Excerpts for Deep Wizardry


Summer Night's Song

There were no streetlights there, and the stars she loved were bright. After a while she stood up in the shoulder-high water, watching the sky. Back up on the beach, Ponch was barking, excited and noisy. He can't have found Kit that fast, Nita thought. Probably something distracted him. A crab, maybe. A dead fish. A shark . . .

Something pushed her in the back, hard. Nita gasped and whipped around in the water, thinking, This is it, there are too sharks here and I'm dead! The sight of the slick-skinned shape in the water stopped her breath-until she realized what she was looking at. A slender body, ten feet long; a blowhole and an amused eye that looked at her sidelong; and a long bleak face that wore a permanent smile. She reached out a hesitant hand, and under her touch the dolphin turned lazily, rolling sideways, brushing her with skin like warm, moonlit satin.

She was immensely relieved. "Dai'stiho," she said, greeting the swimmer in the Tongue that wizards use, the language that she'd learned from her manual and that all creatures understand. She expected no more answer than a fizz or squeak as the dolphin returned the greeting and went about its business.

But the dolphin rolled back toward her and looked at her in what seemed to be shock. "A wizard! " it said in an urgent whistle. Nita had no time to answer; the dolphin dived and its tail slapped the surface, spraying her. By the time Nita rubbed the salt sting out of her eyes, there was nothing near her but the usual roaring breakers.

Copyright © 1985 by Diane Duane

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