Night had fallen on the little village, while Wilkes walked home. Nervously looking behind him, he saw the sun set just before he reached his brother’s house.
“Where have you been? We’ve been looking for you all over!” announced his sister as she answered the door. His brother could be seen standing just inside the hallway.
“Amie, please let him in,” his brother, Sage, rescued him from any more questions. “The main thing is that he’s here.”
Wilkes wearily entered the long hallway. It ran half the length of the house, starting at the front door and ending at the little living room towards the back yard.
“Okay, Wilkes, what news do you bring?” Sage questioned, now that all three of them were inside.
Wilkes’ sad eyes looked into Sage’s curious ones, and then Amie’s.
“The Dragon burnt down the village over the hill. He’s on his way here.”
Amie’s eyes were round, as Sage gasped.
“What about everyone? Did anyone escape?” asked Amie.
“I don’t know, Ames,” Wilkes shook his head.
All three hung their heads, silent in the glare from the happy little fire obediently staying in the fireplace. It sputtered a little and Sage picked up the poker to stir it. But a Salamanda appeared, bright and golden. Sage leapt backwards, but the Salamanda stayed inside the fire and didn’t attempt to crawl out.
“I bring tidings,” she hissed.
Wilkes, Sage and Amie all stared at her. A Salamanda in their fireplace? This was most unusual.
“Yes,” ventured Sage.
“The Dragon is changing course. For today, you are safe.”
“And what of the Villagers?” Amie croaked out of a dry throat.
“All safe. What’s more, your parents will be arriving tonight.”
And with that, the fire flared and the Salamanda was gone.