Unicorns prefer a maiden's touch, and suffer no other. The villagers tie young women to a tree in the forest on the night before their wedding, and some mornings find them slumped against their binds, gored through. They pat the young men's shoulders sympathetically.
The dragon prefers his unicorns roasted rare, and his young men crispy, with blackened skulls. A young woman clever enough to escape her ropes, however, he'll allow to climb a leathery wing – maiden or not.
Then, with a furnace beneath their legs, the women ride into the dawn sky, their village nothing but shadows behind them.
Author bio: RS lives in Detroit, where they aim for a zombie theme park. She thinks one already exists in her head. Admission is free:
Flight is part of 101 Fiction issue 4.