|"Dragon Duel" Colored Pencil|
"Riddles my weapons. Answers my shield. Though you battle with wit, I'll never yield."
Slowly the clamped teeth loosened. The watching dragons collectively sighed in disappointment. But the confrontation was not over.
"My wit is quite sharp," responded the leader, "as sharp as my claws and teeth. One wound means your life as surely as this battle will.
"And if my riddle wounds you?" asked Strange One.
"You and your servant leave here alive. You, as an unnatural dragon, are outcast and banished from the gatherings forever..."
My friend, Cindy Schuricht, asked me to illustrate the preceding passage for the cover of her new book, Secrets of the Flame - The Power to Protect. Considered a magical fantasy the story is categorized as juvenile fiction. Written in a whimsical format, Secrets teaches us the hard truth about letting go. In the tradition of an American fable, this tale spotlights the farm, family and freedom.
Each year, under the eerie glow of a full moon, thousands of dragons gather atop a ring of remote, jagged peaks. At this sacred place, ancient rituals arouse the mind, body and spirit. The cold, mountain air is filled with recollections, racing reptiles and riddles.
In the drawing above, two combatants square off in a war of words. It's a composition chock-full of classic contrasts where the undisputed commander challenges the cocky youngster. The fiery-red behemoth is fuming with white-hot impatience while the strange fledgling exudes a certain innocence.
The desperate, little dragon hopes to stump the sore loser and escape with his skin and an unexpected servant. The chronicles continue at a lively pace as the fate of Strange One's family comes to the forefront. From there, further reading is required to reach the final resolution.
Please visit Cindy's website for more information: Hundred Book Pile-up
The wonderful book is currently available at Amazon.com: Secrets of the Flame