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Talking to Dragons

Talking to Dragons Talking to Dragons Talking to Dragons

Daystar has lived all his life with his mother in a cottage on the edge of the Enchanted Forest. But when one day a wizard comes to his house- he is sent by his mother on a journey with some strange sword. Little does he know that this is the magic sword that belonged to the Rulers of the enchanted forest- and he is the rightful heir!

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Mother was cooking rabbit stew in the big black pot over the chimney fire. She didn't even look up when the door fell in. The wizard stood there for a minute, and I sneaked a little closer so I could see better. He was frowning, and I got the impression he wasn't used to being ignored. Mother kept stirring the stew.

"Well, Cimorene, I have found you," the wizard said at last.

"It took you long enough," Mother said without turning. "You're getting slow."

"You know why I am here."

Mother shrugged. "You're sixteen years too late. I told you, you're getting slow."

"Ha! I can take the sword now, and the boy as well. There is nothing you can do to stop me this time," the wizard said. I could tell he was trying to sound menacing, but he didn't do a very good job.

Mother finally turned around. I took one look at her face and backed up a couple of steps. She looked at the wizard for a minute and started to smile. "Nothing, Antorell? Are you sure?"

The wizard laughed and raised his staff. I backed up some more. I mean, I wanted to see what was going on, but I'm not stupid. He paused a moment-for effect, I think-and Mother pointed at him.

"Argelfraster," she said, and he started to melt.

"No! Not again!" he screamed. He shrank pretty quickly-all but his head, which was shouting nearly the whole time. "I'll get you, Cimorene! I'll be back! You can't stop me! I'll-" Then his head collapsed and there was nothing left but a little puddle of brown goo and his staff.

I stared at the puddle. All I could think was, I never knew Mother could do that. Mother let me stand there for a while before she told me to clean it up.

"Don't touch the staff," she said. "And don't forget to wash your hands before you come to dinner."

I went to get a bucket. When I came back, the staff was gone and Mother was stirring the stew as if nothing had happened. She didn't mention the wizard again until the next morning.

I was out by the remains of our door, trying to fix it. I didn't think my chances were very good. I picked up the hammer, and as I looked around for nails I saw Mother walk out of the Enchanted Forest. I was so surprised I dropped the hammer and nearly smashed my foot. Mother never went into the Enchanted Forest. Never. Then I saw the sword she was carrying, and if I'd still been holding the hammer, I'd have dropped it again.

Even from a distance, I could tell it wasn't an ordinary sword. It was about the same size and shape as the one I practiced with, but it shone too brightly and looked too sharp to be ordinary. Mother brought it over to me and set it down on top of the boards I'd been working on.

"Don't touch it," she said, and went into the house.

I had a hard time following Mother's instructions. The more I looked at the sword, the more I wanted to pick it up and try a few of the passes Mother had taught me. It was such a beautiful weapon! Just looking at it made me shiver. But Mother always had good reasons for the things she told me to do, so I waited.

I didn't have to wait long. She came back almost immediately, carrying a sword belt and a sheath that I'd never seen before. They were old-so old that the leather had turned nearly gray-and very, very plain. I was disappointed; the sword deserved something more impressive.

Mother went straight to the sword and put it in the sheath. She relaxed a little then, as if she'd been worried about something.

Mother almost never worried. I started wondering just what that weapon did. I didn't have much time to think about it, though. As soon as she had sheathed the sword, Mother turned and gave me her You're-not-much-but-you'll-have-to-do look.

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