Cowboys and Sorcerers, Part One

gunfight

From the opening of the television show “Gunsmoke.”

The 21st Story in the Adventures of the Ambrosial Dragon: A Children’s Fantasy Series

6,000 years ago in Bronze Age China, Bingwen Lóng, a dragon disguised as a man, Yao Jin, a sorceress and sword wielder, and Xia Jiuzhou, an eight-year-old boy whose real name is Landon, stand on a ridge overlooking the mystical and mythical city of K’un-Lun.

“I shall miss our time here.”

“Yao Jin, we were all almost killed here.”

“Yeah, I want to go home now.”

“We will, Landon.” Bingwen Lóng looked down at his friend and patted his shoulder.

“It was still an extraordinary experience. Even you must admit that, Landon. After all, you met an immortal moon goddess and the daughter of a dragon.”

The boy took a deep breath. Yes, it had been thrilling to be among such amazing people, but he missed his Dad, his Grandpa, and his little sister.

“Well, as Landon said, time to go home.”

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The Palace of Heaven, Part Two

shambhala

Palace of Heaven

The 20th Story in the Adventures of the Ambrosial Dragon: A Children’s Fantasy Series

Bingwen Lóng rose majestically on brilliant wings high into the Palace of Heaven ready to confront his foe. At the last second, Xian, the Royal Shadow Dragon, and the golden dragon’s arch-foe, dodged and swooped slow over the floor of the palace, so low that both Landon and Yao Jin felt the breeze of the passage of his left wingtip.

As Xian pulled out of his dive, it seemed as if he were raining black water, hundreds and hundreds of drops. They splattered all around the pair, and the tiny lantern the boy wore on a chain around his neck burned bright.

“That’s not water,” the Chinese sorceress exclaimed.

What at first had looked like black raindrops quickly changed. Each tiny puddle expanded and writhed with a will of its own. They grew, became shapes, became tall.

“Shadow warriors. Hundreds of them. Run, Xia Jiuzhou!” Yao Jin yelled Landon’s Chinese name and then drew her sword to fight. Demonslayer moaned and shivered in delight at the prospect of consuming so many evil souls.

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The Palace of Heaven, Part One

ancient china
The Nineteenth Story in the Adventures of the Ambrosial Dragon: A Children’s Fantasy Series

The young sorceress Yao Jin, eight-year-old Landon, and the mighty Ambrosial Dragon stood on a ridge overlooking a valley in what they knew to be ancient China. By some mysterious magic, the trio had been taken backward in time rather than returning home after rescuing the souls of Yao Jin’s grandfather and his Nameless Master from demons on an unknown island in the River Styx.

“Buddy, do you think you can…”

The little boy had turned toward the now imposing and magnificent dragon only to find he was no longer there. In his place, there was a Chinese man. To the child, he seemed about the same age as Yao Jin. He was tall and dressed in what looked like old fashion Chinese clothes. At the same moment, Landon saw that Yao Jin’s clothes had changed, too.

“Hey, what happened to Buddy?”

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The River Between Heaven and Hell (Part One)

styx

From the 2012 film “Wrath of the Titans”

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

“My name is Yao Jin and I need to speak to your grandson. It is an urgent manner.”

The Chinese woman at the door spoke English formally, like someone who had learned it from a textbook, but her tone, facial expression, and body language told Grandpa she was terrified and desperate. On top of all that, she was dressed in a simple but full length cloak, which was odd clothing for a warm summer afternoon.

“Well of course you can come in, but why do you need to speak to my grandson?”

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The Tiny Boy and His Dragon

bulldog ant

Found at the Canberra Pest Control website

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

Landon was getting excited. There were only a few more weeks before school was out for the summer and he wouldn’t have to do homework anymore…

…or so he thought.

“I don’t want you to forget everything you’ve learned this school year, so every night, we’ll go over your reading, spelling, and math.”

“Aw, Dad. Don’t I get a break?” Landon was sitting on the sofa with his Dad David after school talking about future plans.

“At least you won’t have tests every Friday, Landon.”

“Well…okay.” The boy was hardly thrilled but he still had to do what Dad said.

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Return to the Dark Realm

dark castle

Image: spyderonlines.com

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

Landon was practicing using his invisible cloak, but without Buddy’s permission. It was Saturday and he was at the playground. While his Grandpa was sitting on a bench reading a book, Landon slyly pulled the cloak out of his backpack, walked around the edge of the school, and put it on.

Instantly he vanished. He thought maybe he could play some pranks on his friends, but as he continued to wear the cloak, the world around him started to look strange and distorted. It was almost as if all of the kids playing on the swings and slides and other equipment weren’t real.

But if they weren’t real, what was?

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The Invisibles

alley

From the film “Red Fog” (2013)

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

It was one of those rare days when Buddy was at home watching eight-year-old Landon and his 20-month-old sister Dani while everyone else was out.

Grandpa, Dad, and Dad’s cousin Nate went out for lunch and to see a movie, while the kids stayed at home in the Ambrosial Dragon’s care.

Buddy wasn’t much larger than the average collie, but although a dragon, his intelligence and maturity was equivalent to an adult human’s. In fact, given his other worldly nature, there was no estimating just exactly how intelligent Buddy was, or for that matter, how old he was.

Buddy had hopped up onto Grandpa’s “reading chair”. Landon came out of the bathroom after brushing his teeth.

“Hey, where’s Dani?” The last Landon knew, she’d been sitting in the living room looking at her books, but now only Buddy was there.

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Through the Dreamgate

invisible

Found at talewagger.com

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

Landon woke up startled. It’s okay, he told himself. Just another dream, a nightmare about that mummy coming after him.

The eight-year-old boy had been having these dreams ever since returning home from Egypt. He didn’t understand it, because plenty of other magical beings had tried to hurt him over the past seven months or so, and most of the time, that didn’t bother his sleep.

Landon looked around his bedroom. On his bed with him, were all his living stuffed animals, and of course, Buddy the Ambrosial Dragon. They were all asleep. They looked so peaceful. If there was any real danger around, Buddy would sense it instantly and move to protect him and his family.

It was just a dream.

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The Day the Kid Got a Stuffed Animal, Part One

baby

© James Pyles

My eight-year-old grandson Landon has been reading books from R.L. Stine’s “Goosebumps” series and wanted to write one of his own. This is the first part of his first novel (probably more like an extended short story). The first parts he narrated word for word. Then it made more sense for him to tell me how he “plotted” out the story, and then I paraphrased what he was telling me.

He asked if I’d publish his story here on my blog so my readers could have a look. I think he’s really looking forward to your comments, so don’t be shy (do be kind, though).

Remember, this is a child’s first attempt at writing a horror story.

Chapter One: The Birthday Present

One day a kid named Dan was playing with his family on his birthday. “It’s time to open presents”, said Dad.

I said, “Okay, Dad.”

First, Dad gave me his present. I opened it. It was a little stuffed animal. There was a tag on it that said “Baby”.

It was a giraffe he found at a garage sale. It’s head was facing the wrong way. I awkwardly said “Thank you” to Dad.

Then my Mom gave me her present. I opened it up and it was a bow and arrow. I hugged my Mom and said, “Thank you.”

Then, a while after the birthday party, for a second I thought I saw the tail of the giraffe move, but I thought that maybe it was just a breeze making it move.

And then, I looked at the giraffe and it’s head went up and it looked at me. And I started screaming and running for my life.

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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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