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Chapter Twenty Four: A Time of Change

Posted on August 31, 2014 at 12:05 AM

Eamon looked up from his journal and rubbed his eyes. He was worried about his brother Rolfe. In spite of Eamon’s warnings, Rolfe had married a woman from the townspeople fifty years ago. Even Eamon’s son Bryant had told Rolfe it was a bad idea to marry someone so short lived, but Rolfe was determined. A knock at the door interrupted his thoughts.

“Come,” he said and Bryant opened the door.

“Are we going Father? Everything is packed and waiting on the horses,” Bryant said.

“Yes. I’ll be out soon,” Eamon said.

Bryant shut the door behind him as Eamon shut his journal. He soon had put it away in the secret bookcase. He was looking forward to this camping trip with Bryant. It would give him a break from his worries. He found Miranda waiting out in the courtyard with Bryant.

“Go and relax,” Miranda said after he kissed her. “I’ll take care of things while you are gone. Haskell can tell you if we need you back sooner.”

“Keep an eye on Rolfe and Emalyn,” Eamon said. “I noticed she has trouble staying awake and walking lately.”

“She’s nearly seventy,” Miranda said. “That’s older than most of her people live.”

“As much as I love Aunt Emalyn, I still think it was a mistake for Uncle Rolfe to marry her,” Bryant said.

They mounted up and rode out the portcullis into the town. Some of the people waved to them as they passed. The town had grown over the years and occasionally there were merchants that passed through. They reached the edge of town and took the path uphill into the mountains. At the top Eamon heard Bryant laugh just before he passed at a gallop. Eamon urged his mount to follow and they raced across the rolling field scattering the cattle. Being alone with Bryant always brightened his spirits.

‘Bryant enjoys it too,’ Haskell told him.

They slowed down as they reached the edge of the field. At the top of the hill they went around the rock outcropping to where they had camped before. Soon they had the horses unpacked and turned loose to graze.

“I love being alone up here with you,” Bryant said.

“I do too Son. It lets me forget about my duties as leader for a while.”

“Every time I do something with people my age everyone looks to me to decide what to do or to stop a fight,” Bryant said as he sat down. “It makes me uncomfortable.”

“You need to get used to it, Bryant. Someday Lord Dracona will be more than your title it will be your duty.”

“I’d be happy to be just one of the crowd for once. I don’t want to have to worry about taking care of anyone except myself and my family.”

“We don’t always get what we want. The people of Dracona need us to lead them,” Eamon said as he decided to change the subject. “I see you brought the practice blades. Want to have a duel?”

“Of course,” Bryant said as he quickly got to his feet.

As they dueled Eamon was having a hard time keeping up with Bryant. They tested each other’s skills for a while before Eamon disarmed Bryant. They drank some water and sat down to rest. They spent the rest of the day talking about trivial things and young women. He could tell that Bryant would soon be ready to choose a wife.

When Eamon lay down to sleep he watched the stars become brighter against the night sky. He remembered the times he had camped with his father and Rolfe. He wished Father was still alive to counsel Rolfe. When he slept his dreams were of the times he spent with his father and brother.

Eamon woke to find Bryant putting more wood on the fire. It was well past dawn.

“It’s about time you woke Father,” Bryant said. “You’ve been working too hard lately.”

“I know,” he replied.

“Do you think Haskell and Evelina will ever produce eggs? Other than Mackin they are the only dragons left.”

“They will produce eggs when the time is right is what Haskell told me,” Eamon said. “They need to keep the dragon population so the land can support them. When the queen dragon lays eggs it means they are ready to die. Evelina is not yet ready to die.”

Bryant nodded and began fixing breakfast. They spent another day camping before Haskell told him they should come home right away. It felt good to sleep in a soft bed with his wife again, but Emalyn was not doing well and Rolfe was distraught. Eamon fell asleep wondering what would happen when she died.

‘Wake up!’ Haskell’s voice had a panicked tone to it. ‘Emalyn has died and Rolfe is insane from grief! I can’t even get Mackin to respond to me!’

Eamon quickly dressed and grabbed his sword. He left the apartment and ran towards Bryant’s room. He saw Mackin with Rolfe mounted fly past the hall windows overlooking the mountain. Eamon pounded on Bryant’s door.

“What?” Bryant asked as he opened the door.

He seemed half asleep.

“Emalyn has died and Rolfe has gone insane! Get dressed and bring your sword!” Eamon commanded before running down the hall.

‘If we can’t stop Rolfe and Mackin people will die!’

He ran down the stairs to the open door of the caverns and mounted Haskell. As they rose into the sky they saw Mackin blowing flames as he dove towards the town surrounding the castle. Eamon realized that everything he knew was about to change forever.

 

Find out what happens next by reading Dracona’s Rebirth.

 

Categories: Tales of Asculum

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