmith. It looks like it hasn’t seen much use in years. He spots a pile of armour and bones in the corner. Rushing to the knight’s side, he leans in close.
PAGE (whispers): Have you ever wondered why the castle is so deserted?
The knight pushes him back with his shoulder.
KNIGHT: Bother me not. Go tend to the horse.
The princess tilts her head.
PRINCESS: You have a horse? I love horses.
The knight takes her arm.
KNIGHT: Only the best steed for a maiden like you.
He leads her out of the blacksmith. The page steps towards the hearth. He hears a SCREAM outside and dashes to the door.
EXT. COURTYARD – CONTINUOUS
The page steps outside. He sees the knight on the ground. The knight stares up at the princess and SCREAMS again.
The page looks over to the princess as she drops down to all fours. Wings burst out of her back, and scales begin to push out of her skin.
The horse rears up on his back legs. He turns and darts towards the exit. A DRAGON drops onto his back and pulls him into the sky.
The page rushes over to the knight’s side.
KNIGHT: I can’t get up.
The page grabs the knight and helps him to his feet. He glances around the castle. Pointing to the keep, they sprint for safety.
The dragon lands in front of them. The impact knocks them back, and they struggle to regains themselves as dust washes over them.
The page wipes his face clean. The dragon pulls its head back as the page drags himself to his feet. The dragon opens its mouth, and the glow of a fire rises in its throat. The page covers his face.
FADE TO BLACK.