Chapter 7: Bad Puck

BewitchedArlwyn could not understand what was wrong with him. Ever since he had ended his relationship with Flora, a great, yawning emptiness had taken him over. It was as though all the color had been drained from the world, and blue and green and gold no longer mattered…everything was the same shade of dull gray. He attended the finest parties. He read the most acclaimed books. He dove into his work, managing his land as his father had taught him.

He went out to balls and plays with Priscilla, listened politely to her prattle, and treated her with cool politeness. Bewitched (8)Bewitched (6)Bewitched (7)

He pasted on a smile, and danced, and engaged in conversation, appearing on the outside just like any other young gentleman of his standing. But on the inside, he was utterly, hopelessly lost. Bewitched (5)

“Honestly brother, what has gotten into you?” Douglas asked. He was the only person who had noticed Arlwyn’s lack of spark.

Bewitched (4)

“What’s gotten into you, brother?”

Arlwyn shook his head. He did not know how to answer. As time passed, and his wedding with Priscilla approached, he slowly began to withdraw from society. He spent long, lonely hours riding his horse or fishing, trying to think his way out of the fog that enveloped his mind.

Bewitched (9)Bewitched (10)Bewitched (13)

And then, late one afternoon, Arlwyn happened to stop by Finnigan’s Pub. After a few beers, he thought it would be entertaining to show off his dragon, Puck. “Behold – a real, live dragon!” he said, pulling Puck out of his coat pocket.  Bewitched (2)

“Don’t be afraid, he’s perfectly tame!” But just then, Puck flew into the air, opened his mouth, and launched a blazing ball of fire across the pub, singeing the clothes right off of a woman. Bewitched (3)Bewitched (1)

“Monster!” the woman shrieked, trying to cover her nudity while racing for the door. The other patrons dropped their beers and followed her in a panic.

Arlwyn sighed. “Bad Puck,” he said, putting the dragon back in his coat. He took one last swallow of beer, then turned to go, but froze. There, standing only a few meters away, was Flora. Flora, whom he had not seen once during the past three years, was right here in front of him. And with a sudden dizzying rush, all the color and light and  sound returned to his world.

Bewitched (11) Bewitched (12)

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