|Dragons of the Valley
by Donita K. Paul
As I said yesterday, the characters in Dragons of the Valley were my favorite part! And so, I have here a gem… a prize… a treasure hitherto revealed to none! And you, faithful readers, will be among the chosen few who are privileged enough to see it!
I have, with Donita K. Paul’s permission, managed to procure from the Lore and Legend Radio Station, the previously unknown manuscript version of an interview conducted a few weeks ago between a young news reporter – Nella – and the renowned Lady Peg of Chiril!
I cleared my throat and spoke into the microphone. “Are we on? Testing one, two, three. Good. We’re on in five, four, three, two… one.”
I smiled and spoke cheerfully, “Good morning ladies and gentleman and welcome once again to Lore and Legend – the only station in the nation where you can receive up to date mythological information from around the worlds! We’re so glad that you can be here this morning! Today, we have an extremely special guest, traveling all the way from the Amber Palace in Chiril just to be with us here in the studio…”
Buzzzz. My cell phone vibrated in my pocket and I jumped at the unexpected noise. “What’s that? Oh,” I blushed. “Excuse me. I beg your pardon. Haha, I, uh, thought I’d turned that off when I came in this morning.” I fumbled for the “off” button but the phone vibrated again.
“Um, just one moment… let me see who that is. Oh!” Lady Peg. “I have to answer this. Excuse me. Hello, Nella at Lore and Legend here… Yes, Lady Peg, what a pleasure! I… I’m sorry, what was that? I… um…oh yes… yes I can see how that would be most interesting but… Yes Lady Peg, yes of course, but… oh my, horrifying! Um, Lady Peg, please, can you listen for just a moment… yes, yes, what time can we expect you here? Yes, what time will you be arriving? Yes, arriving… For what? For your interview… on Lore and Legend! Oh… ok… I see… alright, thank you. Yes, Goodbye.”
I snapped the cell phone shut and turned back to the microphone breathing a long sigh. My head spun dizzily after my confusing conversation with Lady Peg. How did I get stuck with this assignment?
“Whew. Well, thank you for waiting for me! As I was saying, we were expecting a most illustrious guest here in the studio today – none other than Lady Peg of Chiril! Unfortunately, from what I can gather, she’s been most inexplicably and unexpectedly detained…”
The studio door burst open and Lady Peg entered. “Inexplicably perhaps,” she smiled, “but not unexpectedly!”
I jumped. “What? Oh, Lady Peg, you’re here! I mean, I beg your pardon, my lady, I wasn’t expecting you… you said you were going to be late…”
“Well then I suppose I was unexpected!” Her smile grew even larger and she nodded her head politely. “But I was not unexpectedly detained. No not quite. However, you were correct in saying that I was inexplicably detained. Inexplicably in that there was no explanation for the manner in which I was detained… but not unexpectedly in that I fully expected to be detained, though I was unsure what form the detaining would take. One never can be absolutely certain about things like that. Though I knew from the moment I arose this morning, that this would be a detaining day…”
“A detaining day?” I repeated, puzzled by the unusual word. I instantly regretted the question.
Lady Peg’s eyes lit up. “Oh yes. Detaining… not to be confused with entertaining or retaining! No, a detaining day is nothing like an entertaining day! You see the one is enjoyable but the other certainly is not! A detaining day is simply full of little distracting things, one after another like a swarm of busy bees, keeping you from accomplishing what you need to… stopping you from getting where you need to go! It’s terribly annoying as I’m sure you can imagine.” She shook her head in disgust.
“Um, yes, indeed… Very annoying! Well, Lady Peg, allow me to welcome you to the morning show on Lore and Legend. My name is Nella and we are delighted to have you among us…”
“We?” Lady Peg appeared puzzled, a blank look spread across her face as she gazed around the tiny room of which we were the sole occupants. “We? Ah yes of course! Royalty! Oh my dear how delightful! Of what house are you?”
It was my turn to be puzzled. “House? Royalty?”
“Yes of course, a royal we didn’t you say? I myself am the daughter of King Yellat and Queen Venmarie of the royal house of Chiril, and I am married to the royal son in law, Verrin Shope. Or perhaps I should say that he is the royal son in law because he is married to me… yes, perhaps that makes more sense. He certainly wouldn’t be the royal son in law if he weren’t married to me, but that doesn’t even bear thinking about!”
I was starting to feel desperate. The clock was ticking and I hadn’t even started on the long list of questions on my clipboard. “Oh yes, yes, of course, Lady Peg. And no, I’m afraid I’m not royalty, I was simply saying… oh never mind. Would you permit me to ask you a few questions?”
She paused a moment, considering, and then nodded decisively. “Yes. You have my permission to speak… however, I do retain the right to politely refuse to answer if I so wish! These are the only conditions under which I agreed to cooperate – after all, even a prisoner who has been arrested by the law retains the right to remain silent if he – or she – so wishes. And I am not your prisoner… at least, I hope I am not…” She blinked for a moment as if she couldn’t remember something.
“No, no, Lady, Peg,” I hastened to reassure her. “You can set your heart at rest. You are not a prisoner. You came here of your own accord…”
“No, I came by carriage – it’s waiting outside. Your stableman seemed a most incompetent fellow! He just stood there staring and didn’t even listen when I instructed him to look after the horses! I do hope they are alright.”
Stableman? Oh, the man outside the parking garage. I tried not to laugh as I imagined the scene. Poor fellow… he must’ve thought he was going mad. Lady Peg can have that influence on people. I was starting to feel it myself. “Now Lady Peg, I have some questions to ask…” I strove to keep my voice cheerful, but inwardly I was starting to lose patience. “If you can please just listen for one moment, I’m sure we’ll get through this!”
“Certainly! I am all ears! Well, figuratively speaking of course. I wouldn’t really want to be all ears – how strange that would look! And it would be most inconvenient!”
“Yes of course!” I almost shouted. “Now, Lady Peg…” Before the words had fully left my mouth, I was suddenly bowled over by a blast of wind and flung to the ground. The studio doors burst open and I saw Lady Peg’s hat fly away.
A strange voice spoke somewhere above me. “Dear dear… this doesn’t look right at all! A most unfortunate turn!”
“Um,” I gasped into the microphone. “We’re experiencing some unexpected technical difficulties… Tune in later for part two!”
Check in tomorrow for part two of the interview!