Far Too Late

older cary grant

Actor Cary Grant in his later years

“God knows I never meant to hurt you…I never meant take it that far…”

He was the perfect man for her but she was born far too late.

Alec Bristol (born Archibald Leech) died of a stroke when he was 82 years old. Throughout his entire film career, he was the quintessential leading man, suave, debonair, charming. He had first melted Chelsea’s heart at the Anza Classic Movie Theatre when she was only twelve-years-old.

When she was twenty-two, she visited his grave at the Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park near UCLA. He’d been dead longer than she’d been alive. It didn’t seem fair.

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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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Mr. Covingham’s Secret

garter snake

How I imagine Mr. Covingham appears

Five-year-old Zooey’s eyes fluttered. She felt especially warm and cozy wrapped up in all of these blankets in front of Gerliliam’s fireplace. She opened her eyes just long enough to see that her four siblings were still sleeping all around her and that made her feel safe. The fire was the only light in the room, and since the dragon lived under a tree, she couldn’t tell if it was still dark outside.

Then she felt something moving against her arm and a small head protruded from the covers.

“Mr. Covingham,” she whispered not wanting to wake the others. “I thought you’d gone home.”

She had only met the blue and orange striped garter snake last night, but already she felt like they were really good friends.

“I intended to Zooey, but it was still so cold and rainy out. You know how we snakes don’t do well in the cold.”

“I’m glad you decided to stay. I wanted to get to know you better.”

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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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Bastet’s Fearful Symmetry

ra, apep, bastet

A depiction of the Egyptian gods Ra, Apep, and Bastet

The 27th Story in the Adventures of the Ambrosial Dragon: A Children’s Fantasy Series

“I can’t believe this. You’re telling me that the snake is really something called a Lord of Chaos whose name is Arioch and who by the strange magic of randomization accidentally merged with Apep, the ancient Egyptian god of chaos and evil?”

“That’s about it, Gramps. We in trouble, big, big problems.”

While Gramps and Landon were shivering in terror, the snake addressed the god with the head of an eagle.

“I may be merged with this strange snake god Apep, but if you seriously mean to threaten me with that toy of yours, you will feel the full wrath of Arioch.”

“I know not of this Arioch of whom you speak Apep, but I do definitely intend to test the limits of your immortality with the blade on my staff.”

“Buddy!” Landon cried out. His mini-railroad lantern around his next was burning as bright as it could. “Get us out of here.”

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Return to the Mysterious Island

styx

From the 2012 film “Wrath of the Titans”

The 25th Story in the Adventures of the Ambrosial Dragon: A Children’s Fantasy Series

“What?” Landon was surprised to still be alive. Somehow, when he heard the coin in his head say it was hungry, he thought it was hungry for him and that in some magical way, he was being eaten.

He sat up and looked around. It was darker than night. He was on an island on a plateau near the highest point.

The sky was black. The water all around the island was black. The island itself was made out of black rocks and dirt. Worst of all, he knew where he was. He’d been here before.

“The island on the River Styx, the River of Death.”

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