When I finally woke up the next morning, I went downstairs to have some breakfast. As I sat down, an article in the newspaper caught my eye. It talked about an unidentified man who had been found stabbed through the heart in the middle of the park. It was clearly the dragon hunter who had assaulted us. Fortunately, there didn't seem to be any suspects - it seemed too many people had been in the area that day. It was then that Teresa called me up.
"What happened last night?" she demanded.
"Huh?" I answered, uncertain of exactly what she meant.
"First off," she said, "Why were you in the woods at night? I mean how stupid can you get? I'm amazed you're alive and free,"
"I'm sorry," I said, "Time got away from me. If your friend had kept an eye on me like he was supposed to -"
"Bobby is being punished," she said, cutting me off. "He did a lot of things not exactly by the book. But you shouldn't have to count on our protection. Use some common sense, ok?"
"Ok," I answered.
"Thank you," she said. "Second thing: why are you still alive? Bobby said that you said those vamps vanished in a flash of light or something? We need more than that. Tell me everything you know,"
"That's all I know," I answered, "There was a flash of light, they turned to dust,"
"Who was the girl?" asked Teresa.
"Zhong Hua, a friend of mine," I said.
"She go to your school?"
"A year younger," I said, "Why do you want to know?"
"Don't worry," said Teresa, "We won't bother her. You been listening to the tape?"
I had not. In fact I had completely forgotten it existed.
"You haven't, have you?" She asked, alerted by my stunned silence. "Look, you have until Thursday. Listen to it until you understand it - trust me, you will. I'll see you then, ok? And please try to be more careful,"
She hung up. I figured I'd better get to work on that tape, so I went upstairs and found my old tape player. I hooked up my headphones and turned it on.
It was growling. And roaring. I understood nothing at all. I took the headphones off - how was I supposed to do this. But Teresa had known what she was doing in the past. I put them back on. I forced myself to listen to a full three hours of roaring and growling, until finally I'd had enough. I was about to take them off when suddenly, something changed. While I could still hear nothing but growling, my mind was ssomehow interpreting it as words.
"And so Terelafon was slain, and in the kingdom there was much rejoicing. But in the halls of Ab-duruth, the tone was somewhat more melancholy. Who could this new enemy be? And which of them would be next?"
I rewound the tape to the beginning, and sure enough, I understood it now. It was a history of the arcane age - the same stories we'd grown up with, but from a completely new perspective. I listened with rapt attention as it told of how the Elves, far from the cruel slave-masters conventional folklore made them out to be, had been the kind benefactors of humanity, until the Necromancer created his army of undead and destroyed them, along with the Dwarves, the Dragons, and every other non-human race. It was an exciting story, and most exciting of all, it was told from the point of view of the dragons.
I had a lot of questions, but when I called Teresa all I got was her answering machine. It appeared I would have to wait until Thursday for answers.