A Difficulty with Dwarves by Craig Shaw Gardner

By Craig Shaw Gardner

Whilst a wizard is not able to healing his illness of magicks, he sends his apprentice Wuntnor to hunt relief within the far away land of the japanese Kingdoms that are ripe with fiendish peril.

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When I found that it wasn’t, I took out my frustration on the person closest to me. And I’m afraid that person was Wuntvor. ’ She laughed as she looked about the room. ‘I have to tell him, to make him understand. ’ At that moment I finally rolled free of the canvas. ’ My beloved cried. ‘You heard me talking to the dragon, then? What can I say -‘ But her smile turned almost instantly to a frown. ‘Norei -‘ I began. Alea rolled out of the canvas and bumped into my posterior. FOUR ‘The truly professional wizard must consider the needs of not only humans, but every manner of creature he might come in contact with in the course of his sorcery.

He specializes in those little cosmetic extras, like cutting your ears back a trifle, or giving you an extra nose. ’ He winked at Vermin. ’ Slag chortled. ’ Vermin moved the knife point back a fraction of an inch, so that it but rested lightly against my throat. ’ Grott prompted. ’ I asked. My hand still gripped my stout oak staff. I wondered how many of them I might be able to disable before they overwhelmed me. ‘Why, that’s simplicity itself,’ Grott answered. ’ The apprentice stroked his pointed chin.

The canvas, amazingly resilient piece of fabric that it was, stayed firm, but the force of my movement instantly caused me to lose my balance. As I fell, I saw Alea swept off her feet, pulled by her own steel-fingered grip on the canvas. Once again she screamed. ’ How could the dragon joke at a time like this? I was completely lost within the folds of the huge canvas. And what’s more, Alea was lost with me! This was not at all what I had planned to do. I had meant to tell Alea, once and for all, about my feelings towards Norei.

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