As the caravan went over an especially bumpy path an especially large rock beneath the rear wheel caused the entire caravan to jerk and rattle. Due to the sudden jolt Anneli uncharacteristically woke up in the middle of the afternoon. Sleepily he sat up and looked around.
“Are you alright?” laughed Castor seeing Anneli’s strange behavior. Anneli looked at Castor for an uncomfortably long time then moved closer to Castor and leaned against him.
“What are you doing?” asked Anneli as he adjust his cape to hide his claws, tail and monstrous features.
“I borrowed one of Dominic’s books. It’s about local fairy tales, honestly I think he was judging me a little when I borrowed it. He must have expected me to pick a more complicated book but his other books seemed too boring and pedantic. Do you want me to read you a story?”
“I’m half-way through this one so I’ll start the next one.”
“The dragon and the cursed knight,” said Castor. Anneli listened intently, he noticed the change in tone and expression of Castor’s voice compared to how he usually spoke. He enunciated each word differently, it was different but not unpleasant.
“Once upon a time in a far away land was a small kingdom that was surrounded on three sides by mountains. The princess was incredibly beautiful with milk white skin and golden hair that glittered like gold in sunlight. Everyone in the kingdom loved the princess, even the clouds in the sky, the western winds and the rivers in the valley were so enchanted by her beauty that they listened to each and everyone of her requests. The kingdom was peaceful and prosperous until one day a massive dragon with scales like wrought iron and teeth like blades descended from the sky. When it landed the cobble streets and the tiled roofs were demolished by its gigantic form. It climbed the towers and plunged its claws into the towers and scooped out the insides. With a thunderous beat of its wings the dragon flew away into the distance. All was silent once again. The greatest tragedy came upon the kingdom when they realized that the princess had been stolen.”