Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Tuesday Teaser from Interaction with a Dragon
Cannibal, the dragon shifter and Alex, his personal assistant have just learned an evil wizard, an old enemy of Cannibal's, has just stolen a powerful, ancient artifact. They are ordered to retrieve it. Here's a sneak peek:
“Magian lifted the Bowl of Babylon.”
Like that explained everything. “And this is bad, why?”
“Because he’s an evil wizard who dabbles in things best left alone. Because I found the bowl and took it to PPD’s secure safe room to avoid this very thing. Because no one else but me can even get near the pain in the ass idiot. Because with the power of the ancient bowl, he could theoretically end the world as we know it.”
Each explanation, my eyes grew wider. “Why are you the only one who can fix this?”
He shot me a droll stare. “Magian lives in a castle in the middle of nowhere. There’s no roads, no way to sneak in. Not to mention there’s booby trapped moats and all sorts of nasty surprises on the ground. Most die before even touching the drawbridge.”
Castle? Moat? Drawbridge? From what little I remembered about knights and dragon slaying, the basic setting held true.
No wonder PPD was sending Cannibal. He’d faced the same defenses before. Probably. Maybe. If he had been hatched over a thousand years ago.
“So they need you to fly in.” I considered the alternatives. “Can’t a shifter just teleport in?”
“Only if they know where they are going. By the time he appeared, he would be exterminated by Magian before he could say ‘boo’.”
“And you won’t be because…”
“As old enemies, he believes such tactics are bad form.”
Bad form? I grappled with that term. All I could come up with was Peter Pan and Captain Hook. “He’ll let you appear safely on his property?”
He shrugged. “Arrive, yes. Leaving is another story.”
Puzzle pieces clicked. “Is this the same evil wizard that gave you the scar?”
We’re going to confront the same wizard that almost killed indestructible Cannibal? My stomach sank.
Cannibal started to walk away, paused, then turned back to me. “Come on.”
I hurried to catch up. “Am I going home?”
He peered down at me. “No, we’re going to pay Magian a visit.”
My mouth fell open as I stumbled over my own two feet. “We? Why we?”
His typical scowl returned in full force. “I can’t touch the Bowl of Babylon without bursting into flames. Humans are immune. Thus, you have to fetch the bowl while I keep Magian entertained.”
Oh, no. No. No. No. I read the fine print on the gopher contract. Assistants were supposed to be well out of the line of fire. No danger, no risk of death. Just performing servant duties to the Enforcers. That was it.
Then, I saw the resignation and weary determination appear on Cannibal’s face. The poor guy couldn’t even enjoy a week’s vacation with his family, then the peace and quiet of his own home without having to clean up another person’s mess. He was a loner by choice, but had opened up to have a bit of fun. Now PPD was taking it all away.
My heart went out to the guy.
Cannibal might have walked alone for centuries, but I wasn’t about to let him face this battle by himself. Sure, I had to come along, but I ignored that small tidbit in my moment of valor.
Anger fueled my courage. I matched him stride for stride and lifted my chin. “Big bad wizard, huh?”
“Fortress of death?”
“If we fail, the world will end?”
I puffed out my chest. I handled one pissed off female dragon and lived to tell the tale. What’s a little evil wizard with world domination on his mind? “Bring it on.”