‘I am George, the original George as in George and the Dragon?’ said George, taking a Peter Pan stance. ‘And this is my trusted friend, Ascalon.’ He pulled a small wand like stick from his pocket. ‘…the dragon slaying lance.’
Rae stared hard at George then transferred her fierce look to the stick/lance he was holding. Then she burst out laughing. ‘Oh, please! George and the Dragon?’ She fell back against the tree. ‘Are you for real?’
George shook the stick several times. ‘It does that sometimes. It gets stuck. I think it’s all the crap it’s collected over the last few hundred years.’
‘Oh my god. You’re still talking, George,’ said Rae. ‘And it’s still just a stick. Look!’
George looked down dejectedly at the stick/lance. ‘It worked earlier.’ He flicked the stick again, hard, catching the tip against the tree. Rae ducked.
‘God, George. You nearly had my eye…’ Rae stared at the stick. It extended rapidly. Rae stared at the lance. ‘What the hell?’
‘Ah! This is Ascalon, the dragon slaying lance.’ George stood there proudly, the lance firmly gripped in his hand. It wobbled as he fought to hold its weight. ‘It’s yours now, Dragon Slayer.’ He handed the lance over, making a small bow as it left his hand.
Rae reached out, carefully taking the slayer’s lance from him. She twisted the hilt in her hand, the tip of the lance resting on the ground.
‘What’s this bit?’ she said, pointing to a round plate of metal mounted on the shaft, just below where she held it.
‘That’s the vamplate,’ said George, running his fingers over it. ‘It’s to protect your hand.’
‘George, you know I’ll never be able to lift this, don’t you? I mean, it’s not exactly a weapon for the 21st century is it?’
‘Ah, actually it is. You see I have modernised it!’ He stepped in beside Rae, taking the lance from her hand. ‘You remember how it was really small, fitting in my pocket? Well, I did that! Watch.’ He pressed down on the hilt and the shaft started folding in like a telescope, shrinking in width as well. The result was the same stick/wand he’d started with.
‘Okay…,’ said Rae, ‘but still a stick and still not much use as a weapon.’
‘Look again!’ said George, pressing the top of the stick/wand and flicking his wrist. The stick/wand remained a stick/wand. He pressed the top again hard with his thumb then swished it around briskly in the air ‘You have to remember that this is over 650 years old. It sometimes takes a while to warm up.’
‘I’ll tell that to the dragon, shall I?’ said Rae.