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By Gordon R Dickson

Through no fault of his personal, the as soon as human Jim Eckert had turn into a dragon. regrettably, his cherished Angie had remained human. yet during this magical land something may well ensue.

To make subject worse, Angie were taken prisoner via an evil dragon and was once held captive within the impenetrable Loathly Tower. So during this land the place people have been fit for human consumption and beasts have been magical―where spells labored and common sense did not― Jim Eckert had a massive, unusual problem.

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The moors have been finishing now and the wooded area Smrgol had mentioned was once shut. in contrast to the coniferous woods round the Tinkling Water, this different development was once it sounds as if of deciduous timber similar to oaks and willows. all of them appeared interestingly leafless for this time of yr and their branches, noticeable from above, had a gnarled and tangled glance that gave the woodland a very forbidding glance; as though it was once the type of position that will now not simply set free back a person who wandered into it walking. Jim felt a twinge of smugness at with the ability to bounce properly above it. actually, once more the intoxication of being airborne used to be making him think greater than stipulations justified. He had no genuine inspiration of what he was once headed into; yet that didn't appear to disturb his joyful feeling. He had desired to visit the Loathly Tower and Carolinus had argued opposed to it. yet the following he used to be, at Carolinus' path, going towards it besides. regardless of the cause used to be for his being headed during this course, what he was once doing for the time being felt to him really correct… Now, the some distance fringe of the woodland used to be virtually beneath him. past, there has been not anything however the eco-friendly fenland, stretching to a misty deeper-blue line which needs to be the open sea. The fens was once a good-sized quarter, he observed, a greenly lush, lowlying barren region of land and water. It crammed the panorama ahead of him to the skyline in all instructions other than instantly forward, the place the ocean blue confirmed. He searched approximately it with the telescopic imaginative and prescient of his dragon-eyes for a few sight of a constitution that may be the Loathly Tower, yet he may well opt for not anything. The breeze that were blowing opposed to him dropped all of sudden, and a brand new, gentle wind started to push from at the back of him. He stretched his wings to it, and permit it hold him, gliding at a small perspective down the invisible air floor as though it used to be a few miles-long, magic slide. The fenland rose to satisfy him: spongy, grass-thick earth, damaged into causeways and islands by way of the blue water, thick-choked itself within the shallower bays and inlets with tall seagrass and membership rushes. Flocks of water chook rose the following and there like eddying smoke from one mere, drifted over and settled at the floor of one other, a couple of hundred yards away. Their cries, thinned by means of the space, got here faintly to Jim's hypersensitive ears. forward, heavy clouds have been piling up above the beach to the west. Jim soared on, above the nonetheless water and the smooth grass, smelling the far away saltwater. He regarded worriedly on the declining sunlight which used to be simply now commencing to slip down at the back of the thick cloudbank he had simply spotted. it'd be dusk ahead of lengthy. He was once hungry and he had totally no idea of what he should still do as soon as it used to be darkish. definitely, he couldn't proceed within the air. it will now not be friendly to fly full-tilt into the floor simply because he couldn't see the place he was once going. it's going to no longer be friendly, actually, to fly full-tilt into one of many bays or meres. He may perhaps land and shuttle onward on foot—but there may most likely be toilets. the practical factor as soon as the sunlight set, he notion, will be to spend the evening on one of many small land patches less than him.

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