An Unexpected Visitor


Hello, hello, my new readers!

As I’m sure you’ve heard, Bookmarks has a new mythological creature in their store.

I am a dragon. A very good-looking and fashionable one, too, if I say so myself, and indeed I do say so. I am one of Karl’s old friends – oh, what adventures we have had together! – and I’ve come to help him out at his fantastic bookstore. As you can see from the selfie we took together, he’s extremely pleased to see me.

When Karl wrote me to say that he’d taken up a job as Kraken in Residence at a brand new bookstore in Winston-Salem, I knew I had to pay him a visit. No – better yet, I should get a job there, too, so we could work together and discuss books and have more adventures! I wrote him to tell him of my plan.

“My dear reptilian friend,” he wrote back, “though I appreciate your enthusiasm, you need not put yourself to all the trouble of journeying all the way from your mountain lair to visit me.”

“No problem!” I replied. “What are a dragon’s wings for, if not flying across the country to meet an old friend? I can be there before you know it!”

“But surely,” he wrote again, “you would find my way of life most unpleasant, for though the book trade may appear glamorous, it is in fact a very taxing field of work involving more dust than derring-do. Your dragonian constitution leads you to seek adventure and hidden treasure, and I fear that you would not find the sort of excitement that you need in our humble bookstore.”

“Karl,” I said to him, “you know that there’s no adventure greater than cracking open a new book, and no treasure greater than a newly discovered gem hidden among the shelves.”

“How very true,” he replied. “But would it not be a source of undue stress for you to unmoor yourself from the community and the comfortable caverns in which you have made your current dwelling and be forced to reinstall yourself in some new, alien terrain? Would you not prefer to stay put and continue our current course of correspondence by writing, which affords us the opportunity to express ourselves at length without losing precious time for solace and silent contemplation?”

But I had already taken flight at that point, and my next message was sent from a dragon hostel in Colorado where I spent the first night of my travels.

“Solace and silence?” I wrote. “The kraken doth protest too much, methinks! Where was your love of solace and silence when we dove for treasure in the Black Sea? When we fought off pirates in Finland? When we infiltrated the Kraken Council and righted all the wrongs of the treacherous Lord Krakenatus? Deny it all you want, but I know that in your five hearts, you’re a quester and a vagabond.”

I swooped as quickly as I could to North Carolina, not waiting for some new stuttered excuse. That kraken, I said to myself as I caught a gust of wind over the mountains, is too comfortable stuck in his old ruts. He needs a bit of dragony mayhem in his life, and I’m the one to cause it!

Now I’m sure, if you’re a devoted reader of this blog, you’ve become used to Karl writing the posts in his own aquatic idiom. So be not alarmed if I inject a bit of pink into his purple prose. I’m not going to take over most of the writing, but from time to time I might review a book that I like (I’m an avid fantasy reader) or report on something Karl has neglected to cover.

My first few days here at Bookmarks have been just fabulous. The only problem is that no one seems to know how to pronounce my name. I don’t know why. I guess people here in Winston-Salem aren’t used to the Dragonic languages. Karl wanted me to choose another name for myself, but I said, “Hey! Wouldn’t it be fun if we made it a competition for people to choose my name for me?” He seemed reluctant at first, but I told him it would be much more exciting this way.

So now it’s up to you, my readers! Be imaginative, be bold, be fun. Give me the best name you can possibly think of. I’ll settle for nothing less.


Alulimalalngarenmenluanaenmengalanadumuzidensipadzidanaenmenduranaubarututujushurkullassinabelnangishlishmaentarahanababumpuannumkalibumkalumumzuqaqipatabmashdaarwiumetanabalihenmenunamelemkishbarsalnunazamugtizqarilkuiltasadumenmebaragesiaga the Dragon


(You can email name suggestions to Karl at, leave them in the comments, or come to the store in person and write them on a slip of paper.)


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