The rash-but-courageous Prince Jenblevó charged into view, trailed by his portly nurse, three frightened-but-willing comrades, the darkly ravishing Princess Feyrdú, and a regal-looking older couple. But the Prince’s charge was halted by the sight of the little dragon falling out of Gina’s lap. It had opened its eyes the moment its head hit the ground, and was now emitting a series of pitiful bleats.
A descant of “awwwwws” arose from the greenery. Gina patted her knee. The dragonlet ambled over and leaned against her. She scratched between its soft, crimped ears, and it began to sing. Its enchanting saxophonic purr filled the glade. The pixies all sat down at once, as if the melody had made them too weak to stand. The only sound in the entire forest for several minutes was the dragon’s song. In the same way the forest reflected light, it now reflected the creature’s voice: the sound echoed off every tree, every leaf. It had become the forest’s song. There was no other voice.
Except B’frona the miller’s son.
“You’ve s-s-s-stolen my dragon and made yourself d-d-d-dragonmeer. I was supposed to be the dragonfaer!”
“What?” Gina answered. “I don’t care. You can be its dragon thingy if you want.”
“Nooooo! Only one person can adopt a dragon. Only one person can become dragonfaer or dragonmeer!”
“Well, maybe I could give him back to—”
“No, you b-b-brainless girl, a dragonmeer is forever!”
“It’s true!” the pixies rejoined.
“Heartless human! You are too stupid to die!” added Jenblevó.
And then Gina remembered her dream, or what she’d thought was a dream. “That’s right, Rhema said that—”
There was a collective gasp. The little pixie king stepped forward. He beckoned to a servant, who lifted a funnel-shaped flower in front of him. It amplified his voice quite effectively:
“You know the Faerie Queen?”
“Um, well, yeah, I think so…I mean, yeah, I did, last night. She said that when I sang to the dragon I took a step I couldn’t ‘untake,’ that now my life would be ‘tied to his,’ and ‘what he becomes’ will become a part of ‘what I am.’”
“This was truly the voice of the Fae te Lurá!” the king declared. The crowd responded with reverent silence.
“You don’t even know what you’ve done, do you?” asked B’frona. “How can you not know what it means to be a dragonmeer?”
“Well, I…” What had she gotten herself into?
“Dragonmeer or not, she destroyed the Stone Circle!” Jenblevó shouted.
“Hush, Lord Blevy!” hissed the plump little nurse.
“No! Uol will not be mocked! She will die a thousand, thousand piercings!” Jenblevó raised his goose quill lance over his head. The dark-haired princess stepped up beside him, wielding a wasp-tail dagger, looking equally maleficent.
“Wait!” Gina said. She bent over and picked up a brick-sized stone, and placed it on end. “Um, this goes here, right?”
There was a gasp from the crowd.
“A little to the right,” the king corrected.
Gina slid the stone over. “And this one here?” She placed another about ten inches away.
“Yes,” said the little king. “Perfect.”
“And this one on top?” She placed a longer, flatter stone across the first two.
A rumble of recognition began to build.
“And this one goes…?”
“Here,” the little king said, patting the proper place with his slippered toe.
Within minutes, Gina had reassembled the Sacred Circle. When she finished, she was standing just outside it. With the little dragon at her side, she bowed deeply, using the Elizabethan curtsey she’d learned when she did The Taming of the Shrew. Then she got down on one knee in front of the miniscule monarch and recited, “I humbly beg your forgiveness ‘and place my hand beneath your kingly foot.’” She put her right hand on the ground in front of the king. It was nearly twice his size. With some effort, he managed to lift his foot onto her index finger.
He was utterly enchanted: “Only Uol forgives sins, gracious girl, but We forgive the rest and offer you our tender regard.” The Queen was less impressed, but joined the crowd in a hearty round of, “Çsëláh! Çsëláh!” the ultimate (and unless you’re a pixie, unpronounceable)…
Thoughts: Have you ever committed yourself to something without realizing it would permanently alter the course of your life?
To read the next episode, click here.