Hail and well met, old friends and new readers. I fear Mistress Writer is still unable to sit and undertake the chronicling of events. Oh, do not be unduly concerned for her – she is recovering, albeit slowly. The way Master Miles dotes on her is almost dragon-like in its virtue. Under his tender care, and with the hovering presence of our own renowned elven healer, Cleric (along with the ministrations of Mistress Writer’s human doctors), she should soon be able to return to her duties.
Meanwhile, however, the events that transpired previous to Mistress Writer’s malady are of too great an import to leave you waiting and wondering for even one more week. Therefore, I, Dragon, have shapeshifted into my familiar guise of an elf maiden (whose fingers are nimbler on the computer keyboard than are my dragon claws), and I shall attempt to transcribe here all I remember of that day.
Downstairs in the conference room, Mistress Writer was just about to tell Master Miles what James (the human companion of my dear friend, Ollie) had said about the pages of the book she had sent him by some means she calls e-mail. Their conversation was interrupted, however, by a loud crash upstairs, followed by angry voices.
When Mistress Writer and Master Miles came charging up the stairs and into the living room, they found me separating two seemingly identical dwarves who were attempting to annihilate each other with axe and shield. I grasped each by the scruff of the neck and held them fast.
“What’s going on now?” Mistress Writer stood there, hands on her hips, scowling at me and my captives. She appeared very cross, even for her.
“Git this great beastie offen me!” One of the dwarves struggled valiantly to free himself from my iron grasp.
“Aye! Call offen yer scaly pet!” The other dwarf struggled, but not as fiercely.
Mistress Writer raised an eyebrow and gave me that aggravating look of hers that demanded an immediate explanation of the situation.
“That annoying elf.” I knew no further explanation was needed. Mistress Writer’s Arrogant One had obviously ignored her warning not to engage his power of illusion to create the image of any of her other characters.
“Which is which?” As clever as she is, Mistress Writer was unable to determine which of the dwarves struggling in my grasp was real and which was illusion. I, on the other hand, being a dragon and possessing immense magical power of my own, could easily tell them apart. I released the real dwarf and opened my great maw as if to swallow the other. The fake dwarf immediately disappeared in a shower of sparks.
The real dwarf stood sputtering like the proverbial wet hen, his language initially not fit to repeat here in polite company. He finally loosed his frustrations by taking a rather ineffectual swipe at me with his axe. “Ye great blitherin’ beastie! Ye incompetent hornie-toad! Ye be darin’ ta claim yerself capable o sensin’ magic? Ye shoulda knowed all along I be the real dwarf, ye colossal nincompoop!”
“I did.” I blew a large cloud of smoke in his face and then turned from him to face Mistress Writer. She shook her head and did her best to look annoyed with me, but I know she understands the relationship shared by her Old Dwarf and me. Had I not tormented him, he would have been offended.
“For what reason did my Arrogant One create the illusion of my Old Dwarf?” For one so clever, sometimes Mistress Writer can not fathom the simplest of situations.
“Causin the ridiculous little popinjay be knowin’ he can na best me in a fair fight, so he be creatin’ sommat what can – another me!” Her poor Old Dwarf could hardly choke out the words, coughing and sneezing away the last of the smoke I had blown at him.
“And he wanted to bash your skull for what purpose, exactly?” Really, perhaps I have overestimated Mistress Writer’s cleverness.
Her Old Dwarf just gaped at her, unable to respond.
“Their longstanding feud? The fact that your Arrogant One is a born troublemaker? Because your Bounty Hunter instigated him again?” I tried to offer the suggestions in such a way as to preserve Mistress Writer’s dignity.
“Right.” Mistress Writer raked her hand through her hair in that annoying gesture of frustration she employs so often. Yes, I have definitely overestimated her cleverness.
“Well, no harm done, I guess, so we can deal with the little twerp later.”
I raised an eyebrow at her, but nodded. “Of course.”
“Well, if the situation here is under control, I’m still waiting to hear what James had to say!” Master Miles voice was strained and practically dripping with typical human impatience.
Mistress Writer nodded. “Indeed. Well, James said . . . ” She paused and looked around, as if waiting for something to once again interrupt her pronouncement. When nothing occurred, she sighed with relief and continued, her words tumbling out with great speed. “James said he was unable to read a single word of the pages I e-mailed him. What’s more, he took the liberty of showing the pages to a trusted friend, a linguist who speaks, reads and writes countless languages and dialects including several ancient tongues. That person could not decipher a single word, either.”
She paused again, this time to catch her breath. “So, the books must have been enchanted so I alone could read them.”
Master Miles gave his wife a blank stare. “Uh, honey? You aren’t the only one who can read them. I can, too, remember? If they were enchanted so only you could read them, how is it I am able to read them, too?”
Mistress Writer returned his blank stare, then shrugged. Good readers, did I really ever describe Mistress Writer as clever?
I cleared my throat, but before I could speak, her Old Dwarf chuckled. “Eh, lass, can ye really not be figurin’ thet out?”
Mistress Writer shook her head.
“Wale, I mighten not be understandin’ o most magics, but I be thinkin’ it be acause o the greatest magic o all – the great bond atween ye two. Ye not only be husband and wife in name and in fact, but ye two share the bond o deep and abidin’ love o two soul-mates. Ta me way o thinkin’ thet be a lot stronger then any other magics!” Her Old Dwarf winked broadly at the pair, who both blushed prettily and nodded their understanding, while I tried not to wretch at such naked sentimentality.
Quickly, before they could get all lovey-dovey, I cleared my throat again. “Yes, well now that that little mystery has been settled, I will be off. My companions and I believe we are close to a breakthrough on the other matter you wished us to explore. We hope we will soon have an answer for you.”
Good readers, I hope you will return again next week. If at that time Mistress Writer is still unable to assume her duties, I will once again relate to you all that I know. And, of course, we will leave the porch light on for you.