CHAPTER TWO - POCKET DRAGON
Far away and many years later, an eleven-year-old prince was gazing across the sparkling waters of Puget Sound. He listened carefully to the wind then peered closely at the rocky sand around his feet.
As his cold fingers turned over rough rocks, his pale, green eyes searched for quick-moving treasures. He nimbly scooped up tiny, red spider crabs and velvet-blue rock crabs, wincing as one of them pinched his finger. Then, with a quick flick, he dropped the tiny sea creature into his waiting pail.
Prince Devon’s thoughts wandered as he studied his treasures. He wondered if the stranger was watching him again today. When he had first noticed the odd, willowy woman several months ago, he had thought she was watching the waves and the gulls. She always seemed to appear soon after he arrived on the beach, standing high on the cliffs in the shadow of the trees. Except for the one occasion when he had been walking in the forest. She’d darted out from behind a tree and stood before him.
She'd whispered, "Not here, not now, not dead, not gone." And then she'd turned and vanished back into the forest.
Dumbfounded by the strange occurrence he'd asked a few of the servants in the castle what they knew about her.
Sarah, the cook, said not to let his imagination run away from him.
“She’s just a crazy hermit woman,” she said. “She’s not interested in anyone but herself, boy. She’s lived in the forest for years not bothering anyone. Just let her be, Devon, and go about yer business.”
At first, her constant observation bothered him, but now, after all these months, he found it strangely comforting to know that she was keeping an eye on him.
He glanced up into the shadows, but the woman was not there now. Maybe Sarah was right. He went about his business of finding treasures on the beach.
He spied a promising glint, half-buried beneath a pile of spongy sea kelp. It was a thick blue glass sphere, a float from a fishing net.
He drew it close, nearly pressing his nose against the glass. And then he gasped, almost dropping the float. It wasn’t empty!
Inside the sphere was a little creature with a very long tail, tiny sharp claws, and scales the most brilliant color green the prince had ever seen. It couldn’t possibly be alive. Or could it?
Gently, ever so gently, the prince shook the sphere.
The small, reptilian creature inside opened its eyes and growled. “Can’t you just say hello? Must you shake my house?”
“Why, I didn’t realize… I’m sorry!” stammered the young prince.
“Apology accepted! Would you mind uncorking me, please?” asked the tiny, green fellow.
As soon as the prince unsealed the orb, the dragon—for that was certainly what it was—slithered quickly out through the opening. It crawled up the prince’s shirtsleeve and immediately curled up in his shirt pocket.
“Mmm,” it mumbled. “Toasty!”
The young prince couldn’t say a word. But no matter, for the dragon had more to say.
“I understand you’re Devon, the Sound Prince. Nice to meet you and all that. My name is Iz. The North Wind sent me. She said you could use a good dragon who offered sound advice. I know everything about the Sound. Wake me when you need advice, boy. Oh, and hang on to my sphere. You never know when we might need it,” said the dragon, all in one breath.
Then he curled up in the prince’s pocket and went back to sleep.
Prince Devon stood quite still, his mouth and eyes wide open as he stared down at the sleeping dragon.
“A dragon!” he whispered to himself. “A dragon in my pocket. Very, very cool.”
And it was.
Meet Pigworm, he is a not so nice creature...a bit of a problem child in some circles. He has a run in with something magical and sweet. Much to his embarrassment it causes an unfortunate daisy breakout. You can read more about him in the book.
This is a Trog. He is a hairy, moose- sasquatch creature who lives in the Dim World. Watch out for him....definitely a carnivore! Are you his on his snack list?
THE SOUND PRINCE
CHAPTER ONE - SPILLED MAGIC
Deep within the earth, there was a tremble and a shudder. A small creature with glowing red eyes sat up from his resting place by the fire and stared quietly at the ceiling of his dim cave dwelling. Bits of rock dropped to the floor around him, and small cracks began to widen above him.
Surprisingly, the crooked little creature did not flee from the falling rubble. He simply crept to the side of the room and watched silently as the largest cracks grew into a single fissure.
The creature was not afraid; his watery, pig-like snout twitched at the scent of magic. It was not muddy magic from the realm of the Dim World that he smelled, but rather a strong, clear magic which had the odor of fresh air and green leaves. It was a most curious scent, indeed.
The creature waited patiently for over an hour while dirt, rocks, and strong magic sifted through the growing rift. He watched as the fissure widened and grew into a crevice slightly larger than he was. When the dust had finally settled and all had grown quiet, he lumbered once more to the edge of the opening and peered upward into its depths. His mind quickly calculated the possibilities.
I shall explore, he thought to himself. I shall explore. I shall take in all that I find.
He took a small leather pouch from a crude table in the corner and hung it around his leathery neck. Then the lumpy little creature walked on four legs to the hole in the ceiling, stood on his crooked hind legs , and leapt into the crevice. He quickly pulled himself up with his long, wart-covered fingers.
Just hours before the strange crevice appeared in the Dim World, something extraordinary had occurred far above on the surface.
A most unusual man was busy doing his usual mysterious work. His long red hair was tied back out of the way and braided with a brown leather cord. He stroked his even redder beard as he selected various bottles and jars from the shelves that lined his workroom.
Behind him, a long-handled spoon floated off a narrow wooden table and began to stir the contents of a heavy granite bowl. Dragonfly wings occasionally surfaced in the gray-green liquid as the spoon continued to churn its ingredients. The elixir had an odd aroma of ginger, prunes, and moldy fall leaves that intermingled with other strange scents in the workroom.
The mysterious man paused between the shelves and table and chanted, “Nata cease numo.”
He then twirled his hand in the direction of the bowl and spoon. The spoon stopped stirring, rose out of the bowl, and moved gently back to rest on the table.
Unseen, a few drops of the liquid clung briefly to the spoon then dripped onto a small crack in the table. With strange purpose, the elixir worked its way through the split in the table and fell silently to the floor.
Quietly, cautiously, a few drops of the solution traveled slowly across the floor still unseen until they found a tiny gap between the stones on the floor, and seeped down through the gap and further still, until they reached the cellar far below. They dripped silently into a natural depression in the cold cellar floor where the fluid mingled with bits of various elixirs and powders that had also made the journey from workroom to cellar over many, many years.
Within moments, the floor began to vibrate, and magic swirled and popped in the air as each new drop of the elixir fell. Then the earth began to tremble and shake, and a tiny fissure began to widen in the floor. Soon, the small crack became a gaping crevice that plunged deep into the earth. When the magic elixir had completed its work, the earth grew silent and still.
In the workroom, the redheaded man looked quite surprised when the earth began to tremble. Even though the quaking lasted for only a few moments, a few jars of potions and syrups rocked off their shelves and crashed to the floor.
The man gathered some rags and a bucket from the corner of the room and began to clean up the mess on the floor. As he swabbed under the workroom table, he noticed a few droplets still seeping into the crack, down to the cellar below. He watched for a bit, and then his eyes grew wide. He bent close to the ground, sniffed the droplets, and suddenly sat up straight.
“Now what I have I done?” the wizard scolded himself. “This cannot be good.”
He quickly stood and went into his library in the adjoining room. There, he pulled several large leather-bound books from the shelves and set them on his desk. He took a seat in an overstuffed chair and began to search the aged parchment pages. After a time, a small calico cat wandered into the room and curled up in his lap.
Absently stroking the cat as he read, the wizard murmured, more to himself than the cat, “Well, Ginger, I may finally have done something that could be quite a problem. Yes, indeed. Quite a problem.”