• Miles O'Neal

Beware the Wares (a sneak peak from YEAR OF THE DRAGON LORD)

"Welcome, young warriors!" Gerald and Justin looked up from the jewelry and stared. The merchant was a young woman in her twenties of almost unearthly beauty, dressed in bright colors, with long, reddish-blonde hair that wandered well down her back, ringlets constantly in motion like many dragon tails. Her eyes were hazel, fading between green to blue as she shifted her gaze. "I am Kenna of Bennu. Do you like my jewelry?" Both young men nodded mutely. Gerald turned red as he realized he'd been staring at a pendant on Kenna's chest, afraid she would misinterpret his gaze. But she laughed, reached to her left, and pulled one very like it from the wall. She offered it to Gerald as Justin examined rings. It was a miniature dragon in flight, wrought of fine silver threads, with slivers and curlicues of something that wasn't quite ivory woven throughout where a skeleton would be. It had eyes of jet black, reflecting the sunlight far too much for such dark material. As he held it near his face, fire washed over his hands. He nearly dropped the pendant but caught himself as he realized it was a vision. In seconds all was normal, except that the dragon still seemed to be breathing fire. "Justin, what do you think of this?" Justin glanced at it and whistled appreciatively. "It's beautiful, all right." He went back to looking at a ring. Clearly he had seen nothing unusual. Gerald looked at Kenna. "This isn't ivory. It's dragon bone. And the eyes...." He stared at them a moment until he was sure they were really shimmering. "Dragon scales?" Kenna stared. "Who are you to recognize such a thing so young?" Justin spoke, as if from far away. "This is Gerald, the youngest dragon lord." Kenna spun and gently took a ring from Justin. "I'm sorry. I should have warned you. Don't stare at this one too long."

Copyright 2015 Miles O'Neal, Round Rock, TX.

Illustration by Alli Ritchie.

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