The Secret Aquarium of Sir Max Goodwyl, Part Two:
The Journey to Seabright
When we were first practicing for our journey to Sir Max's Aquarium, I had the trolls blow up the balloons and used dragon's breath to heat the air inside, which is a mite dangerous combination. So, being ever curious I went surfing the internet looking for a balloon person to help us.
Well, wouldn't you know, I found a master of the art, Thomas by name, to get us properly inflated, and on our way.
As he promised, Thomas arrived at twilight the day we planned to depart, twilight being the best time to launch a balloon. A fine mist lay quiet at the edges of our seeing as Thomas stopped his truck and got out. He reminded me somewhat of our Thomas of an age ago, the Rhymer himself, although that was a bit of fancy, for this Thomas was wearing blue jeans and tennis shoes.
Instead of coming straight across the Border that lay between the realms, he paced back and forth, probably feeling a twinge of the weirdness that works there. The mist drifted toward him, forming hazy eye rifts to peer at him, its wispy tendrils slithering longingly around his physical mass. He shivered a little and looked behind him but being a human he saw nothing he couldn't explain.
Before he looked our way I gathered the mist to frame our brightly colored balloons draped fetchingly over the wicker baskets. You could see it made his heart fairly bloom and without another qualm he jumped into his pick-up truck and drove straight across the Border.
The young ones all helped heave the baskets onto their sides and attach all the straps and ropes from the balloons. The Trolls, none of whom Thomas recognized as such, were just hulking around with the old dragon Clive, nudging each other and making jokes. They didn't believe for one minute that a human was going to blow the balloons up, much less heat the air inside. I think they were all feeling a bit left out and jealous.
Then Thomas started up his little wind generator and such a gale of air surged forth from that spinning fan the balloon quickly ruffled up into a mountain of brilliant color. Before the Trolls could make sense of it, Thomas ignited a burner, sending a resounding jet of fire into the balloon to heat the air. At first, I thought it was Clive finally managing to get off a good fiery blast of dragon's breath, poor lad, he hasn't been able to do much lately but gasp air and hawk frogs.
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