Serializations of the Hitherby Dragons novels

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– 4 –

– 4 –

As usual, it being almost Christmas, Martin puts Jane in a sack, drags her down to the basement, and shackles her to the wall.

“It’s so you don’t eat Santa!” he teases her, gaily.

He throws her homework and half a pizza in after her. Then he locks the door with seven locks!

“Spudgeflidgeon!” she rages. “Geffle-twonk! Glip! Glip!”

Martin leans against the door and sighs happily. Years of using invented curse words in her presence have finally paid off!

He straightens. He adjusts his goggles. He wanders about the house preparing for Christmas. Then he relaxes and he enjoys the marvelous silence of his home.

He reads a book.

He smokes a pipe. He spits out the pipe, hacking and coughing, and makes himself a big mug of the svart-drink instead.

After a while —

Since nobody’s watching —

He sneaks to his box of holding things. He plays with his classic Star Wars action figures. He cuts things that probably shouldn’t be cut with his cut-anything sword. If your power just went out I’m really sorry. That’s all Martin’s fault!

It’s not mine!

He takes out his stone. He puts in on his forehead. He traipses around as a billy goat, then as a small Godzilla, then as a number of other barnyard animals — tortoises, sheep, capybaras, and the like — and ultimately goes back to being a goat one more time.

It’s just so satisfying!

“Meh-eh,” he bleats.

Then it’s back to hanging up stockings and making the house more Christmas-y. He consults the scroll of evil prophecy to see if there’s anything else that must be done.

“Cinnamon!” he says. He bonks his forehead. He adds cinnamon to the apple cider that he’s brewing. He pours a little more along the edge of the window to keep out immortal and other, non-immortal, ants.

Then he sits back to think about presents.

“Time sheets,” he concludes. What little sister wouldn’t love the opportunity to sign in and sign out for chores around the house, scientific research, and high adventure? Plus, he’s been a little concerned that she might be indulging herself with a bit too much unauthorized overtime. Not under his roof she won’t!

He’s deep in the middle of the design — he’s a graphic designer —

When Lucy Souvante begins pounding at Jane and Martin’s door.



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