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I’ll move forward and tell my fantastical yarn—
it begins with a loose hanging thread
that we’ll follow from valley to peak-topping cairn
then look back to see where we’ve been led.

For our first destination, see the side of the square
that opposes my portable theater.
While I ready my puppets won’t you peek over there
and see where you are taken, dear reader?

Public Market Square at night

It’ll be busier in the morning, I’m sure.

See that window below that is heavily barred?
It is hiding a cell in a jail
and confining within its wrought iron guard
the sixteen-year-old star of our tale.

Here in Dinod-on-Neidr where magic and money
are a velvety luring seduction
you’ll find power and riches are sweeter than honey
but they mask a most bitter corruption.

Dilys through cell window.

Everyone say hello to this unhappy fellow.

In this prison is Dilys from family Gladwer
at the moment he feels like an ass
and he’s so overwrought that he’s ready to shatter
into shards made of sparkling glass.

He’s betrayed—he believes—by Aeronwy Defnyd,
though the rightness of this is unknown.
Can we blame her for choosing the things that she did?
She has trouble enough of her own.

I won’t tell you too much of what’s waiting hereafter
(we’ll learn more of the ways they’re entangled)
and although it’s a story that sparkles with laughter
many pages I fear are tear-spangled.