The Mysterious Mummy

mummy

Stephen Voss – Smithsonian Magazine

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

Landon had been bored and sleepy until the plane began its final descent toward Cairo International Airport. Then his face was glued to the window taking in every detail of a city that was over a thousand years old. Grandpa was sitting next to him, enjoying his eight-year-old grandson’s enthusiasm.

They had planned this vacation for months, ever since Grandpa read Landon the “Goosebumps” book Return of the Mummy by R.L. Stine. Grandpa actually had a friend in Egypt named Issa Salib who was an archaeologist, a person who studies history by digging at ancient sites like the pyramids, examining what they find…

…like mummies.

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The Magic Boat Ride

boat

© KayllistisQuill.com

Landon knew the boat was magic the minute he saw it. The 10-year-old boy and his 4 1/2-year-old sister Dani were vacationing with their Dad and his latest girlfriend at a beach house in California.

“C’mon, Dani. Let’s have an adventure.” He took his sister’s hand and helped her follow him into the boat.

“What about, Landon?” She looked up at him quizzically.

He stood dramatically facing forward. “Our spaceship to Mars is taking off!”

Imagination abruptly became reality as the magical boat and its tiny passengers rocketed out of Earth’s atmosphere.

This is the third and final piece of flash fiction in my series, inspired by photos at KayllistisQuill.com. The first story is The Prayer followed by Over the Edge.

I had a little fun putting my grandchildren in this one, even though I had to age them about three years.

I allowed myself a maximum of 100 words, and this story came in at a mere 91.

The Adversary

ninja

Image: pngall.com

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

It was very early in the morning and the first day back at school after the Christmas break for seven-year-old Landon. Buddy, the Ambrosial Dragon who had become part of the family nearly five months ago, was sitting out in front of Grandpa’s house. Everyone was just getting up except for little 18-month-old Dani, Landon’s sister, who was still warm and asleep in her crib.

Grandpa’s house was outside of town and considered pretty remote. Even then, Buddy didn’t go outside during the day time just in case someone saw him. He looked left and right, up and down. Only the occasional bird overhead. No cars, no people walking, no one to see him.

David, Landon and Dani’s Dad, and Grandpa were going to have to shovel the driveway before they could go anywhere, well, that’s what they thought, anyway.

No one around.

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Savior in a Storm

thunderstormThe Eighth Story in the Adventures of the Ambrosial Dragon: A Children’s Fantasy Series

Four months ago.

The little Ambrosial Dragon was totally outmatched by the huge Shadow Dragon. Somehow, his mortal foe had detected him crossing the spaces between worlds and had pursued him. The smaller dragon was already almost exhausted. He had been hiding out from Shadow Dragons for months, moving from one realm to another, barely staying ahead of them.

Tonight, his luck had finally run out.

“You will die like all of your kind, golden one. Perish in agony, fool!”

The larger dragon used a combination of magic and brute force, striking his smaller opponent again and again. The little dragon was getting weaker. Fighting back would be useless. He couldn’t even begin to penetrate the dark dragon’s defenses in the current circumstances. But if he could open a doorway into the world he detected earlier, the one where magic almost does not exist, he could escape. The portal would allow only the smaller dragon through. The Shadow Dragon would be much too big to follow.

The Ambrosial Dragon was getting dizzy. It was hard to focus the spell, but if he failed, he’d die.

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The Apprentice

magical

Image: AA VFX YouTube channel

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

This story resolves the cliffhanger begun in the previous tale The March of the Stuffed Animals. Read that story before continuing here.

Eldritch magic surrounded Buddy the Ambrosial Dragon and Tarmreiboth the Dark Wizard of Setioval as they battled for the very soul of a seven-year-old boy. Landon was lying unconscious in a circle of light surrounded by living stuffed animals, animated by Landon’s own spell which was secretly taught to him by the Dark Wizard, the animals ultimately being controlled by that same wizard.

Landon’s Dad and Grandpa watched helplessly, held motionless by the dark magic of the stuffed animals, as the dragon and the wizard wove brilliant and violent spells around each other designed to defeat; to annihilate. Buddy fought to take Landon and his family back home and to safety, while Tarmreiboth desired that the child become his apprentice and an operative of evil, perhaps one day to inherit the title of Dark Wizard.

The only illumination in this out-of-the-way “pocket” dimension, not a true realm, but a reality constructed for just this purpose, was from the circle of light surrounded by the stuffed animals and the flashes of magic woven by the two combatants, but somehow, Grandpa and Dad could see everything.

“You cannot defeat me, dragon. You never could. That’s why you ran away with the boy last time.” The wizard was confident and with good reason. Although possibly thousands of years old, in many ways Buddy was still young and immature. He could not make full use of his abilities yet, while Tarmreiboth was at the height of his powers.

“Me fight. Me win. Love Landon. Save him.” If a pure heart and determination were all that mattered, Buddy would have given the dark wizard serious competition, but unfortunately even goodness and love had to give way to superior skills and strength. Buddy could feel himself weakening.

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The March of the Stuffed Animals

stuffed animals

Image: weplayreplay.com

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

One by one, the plethora of stuffed toy animals in Landon’s bedroom came alive. It was late at night and the seven-year-old boy was fast asleep. Everyone living at his Grandpa’s house, Grandpa, Daddy, his baby sister Dani, and even Buddy and Ambrosial Dragon, was enjoying pleasant dreams and resting up for the coming day.

But in Landon’s room, it was virtual pandemonium, if you’ll pardon the pun. A stuffed dragon was flying and puffing out smoke clouds. A stuffed crab was crawling on the floor in search of a tidal pool. Stuffed bears were dancing together, a giant stuffed dog was huddled in a corner not sure if he could believe his eyes, and all manner of other stuffed creatures were roaming, walking, spinning, sailing all over Landon’s room.

And then the little boy woke up.

Everything was quiet. All the stuffed animals were exactly where Landon remembered them being when he went to bed. The only thing missing was Buddy. What was his best friend at this time of night?

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Shadow of the Dark Wizard

dark castle

Image: spyderonlines.com

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

For the first two stories in this series, see The Day the Dragon Came to Live with Us and Rescuing a Dragon.

Tarmreiboth the Dark Wizard had become very interested in the spaces between worlds recently, and with good reason. It was being used by fugitives.

Tarmreiboth resided in a realm ruled by his family for thousands of generations that was dangerously near the void between the dimensions. It’s near in the sense that the darkness from the void enters Tarmreiboth’s realm rendering it dark as well. It has always been that way, as far back as the eldritch sages of the Storvian Mountains remembered, which was a considerable length of time.

Yet this darkness rendered Setioval, which was the name of Tarmreiboth’s dark planet, strangely immune to detection by the Shadow Dragons who ruled the space between worlds. It may have helped that the denizens of Setioval were just as black hearted and evil as the Shadow Dragons, but it was still a puzzle why the Dragons never visited their realm.

No matter, since they never have. Still Tarmreiboth liked to keep an eye on what was happening in the void.

An Ambrosial Dragon making the crossing between one dimension and the next was unusual but not unheard of. The dragon having two human companions from Earth with him was unprecedented. Earth was almost a forgotten legend in the world of Setioval. This astonishing reminder led Tarmreiboth to do a little research.

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Rescuing a Dragon

crystal trees

Uwe Zucchi / AFP – Getty Images

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

If you haven’t done so yet, read the first story The Day a Dragon Came to Live with Us.

Grandpa sat in a chair on his back patio pretending to manipulate a drone’s controls while Buddy the Dragon flew high above.

“You see, Landon…” Grandpa addressed his seven-year-old grandson sitting to his right, “…if anyone sees Buddy way up there, I can just say I’m flying a drone over the field. The trick is taking off and landing.”

“I’m glad he can fly. He likes to be high up.” Landon didn’t take his eyes off of the golden figure in the distance, imagining what it would be like to be up there with his best friend.

Grandpa spoke into the microphone he’d wired into the drone control box. “Okay Buddy, that’s a wrap. C’mon down now.” The dragon could hear Grandpa through a headset he’s managed to get to fit on Buddy’s head. The dragon could talk back through a small microphone.

“Flying, flying. Buddy likes flying.”

“It’s getting late and Dani will be waking up from her nap soon.” Dani was Landon’s 15-month-old sister. Landon’s and Dani’s Dad was still at work but would be home in time for dinner.

“Oh, okie-dokey, Gramps.”

Buddy went into a nosedive right toward the back of Grandpa’s house, but at the last second he fully extended his wings and breaking hard, landed softly on the back lawn not five feet from the startled pair.

Grandpa recovered his composure. “Have a nice flight?”

The dragon walked up to Grandpa and nuzzled his head on the older man’s leg. “Yup, yup, yup. Good fly. Good fly.”

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Why I Wrote My First Children’s Story for My Grandson

reading

Image: boomerhighway.org

I published The Day a Dragon Came to Live with Us yesterday but not any sort of explanation about where the story came from or why I wrote it (except on Facebook and Google+).

I consider it one of my best efforts but it doesn’t seem to be getting a lot of love so far. Probably one of the reasons is that it’s over 5700 words long, basically a short story or a book chapter. Who’s got the time, right?

This story is different. It’s personally important to me. I’ve invested a lot of emotion in it. I wrote it for my seven-year-old grandson.

He’s really imaginative and every time I see him, he wants to play our “game”. Our game is a talking game. He assigns us both roles and then we make up an adventure. In our current game, I am “Grandpa” (no surprise there) and he is my pet “Honey Dragon”.

Actually, the term “pet” is a bit of a misnomer since the dragon is supposed to be thousands of years old and know all kinds of arcane magical spells.

Our game scenarios are highly derivative. He pulls a lot of his ideas from “Harry Potter” and I pull mine from all kinds of comic books, science fiction stories, TV shows, and films.

I’ve tried to write a story for him before, but I couldn’t get the hang of it. However, our current series of adventures spawned an idea, a story about a boy and his dragon.

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The Day a Dragon Came to Live with Us

dragonThe First Story in the Adventures of the Ambrosial Dragon: A Children’s Fantasy Series

The old man found the dragon in the middle of the field behind his house. It’s not everyday you find a mythical being lying in the tall, wet grass while going for a stroll. Last night there had been a terrible thunderstorm, common in Southwestern Idaho during late summer. Had the storm somehow brought this dragon?

“Oh my! What are you?” Grandpa James wasn’t used to fantastical happenings. He lived a quiet life with his son and grandchildren a few miles outside of town. They were all at home still asleep. Grandpa almost always took his walks early on Summer mornings before it got hot.

The dragon said something. It definitely sounded like words, sort of whispered, but totally incomprehensible. It seemed to be beckoning.

“You poor thing. Your wing is broken.”

Having never met a dragon before, Grandpa wasn’t sure how close to get. He wanted to help the creature, but would it bite?

“Me no hurt.”

Those were the first words it said Grandpa could understand.

“You won’t hurt me?”

The dragon nodded.

“I want to help you. Can I pick you up?”

The dragon seemed to smile but exposing what looked like hundreds of needle thin teeth gave Grandpa pause.

Summoning his courage, he gingerly approached the formerly mythical creature. It was about the size of a large cocker spaniel or a small collie. Grandpa carefully avoided touching the broken wing and managed to get his arms around it.

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