Book 2 of The Tales of Trymyll Saga.
I am now well into book 2 of The Tales of Trymyll Saga, so I thought I would put up the first chapter in the hope of some constructive criticism.
Thomas was thirteen. He didn’t believe in magic, he knew that dragons were only in fairy tales and he didn’t believe in wizards either. His father had left when he was only two weeks old and taken his two year old brother with him, so he had never met his father or seen his brother except through baby eyes. He was now a typical thirteen year old, full of angst, rebellious, defiant and mistrusting of adults.
However, in the space of a few hours one Saturday, he went into a cave which was not there, met a sixty foot Purple Dragon called Howel, who spoke with a full on Oxford accent, met a wizard called Flintock, the son of a tribal chief of the Yoruba peoples from Benin, in West Africa, a hideous beast called a trygall, and seen real magic performed before his eyes. Apart from all that, it was a pretty normal Saturday.
He had arrived in the land of Trymyll, a magical land in a slightly different dimension to planet Earth as we know it.
A few months on and he had been reunited with his father and brother. His father, Llewellyn the Brave, was a very powerful wizard, his brother was not. However, together, Tom and his brother Jonathan soon became very accomplished wizards, have their very own dragons, Bevon, a fine Red Dragon who was partnered with Jonathan and Ren, a magnificent Golden Dragon who was with Thomas. And, just in case you didn’t know, Golden Dragons are the most magical creatures that ever existed and Red Dragons where both magical and fearsome warrior dragons as well.
Jon was feisty and always up for a fight, so his Red Dragon Bevon suited him well. By contrast Tom was a healer and restorer and always tried to find a non-violent way out of trouble, both he and Ren had amazing and powerful mind bending powers, they could see into the depths of most peoples heads and could subtly bend them to do their will when required. Working as a team, Tom and Jon were nigh on invincible, working on their own inevitably led to trouble or disaster. But they were young, only thirteen and fifteen, so they were bound to get into trouble sometimes.
They had just battled with an unknown and very powerful dark wizard who called himself ‘The Master’. He had been defeated but not eliminated. After the battle, in which three high elders were lost, it was revealed that Flintock the Elder had a deep and dark secret. He revealed this to Llewellyn, but not to the boys. He thought they were too young and immature to handle the truth.
We left the last book with the news that Llewellyn and the boys were going home to Wales to visit their mother.
Chapter 1 – Home again.
They stepped out of a cave halfway up the mountain at the back of a village in Wales. No one else could see the cave, mainly because it wasn’t actually there. They were dressed in jeans and tee-shirts, boots and jackets, their ‘wizard clothes’ had been left back at the cave entrance in Trymyll ready for their return.
There was Llewellyn, Flintock, Jonathan, Thomas and a small Jack Russel dog called Howl. Howl was really a sixty-foot Purple Dragon called Howel, but he appeared as a dog so as not to draw attention to himself. He did, however, consider this to be a most demeaning and incongruous guise and was always in a particularly bad mood when in doggy mode. Jonathan also carried a cockerel, the alternate metamorphosis of a Red Dragon and Tom had a sparrow hawk sitting on his shoulder, who was, of course, Ren, his magnificent Golden Dragon.
They were now ‘home’, this is where Llewellyn’s wife Gwen lived, in a little miner’s cottage in an end terrace of a small row of cottages on the edge of the village. The boys were excited.
Tom ran on ahead, into the house and fell into his mothers’ arms, tears running down his face, he hadn’t seen her for eight months and had missed her terribly.
“Ma, ma, we’re home!” he sobbed, “all of us, dad, Jon and Flintock as well.”
His mum hugged him and kissed him dearly on the top of his head, next it was Jon’s turn, he was not as sensitive as Tom, so his greeting was a little more restrained but no less warm. Finally, their dad arrived. He flung his arms around Gwen, lifted her clear off the ground and spun her round in a deep embrace.
“Sorry it’s been so long; we have had big problems in Trymyll so we couldn’t get away. All sorted now, a lot of it by the boys, they’ve made me very proud.”
After a decent interval, Flintock came in, he also embraced Gwen. “Well, look at you Gwen, you’re looking so well now.”
“Well, a miraculous cure came over me as soon as young Tom was gone, must have been him that brought me down!” They all laughed.
“Oh, and thanks for your deposits, I found them in the garden. You know I don’t need any more gold, I have more than a lifetimes supply, several times over.”
“That wasn’t me,” said Llewellyn, “We’ll tell you all about it later, but the gold came from Jon and Tom’s dragons, allow me to introduce them.”
Ren apparated to Tom’s shoulder. “This is Ren,” said Tom, “he’s a magnificent Golden Dragon, the most magical of all dragons.”
“And this is Bevon,” said Jon, “an equally awesome Red Dragon, a real battle dragon.”
“Oh dear, where can we keep them? They can’t stay in that form that for long, they’ll get a cramp.” She laughed.
“Oh, don’t mind me,” said Howel, “I had to stay in this shameful guise for two whole months.”
“Oh! Hello Howell, come and cuddle mummy then.”
“No,” was the prompt and bad-tempered reply from the small white, black, and tan Jack Russel dog.
Llewellyn stepped in. “Don’t worry, Ren will apparate all three away to the mountains where they can’t be seen, they’ll be fine.”
“Right, in that case, I’ll get the kettle on, you must all be thirsty. And I’ve baked a batch of crystallised ginger rock cakes as well, because I know how much you like them.”
Ren spoke directly into Tom’s mind. “If you need us, just call me in the normal way and we three will return in an instant.”
“Thanks Ren,” thought Tom, “but we should be okay here, after all, this is my home, or at least it used to be.”
Bevon also said his telepathic goodbyes to Jonathan and the three dragons then disappeared; reappearing in a well forested part of the mountains close by.
The others then sat in the small cottage talking for a while, once Flintock had had his tea and cake he announced. “I’ll be off then; I’m going to visit my own people to see what’s happening with them. I’ll see you all in about a week.” They all said their goodbye’s, Flintock gave Llewellyn and then Jon and Tom a hug and with that, he disappeared as well.
Flintock was the son of a tribal chief of the Yoruba peoples from Benin in West Africa. He was taken to Trymyll as a boy because his natural and latent magic powers frightened his people. He was taken by his great-uncle, Faraji Mwita Osei, a hidden wizard.
Now Gwen of course knew all about wizards, you can’t be married to one for nearly twenty years without finding out about them, so the three dragons and Flintock all vanishing did not phase her at all.
“Well Jon, you got your Wizard’s Robes yet?” his mum asked.
“Oh yes, and Tom as well, we’re both quite good at magic now,” he said modestly.
“Tom as well? But he’s only been gone a few months.”
Llewellyn intervened. “They are both powerful, talented and gifted wizards now. They were made wizards by The Elder following some very impressive adventures which I’m sure they will tell you all about over supper. Now, you two, why don’t you go down to the village? School finishes in a few minutes, Tom, you could go and make your peace with Mrs Glyn. Jon, you tag along, and we can all catch up later. And no magic!”
“We know that da,” they replied. “I’ll catch up with me mates as well and I’ll introduce Jon to chocolate.” Tom continued, and with that, Llewellyn and Gwen left alone to catch up.
They arrived at the school a few minutes before school ended for the half term week and walked in. Tom and Jon arrived at Mrs Glyn’s class just as the bell rang. There followed a tsunami of teenagers out from every classroom, all hastening for the exit and freedom from the tyrannical overlords they called teachers.
“Hello Mrs Glyn, can we come in?”
“My word, young Tom, how are you? How’s life in Cardiff? Which school are you at there? How’s your dad?” The questions flowed out so quickly; Tom didn’t have time to say a word.
“Well, I’m good thanks, this is my brother Jon.”
“Oh my, he looks just like you! But taller.”
“Cardiff’s great,” he lied, “but we don’t go to a school there, we are privately tutored.” He said, almost telling the truth.
“Well, I hope your maths is a lot better now, you missed a very important test the day after you left.”
“Oh, it’s much better now thank you.”
“Well, quickly tell me what’s the square root of 169?”
“Thirteen” he replied without thinking, “and 169 squared is 28,561, and while we’re on the subject, the square root of 13 is 3.606.” Using, of course, the wisdom of the wand, not his brain.
“Oh my!” she exclaimed, quite shocked. “You have improved. But what about your Welsh? You could hardly speak a word last time we met.”
“Mae fy iaith Gymraeg yn dod ymlaen yn eithaf da mewn gwirionedd, diolch.” Tom replied in his best Welsh accent. (My Welsh language is coming on quite well actually, thank you.)
“Oh my, oh my!” Mrs Glyn exclaimed.
“That’s partly why I’m here,” he said sheepishly, “I want to apologise for my rebellious attitude and behaviour when I was in your class, I know now, that although you were hard on me, it was because you really cared, and wanted me to do well. I’m sorry I didn’t realise it at the time. So, I want to both apologise and say thank you.”
“Well, well,” she said, a little tear in her eye, “no one has ever come back and said that to me, I’m quite overwhelmed, thank you very much. Why have you had this most pleasant change of attitude if you don’t mind me asking?”
“Counselling, made me understand a lot about myself and my psychology.” He fibbed, not even knowing what he even meant.
Tom surprised himself by moving forward and giving her a hug, which she accepted graciously.
“And no one’s ever done that before either, so thank you very much again.” Tears now flowing readily down her plump rosy cheeks.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to make you cry.”
“Tears of happiness, tears of joy.” She said.
“Well, thanks again for all you did, and sorry again.” Tom repeated, he then touched her hand tenderly and left.
“What was that all about?” asked Jon, “yuk!”
“Ren showed me things I never imagined when we had our meeting of minds, he took me right through my childhood back to when I was just born. But also he made me see things from a different perspective, including Mrs Glyn, who I always thought hated all kids and especially me, but Ren made me see that she loves kids, she’s dedicated her life to improving them and making them better. That’s why I had to go and see her.”
“Well, perhaps you should have taken her a dozen red roses and as well.” Jon teased.
“Come on, let’s go down the town.”
On the way into town, they came across Bunter and his little gang of bullies. He was called Bunter, though not to his face, because he was, as they say, quite heavy for his height.
“Well, what has the cat dragged back into town? If it’s not Jones the ginger wimp and, by the looks of it, his long-lost brother.”
Tom and Jon stopped dead. At first, they didn’t quite know what to do or say. They could hardly run away, that would look bad, but they couldn’t fight them either, there were too many of them.
They both had their wands, they never left them. Jon made his wand appear, but up his coat sleeve so the little gang could not see it. Jon held his crystal and stared at the boys. He sent out an aura of fear into Bunter, so powerful was the fear that Bunter burst into tears and messed his pants all at the same time. His little gang just roared with laughter at the bully as he ran away, a smelly brown mess running from his trouser legs.
Jon and Tom then just walked away. Smiling.
“What did you do then?” asked Tom.
“Just filled him with a fear and dread so powerful that he messed his pants.”
“He won’t like it; he won’t let us get away with it.”
“Get away with what? We didn’t do anything that anyone would know about. He just pooped himself, hardly our fault. Nothing to do with me, in fact, I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Jon laughed.
They both laughed. Tom stopped. They were outside ‘The Tuck Shop’. The villages little sweet shop and newsagents.
“Come on, I’ll buy you some chocolate, it’s a taste so good, you may just die of pleasure!”
“Afternoon Mr Evans,” said Tom, “can we have a couple of bars of your finest milk chocolate please?”
“Hello young Tom, glad to see you’re back, this must be your big brother, my mind’s gone blank, what’s your name?”
“Oh yes, I remember now, not that we ever met, but your mum spoke of you sometimes. You two back to stay?”
“No,” said Jon taking over the conversation, “Just here for a week or so and then back to Cardiff again.”
“Your mum misses you two, can’t be easy for her not seeing her boys for so long.”
The boys didn’t want to pursue the conversation, so Jon finished with, “Well we’re here now, and we promise to visit a lot more often now.” Mr Evans was nice, but nosey, always wanting to know other people’s business, the village didn’t need a local newspaper, not with Mr Evans in the shop.
They removed themselves to the park. Jon had never seen a park before as such things did not exist in Trymyll. So, he’d never sat on a swing, been down a slide or on a round-about. “Oh, so this is the famous park, where the Saturday night ritual of chips and a burger happens.”
“The very one.” Tom said, almost with pride. “We’ll come down here tomorrow night and get some chips. You’ll see, it’s life itself, it’s an event.”
“And, if I remember correctly, chocolate is better than life.”
“Yup, sure thing, here try some.”
Jon carefully unwrapped the blue paper from the bar and then gently took off the silver foil from around the chocolate bar.
“So, according to the wrapper, there’s a glass and a half of milk in every bar. How’d they do that then?”
“No idea, just take a bite and let it melt on your tongue.”
Jon took two squares of chocolate and popped it into his mouth. The chocolate slowly melted sending a rush of extreme pleasure through his entire body, every hair stood on end and every nerve in his body tingled with pleasure.
“Mmmmmm, Mmmmm. Oh my goodness, that is so good, I’ve never tasted anything like it. Mmmmm.
Chocolate ran down his chin and onto his tee-shirt. He pushed it back up his chin and back into his mouth, not wishing to miss even a fraction and then tucked into the rest of the bar.
“Well, chips had better be good, because that was indescribable!”
Once they had eaten the chocolate, they headed back to the cottage. It was a very small cottage, officially it had two bedrooms upstairs, two rooms downstairs, a front room and kitchen with an outside toilet in the garden. On the outside, that’s exactly how it looked, but on the inside, it looked slightly larger, upstairs there was four bedrooms and two bathrooms, downstairs there was a good sized lounge, a dining room, study, kitchen come breakfast room, utility room and a toilet on the inside; produced using ‘hammer-space’ a magic non-reality where something is bigger on the inside than on the outside.
Jon excitedly told his parents about his chocolate experience, telling it as if they had never heard of chocolate before.
“Oh, and sorry about the chocolate stains on my tee-shirt.”
“No worry, I’ll soon get that stain out. Anything else you want to tell us about?” mum asked.
“No.” They both said cautiously.
“Well,” said Llewellyn, “it’s just that we have heard reports of a confrontation in the village between two ginger haired boys and a gang of youths which ended in their leader, Bunter, I believe he is called, crying like a baby and pooping his pants. Know anything about that?”
“Well,” said Jon, “We only talked, no one saw us doing anything, my wand was up my sleeve and out of sight.”
“I thought I told you no magic.”
“Anyway, how did you find out?”
“Your mother has a fire in the grate, so I was watching you to make sure you came to no harm. Nice trick though. Very discrete, no harm done and no one any the wiser. So, well done boys. I don’t like bullies, never have, never will.”
“Well boys, it’s nearly supper time, I hope you still have appetites after your chocolate feast,” mum said with a smile, “I know it’s Friday, but I’ve done a full Sunday roast for us all. So, let’s go eat.”
Over dinner, the boys spoke excitedly about their adventures in Trymyll, missing out all the bits which put them in any danger. They talked dragons, some of the troubles they had with Llewel the Loser. Arvel Mordecai and the Golden Dragons he had captured and some of how they released them, missing out the bit about there being three Blue Dragons involved. They told of their own dragons, how Jon and Bevan had ‘got to know’ each other and the fun they had in the quarries, the fight they had had with twenty, no, thirty at least of the fiercest Blue Dragons, but Bevon had seen them all off. Tom told of his encounter with Ren, how there had been a meeting of minds and how he saw right back to when he first opened his eyes and saw his father cut the cord, and how he even saw Ren breaking out of his egg through Ren’s eyes. They also told of the battle with The Master, how their dragons had been so brave in the fight but missing out exactly how they were involved so as not to frighten their mother. They talked well into the evening until it was eventually time to turn in for the night.
Next morning, they were all up and down for breakfast before seven o’clock. Over breakfast, dad had a few things to say.
“Right, listen up. As you know, I was the Health and Safety Manager at the mine for many years. In case anyone asks what I do now, tell them I am now working for the ministry, Department of the Environment, as a consultant in Health and Safety. You told me yesterday that Mrs Glyn thinks you have home tutors coming in, having such a good job will explain how we can afford it. Now some good news, your mum and I spoke about it at length after you went up last night, when we return to Trymyll next week, mum is coming with us. Her funds, as we call them, are being well managed, and will continue to supply those in need in her absence. Any questions? No? Great. Now let’s get on with Saturday. What do you boys want to do?”
“What?” Tom said excitedly. “You’re coming with us? That will be fantastic. Will you be okay though? Trymyll is a magic world, you will be what they call a phobl, you’ll have no magic.”
“Oh, don’t you worry about me, I have three strapping wizards to look after me, and Flinty as well most of the time, I’ll be fine,” his mum replied.
“You sure?” Tom added.
“Of course, I am. Don’t worry, I’ll be fine.” She added.
“So, where we going?” Llewellyn asked again.
“What about the zoo? Jon’s never been to a zoo. How about a day at Folly Farm?” Tom suggested.
“Okay, all agreed, we’ll go to Folly Farm. But we must get the bus there, and again, no magic please!”
“But that will take ages.” Whined Tom.
“I know it will, but we can apparate back if we are sure no one’s watching,” his dad said, “Check the bus timetable on the interweb thingy.” Llewellyn hadn’t quite got the language of computers yet, he was a bit of a Luddite, and didn’t understand them.
Five minutes later Tom was back, “It’s a seven-hour journey, five of which we will be walking!”
“Okay, plan B, we’ll get a taxi.”
“But that will be expensive!” their mum interjected.
“I think we have enough, you are after all the richest women in Wales.”
“Well, I won’t be for long if you keep getting taxis everywhere.”