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A Wizard Wheeze (standard:fantasy, 2035 words)
Author: moyaAdded: May 19 2002Views/Reads: 1932/1161Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Who wants to rule the world? Eustace and Snowdrop realize you should never trust a wizard. 3rd in Dragontails series.

It had been raining all day. Sir Eustace Curdylion, Black Knight and
famous dragon-slayer, sat hunched in the saddle while his trusty 
charger, Mompyns, sank up to the fetlocks in mud with every step. Water 
seeped between the joints of his armour and tricked down his spine. He 
was sure he had a cold coming on.  No more than seven leagues to the 
next village, that peasant hoeing turnips had said. He must have gone 
more than twice that. Either the peasant had no idea of distance or he 
had taken the wrong turning.  He looked up as Snowdrop the dragon 
swooped out of the sky and splashed down in a puddle. 

“Any luck?” he asked, wiping the mud from his helmet. 

“No sign of a village. I told you we should have turned left at the
blasted oak.” 

“Damn!” said Eustace. “We may as well make camp here. I've had enough
for today.” 

“Umm,” said Snowdrop, “actually I did see something a mile or two up the
road. Some sort of castle.” 

“A castle? But that's brilliant, why didn't you say so before?” Eustace
cheered up immediately.  Snowdrop said nothing. 

“Why, what's the matter with it?” 

“Nothing, really. Just a bit of an atmosphere.” 

“Drains probably,” said Eustace. “It'll take more than a bad smell to
put me off, weather like this. Come on.” 

Though when they reached the castle Eustace had to agree that there was
something about the place. Maybe it was the mouldering skulls on the 
railings, or the green light which flickered from a turret window, or 
the way the lion's head door-knocker showed its teeth and snarled as 
they approached the door. 

“Let's try round the back,” he said. 

The backyard seemed normal enough, if unnaturally clean and tidy. As he
passed the pigsty Eustace noticed that the pigs had all been freshly 
bathed. The door was unlatched and swung inwards as he approached, 
spilling golden light. 

“Don't walk on the floor!” screeched a voice from inside. A small plump
woman appeared on the threshold. 

“And who might you be?” she asked. 

“A poor benighted traveller seeking shelter,” said Sir Eustace. 

“We don't do B&B.” She started to shut the door. 

“Hang on,” said Sir Eustace plaintively. “What about the sacred laws of
hospitality and all that? It's a foul night.” 

“Hmph. Take that coal scuttle off then, I want to see what you look

Eustace removed his helmet and bowed low. “I am Sir Eustace Curdylion,
madam. Might I enquire -?” 

“This is the residence of the wizard Wormfinger. I am Mrs Wizard.”  The
woman inspected him carefully while the rain drummed on his bald head 
and dripped off his moustache.  “I suppose you look harmless enough. 
Put your horse in the stable, and take your armour off before you come 
in, I don't want you dripping all over the floor.” 

A few minutes later Eustace presented himself at the door again,
Snowdrop peering over his shoulder. At the sight of him the woman's 
expression froze. 

“Sorry. No pets.” 

“He's not a pet, he's a dragon!” 

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