Today I have a very special guest coming in for a chat. To be honest, I am in awe of this lady. I came across her in the newly released novel “Wingbound” by Heather Trim and I’m a tiny bit apprehensive about her showing up. You’ll find out why in a minute!
A fair-haired young woman enters and plops down on the sofa, taking one look around before grabbing a cookie out of the bowl on the table.
She smiles perkily and pops the cookie into her mouth. A faint smell of fire hovers around her.
Welcome, Hollis! Nice to meet you. Tell me, when you grew up in your village, was it a carefree time for you and your friends? How much did the annual clash with the Sky people affect you?
Balfour is pretty fun, probably because I make it fun. The Clash makes me crazy. I have to stay inside. Bored. Waiting. Smelling feet. Well, not my feet, but my brothers’ feet. Gah! They stink.
She pulls a face and wrinkles up her nose in disgust.
What about Ledger? You played some fierce pranks on him while growing up together.
Ledger spends a lot of time with a straight face. I just figure I am helping him out by making his face do weird things… like SMILE.
I can’t get enough of the flailing he does when he’s startled! Ha!
Another cookie disappears in her mouth.
When did you become aware of the true nature of your feelings for him? Was it before or after you went on that crazy trip with him and the others?
I’m pretty sure I was born to love that guy. My heart is like a ferret. When it latches on, that thing never lets go! Ledger just took a while to realize that I’m his ferret.
It must have been terrible for you to learn about his true motivation for that adventure.
I freaked out a little. Okay, a lot. What girl wouldn’t? It’s not like he is any good at expressing his feelings or using words—out loud. A little heads-up before leaving Balfour would have been nice! I was blindsided. “Hey Hollis, your man is chasing the tail of some other girl—with wings.” Haha, that made her sound like a dragon. She is not as cool as a dragon. He figured that out after she ditched him. He didn’t know what in the world he was doing. It’s like his brains got sucked out of his head. I considered letting Tristeh crap on him. Anyway, what were we talking about?
Oh, definitely dragons. You found solace in caring for one, didn’t you? By the way, I’m so glad you didn’t bring Tristeh. Even though I can’t shake a certain curiosity. Why didn’t she eat you?
Hollis laughs with a twinkle in her eyes.
Tristeh is amazing! She’s a big baby. She didn’t eat me because she knows I saved her, well, we saved each other, I guess.
But when I found out she could breathe fire—Whew! I was shocked. Why in the skies did she need to do that? I figure I’m too awesome to barbeque!
I can’t help laughing – and agreeing.
You seem to have a special touch for special creatures, Ledger included. He isn’t exactly the easiest person to be around. Why him?
Ha! Yes, I’m a beast tamer! Ledger is the best because he’s the least judgmental person I know. I mean, he offered to help our mortal enemies. Who does that? Plus he has great hair.
Great hair? Well, in that case I have hope my older son won’t have trouble finding a girl. When he shows up at the hairdresser, all the women flock around him to get their fingers into his curls.
So, what do you think will happen when you complete your trip and return to your village with a monstrous pet?
Holy skies, I haven’t even thought that far ahead! Hopefully my dad will let me keep her. And let me keep Ledger.
Hollis winks confidentially at me. I wink back.
Just between us: What do you think of Alouette?
Hollis rolls her eyes.
That girl is sending all sorts of weird signals. I wish Ledger would have introduced me to her back before we left Balfour. I would have told him she’s not his ferret. Or at least not ferret-material, if you know what I mean.
I suppose it was the combination of doing something forbidden with the thrill of encountering something completely new – like flying – that captured him. If someone told you to give up your dragon, you wouldn’t listen either, would you?
What did you say?
Right. One last question: If you were a fairy tale character, who would you be and why?
I know this isn’t a fairy tale character, but hey, I’m not one much for rules. You’ve seen My Little Pony, right? I would totally be Rainbow Dash because she’s brave and fast. She’s sassy and amazing. Like me.
Well, I have to get going, Tristeh hasn’t had her daily exercise yet and you don’t want to have a bored, cranky dragon under your feet, believe me. Can I take some more of those cookies? They’re great!
Sure, go ahead. And thank you so much for joining me, it was fun meeting you!
She waves and rushes out the door like a fresh breeze. When I move to straighten the cushions, my eyes are caught by something longish and flat lying on the sofa.
Hm, what’s this? Looks like a scale of some sort. Maybe it’s a dragon’s scale! Wow. I should start a collection of memorabilia of my chat guests. I already have a ball of fur from Malcom, the cat shifter. And now a dragon’s scale! Fabulous!