Don’t Accept Gifts from Dragons (Even if They’re Yours)

Hi Readers,

We hope you’re having a great day, and that you’re safe. There’s a lot of dangerous weather out there, so be careful!

We wanted to show off our new cover or at least a close-to-final draft, but there’s this thing called “rim lighting” that’s supposed to back-light Papa and me, so we stand out. All cover art has that.

When done right it, it looks really cool. Without it, Papa and I merge with the background and don’t look right. Since we’re the stars, that’s not good. So we’re trying to achieve that effect in 3d and then render it since attempts to “digitally paint it” in haven’t been successful.

Let the PC do the hard work. Am I right? That way we can monopolize our scribe’s time and take the story in directions our scribe never intended it to go. In Sundered, we unleash everything we can possibly unleash.

Our poor scribe is tearing her hair out over that, but I feel it in my toes. We’re getting closer to the conclusion. Melinda does not concur with that, but she’s not living this tale and I am, so my opinion counts more than hers does.

And, we like putting out books around her dearly departed sister’s birthday. After all, Melinda must keep the promise she made. We might not be helping with that as much as we should be.

And now, back to our out-of-book adventure.

Last week, the note the Newsletter-Dragon somehow got under our door flamed up, and I begged Papa to activate the crystal that came with it. He was understandably skeptical about that. I might have some persuading to do this week.

Let’s go find out, shall we?

If you missed an episode, don’t worry. We have them all safe and sound on our website. You can read back issues in reverse chronological order here.

Today’s Adventure

“Papa,” I (Ran) said in my sweetest tone while staring at the crystal in his big hands. “Will you activate it, please?”

He looked at me, and I tried not to squirm. It’s a bad habit I have, and it always gives me away.

“I still don’t think you should. It might incinerate you,” Uncle Miren said. He was still sore about that letter flaming up in his hands.

“That I would like to see. Not even red lumir ‘flames up’ as you put it. That variety just produces more heat than light.”

I tried not to bob up in excitement. My uncle’s well-placed barb had done the opposite of what he’d intended. It had intrigued Papa instead of dissuading him. Papa realized he was still crouched in front of me and staying there might be bad for my health if that stone did anything too interesting. So he rose and took a giant step backward then two.

I followed him, of course. I like being where the action is. Papa gave me the Look and I took a couple tiny steps back then a few more until my heels hit the mattress, and I flopped onto it fanny-first. Papa motioned for me to stay there. I folded my arms and glared at him, but his gaze was fixed on the crystal, and his green eyes were glowing brighter by the second. So I kept my mouth shut and my eyes peeled to catch everything that happened.

Bear did something that stretched his body out so, his legs were proportional to his top-heavy upper half. I didn’t see what because he was sitting in my peripheral vision before he walked over and sat beside me.

“Do you know something about this?” I whispered into his big fuzzy ear.

Bear shrugged. “It’s less an idea than a suspicion.”

“What does that mean?”

Bear shook his head, but a flash blinded me for a moment before I could interrogate him again. When its intensity backed down enough to see, I rubbed my eyes certain I was imagining the giant blue head projected on the ceiling. It was formed by strings of 1s and 0s that kept zipping around the lines that made up the dragon’s head.

“What the hell is that?” Uncle Miren asked.

“I am the Newsletter-Dragon reborn,” said the head projected on the ceiling.

“You were already reborn when you were with my Auntie Sovvan, and you know what? You were smaller and cuter then.” I said.

The Newsletter-Dragon squawked some nonsense about ‘size-discrimination’ and something called ‘defamation of character.’ I didn’t know what either was, so I ignored both comments. I don’t think Papa knew either judging by the frown creasing his face, but Uncle Miren did because of his schooling.

“Hang on a moment, you can’t accuse a four-year-old of that. He was only teasing.”

I nodded because that was true, and I liked that Uncle Miren was defending me. So did Papa. He gave his brother an approving nod.

“Did you come here to harass us, or did you have something important to say?” Bear asked.

I was wondering when he would chime in. Silence did not become him, and he’d been too silent lately.

“Maybe I have a message, and maybe I don’t feel like delivering it to a bunch of ungrateful—”

Papa cut her off by covering the stone with his big hand, and the projection ended.

“Why’d you do that Papa? She had something important to tell us. What if it was about Melinda or J.C.? We still don’t know what happened to them after the light ate us.”

“She’ll tell us after she has a time-out. I don’t like the way she was talking to you.”

“But how do you know she’ll tell us? She’s very testy.”

“I could see it in her eyes. She’s bursting to tell us but in her own time and in her own way. And, after she calms down.”

“One thing perplexes me,” Uncle Miren interjected.

“Just one thing?”

I looked at my uncle in confusion. I had a whole lot more than one thing confusing me right now, but I was four and he was fourteen. So that may have had something to do with it.

“Yeah, how did a digital creation get into a lumir crystal? I mean isn’t the ‘Newsletter-Dragon’ a piece of code flapping around cyberspace? Riddle me that.”

Uncle Miren looked at Papa, and a thoughtful look crossed his face. His hands started to glow as green as his eyes. I guess his magic had taken Uncle Miren’s question as a direct challenge.

Find out next week what the Newsletter-Dragon wanted, assuming of course that we can get her to tell us. You never know what will happen when that dragon shows up.

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Until next time, dear reader

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