16    Dragon-men

 Finding themselves trapped like flies in the glittering blue light of a fairy road, they see shadows of men with dogs, which grow & solidify until they break through into the tunnel.



They’re not dogs, they’re dragons!” thought Jack
Art: Paul
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They were slowing down. Soon they stopped altogether, hanging helpless in the ley line, buffeted by turbulence.

“They’re coming back,” Ken yelped, reaching for his inhaler. He grabbed a sly puff as the shadows plummeted at them through the swirling blue rings of light.

“They are not coming, but growing!” Catherine observed.

It was hard to judge what they were doing, but the more Jack looked the more he thought Catherine was right. The shadows were growing, getting clearer too. He could see  young men with long hair, dressed in extravagant costumes, each with a hulking brute of a dog. As he watched, the swirling light peeled back, making it look as if the men were being forced into the tunnel from another world.

Struggling free of the sticky light, a man stepped into the ley line. It was all Jack needed. There was a junction a few meters behind him. He started pushing the others to it. Step by step they fought the turbulent flow with heads down and shoulders hunched. Bringing up the rear, Jack risked a quick look back. The men were solid, so were their dogs, ugly hulking brutes that they were.

 “Hold fast child!” one shouted.

Jack had no intention of doing anything of the sort. As soon as he moved, the man unleashed his monstrous beast, which leapt forward unfurling vast leathery bat wings.

                            
from Chapter 9    Shadows

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