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Chapter 4

A Chance of a Lifetime

“Aaron, where is everybody?” I asked as I saw Aaron sitting alone in front of the whaleback ship.“You know how it is Kyra—they had their own things to do. Last night they came because they were curious who I was, um interested in. That’s all.” Alone at last! Alone—with a dragon! Mister caramel lightly dipped in dark chocolate eyes! The eyes that I felt I could meld into…“Kyra. Kyra!”“ Huh?” “ Am I so boring that you have to day dream when you’re with me?” he smirked, gently caressing my cheek.“No! No! I was just thinking.” Whew, if he only knew the affect his eyes had on me. “So Aaron, what are we going to do tonight? Jump in the lake, cascade over mountains, or talk.” I was so busy staring into his eyes that I he had already changed into his dragon form and was flipping me onto his back.“ Aiii…” I screamed, surprised.“Let’s talk” I heard him say in my head as we flew low over the water.“Boat! Boat!” was all I could scream as a boat quickly appeared in our path. I closed my eyes not wanting to see the impact. Instead, I felt the slight shift in Aaron’s body as he coasted out of its path.“You can open your eyes now.” he gurgled and snorted. Was he laughing!“Ya go ahead and laugh at me” I fumed, “You wouldn’t think it so funny if we would have crashed.” His gurgling and snorting continued, he was laughing so hard his body was shaking, tickling me as I hung on.“Stop.. hahaha… that!”

We landed at top of the Aerial Lift Bridge.

The glow of the Duluth/Superior lights were all around us as I gawked at the pristine beauty of the lights, lake and the night. I could see small white shapes floating, reflecting the city lights on the lake.

“Those are seagulls.”“Seagulls? I thought they would find some warm, dry place to sleep on land.” “ Seagulls are opportunists. They sleep in their nests when the have young otherwise they sleep anywhere they are away from their predators, and I don’t think Lake Superior has many predators that can eat a live healthy seagull.”“ Do you eat seagulls?”“ Na, some of the others do but for me they’re too feathery. Yuck! Last time I tried one it took me weeks to get the feathers out of my teeth!” I hope he brushes his teeth! Yuck! Carefully, he set me down on the beam he had been standing on—changing back. The winds off the lake scared me, as they blew I had to struggle to maintain my footing.“Aaron!” I cried as my feet slipped out from under me. I was falling!“Gotcha!” he said in my ear. We were both sitting down, me in his lap, and his strong-arms tightly around me. We sat there in silence—watching. Watching—together—in his arms—clouds float by, the ships cast in darkness on the lake- rolling with a glimmer of light. “Kyra, what did you want to ask me?” His breath tickled my ear.“Huh? Oh!” I said as his voice seeped through the fog of my mind. “I wanted to know why are there dragons here and why this area? In all the books I read, dragons exist everywhere but here!” “ Dragons like humans are everywhere. It’s just we choose to live hidden—if most humans knew we really did exist, they would try to put us in zoo’s and dissect us; trying to find out whether we were more like lizards or snakes. Through history we have learned that humans kill what they are afraid of, even themselves…”

I kissed him. On the cheek- I couldn’t help myself- he seemed so, sad.

“We would rather live in our dragon form, but with humans, living almost everywhere on the earth—if we wanted to survive—we didn’t have a choice.”I started to think about what might happened if someone, anyone who was not willing to keep their secret proved Aaron and his kind existed and who they were as humans.“Aaron, can you choose what you look like as a human?”“No, we can only choose the age.”“Your age! How old are you, as a dragon?” I never thought about how long the legends said dragons could live. I guess I just assumed he was my age even in dragon. “Hmm.. about 225 years old. Give or take a couple years.”“ 225! Than why are you hanging out with me? I’m a little young aren’t I?”Aaron explained to me how dragon age and human age is not the same; just like a dog’s age is not really the same as a human. That in approximation of dragon age he was about the same age as me and had as much to learn about the world as I did. “Feel better?” he laughed, hugging me tighter.“Yes much better, I was starting to think all I was to you was a plaything.”“Never! Are you hungry?”“ A little. Why are you?”“ Famished!”

Did he say famished? Oh no! I never asked him if he ate humans!

“Umm—you don’t eat people do you?” “Only those that annoy me.” He laughed, teasingly. Whew, that was a relief. Feeling playful—I leaned close to his ear and whispered, “I don’t annoy you do I.”

Aaron grabbed me and threw me up into the air of the brisk moonlit night. My scream lost in my throat. He won’t let me fall to my death- right? I was only teasing. I felt the wind blow against my body—suffocating me as I tried to scream-I was going to pass out! I watched as the ground rose to meet me. “Aaron WHAT did I do?” I tried to scream when all of a sudden I was jerked hard upright, thrown into the air once again and landed safely on Aarons back. “I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to scare you. Let’s go eat!” Eat—eat—does he think I feel like eating after almost crashing to my death because of him?“I’m NOT hungry. Humph…” I said, kicking him in the side.“I said I was sorry—what more do you want?” Does he think I am going to talk to him, after what he did?“Kyra, I was just playing. Please, please believe me when I tell you I would have never let anything happen to you!”“ PLAYING, PLAYING! YOU call that playing?”“ I guess to someone who can’t fly, I can understand how they wouldn’t think that as playing.”“ You got that right!”

We landed in a secluded area on the rocky shores of Canal Park.“Where to?”“Follow my lead.” Aaron said once he changed in human form, holding my hand in his and led the way. We only had to walk a little ways before arriving at a restaurant.

“Have you ever eaten here Kyra?”

“Ya, the food’s yummy.”


“Yes, yummy.”

He looked confused. Hasn’t he ever heard the word yummy before? He ordered a big steak with all the works, and I politely said, “The same!” as the server took our order. He looked surprised but not as surprised as I was for how bold I was being. Why not? Didn’t he throw me off the top of the Arial Lift Bridge? A girl can really work up an appetite once the shock wears off a near death experience.

“I guess you’re afraid that this might be your last meal?” Aaron said as he laughed from across the table.“Aaron, what do people think when at school you’re in a wheelchair and out of school your not?”“I just make sure to avoid them. Usually after school I am at places they aren’t—unless of course they can change into birds.” “ Why the wheel chair? You don’t need it?”Aaron explained to me how he chose to be in a wheelchair at school; that he couldn’t walk—even if he tried. “Why? How can you walk one minute and than not the next? I don’t understand.”

“We all do—sometime during our lives.”

He looked so uncomfortable—as if he was telling me a deep dark secret.

“So—how about those Twins,” I chirped.

“Twins, aren’t they baseball? We’re in football season now.”

I smacked my head with the palm of my hand. How could I forget it was football season? I lived on the Wisconsin-Minnesota border—all the rivalry going on between Packer and Viking fans was almost as interesting as the sport itself. Our talking ebbed as our food arrived— shoveling bite after bite as if we were starving in our hungry mouths.

“We have to hurry or you’re going to be late!” Aaron said after he paid for our food and left a sizable tip for the server.We rushed out the door, running down the street towards the white and black lighthouse on Canal Park. “Why—are—we going there?” I asked Aaron when we were half way there.“People on the rocks,” was all he said as he grabbed my hand and hurried me along. With a flick of his wrist, I was cast into the air, landing on his back with a thud. I hadn’t even realized Aaron had changed into a dragon all ready. “How do you do that!” I called to him as the wind whipped my voice away, making it a whisper.“How do I do what?”“Change into a dragon so quickly? Isn’t it difficult?”“ It is more difficult for me to change into human form than it is my original form-think about it?”

I suppose it would be just as difficult for a human to change into a dragon—the scales instead of hair, big pointy teeth, and razor sharp claws instead of finger nails. I could name a few people who probably wouldn’t have any difficulties with the claws, since they always seem to have them bared and ready to use. “Ha ha ha,” I was laughing so hard tears streamed down my cheeks—Aaron had to shift to balance me—I almost fell off Aaron’s back.“What’s so funny that you could have fallen to your doom?”“Claws!” I cried and laughed even harder.“Claws? What is so funny about claws?” As we landed in the alley behind my house, I tried to explain to him how some people seemed too always have their claws out. He did not understand until I used a few examples using some kids from school. “Oh, I get it!”I wasn’t sure he did, but I think he understood a little better before I told him goodbye and gave him a quick peck on the cheek – running into the house so I would not be late.

“Kyra! I was worried about you. I tried to call you on the cell phone for the last hour and you did not answer. Well, young lady?” My dad stood in the kitchen with his feet firmly planted shoulder with apart; with his hands on his hips, and glared at me as if I had committed a cardinal sin. He only acted like this when I was seriously in trouble.“Hi Honey. Did you have a good time tonight?” Mom said as she walked in the kitchen and stood next to my dad. She must have heard him because before I could answer she asked for her cell phone back.“Here you go mom.” I said sheepishly as I unclipped the cell phone from my belt and handed it to her. She flipped her phone open, checking it, holding it up for my dad to see than whispered something in his ear as she mouth to him the words ‘sorry’.

“I’m sorry Kyra. Your mom just informed me that she forgot to turn the ringer and vibrate on, before she gave it to you. Next time you use her cell phone-- please check that it is on.” I stood there in disbelief, how lucky I was at that moment. If the ringer or vibrate had been turned on I would have been grounded to my room for at least a week.“Kyra, I was just worried something happened to you. I love you.” I hadn’t run up to my dad in years and hugged him, tonight was an exception. “I love you too dad.” I said as I squeezed him as tightly as I could. He had been so busy much of my life I had almost forgotten how worried he got when I wasn’t safe at home.

When I was in sixth grade, I went to my first sleep over at a friend’s house for her birthday. She lived a long way out in the country, on a farm. While I was getting my stuff ready to go to her sleepover, there was a breaking news report on the television about a recent bear attack in the area. My dad had been so worried that a bear might break into her house and maul me that he forbade me to go to the sleep over. It wasn’t until my mom’s reassurance that I would be safe-- that the news report said, “the attack was from a bear attacking campers in their tents- who did not secure their food properly- not their homes; did my dad finally lift my restriction on going to the party. As my mom and I walked out the door to drive there, he hugged me as if he was never going to see me again. I laughed when the next day my mom told me my dad had dreamed that he was fighting off bears all night, which made it impossible for her to get any sleep out of concern that he might mistake her for a bear.

I dragged myself up the stairs to my room-- dead tired-- I guess all this flying around as a passenger is starting to wear me out. I still had the riddles to solve—tonight I did get some answers only to find more questions. “Goodnight Kyra,” my mom said softly as she pulled my quilt over me, kissing my forehead gently goodnight. “G--night mom.” I mumbled as I drifted off to sleep.

It was still dark when I woke up; my heart pounding in my chest as I jumped to my feet—ready to protect myself from the threat I felt. I glanced defensively around my room, noticing nothing out of the ordinary. That was until I saw a blurred reddish brown –what looked to be a weird handprint on my glass outside my window. As my eyes adjusted to the dim light, I could see that the print was indeed of a hand—a hand just like Aarons in dragon form. “Aaron!” My mind screamed out his name. It was all I remembered as I woke to the sun shinning through my still scarred window, waking me up for a new day.

Chapter 5

The Note

“Nothing’ but a little late fall house cleaning,” I told my mom as she stood in my doorway watching me clean my window. The windows of our house tilt in for cleaning otherwise I would be frantic about how I was going to hide the bloody print sticky solidly to the middle of the glass. I could only wonder if Aaron was playing some sort of prank, was he injured somehow, or if one of the other dragons did this.

“Kyra, I know I usually harp to you to clean your room. It’s forty degrees outside this morning and I do not think now is a good time to clean outside windows.”

I knew she was right. It was getting chilly in my room from having my window tilted open but I was sure she would be freaked out if I had left it the way it was.

I got dressed quickly, and ran downstairs to the kitchen. My mom was in her usual spot at the table – cup of coffee in hand—no dad in sight.

“Where’s dad?” I asked her as I finished pouring a bowl of cereal for myself.

She looked up from the book she had been reading, “Did you forget he had to go to work this morning as usual?”

Now I did it! I made her mom radar go off by asking her something I should have known.

Nervously I Sloshed the milk, I was trying to pour, over the count top “Oops! I’ll clean it up.” I said as I quickly grabbed a towel.

“What is wrong with you today Kyra. First you’re up this morning cleaning your window than forgetting your dad has to work today- it’s not like you- what’s wrong?”

I wanted to tell her about everything. Aaron and his friends being dragons, flying and about the bloody claw print—I was afraid. I was afraid if I did tell her and she believed me she would ground me forever or if she didn’t believe me I would feel betrayed- betrayed that she didn’t trust me enough not lie to her about something this serious. So-- I did the best thing I could do at the time.

Shrugging my shoulders as I spooned mouthfuls of globules into my mouth I mumbled, “I don’t know.” A safe response that most children learn as soon as they can talk to defend themselves from things they do not want to answer.

I felt guilty as I watched my mom silently get up to pour herself some more coffee. My mom like some adults never forgot what it was like being an adolescent; she knew exactly what I was doing. As I glance over to her empty seat I saw the book she had been reading, ‘Norse Mythology’, it was identical to the one I saw Aaron reading in school.

“Mom! Where did you get that book?”

Startled by the urgency in my voice she turned quickly, knocking her cup off the counter and onto the floor.

“Calm down,” she said as she stooped to clean up the mess. “I found it in your backpack. I’m sorry if I upset you—I didn’t think you would mind.”

“Oh, no mom, I don’t mind—I just forgot I had that book, that’s all.” I said as I shoved the book roughly into my backpack.

I glanced cautiously at her to see if she believed me—she did. My stomach felt like it was churning as I realized—she believed me and this time I had lied to her.

What was I doing? I never lied to my mom before—we had an honesty policy. Our ‘honesty policy’ was an agreement my mom and I created together when I was a little girl. It said that we were never to lie to one another unless it was extreme circumstances like the year dad planned a surprise party for my mom and I wasn’t supposed to tell her—because if I did, it would have wrecked the surprise. Otherwise, we were to be honest with each other.

I didn’t really lie though-- I just used the word forgot rather than didn’t know-- Maybe I really did forget with all the things happening. Just maybe, Aaron gave me the book and I unconsciously put it in my backpack. Great! Now, I was lying to myself.

“Oh this fell out of your book,” she said handing me a tattered folded piece of paper. “In case you’re wondering,” she continued, “I didn’t open it. I respect your privacy.”

This morning was turning out to be one of those days when you wished you stayed safe in bed. Filled with guilt for the partial lie and now her declaration of how she respects my privacy I did the only thing I could do.

I smiled an uttered a “Thanks mom,” stuffing the note in my back pocket as I leaned in and kissed her on the cheek before I grabbed my coat and out the door, walking quickly to the bus stop.

Once at school, I scanned the hallways in between class, hoping to catch a glimpse of Aaron, Andrea or some recognition of any of the other dragons I saw in human form my first night at Barkers Island.

Class after class went by without seeing any of them—I was hopeful, that at lunch Andrea would be there, for my mind was consumed by theories about the bloody hand/claw print.

“That maybe it wasn’t blood at all but red clay. Aaron could have gotten it on his hands/claws before he put the book in my backpack when I was sleeping” or “it was just a prank one of the other dragons was pulling to scare me.”

Though my theories were plausible—I could find loopholes in all of them—except two--, one that Aaron was hurt and the other that it was a prank. If only I could find Aaron or Andrea, they might know.

Lunchtime came and I decided to buy my lunch. The line wasn’t very long—grabbing an apple, a salad, and a bottle of water—I proceeded to the cashier.

She looked bored as she said, “$2.20” while she held out her hand for the money.

I reached in my back pocket pulling out the cash I had stashed there when I noticed the note that had fallen out of the ‘Norse Mythology’ book this morning. Hanging on to my two one-dollar bills and fishing in my front pocket for the twenty cents- finding two dimes. I dropped the money into her hand, snatched up my tray, scanned for a seat where Andrea (if she was at school) could find me, and a little privacy to look at the tattered folded paper. I found the perfect table. It was close to the cafeteria doors—so that Andrea wouldn’t miss me—as well as the space was busy enough for now one to care about what I was doing.

I opened the paper carefully; afraid if I hurried I would tear it, and spread the note out in front of me.







I know I have seen symbols like this somewhere, but where; maybe in history class when we were studying ancient Egypt.

“Hey, I heard their serving ‘wing dings’ today!” A student said loudly to his pal as they walked to the lunch line, disrupting my thoughts.

All through lunch, I studied the note trying to decipher any of it, while automatically taking bite after bite out of my apple. The salad was forgotten.Br-i- ng….the bell rang out; time to move on to my next class. Disappointed, I jammed the note in my backpack, stuffed the leftover lunch in the trash, hopeful that Aaron would be in Biology to ease my fears and explain what was going on.

In the hallway my head started throbbing, at first a dull pain just behind my ear, it steadily increase as I made my way to class. “Stress headache,” I muttered, trying to comfort myself as the pain in my head amplified.

“Kyra.. Kyra…” I heard someone behind me whisper, I turned around towards the sound to see who said it, but all I saw were a sea of faces bobbing to their next class. I must be imagining it, I thought. Until I heard my name, being whispered again only this, time more urgent. “What!” I replied, frustrated as I abruptly spun around and smacked into Mr. Wilson my biology teacher, almost knocking him off his feet. He was so shocked he could only sputter and shake his head as I offered him a quick apology and scooted off to my next class hoping the time would go by quickly. As I sat in class waiting for it to be over; the thrum in my head worsened, I started to shiver from the pain. “Just a little bit longer,” I coaxed myself trying to hold out until biology. Than I would ask Mr. Wilson for a pass to go to the nurses office, but only after I talk to Aaron.

“KYRA!” I heard someone scream, as I started trembling uncontrollably as an intense pain tore through my head. Blinding me as my body plummeted off my chair down to the cold tiled floor. I never heard the bell ring for biology.

“Kyr.. ra..,” a ghostly voice whispered in the night; the moon lighting up everything around me in an ethereal blush; I saw waves undulating far below me, embracing the rocks that jutted maliciously out of the water, reaching for me, calling my name. I teetered on the edge of the precipice imploring my body not to reply. I could only watch, feeling the alarm rise up in me as my arms reached out to them. “Ky…ra” they called, “come to us..” I wobbled, resisting, as my feet stirred moving closer to the edge. Amongst the waves, sitting on the largest rock I could see a gloomy figure, battered and bloody looking up at me with big sad eyes. “Kyr.. Ra” it called up at me, “RUN!” The dark silhouette’s command shocked me out of my stupor. Regaining control over my body and mind, I spun around and ran howling “Noooo…!” as I realize the broken figure on the rocks, had been Aaron in his dragon form. I found myself running through the wood, branches slashing, grabbing at me trying to stop my plight. When I could run no more, I tumbled to the ground and sobbed. I wept for Aaron, wondering if he was still alive or if the crashing tide washed him away. I cried for myself, lost, afraid, and confused. Wondering how I got to the cliff when my last memory was of me sitting safe in my class at school, waiting for the bell to ring, for my next class was biology. The only class I had Aaron in; who might hold the answers that I needed.

A shadow flickered across the ground. Looking up I saw a large dark shape looming just above the trees, directly over my head. I crouched lower, burying my head in my arms, trying to shield myself from its view. “Kyr.. ra,” it sang to me, it words vibrating through my mind, “don’t be afraid.” I heard the rustling of branches as it made its decent. I looked up, startled to see Andrea, my friend, looming over me. She was more beautiful than I remember, as the moonlight shimmered in waves off her dark lavender scales. I tried to find the words to tell her about Aaron, to ask her what was happening, as she gently picked me up and placed me on her back. “Hang on,” she called, her voice soft as a lullaby “I’m here to bring you home.”


Oh I almost forgot it is young adult fiction

Update 2:

Over the last three months I have had no feedback on it- I am up to 30,000 words and another probally 30,000 until it is completely finished.

This is not my first attemp at a novel, the others I tried to force from short stories I had written into novels- this became a novel from the beginning.

Its taken me 20 years to start writing again.....

Update 3:

I need honesty - critique - for a publisher is not out there just to be nice to everyone.

Update 4:

exert first chapter-

to help clarify....

My world is falling apart. The world I thought I knew. The world where I felt apart of instead of the outcast I feel like now.

How did this happen? I kept asking myself. How am I so different from my peers? My wants, needs, desires... My reactions to them over stepping my boundaries- the boundaries of humanity, while they talk to me and treat me anyway they please. Expecting me to roll over and play dead or abide to their wishes as if I am some genie in a lamp. Cutting me off with anger when I do not abide or struggle to tell them no. Why do I have to be like them? Why do I have to be like everyone else? As if, I was to be supposed to be created in their image instead of my Gods. Doesn’t it say we are supposed to turn the other cheek to find understanding of one another, compassion, acceptance…?

5 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer


    What you have in your present manuscript is basically a plot outline. It reads ok as play by play but it needs to be more descriptive and draw the reader in. I will try to give you an example, but it will not necessarily fit the character or relationships you are creating. One more point, try to use 3rd person in your narration. It is a bit of a fine sticking point, but 1st person is considered a bit to egocentric for most writing.


    From across the ripening fields or wheat, etched in frames of thatched village hearth smoke, the dragon and child played. Sinister scales of crimson and royal purple reflected the late October sun's last rays as if surrounding them in breathed flame, and yet no malice shown in a dance of equals of friends even from so far away their laughter could not be heard.

    Source(s): Just given you an idea. Paint you characters, love them take them out like cherished toys and play with them. Then your readers will also love them.
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  • 1 decade ago

    Sorry, but you did not grab and keep my attention in the first couple of paragraphs. If some one is checking a book out either to borrow from a library,or to buy from a bookshop, the first two paragraphs is usually all they read before deciding.

    Stay on the subject, don`t dart about, it could be good, sort and tidy it a bit.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I strongly recommend that you not post chapters of your book (even draft chapters) to any site, including this one. You risk someone taking the copy (or the underlying ideas) and using it as their own. Try joining a writing organization or finding a writing buddy. Also, keep the mystery. Share your writing with a friend or two, but withhold the details from the rest. Too much hype and distribution will kill the book when it's eventually published (and it will be published if you do what 98% of writers don't do--actually finish the book). Good luck!

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  • 1 decade ago

    wow that was great i wish i could read more keep up the good work. you have great you have any publish novels if not you will you are really good.i read the whole thing could not stop .

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  • 1 decade ago

    This is a good book i didnt read the whole thing but its good

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