“Great, I missed the late bell for chorus and Miss Loxern will be mad because I stayed to feed a stupid, stupid hamster. I can hear her from here, saying, ‘Quiet, please. Single file lines only. Jeremiah, please stop chattering this instant!'”
“Lilly! Feed Bon-Bon, and quickly!”
“Okay, Mrs. Sanchez. Yes, ma’am.”
I walk up to the class pet hamster, Bon-Bon, and drop in some hamster food, only to be nibbled myself.
Great, I missed the late bell for chorus and Miss Loxern will be mad because I stayed to feed a stupid, stupid hamster. I can hear her from here, saying, “Quiet, please. Single file lines only. Jeremiah, please stop chattering this instant!”
I better hurry up before the ice fountain starts up. “Shhhh!” Too late. It has started. The school’s wonky hours from 10-12 have begun, and I am trapped in unsafe zone (the only one). The hall.
Gahhh! The ice has spread to the bathrooms! (And I really need to go!) I better seek shelter, quickly.
Okay, I am now in the janitor’s closet, and my pencil is getting its time to shine. I mean, it was at the bottom of my book bag, and I never use it. Oh great, here comes the liquor stage. As the ice from the ice fountain melts and turns into fog, the smoke detectors are set off, but instead of water, they rain liquor. I can hear it coming.
There goes Mr. Mcgail getting drunk, and Mrs. Berkowitz.
Just the typical, and I should probably stop eavesdropping on their dropping of glasses.
For my second time getting trapped in the schools wonderland-symmetrical labyrinth, this isn’t so bad…
As the dragon stage commences, I scream in terror as an assortment of colored dragons roam the halls, turning everything into smoldering dust. The ash stings my eyes as I break the glass on the emergency fireproof shield that the school keeps for any stranded students in stage three and hold it up like an umbrella, ella, ella,and run continuously towards the gazebo in the economics classroom, daring myself to not look back. Suddenly, I come to a bump in the speeding lane. There is a gaping hole between the gazebo and the floor. I start to wonder if this is a curse anymore, or if it’s starting to get real. I mean, even back in 856, the dragons stayed in the halls. This is very unusual. Then again, everything is unusual about dragons.
Anyway, there I am, about to die, when some marauder-like figure emerges from the dust and whispers into my ear, jump. To make a long story short, I did. As I look back to thank him, I realize he’s gone, and wonder if I was hallucinating, from all the ash. At the same time, I also want him to have not left and to stay and tell me what the heck was going on. Without realizing, an hour has passed, yet somehow I am still in the third stage, which makes no sense. Last time, I fainted from the liquor and didn’t wake up until I was in the nurse’s office. What the — nothing is moving! What is happening? Did everything just stop? This must be the fourth stage, then.
Just great. Then why are the biggest dragons moving? Am I stuck in some nightmarish world?
Bah! Did someone just speak to me? Here?
Wait a minute, is that my grandma? What is she doing here? How did she get here from our house in Westchester? I saw her at home when she was sending me off, but, how did she get in? There are a million jillion things I want to ask her, but then again, I might overwhelm her.
“My dear Lily,” she said in a so un-grandma-like voice. I mean, she sounds like a Korean pop idol. “How long I have waited for this moment to tell you the truth; hiding it has been so hard.”
Suddenly, spikes start coming out of her head, and her arms start issuing slime from tiny slits in her arms while her head starts turning snout-like and rockish. Standing before me, I see a huge, cute, but still terrifying dragon who, based on the facts, I assume is my grandma.
I am speechless. How could she keep this from me? Like seriously? If she is my grandmother, am I a dragon too?
As if reading my thoughts, the dragon, who I will call Grandma, says, “I am not your grandmother, but yes, you are a dragon. You are a morphUs — a being that has the ability to turn from a dragon to a human, who of course has mind reading powers that manifests at 13 when you establish a close relationship with an animal, which in this case, is that hamster Bon-Bon that you are always raving about.”
Okay, info overload, but instead of joking about it, I just rub my temples to try and process this new “vital” information. Anyway, as I try to blow my auburn brown hair from my eyes, even though I know that even if I succeed, the ash will still obscure my vision.
“Pay attention please.” Geez, for a grandma, she is pretty sassy. “Young woman, I can hear you thinking!” Okay, if you can, you are hands down so creepy! “Now, listen to me. You are the lost dragon heir, and you have to save us from the tainted King Erik. He was cursed, when you left, and until the true heir shows the greatness of good to him, he will reign over the dragon realm with terror. So now, concentrate on yourself as a dragon, and your stripes will light up.”
As I concentrate, my body becomes engulfed in light as what seems to be my skin sheds off and I land on the ground in a heap as a dragon. Whoa, it actually worked!
“Come on, quickly, Siena!”
I assume it is my dragon name as I take flight for the first time, admiring my shining burnt sienna and flame-like scales, absorbing the wind and feeling free. As we approach the palace though, my stomach twists itself into knots when I see all the poor citizens working in coal mines. Barging in is easy, but his face, his deep wounds and blood red eyes, his gleaming scales and spikes, I am not so sure of myself anymore. But when I see him snicker at a child begging for mercy, that is when I swallow any last feeling of pity or fear, because that is not how to treat a child of any sort.
“King Erik,” I state. In fury, I bellow out my speech that had suddenly burst from my heart. “You are, in my opinion, a good person who has been tainted, and I believe in second chances, so I wish no harm to come to you, unless you want that.”
He interrupts, saying only this, “Puny girl, you’ll never turn me back!”
By this time I have spotted an amulet on his horn and have realized it as the source of evil.
I continue, “I believe in you, if you would let me just… ”
Then I lunge. Straight for his head, I rip the amulet off and shatter it into a million pieces, never to be seen again. As the newly restored king awakens, I realize something. I might miss school, have to make new friends, and start a new life, but no matter how hard I fall, I will always, always, get up, because I am strong.