You decide to have a sip. It would be rude not to, and offending a dragon doesn't seem like a good idea. You walk over to the enormous cup, a cup which goes up to just beneath your rib cage, and make a show of blowing the steam away. The dragon is so engrossed in his own tea, that he doesn't appear to notice that you need a utensil to drink with.

Giving up, you finally bring your mouth to the side of the cup and try to slurp some tea.

The tea tastes the way perfume smells. It's unsweetened, slightly bitter, with a strong flowery flavor you don't recognize. It's not what you'd call good, but it's not bad, either. You only take a small drink, but you suddenly feel as though you'd eaten a good meal. You feel full and strangely sleepy.

The dragon rests his cup back on the tray.

"I have been thinking," the dragon says. "I get by well enough these days, so long as I stay home. I really have everything I need here, honestly. But the one thing I miss more than anything is reading my books."

You nod sympathetically and back away from the tea. You stumble as you do and land heavily on the cushions behind you. The dragon tutts and uses his tail to help you up again.

"Now," he goes on, "I see that you have no voice of your own, nor a name to go with it! That must be an interesting story to hear, if only you could tell it! But, I believe I may have a solution, if you'd be willing to do me a favor. Let's see if it works, ehy?"

Why not? you think. You give the dragon a sleepy smile and nod.

"Excellent! Here," he passes you a book. "Do me a favor and read me a few sentences from that, would you?"

You giggle. Your voice is gone! Did he forget? You point to your throat again.

"Don't worry about that. Just try."

He flashes you a smile filled with long, jagged teeth. You think that you should probably be scared, but the warm feeling from the tea lessens any fear you might've felt. You grin back at the dragon, then open the book to a random page in the center.

The words appear to be in a different language. You want to say you have no idea how to read this, but to your surprise foreign words spill out of your mouth in a steady stream. You have no idea what you're saying, but the dragon seems pleased.

"Yes," he says, sitting back. "This will do finely."

You want to ask him what he means, but can't stop reading the text. The cloudy warmth enveloping your mind begins to fade, and panic begins to set in its stead. It is less like you are reading the book, and more like the book is using you as a puppet to explain itself.

"No, don't worry," says the dragon. "I can smell fear on you now. Please don't worry! This is the best solution. The books will provide you with a voice to read, and I will provide you with a name. I name you my personal Reader. You will read the books to me, and I will listen. "

What? For how long? you wonder.

"Forever," the dragon says simply.

And so it is.

* * * * *

You drank the drugged tea!

You became enslaved to the BookWyrm!

[Try Again?]