Serializations of the Hitherby Dragons novels

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– 7 –

– 7 –

Tom works on a trap-line to make sure the nithrid doesn’t destroy his building. He mutters to himself. He looks up.

Emily is smiling at him.

He’s reminding her of her godfather Eldri, and of happy summers, and of how glad she was, just recently, to hear he’d gotten out of the hospital and that the cancers that had bloomed in him after the nuking of Bibury appeared to finally be gone.

He doesn’t know that, though.

To Tom, it’s just all summery sweetness. He looks at her and he sees what he imagines must be a fellow Dreamer.

“I have a hat,” he says.

He takes it off. He holds it out to her.

“I couldn’t,” she protests.

He tries again. “I mean,” he says. “It will refine you. It will awaken you. It will make all that flows through you, and is in disorder, into a single stream, and pure.”

She looks at it.

She shrugs. She tries on the hat.

She licks her lips. She doesn’t say anything. Her eyes film for a moment, then come up streaked with yellow gold.

“I . . . really need to stop giving my hat to random people,” confesses Tom.



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