The dragons entered the Dining Room just as the clock struck nine. They crept in, all five of them, low to the ground, their wings folded against their bodies, their eyes alert.
“Good Evening Teal,” said Edith politely. “Would you do the honors,” she said, holding her hand toward the candelabras.
Teal, the largest of the dragons, nodded and a thin ribbon of fire shot from his nose toward the candles as he lit them, one by one. “Thank you,” he whispered, rubbing against Edith’s hip.
“Well, I know how much you love to light them,” muttered Edith softly.
Merlin walked into the room and looked around the table. “Oh, I hope you’re not all standing up because of me. Sit down, sit down,” he said, waving them to their seats. “If you do things like that I may start to think that I’m special and then I’ll make a fool out of myself.”
Everyone took their seat and tried not to stare at the great wizard.
“Edith,” said Merlin, looking around, “this is magnificent. I don’t deserve to eat amid such beauty,” he continued, taking her hand and kissing it. “You spoil me.”
“Well, I try,” she said. “But, you don’t make it easy.”
“I wore my blue robe just for you,” he said, as stardust pooled around his feet.
Edith blushed. “Thank you,” she said. “Now, on to business. The heads of all the groups that have arrived for the Unusual Things Convention, so far, are seated here. I think you know everyone.”
“I do,” said Merlin, smiling and nodding to everyone.
“Please be seated Merlin,” said Edith.
“You’ve outdone yourself this time,” said Merlin, reaching for the salad.
A flock of birds flew into he room and landed on the long table. They started pecking at the seeds that were spread over the white linen tablecloth, for their benefit. When they were finished eating, they walked back and forth and sang. Merlin stood up and applauded loudly when they were finished. “Thank you my friends,” he said delightedly. “Thank you.”
The birds chirped happily and flew up to the chandelier, so they could watch the rest of the festivities in comfort.
Merlin was clean shaven and wore his usual blue jeans under his robe and heavy gym shoes on his feet. His blue eyes didn’t miss a thing. He watched those at the table and listened to what they were saying. Finally, after three of the Albino Raccoons did a fantastic tumbling routine, Merlin cleared his throat and silence fell over the room.
“How goes the war, Merlin?” asked Billy, the tiger.
Merlin stood up, scattering stardust all around him. “It goes slowly, my friend. Too slowly. The Faerie Courts are divided. North and East against South and West. Moon against Sun,” he said, looking down. “The North is preparing to attack the humans. East is behind them. South and West think it’s too soon but they have waited a long time to take back what was originally theirs.”
“Surely they know they can’t win against the humans,” said Thomas, speaking for the raccoons.
“Oh, I wouldn’t be so sure of that,” said Merlin. “If they place humans under a massive glamour, they won’t even have to fight.”
“But they don’t have a glamour that can cover everyone,” said Billy.
“I’m afraid they do, my friend,” sighed Merlin. “They plan to take away human will. They want to live on the planet, they want to…”
“We want to take our rightful place on earth,” said the tall beautiful faerie, walking into the room.”
“Gavin,” said Merlin, nodding toward him.
“Merlin,” said the faerie. “May I speak?”
“By all means,” said Merlin, sitting down, taking a sip of his tea.
“I am Gavin, Prince of the East….”
“We know,” said Bobby.
“HI GAVIN,” said everyone at the table, at the very same time.
Merlin covered his mouth with his hand, so no one would see him laughing. Edith just turned around and hoped no one would notice her shoulders shaking.
“Excuse me. I’m Miss Lucy Fuzzy Paws and I don’t think we’ve met. I’m kind of new here.”
“Uh, what?” said Gavin, looking around.
“I said, I’m Miss Lucy Fuzzy Paws and I don’t think I’ve ever seen you before.”
“Well, no you haven’t,” said Prince Gavin. “You’re a rabbit.”
“I know that,” said Lucy, rather bemused. “Pretty much everyone knows what they are, don’t you think?”
“I suppose you’re right.”
“What’s wrong with him?” whispered Lucy, looking at Merlin.
Merlin was laughing too hard to answer, so Edith stepped forward and said, “Prince Gavin I would like to introduce you to my rabbit, Miss Lucy Fuzzy Paws. Lucy, this is Prince Gavin.”
“Pleased to meet you,” said Lucy. “You’re very good looking.”
“Thank you,” said Prince Gavin graciously. “You’re a lovely rabbit.”
“Thank you, that’s what Edith said.”
“What folly is this Merlin?” asked the Prince.
“Would you like some Apple Crisp? It’s delicious,” said Merlin, waving him to a seat. “There’s plenty and there are brownies and ice cream as well. I think the brownies have chocolate chips in them, if I’m not mistaken.”
“You are not mistaken,” said Edith. “Would you care to join us Prince Gavin?”
“I’m here to discuss war,” said the Prince dramatically, his purple cloak flowing out behind him, even though there was no wind.
“That’s all well and good but we’re having dinner and a bit of a celebration, so you can join us or you can wait outside until we are finished. The choice is yours,” said Edith, in no uncertain terms.
“Fine,” said the Prince, “throwing himself into chair. “I’ll have a brownie, please.”
“Would you like a carrot?” asked Lucy, pulling one toward him.
“No thank you,” said the Prince. “I’m having a brownie.”
“Carrots are supposed to be good for your eyes but I don’t think that’s true.”
“Teddy told me that he knew of a girl who put carrots on her eyes every night before she went to sleep and she still couldn’t see any better when she woke up.”
“I see,” said the Prince, looking at Merlin, who simply shrugged and smiled good- naturedly. “Well then, I suppose you’re right Lucy. Carrots do not improve one’s eyesight.”
“I never met a faerie before,” she said, moving closer. “You seem very nice.”
“Thank you. You seem very nice as well,” said the Prince, smiling.
“Rabbits have to be nice because everyone is trying to kill us all the time. It doesn’t matter though. No matter how nice we are, people still kill us. I don’t think it would be a bad thing if you glamoured all the humans. If you do glamour them can you make them be nice to rabbits?”
“I promise I’ll do my best to make that part of the spell.”
“You can pet me if you like. I’m very soft.”
The Prince ran his hand over her back and grinned. “You are a very smart rabbit, aren’t you Lucy.”
“Whatever do you mean,” she asked innocently.
“You made me fall in love with you and you didn’t even need a spell,” he smiled.
“No one can do spells in the Bookstore,” said Lucy knowingly.
“Well then, you won my heart fair and square.”
“Is there going to be a war?”
“I believe there will be,” said the Prince gravely. “But if you stay inside the shop you ‘ll be safe.”
“But what about all of the other rabbits?” asked Lucy fearfully.
“I’ll do what I can to make sure they are out of harms way,” said the Prince grimly, jabbing his fork into the brownie and snagging some ice cream along with it. “I promise you, I’ll do what I can.”
Thanks to all of you who are enjoying this story.
I’m very grateful for your comments and support.
I’m thinking about turning the story into a book,
so there may not be any more bits on my blog. I’m
caught up in life at The Book Lovers Emporium and
I would like to see where it takes me.
Thank you again…<3