The Fifteenth Story in the Adventures of the Ambrosial Dragon: A Children’s Fantasy Series
It was a Friday and Landon was happy that the school week was over. He went into his bedroom to get rid of his backpack and saw something strange.
All of the living stuffed animals were at the foot of the bed looking suspiciously at an object resting on Landon’s pillows.
“Is that new thing your’s, Landon,” asked Baby?
“No. I mean, I’ve never seen it before.”
Just then, Grandpa peeked into Landon’s room. “Do you like it? When I was a boy, there were all kinds of ventriloquists who used their talents to make dummies and puppets come alive. It was really fun.
“I saw this one in the window of a pawn shop for a really good price and couldn’t resist. He even came with a “How to Become a Ventriloquist” instruction book. The dummy’s name is Slappy. Do you like him?”
Landon regarded Slappy as if he had seen the dummy somewhere before, somewhere sinister, and it was as if Slappy was looking back at Landon.
“Pretty cool I guess, Grandpa.” Landon wasn’t sure about the dummy at all.
“Oh, before I forget, Slappy had this in his jacket pocket.” Grandpa pulled a folded, yellowed piece of paper out of his pocket. He unfolded it and showed it to Landon.
“What do the words mean, Grandpa?”
“I don’t know.”
The boy took the paper from his Grandpa and sounded out the words in his head: “Karru Marri Odonna Loma Molonu Karrano.”
“I read them out loud when I first saw the paper, but I can’t figure out why a ventriloquist’s dummy would have such a note on him.”
Landon’s concern increased. Should Grandpa have said those words? They sounded like a magic spell.
“I’ll show the note to Buddy and see what he thinks.”
“Okay, Landon. I’ll get supper ready.”
Buddy had been out back playing with Landon’s little sister Dani. When Daddy came home from work, he took over playing with her, and Buddy came into the house. He headed for Landon’s bedroom to see how he was.
When Buddy walked in and saw Slappy, he froze. “Uh oh”. He said.
“Hi Buddy. What’s wrong.”
“That.” He motioned a wing at the dummy. Strange magic I feel.”
“That’s funny. My lantern hasn’t lit up. You’d think it would if the dummy were magic, especially if it were dangerous.”
“Different kind of magic from the dummy. Very strange.”
Landon showed Buddy the note with the strange words on it. “What’s it mean, Buddy.”
“Buddy can read. Says, ‘You and I are now one.’ Very strange language.”
“Grandpa said he read the words out loud when he got Slappy.”
“Bad feeling. Very bad feeling from the dummy.”
“What should we do with it, Buddy?”
“Watch for now. See what happens.”
Baby and the rest of the living stuffed animals looked at Slappy and shivered. The dummy gave them the creeps.
After supper was done and the kitchen was cleaned up, it was TV night for Landon. He was in the middle of the first season of “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” Landon said he still liked Captain Kirk’s Enterprise better, but he liked this show because of Wesley.
Grandpa sat in his favorite chair and looked down at his side. “Hey Landon, did you bring Slappy out of your room?”
Landon looked over and saw the dummy sitting on the floor next to Grandpa’s chair. “No, Grandpa. Maybe Buddy did.”
“Nope, nope, Gramps. Not me.” Buddy was smiling and shaking his head side to side, but inside, he was having more reservations about Slappy.
“Well, maybe it was your sister. You know how she likes to get into your room and mess with things. I’ll just put it back.”
Grandpa picked the dummy up, got out of his chair, and walked down the hall. Suddenly, they heard Grandpa cry out. “Ouch!”
“Landon and Buddy got up and ran to find Grandpa nursing his hand, the dummy at his feet on the floor of the hall.
“What happened, Grandpa?” Landon looked up while Buddy concentrated on Slappy, who was lying perfectly still.
“I must have bumped my hand against the dummy’s head. It felt like the thing bit me.” Grandpa turned on the hall light and sure enough, there was what looked like teeth marks on his right hand. “Good thing I’m a lefty,” he chuckled.
“Gramps, come down here.”
Grandpa bent over and Buddy whispered in his ear. Landon thought it was odd Buddy wanted to keep something secret from Landon.
“If you say so, Buddy.” This time, when Grandpa picked up the dummy, he held its head away from him.
“What’s up, Buddy?”
“Told Gramps to lock dummy in car trunk tonight. Take back to store tomorrow.”
“Good idea, Buddy. I didn’t really like Slappy anyway.”
With Slappy locked away, everyone got back to TV night and were uninterrupted for the rest of the evening.
Saturday morning was pancake morning. The faint sounds of his sister’s giggling, crying, shrieking, and running was what woke Landon up. He stretched and yawned, then sat up and started to get out of bed.
“Wait! I thought you were in Grandpa’s trunk.” Landon saw Slappy the dummy sitting next to his bookshelf.
Buddy’s eyes snapped open. He was startled that he hadn’t sensed the dummy’s strange magic in his sleep. “Why Gramps bring dummy back?” Buddy got out of bed, left Landon’s bedroom, so he could ask.
Landon went to the bathroom. Baby was awake, so he followed Landon into the kitchen while the rest of the stuffed animals were still sleeping.
“I’m telling you Buddy, I locked the dummy in the trunk of my car and that’s where I left him.” Grandpa was trying to convince the dragon that he wasn’t responsible for putting Slappy back in Landon’s room.
Suddenly, they heard a commotion coming from Landon’s room. The quartet rushed to the room in time to see all of the stuffed animals on the floor with what looked like bumps and bruises (if such a thing is possible for living stuffed animals) and Slappy sitting in their place on Landon’s bed.
“Now that’s just impossible,” Grandpa said before he caught himself. He’d seen more than enough magic to realize nothing was impossible. In an average household, no one would entertain the thought that a wooden dummy could be alive, but if it could happen to stuffed animals, it could happen to anything.
“Mind not getting your money back, Gramps?” Buddy was staring at Slappy as if waiting for the dummy to blink.
“No, not really. He wasn’t very expensive.”
Like a flash, Buddy took the dummy in his mouth and ran out of the room. Daddy had been changing Dani’s diaper in her room, and carried her out into the living room in time to see the dragon take the dummy out to the back patio and then to the field beyond.
Suddenly, they heard Buddy screech and wail as he tried to take flight. The dummy had grabbed his wings and was biting the dragon on the neck. Strange light surrounded them both as Buddy continued to hop around in the tall grass in a desperate attempt to rise into the air.
Then Buddy managed to land on the dummy with all his weight, loosening Slappy’s grip on him. The dragon pulled away, opened his mouth and an orange stream of flames shot out, engulfing Slappy.
Wood and resin burned hot as Buddy attempted to keep the surrounding grass from igniting. Was it steam and smoke coming out of the wooden dummy that made the strange high-pitched squeal, or was Slappy screaming as he burned?
Daddy went out to have a closer look while Grandpa stayed inside with the children and the stuffed animals. They’d all gathered by the back window to witness the brief battle.
Landon went outside to join his Dad and Buddy. He took the piece of paper with the spell on it. “What about this?”
“Throw in the air.”
Landon crumpled up the old note paper and tossed it up. Buddy directed a hot thin arrow of flame at it, instantly incinerating the paper containing the spell.
“No more living dummy,” Buddy said as he looked back at Slappy’s ashes. Out of the soot and smoke, a cloud of sicking green mist rose into the sky and dissipated.
“Evil magic gone. Family is safe.”
“What was it, Buddy? Where did the magic come from?”
“Buddy don’t know. Feels familiar but strange, too. Can’t sense it. It’s gone.”
Daddy said, “I’ll get a sack and a shovel and bury this on the far side of the field near the old state highway.”
Landon looked and saw that Buddy had bite marks on his neck and bruises around the base of his wings. “Better have Grandpa fix up those wounds, Buddy. Buddy remembered the first day he met Grandpa out in the grassy field, and how the old man had bound his broken wing and took care of him.
“Yup, yup. Good idea, Landon.”
That evening, the dummy gone, the book “How to Become a Ventriloquist” in the trash, and the rest of the day being uneventful, Daddy put Dani to sleep in her crib, while Landon picked out a movie to watch. The dragon sensed no more danger and Landon’s lantern was dark and silent.
But thousands of miles away, a strange green mist slipped under the door of a second-hand store. In the display window was a Ventriloquist’s dummy. The green mist entered the dummy and it momentarily glowed. Then a piece of paper magically appeared in the dummy’s pocket. It was waiting there for someone to buy the dummy and once again read the words, “Karru Marri odonna Loma Molonu Karrano.”
Someday soon, Slappy would return to terrorize another family. How would they survive?
This is a direct sequel to my story Return to the Dark Realm from a series of stories I’m writing for my eight-year-old grandson.
I was surprised to find out that Slappy is among the most favorite of Stine’s creations, so much so, that several other books were written about him. You can even buy the dummy on Amazon.
I thought it would be fun to write an adventure for my grandson which included this malevolent piece of wood.
The next story in this series is The Tiny Boy and His Dragon.
If you want to read the Buddy the Dragon series from the very beginning, start with The Day a Dragon Came to Live with Us and click through until you’ve worked your way through the rest of the stories.