I snort an irate jet of flame. “Rest? You gotta be kidding, right? Where’s the fun in sitting around inside all day? The boredom hurts more than my sprained claw.”

“You’re lucky it was just a sprain! To take on a troll of that size…” The nurse rolls her eyes, shaking her head. “Petra, make sure he stays… calm. No more fighting, please, at least until you’re healed.”

My little Petra gives me a look, half commanding, half pleading. Oh, don’t do that, it breaks my heart… and she knows it. There is no fight in me at all when it comes to my young mage. I sigh smoke out of my nostrils – sometimes I can win on charm.

“Fine,” I grumble, frowning, “but can I at least go fishing?”

Petra looks to the nurse. The nurse shrugs, then nods, adding “Not in deep water, Rocky, Petra isn’t big enough to drag you out.”

I nod; that’s reasonable enough. Besides, I had plans to visit the stream this afternoon…

As I walk away, I hear Petra mutter, “He’s hoping to catch that huge red carp down by the bridge. The one that’s big enough to eat him.”

I hear the nurse’s intake of breath, but I’m away into the hall before any of her words can reach me.

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