Jonathan’s Return (An Adventure Novel)
(Copyright 1984, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)
Book Two, Chapter Two, Part Nine
There wasn’t anything else to do in the dimming light of the setting sun, so Jonathan and Sammy put all thoughts of the dragon behind them as they prepared for a good night’s sleep in the tent that had been set up for them. Jonathan remembered back to Miylla’s earlier hospitality here in The King’s Preserve, and knew the banquet and tent had been arranged for them, just as it had been arranged for the entire company earlier. All things in good time, thought Jonathan, hoping of course to meet Miylla before having to confront the dragon.
Jonathan tried to go to sleep, but thoughts of facing a dragon one day, were never far from his mind. Back home on the farm, the idea of slaying a dragon was like stepping into a fairy tale and he jumped at the chance, but now he had second thoughts. The tooth he pulled from the cave’s wall was a constant reminder to him, that slaying a dragon wasn’t going to be a cakewalk – not with teeth the size of his thigh bone!
Something else seemed wrong about the entire area since returning to Myllanthar, thought Jonathan. No one seemed to be about in the kingdom – the entire place felt like a ghost town! Jonathan realized they hadn’t covered much distance so far outside of the passageway and the Wood, but there were no signs of anyone being around, except of course for the destruction inflicted by the dragon. Thinking of the destruction, he pondered, How exactly am I supposed to slay a dragon, especially one with teeth approaching 16″ long? I wonder what the rest of it looks like…
Eventually, Jonathan’s mind wandered far away from dragons and destruction, beyond Hampton, Ohio, and adventures, to finally getting lost in nebulous dreams that he had no memory of once he awoke the next morning. Sammy was looking very intently at the door of the tent with his ears alert and pointing forward, noticed Jonathan, while the pup’s hairs stood up on the back of his neck and shoulders. Sammy had clearly heard something outside the tent, but what?
Jonathan shook himself awake from his dreams and rolled over, trying to focus on what was outside the tent by looking out through the sliver between folds of fabric to the Wood around them. He heard a faint rustling sound outside the tent as if a swirling wind was distributing autumn leaves, yet otherwise, it was a windstill morning. In a singing tone that seemed to spring out of the very wind itself, Jonathan heard the words, “Welcome back, we’ve been expecting you…”