“The mountains were Ali’s favorite place to go. She always went to the tallest mountain named Vine Master. When Ali got there, she sat on a carved wooden chair and stared at the sky. One day, she saw a hut, but no chair on the mountain. She didn’t look at the sky that day. She listened.”
Ali Staw lived in the mountains. She had two brothers. They were named Jack and Matt. They didn’t exactly have the Staw name, because they were orphans.
Ali also used to have a pet bird named Smudgy, but he died when he found a chocolate in her room and ate it. Ali didn’t really miss Smudgy, because he had been a bad bird. He always put raspberry smudges on her clothes. But Ali did like birds.
The mountains were Ali’s favorite place to go. She always went to the tallest mountain named Vine Master. When Ali got there, she sat on a carved wooden chair and stared at the sky.
One day, she saw a hut, but no chair on the mountain. She didn’t look at the sky that day. She listened. Ali listened all day long, not minding having to sit on the rough mountain.
“Enter the home of the brave, and find me. Listen for the clues of the nature, and you will discover who you are meant to be,” the bird called.
It was a male, Ali could tell. Ali stepped into the small, wood hut. There was the carved chair that she always sat in. She took her seat and tried to listen to the bird again. She sat down and heard an aggressive bird argument. Ali listened for the sound of the hundred birds disagreeing and heard them discussing a very important matter.
“No, master!!! You should not care about Ali,” the ninety-nine other birds tweeted.
The elder bird, who was the prettiest dove of all doves, said, “But I’ve seen the future! Ali is the only one who can save me from the seven-headed secret serpent monster!”
And so, he left to find Ali, not knowing Ali was sitting right on his old throne.
Then, Ali remembered! Her mom had asked her to be home by 10:00 PM, and right now, it was 10:37! As she raced through the ghostly winds of Pennsylvania, the dove appeared, smiling next to her. She ignored him. Ali got home by 12:00 AM. Everybody was already sleeping, except her. She decided to fix up some Caesar salad. She used her great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandma Elise’s recipe. The secret ingredients were love and crushed up butter-salt snack cookies.
While Ali was eating, she read the news. The news said…
Oh no! The elder bird had gotten into Ali’s house. She did not care. Birds were her favorite animals. She wanted to take the elder bird to Pennsylvania State Elementary, so she put him in Smudgy’s old cage. Then, she jumped in her bed, thinking of which name would be best. The elder bird was happy to be safe, because he didn’t like living in that plain, drab hut anyway.
In the morning, she took her backpack, her mom’s coffee, and the bird to the ragged gray-yellow bus.
At first period, Mr. Aleru called Ali up to go to Mrs. Heidi. Ali left the dove with Mr. Aleru.
When she opened the door, Ali saw Mrs. Heidi lying dead with blood surrounding her temples.
Her hand had ink on it that said, “Go to the wandmaker’s house.”
Then, Ali looked at the wall. She saw a big hole in the wall. She heard a “Mchhhh…” She was in the core of doom. Ali felt really scared.
Last year, Mrs. Heidi, who Ali had always thought was magical, had told Ali to beware the seven-headed secret serpent. Ali rummaged through all the principal’s books. She finally found the principal’s ancient guide to fighting extreme monsters.
The page that was about that monster was page 88. It said to kill the monster, you need a saber tooth and the magical moonstone. Mrs. Heidi had the moonstone and the saber tooth! The bad news was they were in the velvet lockbox.
Then, Ali remembered! It was a bird school! And Mrs. Heidi loved things backwards, so that is why she loved subtraction more than addition. Ali typed the word bird in backwards (drib). The box opened. Ali carefully scooped the moonstone and the saber tooth, put them in Mrs. Heidi’s bookbag, and jumped through the hole.
Ali took a taxi to the wandmaker’s house. Ali thought that the last person the serpent killed was the wandmaker. She took the moonstone and the saber tooth, one in each hand, and put them together. They made a little fireball, and she shot it at the serpent, which was in the living room.
The serpent exploded. When he exploded, she found a golden heart in the middle of his skin and blood. Ali took the golden heart, and she suddenly could control the clouds! She flew back to the school to get the dove.
Ali said in bird language, “Eedtyioker medreddoped,” which meant that the serpent was dead. She took the remainder of the moonstone and saber tooth and found Mrs. Heidi sitting in her chair doing her work. Ali felt good that she saved Mrs. Heidi!
Then, when she took the dove home and to her room, the elder bird turned into a girl! The girl told Ali that she had been a dove, and all she needed was the heart that controlled the clouds.
The girl and Ali became sisters and best friends.
And Ali knew it all… She was a heroine.