Dragons of the Valley

Dragons of the Valley by Donita K. Paul Read Free Book Online

Book: Dragons of the Valley by Donita K. Paul Read Free Book Online
Authors: Donita K. Paul
clearing, a solid wall of vines blocked their path. Maxon reached into the foliage, twisted something, and pulled. A door made out of the vegetation opened. Bealomondore’s eyes grew wide as he walked in. Whatever the walls, roof, floor, and furnishings were made of, they glowed so that the inside was brighter than the shaded forest outside.
    He moved on to a second room, where a bed and clothing awaited him.
    “My friends are bringing water for your bath. I’ll come back and get you for noonmeal. We eat at the commons. I’ll show you. You’re going to like the food.”
    “I … I’m overcome, dear Maxon. This is perfect. Beautiful and theright size.” He gestured to the bed and the door frame, including everything. “It’s like a crystal palace.”
    Maxon shrugged. “It’s only two rooms.”
    “It’s magnificent.” He ran his hand down the wall, marveling at the polished, cool, glowing substance. “What is this made of?”
    “Oh, just a little something we whip up for guests. We, the family and friends and all, don’t need all the trimmings. But we know those from beyond require a little pampering.”
    “I’m much obliged.” Bealomondore picked up a jacket of material so smooth that he could not make out the weave. “I shall be spoiled and not want to go back to ordinary clothes.”
    Maxon chortled. “That is if you remember what you’ve seen when you return to your own towns and cities.”
    Bealomondore frowned and examined the little man’s face. “Is there a likelihood that I won’t remember?”
    The kimen shrugged. “I wouldn’t know. I’ve never been an outsider who’s visited and then left.”
    “You’re saying that your people will take away my memories somehow when it is time for me to go?”
    “Only if they don’t trust you. And I think they will find you trustworthy.” He cocked his head. “What’s that noise?”
    Bealomondore opened his mouth to say he didn’t hear anything unusual when the sound of a low whistle caught his attention.
    A voice rumbled under a sustained whoosh. “To the left, I say.”
    Another voice sounded louder. “Land, for all the blinking stars in the heavens. Just land!”
    “You’d have us in a pigsty.”
    “We aren’t going to a farm.”
    “Well then, a prickly bush. You want me to just plop down in thorns, with maybe a smelly bristle bomber in residence, a hive full of buzzerbees, and perhaps a growly ginger bear?”
    “My beard’s all twisted inside out. Land!”
    Maxon and Bealomondore started to the outer door to see what the commotion might be. As they crossed the first room, a whirlwind formed, knocking them back against the walls.
    Wizard Fenworth, Librettowit, and a bedraggled kimen appeared out of the cyclonic wind. The swirl of air dissipated, leaving Fenworth and his tumanhofer companion on the floor, glaring at each other.
    The tumanhofer librarian stood, straightened his clothing, and worried his fingers through his bushy beard, trying to tame its awful tangles. “That was a poor transportation, a poor landing, and a poor example of misused wizardry. I should pin you in a chair with
Margoteum’s Book of Level One Mastery.

    The wizard rose and gently placed the small creature he had been holding on the floor. The kimen crumpled into a heap and covered her eyes with her hands.
    “Oh, bother!” said Fenworth. “Don’t cry. I really get muddled when people cry. It mixes my thoughts up like a bowl of noodles.”
    “We don’t want that!” Librettowit took off his hat and threw it on a table. “May Wulder protect us from such a dire circumstance. Imagine a wizard who operates in a state of confusion. The results might very well be disastrous.”
    The wizard produced a clean handkerchief and offered it to the distraught kimen. He pulled it back just before her hand closed on it and plucked a very small lizard from its folds. “I don’t believe this fine young reptile would help you recover your equilibrium, my dear.”

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