In Deep Dark Wood

In Deep Dark Wood by Marita Conlon-Mckenna Read Free Book Online

Book: In Deep Dark Wood by Marita Conlon-Mckenna Read Free Book Online
Authors: Marita Conlon-Mckenna
The colour of his skin shimmered and changed in the sunlight from a dark, almost blackish blue to the palest soft blue, the colour of amisty sky. The others chattered and chirruped and gave baby dragon roars every now and then, but Trig listened, taking in all that was said to him. His wing was healing, though it was still too soon for him to fly.
    ‘Soon we must leave, child. The dragons cannot stay here any longer. They need space to grow and fly and hunt. It’s dangerous for them here now. In Dragon Wood they will be safe. Dragons have lived there for many centuries. Tall trees and silver lakes and vast, grassy plains – there’s no finer place for them to grow into the fabulous creatures nature intended. Your world here is no place for them!’
    Mia brought her face close to Trig’s and stared into his eyes. How could she bear never to see this young dragon again, or listen to Bella’s tales of magic and sorcery?
    She knew that in the dark of night, Bella had already started to take the dragons out one at a time, letting them fly to test their growing wings. Several times in the past week, hearing the heavy, rapid movement of wings, she’d peeped out her bedroom window to see a nervous dragon lost in the inky sky, an awkward, black shape that seemed like some enormous bird struggling to keep itself up in the air.
    ‘Come with us, Mia!’ pleaded the old woman. ‘The work with the dragons has only begun. You are young and able and in time will be a powerful dragon keeper – and an even more powerful mage, knowing all the secrets of the old magic. I promise to teach you everything I know, pass on all the wisdom of my many years, and help you to learn the craft of sorcery. Come with me! Be my apprentice and learn all themagic and dragon ways that I can teach you. I am old, and these dragons will need someone to comfort and care for them when I am gone. They already know and love you, magician’s daughter. Come with me and fulfil your destiny!’
    Mia looked into Bella’s face. It seemed like every year showed in her worn, tired face, and she looked frail and vulnerable. Mia was torn. She didn’t know what to think, or say, or do any more. A part of her wanted to spend the rest of her life with Trig and the other dragons, learning the old woman’s secrets, becoming a magician, and yet another part of her just wanted to be an ordinary schoolgirl, growing up in Glenkilty and living a normal life with her family.
    How had all this happened, that she had become so caught up with the old woman and lost touch with the real world? Perhaps she had read too many books and listened to too many stories, and somehow had led Bella to find her. The magic had overtaken her, her imagination guiding her to be here with Bella and the dragons. The whole thing was just so unbelievable that she couldn’t think calmly and clearly about it at all.
    ‘But what about my family, my Mum and Dad? I can’t leave them Bella, I love them!’
    ‘You will always love them, child, but you will not always stay their little girl. In time you will grow up, Mia, become a young woman and leave them anyway. Such is the way of life.’
    An image of herself as a young woman flashed into Mia’s mind – standing alone, power and magic filling her, looking down on a kingdom which she ruled.
    The old woman stared deep into her eyes. ‘You will have power, and knowledge of deep magic. Creatures great and small will bow down to your will and many will follow you, magician’s daughter, believe me! You want to come with me, child. I know you do.’
    Uncertainty crawled around Mia’s brain, she felt the old woman was trying to control her thoughts and emotions. Instinctively, she looked away, concentrating on a small red robin that sat outside on the windowsill. Now she could sense Bella’s annoyance. In an instant, the old woman had disappeared and Mia watched with horror as a huge, black cat sprang up on to the sill. The terrified robin, in a useless

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