I needed a drink of water. This story was getting to me. It seemed more like a history of this area than fairy tales. What did Carol Mees, the former owner of our house, know about these stories that made her keep them in plain site on her bookshelf? Did she forget the book was there when she moved? Maybe she left it on purpose with both her husbands gone.
I had never really questioned our alternate world we had access to from time to time, “don’t question a good thing,” I’d been taught. Their had to be some purpose to it all. Being a very spiritual person I wondered how the Universe really worked and what part I was supposed to play. I didn’t like the idea of real dragons hanging around. I walked carefully to the river watching the shadows and listening to the dark. The water was icy and soft numbing my fingers as I filled the pitcher from the house. Wondering what a dragon hunting its prey might sound like I walked a little faster trying not to breath too hard. When I returned to my cozy spot in front of the fire the words from Wibut’s tales seemed to play in my mind like a movie with sound effects and music. Who was this Wibut Guf anyway?
Clash. Clack. The swords mashed and grinded against leather armor and bone. Pokey had a mission to fulfill and nothing would stop him from saving his kingdom and especially his wife and sons. He was going back to her despite dragon princesses and wicked princes. All he had to do was find Giloam. Giloam had once been the hawk master of Asgar until King Teo saw he and Maia kiss when she was young. Giloam was cast out and lived his days North of Resoun where he hunted dreys and sometimes the Cavels. Tho’ dirty Cavels, tha Myster’s men, nothin’ but dogs. None of ’em served in the King’s army. Pass for protecting Resoun the say. Dogs.
Pokey hoped that Giloam had killed a few recently and then he hoped he still had a thing for the princess. It took three days to make it to the river near Ree’s grandmother’s cottage.
Wait a minute. That’s here. Maybe I should go to bed now. This story could wait another day. I’ll just finish this page. This isn’t old english at all. Not like the poetic…this seemed more recent.
Turning north at the River, Pokey kept to the forest in order to avoid the Cavels, who kept to the road, or perhaps a stray Rigoan soldier. He felt safer facing a drey than the other armed men. He wanted so badly to go to Ree’s parents house and see her and the boys and visit his older brother who came home from his military service blind and with only one leg, but he came home. His wife, Aila, took care of him with no pity giving carving work and weaving so he would feel useful and provide for the family. A cloth merchant from Asgar bought most of his work though he did not pay as well as he got when he sold the pieces in his stall. Aila and Bemby were happy enough that they had six children. In Resoun, children were riches at least around the common folk.
The forest near Resoun grew thicker the farther north Pokey walked and soon he had to stop and rest. He could hear chittering among the needled canopy that surrounded him with winter barren branches mingled among the evergreens. A thick carpet of decaying leaves lay beneath the crusted and drifting snow. Swoop. Swoop. An arrow narrowly missed his head and he saw a black hawk’s feather attached to it. “Giloam, I ‘av a missige from tha king. He . . .” Creek. Crack. A branch bent overhead and a very tall built man with no hair slid down to the ground. He was covered in drey fur, including his feet. “Wa’ cud tha king want wi me?”
“E’ wants me ta tell ya tha’ Princess Maia never married. Rigoans ‘av invaded. Prince Ris was suppos’d ta marry her but he turned ‘er inta a. . .” Pokey groaned as Giloam walked nearer making his very large frame fully known. “A dragun.” Pokey gulped and smiled sheepishly. “She’s cursed and we are under Rigoa rule. If she’s kissed by true love then she’ll be uncursed. See?’ Giloam turned and walked towards the forest. “What does the king want me to do?” Pokey had no idea; he only had the message and hoped Giloam would know some way to help. “Where is Maia the dragon?” Pokey told him. “Come wi’ me. We ‘av a dragon to catch.”
They entered the plain of Maloon just before sunset on the third day. Giloam knew a secret way into the castle from a deep stream bed. When the king was found and told that Maia needed true love’s kiss. Giloam asked for several supplies and left alone. Pokey saw him the next day riding the princess dragon burning down and tearing up the troops of the Rigoans. The evil prince Ris stood on the field trying to protect himself with a spell and regain control over the dragon but she calmly walked up to him and ate him whole. Soon the Rigoans were running back to their land. Giloam slid off the back of the dragon and walked to the front looking her in the eyes and kissed her on the nose.
Maia trasformed back into the statuesque maid she had been before; she and Giloam left the plane were not seen for many years. Pokey served his King and returned home unharmed and whole.
I don’t think I can sleep tonight. Blowing out the candle and climbing through the floor, down the stone steps and back up into the laundry room, I knew that Kal was still in his den possibly asleep or maybe he had adventures all his own without me. It was all good as long as those adventures didn’t come after the children who would be up in a few hours.