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Bedtime stories (1)
Aracna finished dressing Dannion for bed and cradled him in her arms; the infant smiled and made a gurgling sound. She clung to him for a few moments, My precious son; she thought. If your fate is preventable we’ll try whatever we can, I can’t lose you. Only one outcome is written. They say love is the strongest force in the world; I just need to nurture that in you. So you have a light in the darkness. She propped him up on an oversized stuffed bear so he was sitting upright on the floor facing her then she got down on her knees surrounded by an assortment of stuff animals and toys.

She smiled, “Ready for a story?” The baby smiled back. “Ok…once upon a time there was an evil dragon.” She grabbed a stuffed dragon toy and placed it in front of her. “The dragon’s name was Ony and she was mean and rotten and liked eating people.” She made a growl noise and moved the dragon’s wings mimicking as if it were making the noise. “One day, Ony kidnapped a Darkspear maiden, daughter of their great shaman; her name was…” She thought for a moment, Should have planned names ahead of time. Ah! “Siopa. She was one of the most beautiful of the trolls, and a very talented priestess in training.” She pulled out a green rag doll and had the dragon carry it off to her right.

Aracna pulled out a stuffed horse and another doll placed on it like a rider, “A paladin came, and told the great shaman that he would save Siopa and he rode off to meet the dragon.” But our hero is not a paladin. She faced the dragon to the rider and in a deep voice, “You cannot have the maiden back, she is to be my dinner, roar!” Dannion giggled at his mother’s voice.

“Do not worry fair Siopa, I will rescue you!” She had the two toys meet and engaged in a mock battle. “After a great fight the Paladin was defeated, and Ony ate him and his steed; nom nom nom.” She tucked the horse and doll behind her.

“Oh...” She moved the dragon around, “I am so full now. I will eat the Troll maiden tomorrow instead.”

“Meanwhile, back at Siopa’s home her father worried terribly for her.” She pulled out another pair of dolls, “Then later that evening a stranger appeared.”

She had the dolls face each other, “Who goes there!” One of the dolls demanded.

“Sir,” The other doll began. “I am a traveler and have heard of your peril and have come to offer my help. My name is, “ Aracna though for a moment. I need a good heroic name...someone he can look up to. “Merick. I am a humble Warlock but I believe my powers are enough to defeat the dragon and rescue your beloved daughter.”

“Very well, you can find Ony in a cave to the west. Please, please bring her back to me.” She had Merick’s doll bow to the other and put that one away.

“Merick found the dragon and saw that she was fed and sluggish.” She brought the dragon toy out again.

“Roar! You have come to meet your doom!” She had the two toys face each other again.

“No Ony…it is you who is doomed this day! I promised Siopa’s father I’d bring her home, and I am a man of my word.” She once again engaged the toys in a mock battle.

She narriated, “They fought for what seemed to be hours, Merick commanded demons to fight at his side and fired shadow bolts at the dragon.”

“Oh!” the dragon flopped on it’s side, “No…this can’t be…I am defeated!” She scooted the dragon toy out of view.

“Merick was successful and killed the evil dragon and saved Siopa.” She brought the green rag doll out again. “And he brought her back to her village.” She brought the father doll out again.
The father doll moved. “Oh Merick, I am ever so grateful for what you have done. You are entitled to all of my wealth, and the hand of my daughter in marriage.”

Aracna looked up at Dannion, “But ever humble, Merick bowed to the Shaman.”

She moved the doll, “Kind sir, I am but a man doing what need to be done in the name of what is right. I cannot take your treasures from you; the greatest being your daughter. Her heart and hand one day will belong to another more deserving.”

Dannion watched, his eyes not blinking. “With that, Merick got back on his steed; and traveled away…to seek out others who needed his help.” She put the doll back in the pile, the baby kicked and smiled with glee.

“And now my little one,” She picked him up and kissed him. “Time for bed,” She placed him in the crib and covered him with the blanket. “No more bad dreams.” She turned to see Firvan in the door way grinning, “How long have you been there?”

“Nom nom nom.” He chuckled and Aracna smiled. He walked over and kissed her, holding her in an embrace. “Siopa?”

“Well…it was her or Zlinka. And I’m pretty sure she’d have killed the dragon and rescued the Paladin.”

“Have I told you lately you’re amazing?”

“I just hope it helps.” She sighed.

“Don’t worry, no one his hurting him; I won’t let it happen.” Firvan said that with such conviction Aracna wished she could believe him. She rested her head on his shoulder remembering her conversation. “Are you going to kill my son?”

“Only if he is a threat.”

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