It was that thinning-out time at a bonfire party, when some people are getting sleepy and others are beginning to think of adventures. Since sunset, the whole town of Mirrogarden had been gathered on the Green celebrating the eve of Aleth’s tenth birthday. Aleth, for one, did not want the evening to end.
She sat on a log beside Werner, her best friend and neighbour, while Werner’s father, Dr. Vegter, reclined in the grass on her other side. Aleth popped a bit of roast apple in her mouth and turned around to see where people were going. Behind her, three fathers and numerous small children were sprawled on the grass sleeping, and two little girls murmured secrets to one another in the dark.
Aleth waved at them, then turned back to Werner. The fire lit his broad smile and made him look even older than almost-thirteen.
“Can we go hunting for Night Lizards now?” Aleth asked him.
“Oh, I don't think anyone would notice."
Werner's father caught Aleth's hand when she started to rise.
"Here, kid. You'll need this."
"What's that?" She eyed the small foil packet he thrust into her hand.
"Trust me. Never go 'lizard hunting' without one."
Opening: AR.....Continuation: writtenwyrdd