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Loholt


A hole in the wall?

She had his undivided attention. Loholt stood on tiptoes and peered around Gracelynn's shoulder. He'd never been allowed to leave the castle ground without either his Mama or Papa, or once Pallas. If he had a secret exist he could do some exploring when they weren't looking. It was probably easier to practice being a dragon when you weren't trapped in a nursery.

He was getting much too big for a nursery anyway. They were for babies.

"Where is it?" he asked, unable to make it out through the shrubbery. "When you go home, will you show me?" Loholt smiled at her with his best smile; the one that always seemed to make his Mama laugh. "Please?"

I'm not sure, Lo Mort said in his head, I don't think Papa would like it. He might send Ang to bring us back. The borzoi suppressed a shudder. The king's dragon always sent a shiver down his spine. He kept looking at him like he was dinner. Angmar seemed to look at everyone like they were dinner.

Only if someone notices Loholt countered, we won't be gone long enough. It'll be fine, trust me

Turning back to Gracie, Loholt's smile became a grin. He was used to people knowing he was a prince before they met him. It was the first time it had been a surprise, and her excitement was infectious.

"A real one," he confirmed, nodding enthusiastically, "my Papa's a real life king, so I suppose I must be. And Mama says that means one day, a long long time in the future, I'll be a king."

He was relieved she seemed eager to play, and nodded again.

"Of course you can stay!" he told her. Loholt held out his hand for her to take and then led the way across the lawn, Mort trotting along merrily at his side. When they reached the apple tree, Lo stopped. A wooden toy chest stood pressed against the trunk, and leaning against it was two hobby horses.

"We can play jousting with those," he suggested, pointing at the horses, "orrrr..."

Lo trotted forwards and, with some difficulty, lifted the lid of the trunk. He stepped back so Gracie could squeeze past him and get a better look inside.

"There's loads of dragons," he explained, "because they're my favourite. But also some dogs, lots of knights, oh! and there's the canon Papa made me, you turn a crank and it fires these little cannon balls."

Standing on his tiptoes, Lo leaned into the box and started to rummage around. "Or ships? If you want to play pirates, or a cricket bat if you want to run around?"

He turned his head back to look up at her with some difficulty, his fringe flopping over his eyes. Loholt giggled.

"Guests get to pick."



photo by SheltieBoy at flickr.com








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