If you’re in the USA, we hope you had a safe and fun Independence day. Our Scribe spent the weekend watching her one-year-old nephew and her brother’s dog to give said brother a break.
We, her characters, did not accompany her on that adventure. There’s only one adorable child in this cast, and that’s me, Ran, Sarn’s son. (Sarn is the hero of the Curse Breaker series. I am his son and sidekick.)
We also hope you’re loving Dragon Spells. It came to ebook last week. Please give us some stars on Amazon if you enjoyed it.
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We’re continuing our preview this week with one of the cutest (in my humble opinion) chapters in the book. After this, the danger gets up close and very personal. But first, we have to let my animated bear be his cryptic self while he distracts me from the battle happening outside our cave as Papa takes on a dragon.
by Melinda Kucsera
Chapter 3: Cryptic Bears
[Mount Eredren, Shayari]
Papa had done his worried parent thing again and put a solid door between us. It was just him and the dragon now, and I didn’t even have a keyhole to peer through. So not fair.
What if something bad happened to Papa? How would I know? I pounded on the door as hard as I could with my little fists. “Let me out!”
The door to our cave was usually secured by a metal bolt, but I threw it back, and the door still wouldn’t open. I kicked it for good measure. Green light seeped between the door and jamb ensuring it stayed firmly closed. Even Papa’s magic was in on the ‘stop Ran from participating’ game. That was even more unfair because there was no arguing with Papa’s magic when it got all protective like this.
“Hang it up, kid. He won’t let you out until it’s safe, and that might take a while,” Bear said.
“But—” I pointed futilely at the door that refused to budge.
Bear shook his head and turned the page. My stuffed friend appeared to be reading. But Bear didn’t have eyes. He had two buttons that shined when his spirit was in residence as it was now.
“What are you reading?” It looked like a book, but some books had stories in them, and some didn’t. I didn’t want to assume this was the storybook kind. I crossed to the mattress where he sat to get a better look at it.
“Some legal stuff.” Bear didn’t even look up from the book.
“Whatever for?” I glanced at them, but the pages were covered in tiny words. There wasn’t a single picture among them. I gave the book a moue of distaste.
“No reason, just curiosity.” Bear shrugged.
“You’re curious about what?” I fingered the crocheted throw at the end of the ratty mattress. It was new to this cave, and I wondered if it had come from Melinda’s apartment. Sometimes, we borrowed things from her.
“How damages will get repaired. With a dragon around, things will break. I’m curious about who pays to fix them.” Bear gave me an unreadable look.
I just shrugged. “That sounds like a good puzzle for Papa. He likes solving mysteries, and I like helping him. Do you think he’s okay out there?” The door still glowed faintly green and probably wouldn’t open if I tried the handle again. I folded my arms over my chest while I waited for a response, but Bear just turned the page. Was he ignoring me?
A loud bang startled me, and the door rattled and shook. When it stilled, the cave was silent again until Bear turned another page. “Is Papa okay out there? He’s all alone with an angry dragon.” And I couldn’t hear anything anymore because our cave had thick walls. That was also Papa’s doing. He had an affinity for rocks, and so did his magic.
“He can shield. The dragon can’t,” Bear said finally as he continued to read. He wasn’t concerned at all, but worry had twisted my little tummy into knots. Bear rolled his button eyes. “What? Oh, don’t look at me like that. He’ll be fine, and all that shielding is good practice. Your father needs a teacher.”
“True, but I should be with him We always adventure together.” I willed the door to open and for Papa to walk in whole and undamaged.
“In case you haven’t noticed, we’re not on an adventure at the moment.” Bear frowned at what he was reading and flipped several pages before reading some more.
“But we could go on an adventure at any moment.” I bounced on the balls of my feet. Excitement filled up all the worried places inside me, leaving no room for anything else. I loved adventures, even the dangerous kind.
“Maybe. One never knows when an adventure will knock on your door.” Bear furrowed his furry brow as he riffled through the book, searching for something.
“Or where that adventure will take you.” I reached for the door handle. Maybe this time, it would open. It didn’t. Drat.
“It’s a mystery, my young friend, but so are many things.” Bear winked a button eye at me and turned another page. This time, a sword poked out of the blocks of words. Bear shoved it back in with a swipe of his well-padded, and quite furry, paw.
I eyed the book curiously. I liked stories with swords in them. Papa didn’t have a sword, but he wanted one. Some dumb law said indentured servants, like Papa, couldn’t bear arms, and that included swords. There was another law that outlawed the use of magic. Papa broke that law just by existing, so he had to be extra careful whenever he left our cave. If anyone ever saw his glowing eyes, he could be in big trouble. Why were all the cool things against the law?
A red light shined out of the book. Bear gave me another impenetrable look and pushed the light back in between the pages. But I was onto him. He was trying to distract me, and it was working. The questions were bubbling up inside me again. I needed answers.
“What are you really reading?” I pointed to the book. When another sword thrust out of it, I retracted my hand and backed away as that wickedly sharp blade swept toward me. “Where did that come from?”
“Nowhere important.” Bear clucked his tongue as he batted the sword away, and it melted back into the book. But he was enjoying this. The more I squirmed; the more he fought the grin his lips had been stitched into.
What the heck was he reading? I bit my lip to keep from asking again, but the question was on the tip of my tongue, burning a hole in me the longer it went unanswered.
Bear knew it too. His button eyes shone with mirth as he turned another page and winked at me. “What do you think I’m reading?”
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