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Short and sweet. If this looks good, I'll add it to the Prologue.


Princess Ursa desired dragons. She stood admiring the long forgotten kingdom, imagining it fraught with the magnificent creatures as it once had been. Leaning for a closer look, the rock slipped under her foot. She fell forward. The world swayed. Beneath her, the ground swirled. The other ancient ziggurats surrounding hers suddenly appeared much too close for comfort.

Pin wheeling her arms, Ursa managed to catch her balance. Her breath was another matter. She stood very still until the panicked pounding of her heart gradually slowed.

“That was close,” she gulped. Her eyes were fixed on the ground several hundred feet below.

It was a good thing Yuki hadn’t seen that. Her bodyguard would have had a conniption. The adventure would have been called off, and the prince and princess carted back to the Palace, expedition fulfilled or not.

This only reminded Ursa that she had climbed to the top of the pyramid against express instruction. But she could have sworn she’d seen something. She peered into the dark opening of the ziggurat entrance. If there had been a glow, it was gone now.

“Ursa!” came the distant cry of her brother Roh-Roh, far far below.

“Princess! Where are you this time?” And there was Yuki. “You climbed to the top, didn’t you?”

Ursa couldn’t help grinning. “Time to leave, I think.”

The words had hardly left her mouth when a boom like thunder rattled the air. Ursa frowned. A moment ago, it had been sunny and cloudless. She raised her eyes. A jagged black blemish stretched across the clear blue sky.

“What is –”

A mighty wind assaulted her, whipping the words away.

This time, Ursa fell. Not down, but up. The powerful gust pushed and tugged at her, drawing her higher into the air. Her heart fluttered. A gasp escaped her, but the sound never reached her pounding ears. As she tumbled through the air, she spotted the tiny figures of her brother and bodyguard. It was them she saw and not the black blemish as she was swallowed into the void.