All Stuffed Up

baby

© James Pyles

“Why not, Buddy?”

“No magic. Anna have no magic. Not taking new apprentices. Just you.”

Keeping his promise, Landon told his best (human) friend Anna all about Buddy the Ambrosial Dragon and their adventures together, which started almost a year and a half ago. It had taken a long time to relate everything to Anna. Landon hadn’t realized just how much he and the dragon had gone through together.

“But couldn’t we teach her magic?”

After Landon told Anna everything, she thought it would be really cool if she learned some magic, too. Landon said he’d ask Buddy if he would take her on as his second apprentice. Today in the boy’s bedroom, the dragon gave him the answer.

Only the events that had occurred in Shadow of the Dark Wizard made it absolutely necessary for Buddy to train Landon in the mystic arts, and that was because the child had been accidentally infused with magical energy. If Buddy didn’t teach him how to control the magic inside, the magic would control Landon.

But such wasn’t the case with Anna. Like most other children, she was a perfectly ordinary human and had no access to occult energy, especially in this universe where real magic was all but unknown.

“She’ll really be disappointed.”

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Of Ice and Anna

ice monster

Found at DeviantArt.

From the previous story:

The magic lantern amulet around his neck glowed brightly as the boy stood and weaved his spell right in front of the wounded and bleeding creature. A portal opened at his feet and he fell through, just like a person would if the walked over an open manhole.

Landon spoke the magic words in the tongue of the ancient masters and the portal closed. Instantly, the world around them began to fade and shimmer.

“You did it, Landon. You broke the spell. Now the fantasy world the evil water spirit created is evaporating. I love you Landon.” She hugged him. “See you again in about twelve years or so.”

“But by then I’ll be…”

Then everything went black.

Landon woke up. He had to pee, so he got up and stumbled down a long hall to the bathroom. He turned on the light and looked in the mirror shocked. He wasn’t eight years old anymore and this wasn’t the bathroom at Grandpa’s house. It was one of the bathrooms in his dorm. He was in college and he was twenty years old.

Landon woke up. He had to pee, so he got up and stumbled down a short hall to the bathroom. He turned on the light and looked in the mirror. He was relieved to see himself just as he was when he went to sleep. He was back home at Grandpa’s house and he was eight years old like he was supposed to be. Then he used the bathroom and washed his hands.

Going back to his bedroom, he saw his now non-alive stuffed animals lying on his pillow. Some were under his blanket making “lumps” pushing up here and there. But there was something or rather someone missing. Buddy still hadn’t come home. He was overdue. Where could he be?

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She Treats Us Like Her Children

street children

Street children in the Philippines – image found at NewManila.org

A moment ago, seven-year-old Danilo was holding his little three-and-a-half-year-old sister Marikit in his arms. He was sitting on concrete steps in a filthy alley in Tondo where everyone was poor and there was no one to help.

“I promise little Mari, I will take care of you.” He stroked her hair knowing it wasn’t true, but who else was there? He hoped she was just sleeping but he was afraid she was going to die. He tried to get her to drink out of the water bottle but she wouldn’t take any.

Before Mama died she said Jesus would watch over them from Heaven, but what good would that do if he were way up there and they were sick and starving down here in Manila?

Danilo’s stomach started hurting. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d eaten. He gave the last food they had to his sister three days ago, an apple he had stolen.

Then it wasn’t just his stomach, but his eyes. He couldn’t see. How could he take care his baby sister if he couldn’t see?

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The Girl in the Tiny World

globe

tiny world

“No!” Landon was startled and then crazy scared as his two-and-a-half year old sister Dani appeared before him as Circus Baby, a character for the horror-based video game Five Nights at Freddy’s but an instant later, and for the millionth time, the impossible happened.

The many fragments of the soul coin, shattered by the combined magic of Landon’s formerly animated stuffed animals leapt out of his top dresser drawer where he had put them and spun around the two children as if they were in orbit around twin suns. Then a big light flashed and they were gone.

“Coming, coming. I’m old. Don’t rush me.”

It was a very familiar voice. Landon was holding onto Dani’s hand standing in front of an ancient door set into an even more ancient tree, a really big tree in a really big forest. Sunlight was streaming through the emerald canopy above. The day was warm and the children could hear birds singing friendly songs.

The door opened and as Landon expected, the oldest dragon in the universe, Gerlilanum was on the other side of the threshold.

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Saving Gremlin Town

Montpelier, Vermont

“Ready, Landon?”

“I guess.”

Eight-year-old Landon and his friend and teacher Buddy, the small Ambrosial Dragon, were in the center of his bedroom. After the boy’s recent adventures with Gremlins, Buddy had determined that evil forces from other dimensions might be able to gain access to their world through the Gremlin’s realm. Buddy said he and Landon had to do something about it.

Landon wasn’t convinced. The last time he had come face-to-face with a Gremlin, he had threatened to badly hurt the child if not kill him. Buddy didn’t think he was in all that much danger, but Landon was worried anyway.

He came prepared. Inside his backpack, he had his invisibility cloak and his magic glove. He also had the soul coin in his pants pocket, though he wasn’t sure what good it would do.

He always wore the magic amulet around his neck on a chain, the one that looked like a small, old fashioned railroad lantern.

The living stuffed animals were all watching awestruck from Landon’s bed. It was late at night and Grandpa, Dad, and Landon’s sister Dani were all asleep. With any luck at all, the dragon and the boy would be back before anyone missed them.

Landon felt like he could use all the luck he could get.

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The Gremlins Will Get You If You Don’t Watch Out

gremlin

From the 1984 film “Gremlins”.

Landon was practicing using his invisibility cloak. Buddy had cast more spells on it to keep the cloak from pulling him too far into the invisible universe the way it once had his sister.

She was a lot older now but still a baby, especially when she threw her big tantrums. Buddy was busy talking with Grandpa in his study and his sister Dani was playing with her toys in the living room. Here was his chance to play a trick on her. He looked at himself in the bathroom mirror to make sure he couldn’t see himself, then he snuck out into the hallway.

The living stuffed animals were playing a rousing game of “Uno” in his bedroom so they wouldn’t be in the way.

He tiptoed into the living room. He could see Buddy and Grandpa in the study through the glass doors. They were still talking. Grandpa was showing the little Ambrosial Dragon something on his laptop. Dani had her back to him playing with her duplos. I wouldn’t matter if she were looking right at him though, since she’d see right through him.

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The Whisperer Expanded

bird

© Douglas M. MacIlroy

“Cats, bats, mice, and now this. Why can’t I leave my garage door open for two seconds without some animal crawling, walking, or flying inside?”

Keith Grant had finally managed to capture the mynah bird that had soared into what his wife called “the man cave” over half an hour ago. It wasn’t that the bird was confused and couldn’t find its way out. The thing seemed to be content to sit on the top of the cabinet by the door into the house as if waiting for something or someone. Same with all of the other creatures that had spent the past week attempting to invade his home.

“It’s only happening because I’m visiting you this week, Grandpa.”

The old man looked to see his five-year-old granddaughter walk out of the house. He turned and smiled at her. It was so nice to have her back again.

“Oh, hi Danielle.”

“I told you Grandpa, my name isn’t Danielle, it’s Zooey.”

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Landon to the Rescue

dragon

from “The Hobbit” (2012)

The 30th Story in the Adventures of the Ambrosial Dragon: A Children’s Fantasy Series

The living stuffed animals were beginning to stir. If Buddy didn’t do something soon, they’d wake up to find Landon gone. They’d go looking for him which would let Gramps and Daddy-o know Landon was gone, too.

The Ambrosial Dragon had been looking into the Soul Coin through the eight-year-old boy’s magic amulet which was shaped like a tiny railroad lantern from the past century. He could see everything that was happening to the child who was trapped inside the mysterious metal disk. Now he had an idea how to save him and maybe the entire multi-verse.

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Saving the Egg

egg

Found at History.com

The 29th Story in the Adventures of the Ambrosial Dragon: A Children’s Fantasy Series

“How far do we have to walk, Gerlilanum?”

To eight-year-old Landon, it seemed like he, the dragon, and the donkey had been walking for days, but it couldn’t have been more than a few hours…or could it?

The old dragon was still leading the way through the forest, but instead of the uneven but basically level ground the boy had been used to, they were now starting to go up a long hill.

Gerlilanum turned his head back toward the child but kept walking. “We are heading for the center of the multi-verse, you know. It’s not like it’s around the corner or anything.”

“But isn’t that like light-years away or something? We’d either need a spaceship or magic to get there. Can’t you fly?”

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The Very Old Dragon

The 28th Story in the Adventures of the Ambrosial Dragon: A Children’s Fantasy Series

It was a Saturday morning and Landon wanted to sleep in, but his bladder was arguing with him and as usual, it won.

While everyone was asleep including Buddy, Landon got up to use the bathroom. After he finished, he washed his hands. The palm of his right hand was tingling so he looked at it. For a second, he saw the symbol of a dragon’s head glowing there and then it disappeared.

He returned to his room, opened the top drawer of his dresser, and pulled out the Soul Coin he had gotten in China from underneath his jeans. It felt a little heavier. Something was still inside.

It had been raining outside and the sky was covered with dark clouds making it seem as black as night, even though the Sun was slowly beginning to rise in the East.

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