Is that a Black Hole?

Hi Readers,

This is Ran, the little boy from the Curse Breaker series, writing for my Scribe, Melinda. Well, actually she’s typing this. I’m pacing around waving my hands as I dictate this week’s newsletter because I’m that excited. 🙂

Next week, our newest heroine, Robin, will join us right here! That’s right. You’ll get to met her before anyone else does, and we’ll reveal the final cover for Rogue Night, the second book in her debut series. And now, because we could all use a little humor in our lives, I present the next part of Dragonish Problems.

When you last saw me, I was in a lot of trouble (as usual). Let’s see if I can get out of it. Eeek!

Dragonish Problems, Part 14

Missed an episode? Catch up here:
part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7, part 8, part 9, part 10, part 11, part 12, part 13 or just wait for the ebook version 🙂

I squirmed as that green gaze intensified, but I had nowhere to go because Papa was holding me.

“Ran,” Papa said as he looked pointedly at me. “What is this about a book series?”

Uh-oh, Papa wasn’t supposed to know about that. I exchanged a very guilty and very hasty glance with Uncle Miren. It was his fault really. He was the one who kept a journal about us. A future version of me might have borrowed that journal and sent it to me through secret means, and I might have sent it to our Scribe, Melinda. That might have been how our book series got started. But shh, don’t tell Papa.

(That story actually appeared in our newsletter in early 2018 I think, but it’s hard to find our website thanks to a jealous dragon who shall remain nameless. We’ve gone on 5-6 novel-length adventures in your inbox since our newsletter began back in 2016. This is why we’re bringing our newsletter adventures to ebook next year with all new scenes and villains because we have more space in a book to go where no fictional character has gone before! But I digress. Now back to the story.)

That other me had good reasons for sending me Uncle Miren’s journal from the future. At least I think it was the future. Other Me didn’t say where he was from. But he did say something about ‘collapsing wave fronts of probabilities,’ something called ‘M theory,’ and alternate universes. But I didn’t understand his explanation at all. After all, I’m just a kid from a fantasy world, so I could be misremembering what he said.

We’ll have to rehash that crazy sequence in an ebook next year, so I can get a refresher on all that. At the time, those events kind of flew over my head. But Other Me seemed sincere, so I just nodded and smiled a lot until he went back to wherever or whenever he came from.

And, Papa was still waiting for an explanation about that book comment, but I didn’t want to explain. Papa was a shy guy and a private one. He wouldn’t be happy to hear that there is a book series (soon to be 2 book series!!! Because our newsletter adventures really do belong in a companion series) that star him and me.

But they do exist, and I had to find a way to keep them a secret. I liked sharing our adventures with the world. It needed more heroes, and I didn’t mind sharing Papa with it. People needed positive role models, and Papa was mine. Uncle Miren was too. He might be bossy, but my uncle’s heart was always in the right place when it came to me.

Unfortunately, I plugged back into the conversation a beat too late. Auntie Sovvan was like me and Uncle Miren—too talkative for her own good sometimes. Our talkativeness often got us into trouble because we tended to say more than we meant to, and my poor Aunt just had. She covered her mouth with both hands, and her eyes widened as she realized she’d just said something I wanted to keep secret. How much had she said?

“There’s a newsletter too,” the Newsletter-Dragon said, but she was gone. A giant book had eaten her. In fact, that book was still there, lying half in and half out of the boiler/laundry room. It was just hard to see because there were colored streaks falling through the mini-van-sized hole in the wall, and they left scorch marks on the cover.

I curled into Papa both to get away from those streaks and to hide my face. But Papa was wise to my ways. We look like copies of each other, but under the skin, we have very different personalities.

“Ran? What is this about a book series?” Papa asked in a sharper tone than before.

“And a newsletter, don’t forget about that. It was mine before your whelp took it from me. I’ll get it back, just you wait and see.” The dragon growled like a hungry lion.

But she was digital, so… “She’s not going to eat me, right?” I squeezed Bear for comfort, and he muttered something about ‘ungrateful worms.’ I was pretty sure ‘the worm’ comment was directed at our Newsletter-Dragon.

“She’d have to go through us to get you,” Auntie Sovvan said as she rubbed my back. “And I’m really hard to hurt.”

Papa just tightened his grip on me, I was kind of sitting on his forearm, so I leaned into his chest. He didn’t have to say anything. I already knew he’d die before ever letting anyone hurt me. He’d proven that so many times over the years, I didn’t need any verbal reassurance. Just being in his arms and inside the radius of his magical shield was enough to quell any fears I had about that dragon.

“Thank you,” I said into his chest. Then something light-colored and rectangular flew past the hole in the wall. It looked sort of like a piece of paper. What was that doing out there?

“What’s that?” I pointed at it desperate to shift Papa’s attention onto something else. Anything would do. But he wasn’t fooled. He kept both eyes locked onto me, and I ducked my head to avoid his gaze until Bear piped up.

“Well, I’ll be damned.” Bear shook his furry head, and it tickled my chin.

“What are they?” Auntie Sovvan squinted through the hole.

“They look like papers.” Melinda stepped forward to stand with her.

“It’s our insurance.” Bear smiled. Well, actually he was always smiling because he was a stuffed bear, and his smile was permanently stitched onto his big furry head.

But Papa didn’t look away from me. His glowing-green eyes were still focused on me. Well, he had shields, so he didn’t need to see what was out there. We were quite protected right where we were by his magic, and I knew it was keeping an eye on everything that moved.

“What’s it doing?” I risked a glance and stared at the white flecks circling the black blob growing in the sky. It might be a black hole. “Is that blobby thing shrinking?”

“I think it is.” Uncle Miren looked at Melinda. “That’s some insurance you have there.”

“Yeah, who knew the policy covered—um—what exactly is that thing? It’s obviously not a real black hole, or we’d all be experiencing this thing called ‘spaghettification.’

“What does that mean?” I asked. It sounded bad.

“If that was a black hole, its gravity would stretch us out while simultaneously compressing us, turning us into bloody noodles.” Melinda sounded a little too happy about that. Maybe it was the big word she’d just used. Our Scribe liked big scientific words, but she rarely ever got to use them because we lived and adventured in a fantasy world.

“I don’t like the sound of that ‘spaghettification’ thing. It sounds painful.” I made a face.

Papa was already very tall and thin, so was Auntie Sovvan and Uncle Miren. I probably would be too. But I liked them just the way they were. ‘Bloody noodles’ didn’t sound like a good look for anyone especially my three favorite people in the world.

“I’m glad it’s not a black hole, but what is it?” I asked because Melinda hadn’t said. Maybe she didn’t know, and maybe that wasn’t important right now.

I’d forgotten about the metallic angel, but she hadn’t forgotten about us. She leaped over the giant book, and her wings melted as those colored streaks rained down on them, but that didn’t stop her. She slammed into Papa’s shield, but it held.

“Stay behind me.” Papa set me down behind him and caught his brother’s eyes. Behind him, an orange light blasted out of the metallic angel’s hand into the sparkly half-dome of green light encasing Papa and everyone behind him. It started to burn a hole in it.

“Papa!” I shouted.

But Papa was focused on getting me out of danger, not on repairing the shield keeping us all safe. “Miren, get him out of here.”

To be continued next week.

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