A seeker finds the item he has been looking for and an old friend.
|The Dragon’s Tail Sword|
I looked up as the bells on the door jingled out a chime. In walked a man. He looked like he was a true seeker of antiquities and an adventurer. His green eyes were alight with delight as he viewed the old items on the shelves.
For a reason I could not quite understand, I felt compelled to follow his progress as he searched through the shop. His hair was a brown color with a golden cast to it. I had never been one to gawk at men especially not ones that looked nearly half my age, so when he looked up from the other end of the store and winked I flushed from head to toe.
I quickly grabbed the book I had been writing in and sat down on the tall stool behind the counter. I could not help looking over at him as he turned to look at some other objects on the shelves. He was around six feet tall with the body of an athlete and the grace of a dancer.
I was sure he was looking for a particular item, from the way he went from shelf to shelf.
Finally, finding my voice, “Hello is there something I might be able to help you find?”
He seemed somewhat reluctant as he looked up at me. “I hope you don’t mind if I just browse around.” His voice sounded like music when he spoke. Then his face underwent a magnificent transformation as he smiled, in that moment looking ageless. Seeing his face brought to mind the statues of Greek gods. I nearly sighed aloud at the combination of his voice and the sight of his smiling face.
I had to turn away to get a hold of myself. “Well, let me know if I can help you find anything,” I said as I turned back.
He continued to look at each of the shelves soon he made his way over to the other side of the store. I had given up on any kind of activities and sat pretending to write, all the time watching him.
I saw him pick up a long narrow wooden box that I had never seen and start towards the counter.
I shut my book, and placed the pen on top. “So what do we have here?” I asked. I had never seen this particular wooden box in the store.
“I believe this is exactly what I have been searching for.”
“I hope this was the first place you came then?” I smiled at him and dropped my eyes from his face to the wooden box on the counter.
“No, you would not believe how long I have searched,” he said with relief evident in his voice.
“Well then I should not waste any time then should I?” I picked up the box looking for the item tag. I had to look at the tag several minutes to read it. The tag was almost the same color as the wood and the number was faded with years.
I wondered how long this had been in the shop, and how had I missed a 4 foot long wooden box that was 8 inches wide and about 8 inches deep. I typed the number into the computer and of course, it was not in the computer, since the computer was a relatively new addition to my store.
I turned and pulled the book from the shelf behind me and began searching for the item by the number. After several minutes, I found two entries for the number. Puzzled, I moved the box over and placed the book beside the box.
I lifted the box to examine it closer. The hinges looked like tarnished brass as did the latch and lock on the opposite side. The latch and lock looked like something straight out of a pirate movie, and securely locked. I looked at the two scratchy descriptions and figured out which item it was. It was the Dragons Tail Sword.
Then looked at the price. I looked at the price repeatedly trying to figure out what it really meant. In the price column, it said “20 G.C. and a seekers Key.” Now I was just a little frustrated, I had converted most everything regular currency, evidently I had missed one. The part about the key, I really did not understand.
“Oh, I am sure I can find the key, if you give me a minute.” I knew that the key would be somewhere close by. Mammy, the previous owner, had every part of the items she sold in the shop, nothing ever had pieces missing, at least nothing I had seen in the five years as the owner. I turned to look in a drawer I knew contained many keys.
As I opened the drawer, I heard the sound of bells and looked up.
He was leaning on the counter looking at the book laughing. Although his laughter irritated me, the sound it produced made my jaw drop.
The idea of him being; well not being human came to mind. I quickly shut my mouth. His laughing stopped, but his smile remained in place. His green in his eyes twinkled as if tiny lights were blinking. His smile broadened as he pulled an odd-looking necklace over his head, on the chain hung a key that looked like it would fit the lock. “I think this is the key.”
So many questions entered my head at ones. The one that came out was, “how long have you searched, exactly?”
“Well,” and then he paused for so long I thought he might have decided it was secrete. I started to take the question back, just as I opened my mouth he continued. “I can only say so much longer than just today, in this one shop.”
“Oh well, then if you don’t mind before I sell this. Since the book says “20 gold pieces and seekers Key. “ Then I must make sure that the Key you have is the right one.” I did not know exactly why I knew his key had to fit; I just knew it. Mammy’s ways were strange, but everything she ever did or told me was always true and had a purpose.
He handed me the key and it fit the lock perfectly. As soon as the lock clicked open, the key vanished. My fingers tingled where the key had been. The look on my face must have said it all, because he covered his mouth again and I could still hear his musical laughter. I smiled and looked at him. “I am so sorry about your key.”
“It’s fine; really. I don’t need it anymore. So let’s have a look, shall we?” He turned the box, removed the lock, opened the latch, and lifted the lid. I blinked a few minutes adjusting to the glow. Inside the box, resting on a satin royal blue lining was a golden glowing short sword inside its sheath.
The sheath looked like some sort of metal, but not a metal that I’ve ever seen. It was as if someone had mixed gold bronze and silver together in a swirl and then folded it into the shape they needed to fit the sword. Near the top of the sheath, you could just see that there was some sort of black cloth lining the inside of the metal. The most amazing thing about the sheath was the design on it exactly matched the design on the jeweled ivory hilt of the sword.
I was still mesmerized as he handed me the money for the sword. The amount he handed me was more than the actual price and he handed me an envelope with the bill. The manila envelope was about half the size of the bill. “I am not sure I can break this.”
I started to hand it back to him and he closed his fingers around mine. “You don’t need to”.
I do not like to take advantage of people; my sad expression caught him by surprise.
“I don’t think you understand how much this means to me.” The tone of his voice was flat the musical quality strangely silent. “Please accept this gift from me. You’re a rare find Hazel. Most anyone else would have just pocketed that money.”
I looked down. The amount of money seemed so extreme. I walked over to the register. When I put the bill inside I saw the envelope again. I shut the drawer and walked back holding the envelope out to him “You handed me this by accident.”
“No. Hazel this is yours”.
Twice now he had used my name, I tried to think. Had I told him my name? I didn’t think so.” You already over-paid for this,” I said as I gestured at the sword in the box.
He smiled that amazing smile. “Please? Won’t you accept this gift? I think you might understand better in a few minutes why this is so important to me.”
My heartbeat, became irregular, I tried unsuccessfully not to blush as our eyes met.
I placed the envelope on the register not sure, if I should keep it or not.
I looked back at the amazing sword. “I have never seen anything glow like that.”
“Well then let’s get a closer look then,” he said lifting and the sheathed sword to the top of the counter.
After sitting it down, he held his hand inches above the sword, hesitating for a moment then turned the sword over. Along the backside of its handle were some characters, they almost seemed like words. I looked up from the sword and he seemed to be silently reading the words.
Then looked up to me, “I would like for you to put this sword back into the case once I have pulled it from the sheath and put it back out in the shop. Please do not pull it from the sheath yourself, as you have no idea where you will end up." He paused for a moment before he continued. "Oh, and please remember to close and lock the case.”
I looked up at him from the sword. “I’m not sure I understand?”
At that moment, a ray of light hit him from behind. His hair glowed in the light; an unearthly golden bronze and his face seemed more angled as if his features had taken on a feline quality. Something about him seemed to remind me of my childhood friend that I had played silly games with, the friend that one else seemed to ever recall. Though, for some terrible reason, I could not remember his name, and with this man’s face, resembling his so closely, it seemed a travesty to forget. Why could I not remember his name?
Then as if he read my mind, he reached out and touched my arm. “Those were wonderful times. The reason you don't remember is it was one of our games. You never guessed. Remember?"
My mind raced I had not said a word. How could he have known my thoughts?
“Now promise me that you will do as I asked, because there are more who seek this sword.”
I nodded, mutely even though I really did not begin to comprehend what he was saying. I was not sure how, if he pulled it from the sheath and disappeared like the key. Then wouldn’t I have to put it back into the sheath? Why did I think he would disappear like the key?
I was confused and it must have shown clearly on my face, because then he laughed. “No, I am sure you do not understand. You will understand. I promise”
What else could I do? He had purchased the sword, paying much more than he should have. “Okay,” was all I could say?
With a smile and bowed and took two steps backwards and pulled the Dragon’s Tail from its sheath holding it point up in front of him. Then In a musical voice, he began reciting the words from the handle. “Breath upon the Dragon’s Tail,” and though he continued to speak or at least his lips moved, I couldn’t understand any more than that.
While he was speaking, it seemed as if the world around him changed. We were no longer in the shop. We were in the middle of a meadow with the sheath in one hand and the hand that had held the sword only moments before now rested on the back of large dragon.
I knew then that the Dragon’s tail was no mere sword; it was in fact the Dragons Tail. He smiled my vision seemed to waver.
The Dragons ruby-red eyes captured mine and I could see nothing else. I could hear his thoughts. “Well met. I thank you for his return.”
The dragon whipped his tail in an arch. When it was half way through the arch, the sword reappeared. It looked like a wall of light held it. Then the sheathed sword fell to the floor. The man or elf, the dragon and the meadow were gone. I was standing near the front door; staring out the front window of the shop.
I turned towards the counter. I felt dazed like I must have had a daydream.
I walked towards the counter. When I reached the spot where the sword was I knelt down and picked it up. When I touched the hilt, I could feel the laughter and joy that radiated from the sword.
I tried for the rest of the day to remember how the blade looked. I could never quite remember. I placed the sheathed sword back and locked the box. I put the box back along the brick wall next to the Shark Fin Mirror.
Then I headed back to the counter; wondering if any of it had really happened. The old book of items was still open the Dragons Tail Sword. The envelope still sat on top the register. The book and envelope were both proof of the events.
I opened the envelope, pouring the contents out into my hand. In my hand was a necklace with an amulet. The amulet that looked like a cupped rose petal made from gold on the petal was a miniature statue of an elf next to a dragon. The dragons eyes were rubies and the elf’s eyes were emeralds. I pulled the chain on over my head and lifted my hair so that the chain fell on my neck. I still felt as if I was dreaming.
While I was closing up the shop and lifted the money out of the drawer, I found a small note had been placed under the bill.
I did not remember putting a note in my drawer. It had to have been stuck to the bill when he had pulled it from his wallet. I opened the note not knowing what to expect. I found this note.
I am so glad I found you again. You will never know how happy I am
that you are the one that holds our door.
Thank you. I will never forget you.
Below is the only clue you will ever have to my name.
Guess it if you can.
I hope you like the amulet. Please wear it always.
I still had no idea who he was really. E D. really held no meaning unless it was Elf Dragon.
I finished closing the shop. Then I grabbed my book and pen and headed up stairs. I had to write down the events of the day. I knew no one would ever believe it. I wouldn’t have either. If I didn’t have my necklace or the note. This had been an extraordinary day.