Wendell and the Dragon's Heart

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Chapter 49

The next day, Wendell found himself out in the gardens again. The quiet beauty around him seemed to give calmer answers to his questions than his own turmoiled thoughts did. The sun was so warm, but still it never soaked into the coldness inside. When he did see Karen in the sitting room sometimes, she was polite and talked with him if he said anything, but always there was something missing from her voice that he wished for now, different than when she had been Kimberly. So he went about the castle and the gardens, because there was nothing else to do.

It isn’t right! He thought dismally. She was only a few feet away, but he couldn’t find her anymore, not like when she was a hundred miles away in Aztbane.

“Just because I was mean to Violet, doesn’t mean I would be mean to her!” Wendell thought, but as hard as he tried, he couldn’t find a way to prove that it wasn’t true. But it must not be!!

Eventually, he found a place under the castle, full of old books and scrolls, some hundreds of years old, and the guard quickly moved aside to allow him in. The darkness of the place seemed to match Wendell’s brooding mood, and he spent many hours looking through pages, trying to find something to think about.

“Vanity of vanities, says the Teacher, all things are vanity!! Go, live your vain life, with the wife whom you love, and eat your food with gladness, but know that this too is vanity, and a chasing after the wind...”

Wendell shuddered and opened a different book.

“Faithful are the wounds from a friend, but an enemy multiplies kisses...”

What is that supposed to mean?

“...Their words are smoother than oil, but they are drawn swords...”

Will no one say anything helpful?

“If anyone hates another, they are a murderer!”

How depressing!!

Most puzzling of all were Garim’s final words the night before. What had happened to the one who helped him? Perhaps it was the fairy queen! But she had told him he was perfect, and then a voice said he wasn’t. Perhaps they were lying.

But wasn’t that the same voice that helped him defeat the two men, and told him not to take the blue stone? And didn’t the two men also say he was perfect, just like the queen had? Perhaps they were pretending to lie, to trick him, and... it all didn’t make any sense at all! If they were truly his friend, what could they even do now?

Wendell tried calling out for them again, but no one responded, no whisper came, and so he found himself going back down the castle halls again, his mood foul. Maybe they were playing a game. Maybe his life was a giant joke to them, and they were having some fun... they had no reason, no right to let his life fall apart now, to raise up his hopes and then...

“Sir...” he heard a servant say.

Wendell suddenly seized the terrified servant and threw him against a wall with great force.

Can’t you see I’m trying to think!?” Wendell screamed in his face, then let him go, suddenly. The servant ran off, never looking back. Wendell looked at his hands with sadness and kept going down the empty hall.

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