Vicki Blum's Unicorns
A Gathering of Unicorns
Book Five - A Gathering of Unicorns
Scholastic Canada Ltd.
ISBN 0-439-97417-8
136 pages; Ages 8 to 12
5 1/16" x 7 5/8"

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"Don't look into its eyes!" Arica called out. "You'll get caught in the magic!" Then she remembered that Connor had to get caught in the magic, for that was the way he could communicate with the great beast.

Arica trembled for her cousin. She couldn't save him, no one could, for the dragon's magic was already upon him, and the rest of him as well. She could hear it chiming in her own bones and even taste it, dark and bitter, on her tongue. She stumbled forward on limbs too weak to hold her upright and fell flat on the ground, caught at the edge of the creature's awesome, eerie power. Though she was too stunned to move, enough of its magic was reaching her that she understood every word it said.

"What do you want little boy?"

Its words stabbed like hot pokers through her brain. She could only imagine what they were doing to Connor."We've come a long way to ask for your help," Connor explained in a thin, high voice. "North Bundelag is in terrible danger. In four days humans from the South will attack, and our army isn't large or strong enough to hold them off. We've already talked to the trolls. They have refused to join us. Will you come, Black Dragon? We need you."

Anger stabbed hot and hateful from the dragon's heart.

"Troublesome boy," it said, "you are either very brave or very foolish. I am only one dragon, but if you ask each of us in turn, we will all tell you the same story. We were driven from your land hundreds of years ago. Now this island is our home. Fight your own battles, little one, and leave us to ours. We owe you nothing."

With a clatter of metallic scales and a thunder of wingbeats, the dragon rose like a great black bird into the sky. And as the magic hold upon Connor's mind wrenched and tore free, he toppled forward, like a discarded bone spat into the sand.

Copyright © 2003 Vicki Blum. All Rights Reserved.