That Treacherous Dragon

Hi Readers,

How are you handling things?

We’re handling this the way we handle everything–with lots of magical mayhem. That’s kind of our thing though.

We hope you and your loved ones are well. If you run into someone who is on the front lines, thank them for being there and for doing their job despite the insanity going on around them. Let’s shed a little light in these dark times and warm a heart that needs it.

Remember, heroes come in all sizes, shapes, colors, and on very rare occasions, with scales. Yes, I’m talking about that dragon, aka the Newsletter-Dragon, my sometimes nemesis. Before we talk about her, I have some good news.

The second anthology in the trilogy of anthologies that our Scribe put together, (with help from us, characters, of course), publishes on April 15th to Kindle Unlimited.

It’s called Wayward Magic, and it features a story called, “Spell of Bone & Ash.” Leave your troubles behind as Amal, Thing’s mate, takes you on an adventure to save their friend, Nulthir. Furball, Thing and Amal’s adorable grandbaby, is back to upstage everyone too. It’s a fun, fast-paced tale of family fun and black magic.

Plus, there are nineteen other stories of magic gone wrong in that anthology. Reserve your copy now. The third installment, Forgotten Magic, publishes in May.

If you haven’t read the first anthology in the series, Hidden Magic, we recommend you use your Kindle Unlimited subscription to catch up on it now. (Amazon is still offering two months of Kindle Unlimited free, so now is a great time to take out a subscription if you haven’t already.)

And now, I guess I have to return you to our adventure-in-progress wherein the Newsletter-Dragon, my nemesis, changed her scales and offered to help us. Yeah, I’m still processing that.

Are you finding her change of heart as hard to believe as I am? I can’t be the only one who doubts she’s really on our side. We have to get our Scribe back, but do we have to trust that dragon to do it? Let’s find out in this week’s episode.

Holiday Troubles, Part 16

Read part 1part 2part 3part 4part 5part 6part 7part 8part 9part 10part 11part 12part 13, part 14, part 15

“So, how do you know Melinda’s in that castle?” I asked when the silence had dragged on too long. The dragon looked like she wanted to be anywhere except here. But we weren’t budging until we got an answer to that very important question. “And while we’re on the subject, how did you escape from the giant book that ate you?”

That book had gotten sucked into a portal–the same one the Dark Lady and her sleigh pulled by eight miniature dragons had come through. That’s how she’d known where my Scribe was. “The Dark Lady freed you, didn’t she? What kind of deal did you strike? Are you leading us into a trap?” I advanced on the dragon as I shouted questions, and she backed away. I was so stunned I just stood there pointing an accusatory finger at her.

Her head hung low, almost touching the black and white checkerboard. Someone had polished those giant tiles until they shone like mirrors. They reflected the dragon’s body-glow and Papa’s magic. He rested a hand on my head, but I was done. I had my answers. We couldn’t trust that dragon, which meant, we’re going to that castle without her.

I reached up and tugged Papa’s hand. That castle was too far away for me to walk all that way. I needed an alternative method of transportation. “Up please.”

“What? Oh.” Papa glanced away from the stricken dragon opening and closing her claws and took in my raised arms. He scooped me up, and I rested my head on his shoulder. His arms were rock-steady. Hopefully, he’d recovered from his earlier bout of weakness.

“Wait. I did make a deal with her. So what? You would have too if you were in my position. I needed to get out of that book, and I didn’t see any other way out.” The dragon raised her head and met my gaze.

“We didn’t put you in there.” Papa rubbed my back, and I was content to let someone else do the interrogating for awhile.

“That’s not exactly true. I accidentally put the dragon in there.” Auntie Sovvan raised her hand as she came forward until she stood even with Papa. “If it’s any consolation, I was trying to capture that metal lady, but you got in the way, and well, I didn’t exactly have control over that book. I couldn’t even see out of it.”

“So, it did eat you.” I patted Auntie Sovvan’s shoulder, and she gave me a grim nod.

“‘Eat’ is not really the right word. ‘Captured’ is more accurate.” Auntie Sovvan squeezed my hand. which was resting on her shoulder.

“Did it hurt?” I hoped not. My aunt was tough, but no one deserved to be hurt, not even the dragon who’d tricked us, and I still didn’t know why we had to come here.

“No, it happened too fast for that. One minute, I’m wandering around that awful gray place in confusion and the next, I’m hearing your voice.” Auntie Sovvan gave my hand another squeeze then slipped out of my grasp.

My hand brushed her invisible wings. They were cloud-soft, and I wanted to rest my head on them. I rested my head on Papa’s shoulder instead.

“Is this a trap?” Uncle Miren asked before I could.

“Of course, it is. Why else would she bring us here?” I stifled a yawn and loosely draped my arm across Papa’s muscular shoulder. “We need a nap.”

He was tired too. The dark circles under his glowing green eyes looked deeper and darker than they had before. I traced one of them until Papa removed my hand from his face. “Soon, we’ll rest for a bit.” Papa didn’t say, ‘I promise,’ but I heard the promise in his voice, and I nodded and refocused on the conversation.

The dragon blew out a breath. “It’s not a trap per se. It’s more like a game.”

“Explain.” Uncle Miren shifted his weight to take some of the strain off his bad knee.

“You can’t trust anything she says,” I said in between yawns.

“I know, but we need information, and she’s our only source for now.” Uncle Miren gestured for the dragon to continue explaining.

“But–” I started to say then a yawn cut off the rest of my protest.

Papa leaned his chin on the top of my head and found somewhere to sit down–a rock maybe? His magic liked rocks, so that made sense. I didn’t check because my eyes were slowly closing, and sleep was tugging on my mind. I was safe, and nothing could harm me while I rested in Papa’s arms. Maybe he would rest with me.

Probably, he would. He had Uncle Miren and Auntie Sovvan to speak for him. They were the loquacious extroverts in the family and quite up to the task. Besides, J.C. and Bear were there too. they could handle the rest of the interrogation while your heroes got a little shut eye.

We were in a strange land and possibly falling asleep in the middle of a trap set to catch us, but I didn’t care because I had Papa, and with him, I could overcome anything that crossed our paths. Let that Dark Lady just try and catch us. We’d show her what we were capable of.

But we’d do that next week after I had a well-deserved nap with my tired Papa.

— Until next time, this Ran, son of Sarn, hoping you too are sleeping in safety, and that someone is watching out for you. Our adventure will continue next week.

Stay safe. Stay home. Flatten that curve. Be kind to your fellow humans. They are grieving the loss of life as we knew it.

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