21. The Hero
I opened my hand and looked at the pen that Tryt had been so ready to give up. I wished harder than I ever had before that I was right. Lifting the pen, I started to write in mid-air.
The first stroke gave off a few sparks, almost too few to notice. But the next stroke made a brilliant line of orange as clear as day.
Ream had taken notice.
“Tryt, did you know that your pen could do that?” Ream asked.
“I’m busy!” shouted Tryt, still struggling to write in the book. “Why won’t it let me write what I want!”
The words came to me and didn’t stop as I wrote in the air:
The fairies that the dragon stole,
Were all set free from his control.
The stone fairies started to shed the chalky greyness off their bodies. Their original colors started to shine through. Ream took a step back. The fairies flapped their wings, removing the last remnants of grey, and flew towards the dragon. They swarmed him, sending him to the ground. Before he could do a thing, they held his mouth shut to prevent him from breathing fire.
The commotion got Tryt’s attention. “What’s going on?” he shouted.
That’s when he saw my words, etched in the air. They were moving now, quickly towards Tryt. But, instead of hitting him, they flew into the book, leaving a trail of smoke.
“How did you do that?” asked Deli.
Tryt tried desperately to write in the air as I had, but nothing happened.
“I don’t understand it! You’re using the wrong pen!” he screeched.
“No Tryt, you are,” I answered. “I think you might find the answer in the beginning of your book.”
Tryt flipped to the first tale of the book, the one that had always been locked. But this time, with the true Fairytale Pen in his hand, he was finally able to turn the pages.
“What does it say?” asked Soy.
Tryt read the tale, with fire in his eyes, as I explained, “It tells the story of the King of the Mountain and his siblings. And Tryt, following the dwarves to find the wells for himself.”
“You mean the dwarves knew?” asked Deli.
“They must have, because they kept the true Fairytale Pen here in the wells, the one that tells the stories of good and evil. They knew that Tryt would stop at nothing to find the Author Pen, so they kept its identity secret.”
“This can't be!" Tryt wailed.
I continued, “They hid it in the safest place they could think of… in hands that lack imagination. Your hands, Tryt.”
“All this time, I had the pen! And I never knew?!” Tryt moaned.
“Of course!” said Deli. “He values power more than anything, so he couldn’t fathom that the dwarves had given it to him freely… but you could,” she said turned to me.
Tryt began to shake with fury.
“Give it me!” he shouted, and flew straight for me.
Before he could reach me, Soy stepped in front and caught Tryt mid-air. He held him down against the ground.
“You don’t fly at my friend!” said Soy, “It lacks… manners.”
I quickly wrote in the air above his head.
The fairy’s magic left forever,
Immediately Tryt's pink glow began to fade until his skin was a pale white. “What have you done to me? You can’t!” he protested.
I thought for a moment, then finished the line.
Tackled by a boy more clever.
Soy gave me a huge smile as he read the words. Tryt spat and sputtered under him. Then I turned my attention to Ream, who was still struggling against the fairies.
The dragon lost his breath and flight,
I had written it just in time. Ream burst out from beneath the fairies, and turned towards us with his mouth wide open. But only air came out.
“What, what did you do to me?” he said. In his anger he hurtled towards me.
Never more to start a fight.
The dragon stopped in his tracks.
“You won’t be causing trouble anymore, Ream,” I said. “Neither of you will,” I added as I glared at Tryt. I took another few moments to think, and then I started writing in the sky again:
The stolen fairies, safe and sound,
Those they lost would now be found.
The fairies zipped out of the room towards the other side of the lake. I knew they’d be headed straight for Pavidale. And if I had done it right, every fairy who had been sent through those dark cloud doors would be there waiting for them. That thought gave me another idea.
The dragon and his fairy friend,
Were sent away at story’s end,
To live inside a darkened cloud,
Where only warlugs are allowed.
All at once, Tryt was flung from Soy’s grip straight into Ream’s stomach (who was being tugged away much slower).
“This is not over!” said Tryt as he and Ream were dragged by an invisible force.
Ream didn’t say a word. He just smiled a toothy grin at me as they were swept from the room.
My words floated in the air for another second, then flew inside the book. The moment they did, there was an orange flash behind me. Soy and I turned around to see that Deli was the source of it. She had changed. She was no longer a frog. In fact, she was about as far from a frog as you can get. Deli was a tall, pretty elf with long dark hair and pointy ears. Her glasses surrounded big brown eyes and freckled cheeks. Without them, I might not have known it was her.
“Whoa!” said Soy.
She gave us both a big smile.
“Thank you! Oh, thank you!” Deli said as she ran over and gave us a hug.
When she pulled away I noticed that she was wearing braces (I guess they’re hard to see on a frog).
“But… you’re young. I thought you’ve been around for a long time,” I said.
“I have been," she said, “but elves age differently than humans. I’m still a teenager in elf years. That’s why I have to wear these braces. ‘One day that hero will come along and turn you back into an elf, so you’d better take care of your teeth, frog or not!’ my dad is always saying. He’s the King of the Elves,” she said.
“Right, of course,” I remembered.
Well she said, “Let’s get out of here before something else happens!”