Pennywise from the 2017 film “It.”
Down, down, down Landon fell into the seemingly bottomless pit. The light from above got smaller and further way until he was totally in the dark and still falling, screaming at the top of his lungs. And then he hit something but it wasn’t the ground.
The lights suddenly came up and he was bouncing up and down on a…really big net. The nine-year-old boy looked around as his bouncing started to settle down and he saw he was inside a big circus tent. He’d never actually been to a circus before, but he’d seen them in TV shows and movies. He was in a net used by trapeze artists so if they fell during their act, they wouldn’t get hurt.
Finally the bouncing stopped. It felt like he was on the world’s biggest trampoline, and he used the one his cousins had whenever he went over to their house.
Sitting up, he looked around more. Inside the “big top,” it was completely empty of people. Lots and lots of seats, cages for the lion taming act, another ring for the clowns, but no one was around.
Straight up, there was a big, big hole in the top of the tent which was where he’d come from. How was he going to get out of this?
© Sue Vincent
Shay, the spectacular golden dragon, alighted in a wooded valley an hour after dawn. The dragonrider Dani along with the five Davidson children, were clinging to her back still shivering from their hasty flight in the frigid heights above the clouds. After their escape from the Hall of the Mountain Kings, pursued by the deadly spectres of the past, the dragon arrived just in time as the Great Gray God, mortal foe of the Kings, attacked. Vast destructive forces both of nature and magic were released and as the High Citadel crumbled into tons of rubble at the God’s feet, Shay soared far above the carnage in a desperate effort to save her children.
At last they were on the ground again at the promised place of safety, but where were they?
“I know this is difficult my children, but you can rest soon. Dani, help them onto the ground.”
The teenage girl slipped off the dragon’s neck with practiced ease, ignoring the chill in her bones and her profound fatigue, and reached up for Zooey. The kindergartner slid into the older girl’s arms and let herself be lowered to the ground. Mandy, the oldest of the Davidson’s, managed to get down on her own and Zooey ran over and clutched onto one of her legs, resting her head on her side.
Nine-year-old Taylor was next and while Dani was helping his twin sister Paris down, the boy grabbed his seven-year-old brother Jake and helped him off of the dragon.
“Where are we, Shay?” The Davidsons clustered around Dani.
Screenshot from video game “Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy.”
Landon could hear a strange sound from behind and a huge shadow loomed over him. He suddenly whirled to see a hideous apparition instead of his friend the dragon. It was an enormous worm with a mouth like a lamprey eel, full of thousands of razor-sharp teeth and it was getting ready to strike. It’s hot breath stank of rotting meat and the grave and the nine-year-old knew he was only seconds from death. Try as he might, he couldn’t summon even the simplest of spells. After all of the dangers and adventures he had faced, was this how his life would end?
Example of a hedge maze found at nerdist.com.
Landon kept walking down, down, down the endless, onyx spiral staircase when he stubbed his toe or should have. It didn’t hurt.
“Hey. Wait a minute. I know what’s going on. I’m dreaming. I’m having a lucid dream. Cool. That means I can control everything.” Great. I think I’ll fly the rest of the way to the bottom.”
Landon took a leap expecting to fly like Superman, but he only went up so far before going back down. “Hey!” He was starting to fall and got scared. What if hitting the stairs hurt this time? Then he began to slow and soon he was taking big, bouncy steps.
“At least this is faster than walking but I really wanted to fly.” Now that he realized he wasn’t going to get hurt, he stopped being scared, but it was too late.
Malevolent eyes were watching from the darkness, their owners chuckling to themselves.
“We have another one, brother.”
“Indeed sister. He has entered the first layer.”
Yes he has and he doesn’t know it. Now we will take full control of the dream.”
Found at wallpapersafari.com
In a mysterious floating cloud city, eight-year-old Landon and his friend Ana were trapped in a roomful of inter-dimensional portals by a smoke dragon. When the dragon’s snout broke open a door from the outside, it bumped into the boy, knocking both he and the girl through a gateway into the unknown.
“Landon!” Ana cried out as she fell into nothingness.
The boy reached out and grabbed her by the waist and then used his levitation spell. “No, not this time. We’re not going to fall into another world.” He used the spell to stop and then reverse their motion. He didn’t take the time to look around but concentrated on getting the both of them back up and through the opening to cloud city.
“We’re almost there, Ana.” Landon could see the other side. Some of the mist from the sky city was drifting toward them, but was it mist or smoke? Then an intensely hot stream of flame shot through as the dragon tried to incinerate them from the other world.
Reflexively, Landon, still holding onto Ana, dove beneath the flames and further into…what?
Then the light vanished. Landon and Ana looked up and the doorway back to the cloud city was gone. In fact everything was gone.
(Courtesy of Chung Ti’en Television/YouTube)
She was lost in the fog wondering how she had gotten there. The last thing Ana remembered was playing during recess at school. No, that wasn’t right. School had ended and she walked home. Was it foggy when school let out? No, it only gets foggy in the morning and only on some mornings.
“It’s not fog. It can’t be. I should be able to see houses. I’m not on the sidewalk. The ground is made out of fog. But if that were true, I’d fall through it, yet it feels solid.”
Ana woke up safe and warm in bed. Why did she call out to Landon? She liked her friend and she recently found out some very special and secret things about him.
In our last adventure, Landon magically discovered what happened to the living stuffed animals but in the process, both he and his friend Ana were transformed into stuffed toys and trapped in the stuffed animal universe.
“Landon! What happened to me? What did you do?”
“I’m sorry, Ana. I was trying to bring the stuffed animals back to life but the spell went wrong somehow.”
“But…but how can I be…stuffed?” Ana looked at her hands in astonishment not recognizing them as her own.
Meanwhile, the living stuffed animals were so happy to see Landon, even as a stuffed boy, that they all crowded around him giving him a big group hug.
“Guys, I love you too, but we have a big problem.”
© 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.”
Ducks on the Boise River near Julia Davis Park – Boise, Idaho
Landon remembered two childhoods and this was the second time he had turned twenty years old. Sitting on a bench on the Greenbelt by the Boise River, he contemplated how ordinary life had become as a university student. Every night he dreamed he was someplace else. Every night he dreamed he was someone else.
Contemplating a water fowl, he asked, “Are you really a duck, or are you about to morph into a murderous wraith or bloodslayer so you can rip out my throat?”
The mallard ignored the BSU sophomore and slipped under the water’s surface looking for lunch.
“Lucky bird. I bet you don’t have nightmares about the Dragon Wars.”
“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.