By My Claws and Fire

Hi Readers,

Our new pc arrived, and we hit the ground rendering. šŸ˜‰ Check out the latest cover image here. If you missed last week’s adventure, go read it here. We recommend reading our adventure from two weeks ago since we’re picking up right where that story left off (as promised).

In the meantime, we’ll get back to where we left off two weeks ago. I know it’s irregular, but you’ll see why we had to do it this way in a minute. I promise it’ll be worth it. And this is Ran, by the way, the adorable son, and sidekick of Sarn, aka Papa.

 


Today’s Adventure


 

When the spinning stopped, and the falling bit, I opened my eyes. I lay on Papa’s chest like always. It rose and fell with his quiet breathingā€”like normal. Water plinked into a full pail under a stalactite, and the excess water dribbled down its sides onto the floor. A puddle had already formed. How long had we been gone?

Papers rustled nearby, and I turned my head. Between stacks of books, Uncle Miren sat on the floor doing his homework by the amber glow of a lumir crystal. A second one lay near the door casting the other half of our hemispherical cave in soft orange light. So far everything looked like it always did.

We were home, Papa and I, and he was sleeping. But where was our scribe? Where was J.C.? Were they magically transported to their homes too?

As I pushed myself up, my hand encountered fur. “Bear,” I said as I snatched him up and hugged him.Ā No sarcastic voice filled my head, not even when I boxed his ears. “Where are you, Bear? Are you with Melinda and J.C.?”

How could I find out what had happened to them? I reached over to shake Papa’s shoulder. He’d know what to do.

“Don’t wake him. Let him sleep.”

I froze and glanced at my uncle. At fourteen, he was six years younger than Papa, but he must take after the parent they didn’t have in common because I looked more like Papa than he did. Though that could be because I’m his son. Or maybe that was a brother thing.Ā  I didn’t have any siblings and didn’t know anyone except Papa who did have one, so my knowledge was rather limited on that subject.

Which reminded me, I hadn’t asked for a little brother in a while. I should do that after I found out what happened to J.C. and our scribe and Auntie Sovvan.

“Don’t.”

Startled by Uncle Miren’s sharp command, I withdrew my hand. Papa slept on, ignorant of the argument. Before I could challenge my uncle on this point, a tan piece of paper with jagged edges slid under the rough-hewn door and ended its slide halfway across our cave-turned-home.

“What is that?” Uncle Miren shifted but didn’t rise. His bad leg must be hurting him today.

I snatched up the paper since I was closest and frowned at it. It was three of my hand-spans wide and rougher than the paper Uncle Miren used. I wrinkled my nose at the acrid smell of smoke and turned my body to evade my uncle’s grabby hands, so I could study this anomaly. People just didn’t slide notes under our door. Since the only people who knew we lived here couldn’t read or write, there was no one to pass us notes.

“Ran, what do you have in your hands?” Uncle Miren tried to pitch his voice in something akin to a whisper and failed miserably because his booming voice had one volume settingā€”loud.

Papa stirred as I studied the paper. Instead of inky marks, there were holes and cuts in the page. They made odd patterns.

“Are these words?”

I handed the paper to Uncle Miren,Ā  and he read it aloud:

“This is your newsletter-dragon writing to you from the cyber battlefields.

I deny all claims the fictional characters who run this newsletter have made about me in my absence. I did not burn any servers, but I did incinerate with extreme prejudice some creepy code that floated too close to your precious email addresses.

I can’t help it if legitimate bits of infrastructure were fried in the process. They should have stayed out of my way.

By my claws and fire, I swear your personally identifiable information is safe in my keeping. Not even our scribe knows where I keep it. And I’ll never tell her.

ā€”from the claws of your Newsletter-Dragon

“I now return you to your regularly scheduled newsletter,” said Uncle Miren then he looked at me. “What newsletter? What is this overgrown worm talking about? What claims? And who made them?”

I just stared at him with my innocent face on and hugged Bear to keep the spirit inside my toy quiet. Bear had miraculously returned to his fuzzy home while Uncle Miren read the letter, of course. He liked dramatic entrances, but I refused to give him one until he answered my questions. We’ve never got any mail before. It was all rather exciting. I just wish Bear would stop squirming. He wanted to answer my uncle, and I couldn’t keep him quiet for more than another moment.

We hope you enjoyed this week’s adventure. The Newsletter-Dragon isn’t finished with us yet. Find out next week what else she hid in that note.



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Until next time, dear reader

This is your host, Ran, son of Sarn, “the PC Wizard” wishing you a great week!




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