The short story of Sugar the dragon

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If you decide to cross the chocolate lava cake infested moat, break down the tim tam gates, charge the sugar breathing dragon and stand victorious with your sword in it’s dragonscale protected lolly-jar, you’ll find the golden treasure it was protecting.

But first you must choose to fight.

On the first day, you make eye contact with the enemy.

Sensing your steely gaze of decision, the dragon rears up and takes flight, circles, then swoops and breathes its fiercely sweet white icing towards you.

You dive behind cover but it’s too late. The pearl white icing flames lick your body and the sweetness radiates through you as if you fell into a lava lake of strawberry syrup. Your body weakens as your mind swims in dizziness. You’ve felt like this before whenever you’ve skipped meals or had a sugar crash.

You lick your lips and deep down you know just one bite of the sweet temptation will dissolve your pain like sherbet fizz hitting your tongue.

But… you… must… resist…

The battle continues. You dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge.

Everything within you is depleted.

Will this ever end?

Hours pass and the day turns to night. The dragon retreats and after a few hours you fall asleep to regain your strength for the second day of battle.

You sleep for hours and when you wake on the second day your body feels weak. You stand up, ready for battle but you feel a little uneasy on your feet. A foggy headache is clouding your mind.

Within minutes you can sense the dragon circling overhead.

If only you had your morning coffee to wake you and take you out of the morning fog.

The battle begins again. Now your mettle is truly being tested. It’s here that your preparation counts. If you rely on willpower you’ll fail like all your other comrades who battled the sugar dragon before you.

But willpower is absent. You’ve made your decision. You chose to cut the head off the sugar dragon once and for all – there’s no turning back.

The dragon seems less engaged with you as it was yesterday. Yesterday you barely had any rest. Sugar was in your face, attacking you from all angles. But today he seems less interested.

Suddenly out of no where, Sugar appears and startles you.

You react and avoid his attacks. Then he disappears as quickly as he appeared.

A few minutes go by, then a couple of hours. Sugar hasn’t come back. Feeling a little depleted, you dig into your pockets for your rations.

They look feeble. You wonder how they could possibly sustain you through such an intense battle.

A small piece of fruit. A few nuts and berries. You pick up a few and put them in your mouth. Surprisingly, you start to feel energised. Are these magical?

Sugar has been quiet for hours. You begin making more progress, deeper and deeper into the castle.

It’s midday and you’ve been wandering the corridors for hours. But then you hear the flapping of wings. You knew it was too good to be true. Sugar is back and he has decided to fiercely attack you again.

The battle ensues.

You… will… not… give… in…

Energised with your magical nuts and berries you flail your sword and strike the dragon across the chest. Sugar rears up and bellows in pain. He retreats and with boldness you charge until he disappears over the walls.

“Ha haaa!” you cheer after the dragon. “Go and lick your wounds!”

Now seems like a good time to rest. You’re sure the dragon will want revenge.

You find a small nook in a dark corner and check that you can’t be spotted, then lay down and fall asleep.

That sleep does you wonders. When you wake, you feel a different surge of energy pulsing your veins. Now, more than ever, you feel confident that victory will be yours.

You’re only a day away from the heart of the castle where the treasure awaits.

Onwards!

After an uneventful evening walking through the castle and a good nights sleep you wake up on the third day with renewed vigour. You feel like you’ve grown in stature.

The weakness has faded. The head fog has gone. In fact, you don’t feel like a coffee ‘pick me up’ at all. That’s weird.

You draw closer to the end of your journey. You know one final battle is upon you – it’s only a matter of time.

You nervously approach each corner. Stop, listen…. can you smell something? With each step you’re aware that you’re about to come face to face with the enemy that has sabotaged your best efforts at every turn.

You see it. The throne room appears at the end of the hallway. There’s one last door to walk through.

You peek inside but you can’t find any sign of Sugar.

Surely your blade didn’t slay the mighty dragon. It appeared but a scratch. Maybe it did?

Then you hear it. A scratching sound coming from the back of the room.

You jump over the table to find Sugar glaring at you, only you’re no longer afraid. Before, you would have fled for your life, but now you look at Sugar with pity.

Your three day adventure has weakened the dragon so much that it is barely recognisable.

He sits there now, pathetically, reduced to the size of a mouse, scuttling across the rocky floor. How did this happen? Why is the fierce Sugar dragon now no bigger than the palm of your hand?

You think back to the day you first heard about Sugar. The stories you were told when you were a child that were passed on to you by your grandma while she baked your favourite cake.

Oh how wonderful he sounded. Sugar was so exciting. Every experience with Sugar was a special treat. He grew more majestic with each story, each tasting, each sip.

But Sugar was never a dragon. It was all an illusion from your childlike imagination. He was only ever a mouse to begin with and now the spell had been broken and the illusion shattered.

What was once an insurmountable quest against a fierce dragon became nothing more than a quiet confrontation with a harmless house mouse.

Those stories about Sugar were myths.

You don’t need Sugar’s protection. You can live without him and guard your own castle.

Over the next few weeks you begin to see what life is like without Sugar.

There’s no more highs and lows. No more fogginess. No more headaches. No more cravings. No more mood swings. No more impulsiveness. No more binging.

That dragon is gone.

So what was the golden treasure Sugar had been protecting for all these years?

You look around the room. There’s nothing of value here. Grey walls, a few pieces of furniture and… wait. There’s something on the table. As you approach you see a roll of parchment sealed with red wax.

When you pick it up, you realise the mark on the wax is your own.

Confused, you break the seal and read the parchment.

It’s a title deed to the castle. Your castle.

It has been your kingdom this whole time, but you weren’t aware that it belonged to you. Sugar, that conniving little mouse, stole it from you.

You banish Sugar from the castle. He can no longer live there. But you’re merciful and allow him to stay within your kingdom. After all, he’s only a mouse. And while he’s a mouse, he can’t cause any harm.

Now with your castle and kingdom returned to its rightful owner, you make your first decree.

You decree to never let Sugar become a dragon again.

And you lived happily ever after.

 

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