Wizbun stood staunchly, gripping his staff tightly, as the bright red box began to smoke slightly. At the lower corner, the paper turned black, and then burst into flames. Frantically, Wizbun aimed his magic staff at the conflagration, extinguishing it with a quick blast. But now the box let forth an angry hiss, and Wizbun took a step backward without thinking about it, pressing up against the familiar blue velour of the couch.
Faintly inside the black interior of the box, he could see two gleaming points of light. Then, through the hole in the box, a most fearsome creature slithered forth. Although it was only as tall as Wizbun’s knees while he stood on his hinders, the scaly, winged creature was like nothing he’d ever seen, and most horrible of all, smoke trickled from the two glowing nostrils at the end of its long face.
This was the cause of the fire, then. Wizbun took a fresh grip on the staff, straightened away from the couch, trying not to think about how he shed more when he was nervous, and how much trouble he’d be in with the Mistress in the morning. First, the fire-bringer must be vanquished. With a flourish, he sent blue crackling fire at the creeping thing.
Almost at the same second he acted, the intruder reared its head back and with a baleful glare, roared forth flames against his magic. Wizbun felt the heat, and smelled scorched fur. He staggered back against the couch. The gleaming blue and black thing spread its wings wide and started to crawl toward him on short, taloned feet.
To be continued…