Friday, 27 January 2017

The Adventures of Lando Erif :: The Day We Wrecked the Lunch Machine (Pt. two)

*awkward first sentence*

I have a zilch supply of inspiration for writing an original introduction. It just doesn't work out nicely. Someone either buy me 'introductions 101 writing course' or tell those introductions to start behaving themselves?

Basically, hello and welcome to part two of Lando Erif blowing up Dragon Island. I hope you're ready.

:: Part One ::

Running all the way across Dragon Island isn’t my idea of a leisurely morning.

Particularly with the knowledge the world could explode underneath at any moment. 

Not that I'm complaining or anything.

Sir George wasn’t in his office when we door-crashed the place, which is quite probably a good thing. Chances were that if he had been we’d either have taken way too long to explain and he wouldn’t believe is and he’d kick us out, or he’d kick us out right away without bothering to listen and march us back to the Kitchen immediately. 

Either way, we’d have all be doomed. 

As it was, we were in luck. As much as that word can be used when the island is about to blow up. We ran straight to the back room and out luck ran out. I slammed straight into Thomas as he stopped suddenly gazing in horror at the disarray of control panels and appliances.

“How are we gonna do this in time?” I groaned as we began to frantic search for something that might be labelled ‘Dragon Lunch Bay Kitchen’, or might have no label at all.

The seconds seemed like hours; we tripped over boxes of nuts and bolts, pushing aside crates of metal scraps.

“We’ll be too late,” Titus despaired.

“Here!” Thomas yelled excitedly, his auburn head appearing over a stack of pipes.

Titus and I scrambled across the room. Thomas had opened the side of the backup control box – it was labelled ‘DLBK’ – and was fiddling with wires. Titus grabbed a screwdriver from a nearby box and joined him.

I craned my neck and looked out the dirty window. “Hey guys, I can see the smoke from here, now,” I warned.

The twins grunted and worked faster. I hopped on one foot, don’t blame me for being impatient, the world was about explode at any minute. I wanted to be doing something.

An important looking switchboard on the wall attracted my curiosity. A big, yellow button was right in the center of it. I stepped closer, tilting my head to one side. There was a piece of paper taped under the button, it read ‘DO NOT PRESS THIS BUTTON’ in big, red letters.

“What’s this do?” I asked, turning to the twins. 

Yeah, maybe not the most helpful thing to say.

“No time,” Titus grunted around the tools in his mouth.

I looked from the button to the smoke to the twins and back to the button. I shrugged. “The world’s gonna explode anyway,” I murmured, and pressed it.

The lights turned off and the hum of electrical gadgets ceased. “I think I found the main power switch.”

Titus straightened and looked at me. “You just pressed the button with the sign saying not to press it?”

I nodded. “Um, yep.”

“Nice,” Thomas breathed. “I’ve always wanted to do that.”

“Me too,” Titus agreed.

“Shall we leave the repairs to the more experienced mechanics now?” I asked, grinning.

“I rather think that would be a good plan,” Thomas wiped his forehead with a grease coated hand, leaving a dark smear.

“Saving the world’s all very well, but sometimes I wish we had more time to plan,” Titus dusted his hands together. 

“We’d better leave before Sir George comes back,” I remembered.

Both twins rolled their eyes. “You’re tellin’ me,” Titus said definitely.

We left the room in even more disarray than we’d found it in, and hurried out into Sir George’s office.

Just at the same moment that Sir George walked through the opposite door.

There was a silence for a long second and then Sir George advanced deliberately across the room. “Shouldn’t you been doing Lunch Duty?” he addressed the twins in a dangerously neutral voice.

“Well, you see, Sir—” both began but got no further.

“What are you doing in my office?” he roared.

“We—” I tried to explain but Sir George had completely lost it.

“If it is anything less than saving the entire universe, I will personally roast you all in the microwave and throw you in the Dragons Sleeping Quarters for a week!” he continued in a deafening bellow.

“Horrible in there,” Titus whispered. “He did that when Thomas and I accidentally pitted a Water Dragon and a Fire Dragon against each other. And that time it wasn’t even us who did do it.”

Thomas raised a cautious hand. “Well, Sir, you see...we kind of did save the world.”

“NOT GOOD ENOUGH!” Sir George loomed over the three of us. “That’s it! You are all on Lunch Duty for the next six months! Now OUT!”

We all ran for the door. It slammed shut behind us with a crash that could've been heard by a deaf old granny a dozen kilometers away.

“Lunch Duty?” Titus groaned. “But we only just got off that.”

I scratched my ear. “Next time, let’s leave the world to explode.”

“Agreed,” Thomas said.

We retraced our footsteps to the Lunch Bay Kitchen, much slower this time. When we reached the building most of the smoke had dissipated, although the hundred and twenty jars of vegemite smelt more like smoked ham than vegemite.

I tugged open the large window, to let some fresh air in. “I’m hoping we can wait for the mechanics to fix the Spreader?” I asked.

“Yeah, I dunno about you guys, but I definitely don’t fancy the idea of make a couple thousand sandwiches by hand,” Titus said.

I sat on the bench, swinging my legs. “What do we do with all the smoked bread?” 

Thomas shrugged. “Eat it,” he suggested. “Something tells me that it might be wise not to go to lunch today.”

Titus pulled a vegemiteless slice out of the broken Spreader. He bit the corner off and grimaced. “As it is it tastes like burnt machinery,” he chewed the mouthful slowly. “It might be alright as toast, though.”

“If we had a toaster,” Thomas added.

“Toss me a piece?” I held out my hand. Titus obliged and I sniffed the slightly blackened slice. I screwed up my nose, Titus was right, it really reeked. I tried to blow off some of the black bits, but as I blew it only got darker. The pieces of bread that had been white turned a golden brown. I frowned a long moment before understanding dawned and I sank my teeth into the newly toasted bread.

“Quite nice actually,” I mumbled.

Thomas stared at the toast in my hand and then started to laugh. “How could I have forgotten. One would think that a Fire Breather was someone everyone had as a friend. We do have a toaster. The Lando toaster!” He handed me another slice. “Can I have some?”

I grinned and blew on his bread, toasting it with my breath and tossed it back to him. Very quickly I had a stack of bread to be made into toast. We leant against the bench and ate our private lunch of smoked and toasted Dragon Lunch.

I only had one or two accidents where I turned the bread into a pile of ashes when I became too excited and breathed fire on it.

Stuff happens, you know.

“This is the best lunch ever,” Thomas said, finishing his tenth piece.

I agreed, and would have said so, but for the fact that I had just attempted to fit a whole slice of toast into my mouth in one go. 

Just a tip for everyone: if you put an entire piece of toast, or bread, in your mouth do not try to talk.

It won't work. Trust me on this one.

I started to laugh and a burst of flame shot into my mouth and turned my toast to ashes. I stopped laughing abruptly and ran for the sink.

Thomas and Titus were doubled over in silent laughter when I turned around, having drained three full cups of the cold rain water. 

“Not funny,” I said, still pulling faces from the taste of charcoal that remained in my mouth.

“Oh yes. Not funny.” Both twins leapt to their feet and stopped laughing, faces dead serious for a full second before we all cracked into laughter

“We should do this every day,” Titus took another slice of toast from the pile. “Once we finish our ‘Automagic-Vegemite-Jar-Opener – with half a dozen special bonuses’ we’ll be able to sit back and relax half the morning.”

“Or maybe we’ll get a job of being the Island’s Inventors,” Thomas added. “I rather like that idea. We would ask never to be on Lunch Duty again and We’d call ourselves ‘The Talented Trio’, and—” 

A loud snort interrupted Thomas’s wishful dreams. 

I spun around to see a violet Dragon’s head right behind us. The black eyes blinked slowly, looking around the room. While we’d been enjoying ourselves so immensely, we’d failed to notice a small but curious – and probably hungry – Dragoness had come wandering up and stuck her head through the window and was now eyeing off the remaining smoked-bread-and-vegemite in the Spreader.

“Nice Dragoness,” Thomas murmured, backing away slowly. “There’s nothing in here that you would like.”

“Nothing except for bread and vegemite un-sandwiches,” Titus agreed. “Disgusting stuff really.”

The Dragoness bellowed loudly at the mention of vegemite, and pushed the window further open.

“Yikes!” I yelped, realising what was coming. I grabbed the twins and dragged them to the floor under the bench, just a moment before the Dragoness jumped through the window.

She landed, roaring, just centimeters away from my face and I jerked back sharply, my heart pounding. She swept her clawed hands in an arc, swiping at the Spreader.

I winced as the already broken machine shuddered and cracked under the blow.

The Dragoness began stuffing bread into her mouth, growling all the while. With each handful of bread, she splintered another part of the Spreader. 

“Don’t break the tank,” I found myself muttering. “Please, don’t break the tank.”

Please don't blow us all into oblivion, if you don't mind.

Hours seemed to pass as she devoured her lunch and I had almost made up my mind to make a dash for the door when she paused, shaking her tail to rid it of the machine parts that had become entangled around it. With a last triumphant roar she leapt onto the bench.

I flinched, ready for it to collapse on top of my head and squash us like bugs, but by some miracle it held and the Dragoness exited back through the window, smashing the glass as she went. 

“I think it's clear,” I panted, crawling out and standing up slowly.

The twins followed, their eyes wide.

We stood in a dejected row, staring at the relics of the Spreader. I looked at Titus and Thomas, the silence stretching longer.

I shook my head slowly, pushing a remnant of twisted metal with my foot. “This doesn’t look repairable,” I said. 

Both twins wordlessly shook their heads. Eventually Thomas spoke. “Nope,” he replied. “That is the end of the Spreader.”

We were silent for a moment or two, staring numbly at the ruined machine.

That, of course, was how we were standing when the door opened and two mechanics walked in, followed by Sir George. They all stopped and jaws dropping at the sight of the wreckage.

Silence thundered in the room, and I swear I could almost see Sir George's face getting redder every moment.

He turned his eyes to us. I recoiled as he drew in a deep breath.

“I can see another six months of Lunch Duty staring me in the face,” Thomas moaned.


Hey look! They didn't all blow up after all. Aw, how nice am I. 


Now I want you. Lando story ideas! 
(Clare's already submitted hers and should be pleased to know that it's coming next week) (provided I don't forget) To give an example, Clare's idea was: story about a shopping trolley dude who spoilerspoilerspoiler so Lando spoilerspoiler. Although naturally she didn't say the spoiler spoiler parts. I couldn't just tell you half the plot, now, could I?

What do you want to see in a Lando story?
(it can be a plot idea, a fantasy creature, anything at all) (within reasons) (actually who am I kidding. This is Lando. It can be out of reasons too if you want) (basically just go wild)

Monday, 23 January 2017

Cinnamon Apple Pie of Gloriousness

Am I the sort of person who would hug a laptop?

Just because there was a glorious photo of an apple pie on it?


Yes I am.

On Saturday I decided to try my hand at a new sort of pie. I've ticked off Mulberry pie, Raspberry and blueberry pie, and a mash of random fruits pie that I don't remember what I put in it.

But now I can add cinnamon apple pie to the list!

The inspiration for this pie came from Julia, after her pie photos set my stomach yelping for apple pie, but she didn't have a defined recipe to give me. Hence I looked up half a dozen and got the best two and smashed them together into some sort of a mishmash with my mulberry pie recipe until I had some random jumble of something.

Tasted good though.

I was rather nervous because to start off with the recipe was a mishmash invention of weirdness, I didn't know exactly what I was doing, and to top it off I accidentally put too much water in the pastry and it was a jolly lot more difficult than I appreciated to roll it out.

But when it was all flattened and mixed and filled and cooked it turned out to be a glorious a specimen of a first-time apple pie that I could've asked for.

It smelt sooo good, and the crust was all crumbly and cinnamon and sugar and I just wanted to eat it right then.

But no. I practiced some self control and waited for a full two hours (I'm not entirely sure actually) until after dinner. And it was worth the wait.

So much tasty.

I'm rather happy with how it turned out and I'm definitely going to be cooking it again. Along with mulberry, raspberry, blueberry, what-even-was-in-that pies. 

What is your favourite type of pie?
Ever made a pie yourself?

Friday, 20 January 2017

The Adventures of Lando Erif :: The Day We Wrecked the Lunch Machine (Pt. One)

Here we are again, another week done and gone past much faster than it had business to.

That said, it was a fun week nonetheless.

Now that it's back to Friday again, I too return to offer the first part of the next Lando story! You might have noticed the mentions of lunch duty in the first story? Well. Here you get to see more about it.

Also vegemite sandwiches.

A surprising amount of research went into this short story. Fun fact of the day: it takes approximately 120 jars to spread 5,238 sandwiches. 

The weird things writers can call research.

(if you missed on the first story, just hop over here and read!)

“The opening of this jar of vegemite heralds the beginning of the end.”

Thomas was standing on the long bench in the Dragon’s Lunch Kitchens. Holding up a vegemite jar in one hand, he continued his speech in a dramatic voice, “For three months, yes, three months – that’s ninety two days, if you wanted to know – my loyal brother and I have slaved away, making five thousand, two hundred and thirty-eight sandwiches every day, but no longer! After today we are free. No more Lunch Duty!” He glanced down. “How was that?”

I grinned. “Epic,” I assured him. I had decided to help the twins celebrate their release from their Lunch Duty punishment by lending a hand on their last day. “Now you’ll just have to do it when you’re next rostered on.”

“Wonderful thought isn’t it,” Titus said, surveying the huge pile of unopened jars. “I’d rather not see a jar of vegemite for another whole year.”

Thomas jumped off the bench and opened his jar. “There,” he said. “One down, one hundred and nineteen to go.”

“I guess this is why you start at morning tea time,” I said, picking up a jar. “How come there’s no butter?”

“Dragons are intolerant to dairy,” Thomas said, taking another jar off the stack.

“All the early starts were mostly so we could experiment,” Titus explained. “We’ve been inventing an ‘Automagic-Vegemite-Jar-Opener.’” These last words were said in an excellent salesman’s voice.

“Automagic?” I raised my eyebrows.

“We though it sounded more interesting than ‘automatic’, that was just too commonplace. Besides, the idea was magical,” Thomas answered. He was opening jars at the rapid pace that presumably comes from ninety two days’ practice.

“I do wish the dragons would ask for a change in their lunch,” Titus murmured. “Not that I’m complaining or anything, but after this long the very smell of vegemite makes me sick. At least today we’ll only have to open forty each rather than sixty.”

I placed my tenth jar in a socket on the Spreader, thankful that there was an invention that spread and sandwiched the bread for us.

Otherwise it probably would’ve been a good idea to start before breakfast.

Or maybe before midnight.

After we finished opening all the jars we started on the slices of bread. This was a little easier as it required less effort, but we needed ten thousand, four hundred and seventy-six pieces so it was a good thing that the twins were fast. If they were as slow as me we’d have been there all day, and probably all night as well.

And by that time the dragons would be feeling very put out.

“There,” Thomas let his breath hiss through his teeth. He turned to the controls and flicked the switches to ‘on’. The swishing clink of the knives scooping vegemite from the jars and onto the pieces of bread commenced.

“Right. Now for the—”

“We’re not finished?” I interrupted Thomas disbelievingly.

“I wish, we still have to collect the sandwiches once they’re made.” Thomas nodded with the knowledge of an experienced labourer. “It would be much better if the machine just dumped them onto a conveyer belt and then from there into the box. That’s one of the additions we’re planning.”

The sandwiches had to be taken off the racks and placed in wooden crates. I took the task of putting them into the box and the twins took care of grabbing them off the racks as they came past.

I had just gotten into the swing of things when things started going wrong.

Should’ve guessed it was all too easy.

I glanced up, ready for Thomas to hand me a sandwich, but he was empty handed. Titus passed me one, confusion written across his face. “It just stopped. The sandwiches are still getting spread but this part just stopped,” he said.

I frowned. “Has it ever done that before?”

“Not for the three months we’ve been here for,” Thomas said, peering into the mass of cogs and gears.

Titus went over to the controls. “Nothing wrong here,” he reported.

A crash sounded just after he spoke and the sound of vegemite sandwiches being made changed to one of grinding machinery.

“I guess there’s not meant to be smoke coming out of the Spreader.”

Maybe a stupid question, but sometimes things were a little on the strange side on Dragon Island.

Who knows, maybe they designed it to smoke?

“Not good,” Thomas stated. “There must be some kind of jam or breakdown. Switch it off, Ti.”

Titus pushed the switches to turn the machine off. Nothing happened. The Spreader continued to groan like something about to explode.

“I guess there’s also not meant to be smoke coming out of the controls?” I added.

“Really not good,” Thomas said.

Titus tried flicking every switch he could and his brother started looking around and fiddling with wires and screws.

I squinted through the equipment, a bright orange light caught my eye. Twisting to the side, I squeezed through a narrow gap. A metal tank stood behind the smoking mechanisms. On the side the orange light I’d noticed glowed at me. “Hey Thomas?” I called over my shoulder.


“Is the thing on this tank supposed to have an orange light and the numbers ‘196’?” I asked.

“196!” Thomas yelped. “Not good!” He grabbed the back of my shirt and dragged me back into the open. “You’re still alive,” he said, as if surprised by the fact.

“The controls are dead,” Titus cried. “I can’t get them to do anything.”

“The Arthur is under a serious amount of pressure,” Thomas said, rubbing his forehead. “Why does this happen today of all days?”

“Who’s Arthur?” I asked, wrinkling my nose.

“What. Not who. Someone called Arthur had a big ego and named it after himself.” Thomas copied my expression.

“Magic substance used to make this stuff work. If it touches dragons or other magic creatures it causes a massive explosion,” Titus said, frantically wrestling with leavers. “Basically, if that tank blows it at least half of the dragons here will detonate and that’s plenty enough to blast the entire ocean into steam. Not to mention the exploding vegemite.”

Well naturally. Dragons explode.

Just another thing you discover every day.

“Are there any backup controls?”

Thomas chewed his lip in an agony of uncertainty. “There may be some at the back of Sir George’s office,” he considered. “But if we ran all the way there and found out that there wasn’t we’d be in deep trouble.”

“We already are,” Titus pointed out. “But I’m not sure if we should…”

I looked back at the tank. “It says ‘213’ now.”

“Okay. We’ll risk it,” Titus said.


And boom. Everything blows up. The end.

Okay, maybe not. But you'll have to wait for next week to find out.

But just because I don't have options for you to pick and everything, don't hesitate to comment! It really excites me to know how you found my stories. :)

Do you think I should end this story with everyone blowing up kaboom and the end?
Or maybe something nicer?

Friday, 13 January 2017

The Adventures of Lando Erif :: The Day I Yelled at a Dragon (Pt. Two)

These holidays are confusing my brain. I have officially forgotten what day it is.

Until boom, it's Friday morning and I remember I should have a post ready.

And naturally I don't.

But that's not to say that you don't get something, because (as was stated last week) I'm brilliant at doing things last minute. (like my week's worth of maths that I frequently put off until I have to do it all on Friday)

(If you missed part one, no worries, just hop over here to read it!)

Note: if you find my brain, please put it on the ridgepole of your roof and I will send a dragon to come pick it up. Thank you.

Apparently Nets with a capital are more special than nets without one.

As I sprinted behind Titus, following toward ‘the Nets’ I didn’t know what to expect, but it wasn’t what I saw. Glowing, golden nets, stretched out with a post at the four corners, each emitting a slight electrical buzz. The Nets were about three meters square and there were three of them in a row, each with their own control board on the right hand support post.

“Get in!” Thomas yelled.

Titus vaulted in and I followed suit. Thomas stood by the control board, punching in the directions on the keypad. “When I’m finished, I’ll have less than half a second to get in. So be ready,” he said without looking up.

“Make sure you’re not sticking off the edge of the Net,” Titus instructed, his blonde hair glowing in the light of the Nets.

“Okay,” Thomas called. “Ready?”

“Good to go,” Titus replied.

Thomas took a deep breath and pushed a final button, lunging for the Net almost at the same time.

But he was too slow. My vision began to blur as the Net started humming. Just before Dragon Island disappeared, I reached out and grabbed Thomas’s arm.

My shoulder wrenched as darkness closed around us and I gritted my teeth. The world spun, blurring past in a whirl. In a moment, Sydney Harbour Bridge flashed into view.

We crash landed on a jetty. “Ow,” I groaned. Something was on top of me, no two somethings. My vision came into focus and I realised it was Titus and, to my great relief, Thomas as well.

“That was the worst ride ever,” he wheezed, staggering to his feet. “Outside the Net. Not good.”

“My arm’s sore,” I said, feeling my shoulder gingerly.

Titus grimaced. “You did just pull my little brother all the way from Dragon Island the Sydney. That’s no small feat, especially for first time on the Nets,” he coughed. “I don’t think the other time counts. Generally we have someone on the other side to guide us, so it’s normally a much smoother ride. But then, normally it isn’t so urgent.”

His words jerked me back to the situation at hand. “So how do we stop the Water Dragon?” I asked.

“We’ll have to locate it first,” Titus said, looking out at the calm water.

“I don’t think that’ll be hard,” I replied grimly, pointing in the opposite direction.

He swung his gaze to where I pointed and his eyes widened. “Woah, that warning seriously underestimated the ‘Large.’ He’s massive!”

If you didn’t know to look closely, the monster’s approach would look like an extra huge wave. But I could see the vicious green eyes flashing even from that distance and the slimy lumps of the dragon’s head. The Wild One’s body was hidden by water but the head was enough to show the vast size of the Dragon.

“We’ve got to get this over it,” Thomas said, his voice excited. He pulled a small Net out of his pocket. Seeing my incredulous stare he explained, “It does grow. Nets are magic after all.”

“Oh good, so long as it grows enough,” I said. “If we get over to that wharf just there we’ll be as close as we’ll ever get.” I frowned, something was familiar about that place, like I’d been there before.

The twins nodded agreement and I led the way at a run towards the wharf. I remembered dad and ran even faster. We had barely put a foot on the planking when we were stopped by an official.

“Wait up there mates,” he said sternly. “You can’t come rushing up here. This is the unloading dock.”

Titus and Thomas were stopped in their tracks. They exchanged a helpless glance and I could tell they were out of ideas.

“Please,” I said earnestly, thinking rapidly. “My dad works here, we were just going to see him.”

The man frowned, “What’s his name?”

“Matt Erif,” I told him, holding my breath. It had to work.

“Ah, you’re Matt’s kid are you? Well, all right then,” he nodded, stepping out of the way. “You can go along. Just don’t get in the way.”

“Thanks,” I said, before taking off down the wharf.

“Quick thinking,” Thomas said as we skidded to a stop at the end of the wharf. “I thought we were stumped there.”

The Water Dragon was much closer now, but still way out of throwing range. “How will we get him to come closer?” I asked desperately, looking around at the ignorant workers back down the wharf.

“I’m not sure we’ll have to,” Titus said slowly.

The blood drained from my face when I saw what he meant. The enormous Sea Dragon had changed direction and was headed straight for us.

The metres separating it from the wharf disappeared and in a scarily fast time I was staring straight onto the bright green eyes.

Then the head rose from the water. Seaweed plopped into the sea and streams of water dribbled off the gigantic head.

“Yikes,” I squeaked, my voice going several tones higher than normal.

The twins tried to dodge but the dragon was too quick for them. It shot a pumbling deluge of water on them and they both were knocked off the wharf with the massive force.

Then it turned to me, opened its mouth and water rocketed toward me at a speed which I would have thought impossible had I not seen it.

I dived to the decking, water pounded my back, flattening me to the boards. Clamping my lips shut, I rolled sideways, slipping away.

Thomas spluttered in the water behind me and I heard Titus muttering and the sounds of someone flopping on the wharf a little further away. Picking myself up, I glared at the dragon.

It seemed surprised that I hadn’t been mashed to a pulp. The huge head drew close, I dared not take my eyes off the wild green ones. “Thomas?” I said tentatively. “That Net would be good right now.”

A groan from the water was enough for me to realise that Thomas was in no condition for dragon catching just at that moment.

“Oh great,” I muttered under my breath, taking a careful step backwards.

The Wild One narrowed it eyes and let out a warning grumble.

“Oh. No going backwards then,” I said quickly, shuffling back a little as I spoke, hoping that it would be distracted.

The dragon opened its mouth and gave a thunderous roar. I could tell it was about to let rip with an even bigger gush of water than before, and if it did I was dead.

I opened my mouth to yell ‘Help!’ or something useless of that kind but then a strange heat surged up inside me and instead of ‘Help!’ I managed to yell flames.

Go figure. Apparently I could breathe fire.

Believe me, it was the greatest shock of my life to see a stream of fire pouring out of my mouth. I almost passed out in terror.

I ran out of breath (fire?) and doubled over, coughing and gasping for air. The Water Dragon was in no better condition. It opened and shut it mouth, making wretched gagging sounds. The dazzling emerald eyes were crossing and uncrossing, trying to make sense of what had just happened.

“Net,” I managed to gasp before doubling over again in a fit of coughing. My tongue felt like a scorched piece of bacon.

A golden blur whizzed past my ear, missing me by centimeters. The Dragon didn’t know what hit him before the magic of the Net expanded it and secured the Wild One firmly. In a moment the Net began to hum and the dragon shimmered out of sight.

“Was I imagining things, or did you just breathe fire?” Titus asked.

“I was wondering the same thing,” I replied weakly.

Thomas was still in the water. He’d been slammed by the main force of the water and still didn’t look the best for it. I offered him a hand.

“How did you throw a Net from in there?” I asked, my mouth still stinging.

“Didn’t. Titus did,” Thomas groaned, taking my hand.

Together, Titus and I got him out of the water. He lay groaning of the wharf, one hand over his eyes. “Remind me not to do this every again. I think maybe Sir George has an idea with sending out the more advanced recruits after Waters.” 

“Speaking of Sir George…” Titus shifted, eyes darting nervously. “Thomas and I'd better not be late for lunch duty or we’re gonna get in trouble big time.”

I glanced at him. “I suppose we’d better get go—”

“Lando?” A familiar voice interrupted me.

“Dad?” I gulped, turning around.

My father was standing a few meters down the deck, eyebrows in a low frown. “What are you doing here?” he asked. He looked at the twins and then at the place where the ReLocated Water Dragon had been.

“Um…I didn’t get blown up,” I tried hopefully.

“I think you’ve got a lot of explaining to do.”

- le end -

There we are. Lando story number one completed! It feels a little strange to be posting up short stories, rather than one long continuous one, but hopefully it works out. (And I'm still brainstorming other ideas to use later on)

So tell me all, how was it?
Are you ready for another story next week?
(assuming I actually remember xD)

Friday, 6 January 2017

The Adventures of Lando Erif :: The Day I Yelled at a Dragon (Pt. One)

Heralding the first post of 2017!! Naturally this post took a lot of deep thought and contemplation to think up, because the first post of the year is equally naturally very important.

No. Of course I didn't whip this up at the last minute when I remembered that I was meant to have a blog post for Friday and I had nothing ready. Why would you suggest a thing like that? (Cough cough)

Hence I have a brilliantly planned first part of the very first Lando Erif story!!! Writing The Day I Yelled at a Dragon (in 2015 I think) was my first ever excursion into Contemporary Fantasy and dragons and all that fun stuff, so revisiting it was quite fun. I skimmed through it a little and fixed a few small details of writing style, but as usual it's pretty much unedited, so sorry in advance for the mistakes. 

Are you ready? I 'm not totally am because I planned this all so brilliantly.

I never realised I could breathe fire.

I mean, my last name was backwards for ‘fire’ but surely that had been an accident. No one ever told me I was destined to be a Dragon ReLocator. That said, if they had I probably wouldn’t have believed them.

It all started when the street blew up.

The first explosion came from just a few houses away, and naturally I wanted to go check it out.

“No you don’t. You’re staying right here, Lando Erif. An explosion site is no place for an eleven year old,” my mum said firmly, and I recognised the ‘don’t cross me’ look on her face.

It was the sort of look that happened after I asked something she didn’t approve of.

“Okaaay,” I sighed, staring at the ceiling. “Don’t we have to evacuate?” I added hopefully after a moment.

Mum shook her head. “The apartment alarms would be going off if we did,” she replied. “Don’t leave this room.” 

“I won’t.” I switched my gaze to the window.

She narrowed her eyes. “Or you’ll be grounded for a month. Don’t think I won’t do it.” With that cheery goodbye, she shut the door behind her.

In hindsight, it was probably a good thing that she left.

I watched her out the window as she headed for the danger site. Rayna Erif used to be a firefighter so she knew what she was doing. I let the curtain fall back over the window, sighing again.

Why was life so boring?

I stared dully at a fly buzzing around the ceiling fan, wishing something interesting would happen for once.

A few seconds later the apartment exploded.

I was tossed across the room as the floor detonated below me. A torrent of flames burst through the doorway, exploding across the room. Fire flicked along the floor. 

I was too busy staring at the dragon to notice.

Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re saying. Dragons? Seriously? 

But no kidding. There was a dragon. In the apartment. In the middle of Sydney. Weird, huh?

The dragon pushed through the door, leaving the wall a crumbling mass of plaster smithereens. Orange scales flickered fire as the creature’s feet crunched dints into the floor. 

“Whoa,” I blinked. “Dude, this is weird.”

The roof crumbled ash from above the dragon’s head, and I realised it was destroying my house. “Hey, what d’you think you’re doing?” I said, almost speechless in my shock. “What made you think you could do that?” 

The dragon’s wide, red eyes swirled down on me, narrowing slightly. I took a step back, crashing into the wall. “Um…no offense or anything though,” I gulped.

“In there!” A shout interrupted the dragon, and two kids tumbled over the broken door and into the room. They ran at the dragon as if the flames weren’t there, throwing tiny Nets at the glowing monster.

It dodged, knocking down my bedroom wall in the process. Roaring in annoyance, it turned around and breathed a stream of flames at the two.

Naturally by that stage I was pretty much certain I was hallucinating the entire thing and all this was a product of my hyperactive imagination. 

Honestly, you can’t really blame me for that.

I squinted my eyes closed and opened them again. 

Nothing different.

There was still a dragon in my house. I narrowed my eyes, anger igniting. The dragon should have known better, this was my house and it had no right to blow it up. Only I was allowed to blow it up.

I stumbled forward yelling and waving my arms at the creature. “Go away!”

The dragon turned its bright eyes on me and roared. Flames poured over me, pushing me backwards with the force. I suddenly realised that it didn’t hurt. I stared at the fire and then down at myself. 

Cool,” I said aloud, then the dragon pounced on me.

It slammed me down on the floor, forefeet on my shoulders. Its long neck bent down, eyes flashing as it stared at me, as if considering whether to crisp me now or save me for dessert. Just when I was pretty sure it had decided to roast me, two golden Nets whooshed through the fire and landed over both me and the dragon.

The rope-like strands grew rapidly, tightening around us and the dragon forgot about Lando-dessert and started thrashing and pulling against the entangling snare. I yelled and tried to squeeze through the large weave of the net but it tightened further. 

“Gotcha!” one of the dragon-catchers cheered and I had a momentary glimpse of a grinning face below a tousled mess of auburn hair before the flames obscured my vision.

“Let’s send ‘im away!” the second one called. “One…Two…Three!”

As ‘three’ was called the Net began to hum and a sudden drowsiness washed over me. “Help!” The word didn’t come out as loud as it was meant to, the Net seeming to capture the sound.

Then the first dragon-catcher saw me. “There’s someone in there!” he yelped, starting forward.


The world dissolved around me.

I almost drowned when they threw the bucket of water on me.

The inconsiderateness of it, though. I was lying on the ground unconscious, so what do they do? They throw a bucket of water.


I jerked up, coughing and spluttering, hair plastered over my forehead. I opened my eyes, blinking in the bright sunlight.

This didn’t look much like ‘don’t leave the room.’

Half a dozen people were standing over me, all watching curiously. At least I wasn't roasted, my brain pointed out helpfully.

“Dragon,” I panted, spitting out a mouthful of water. 

My eyes fell on one of the strangers, a girl. She held the incriminating bucket in one hand, a second bucket, still full, in the other. I scrambled to my feet just to make sure she knew it wasn’t needed.

“What was that for?” I asked, wiping my soaked hair from my eyes. My shoes squelched uncomfortably as water dripped down from my t-shirt. 

The girl looked at the man standing next to her. “He told me to.”

“Who are you anyway?” I added, blinking and rubbing a drip of water from the end of my nose.

“Sir George,” the man began.

“Hold it a second. I’m Lando. Not Sir George.”

The girl holding the bucket snickered behind her hand. The man stopped, mouth open, and frowned. “I am Sir George.”

“Oh.” I rubbed the back of my neck awkwardly. “Like the one from the dragon fairy tale thing?” I blurted a moment later. 

“A bit like him,” Sir George replied, the frown darkening on his heavy brows.

“Okay,” I shifted from one foot to the other, glancing around at the watching group.

Sir George cleared his throat. “You lot,” he nodded at a group of whispering boys who looked a bit older than me. “Tell Frontrunner Aliella that we have a guest. Everyone else, get back to whatever you should be doing. Scarlette, find out what Titus and Thomas are doing.”

Everyone nodded and trouped off up a hill towards a large building on the ridge. The girl, presumably Scarlette, smirked at me again before starting away along the path, water sloshing in the one full bucket.

“What’s your name?” Sir George dropped a heavy hint. I was already beginning to work out that he wasn’t a person for tact.

“’m Lando Erif,” I said, still wondering what was going on. “Was that a real dragon?”

“The one in the Net with you? Yes, that was,” Sir George said. “How exactly did you end up in there?”

I shrugged and explained as well as I could. That said, I’m not the world’s expert on explaining, so it was a wonder Sir George understood any of it.

Sir George looked bored through the entire explanation, his half-closed eyes only making the words stumble out faster. When I finally finished he nodded slowly. “Hmmm, interesting. How about you come into my office and we have a little chat.”

A few minutes later Sir George closed the door behind us and we were alone in his private office. I sat, fidgeting, in the chair he gestured me to, one knee jogging nervously.

“So, Lando, would you like the short explanation or the long one?” Sir George asked, leaning back in his chair, his sharp blue eyes fixed on the ceiling.

“Short,” I replied hastily.

“Very well.” Sir George set his elbows on the desk, tips of his fingers steepled together. “Short explanation: Dragons exist. We’re here to track them down and ReLocate them here – a place where they can be dragons without hurting all the rest of the people in the world.”

I blinked. “Right,” I said. “That was only slightly…random. I suppose we all can’t be burnt by fire then?”

“We?” Sir George asked.

“Yeah, I put two and two together. There’s something special about you lot I’m like that. After all, are most people immune to fire?” I asked.

“No, they’re not. But we can be burnt by ordinary fire, just not dragon fire,” Sir George admitted.

“So it’s a good thing it wasn’t a real explosion that blew up my house, or I’d be barbeque right now,” I joked.

Sir George’s face remained deadly serious. I sighed, add zero sense of humour to the list.

At that moment the door bust open and two boys my age charged in. I recognised them as the same two that had been in my house chasing the dragon.

“Lando, allow me to introduce you to Titus and Thomas, two of our more – ahem – lively recruits.” Sir George huffed at the ceiling.

“Hey, Lando is it? Sorry about what happened back then, didn’t mean to ReLocate you,” Thomas said with a wide grin.

“Yeah, we only just noticed you when it was too late,” Titus agreed.

I looked from one to the other. “You brothers?” I asked, although the answer was already pretty obvious.

“Twins actually,” they answered together.

“Okay you two.” Sir George rose. “Give Lando a tour and you can explain what we do. I have places to go and you’re getting in the way.”

Titus jerked his blond head at me, leading the way out. We left the room, Sir George heading off along a well beaten track leading to the left.

“It’ll have to be a quick tour,” Thomas said, glancing at his twin. “We’ve got to get back to the lunch bay soon.”

“Lunch is good,” I said as the twins began to lead me up the hill.

“It’s not our lunch, it’s the dragons’ lunch. Their lunch time is much more dangerous.” He paused, waving a hand to encompass the whole island. “Welcome to Dragon Island.” 

“What’s that noise?” I asked as a loud buzzing started somewhere behind us.

Thomas frowned. “That’s the emergency call.” He turned back to Sir George’s office.

The buzzing got louder when we cracked open the door and snuck back in. A red light flashed on the computer screen on the desk.

Titus leaned over. “A Wild One,” he muttered, reading the alert aloud. “Not good.”

“What’s a ‘Wild One’?” I queried, squinting at the screen.

“A dragon gone wild. They’re big trouble. The one in your house was nothing, just a little confused and lost. That’s why we were sent to handle it,” Thomas coughed awkwardly. “What kind is it Ti?”

“Large Water Dragon. Currently just out of Sydney Harbour, and heading into it.” Titus whistled. “We’ve got to do something before he turns the Opera House into a water slide.”

I stared at the beeping locator. “My dad’s a wharfie in Sydney Harbour,” I said, my imagination flashing through a dozen different scenarios all at once.

Thomas chewed his lip. “We haven’t got much time. Sir George is busy and half of everyone else’ll be with him.” He looked at his brother. “That leaves us.”

“And me,” I added.

“You don’t know what you’re taking on,” he warned. “We’re resistant to dragon fire, but being drowned or smashed by water is something else entirely. Water dragons don’t like fire.”

“So all we need is a really big match,” I said. “Or maybe a toaster. You can count me in.”

“Toaster, I like that.” Titus nodded thoughtfully. “I should invent that sometime. A massive toaster gadget that—” He stopped. “Yeah…that was slightly off topic.”

Thomas looked from me to his twin. “Okay. Let’s go,” he said.

 - - -

So there you are! Your first peek at my playing with Contemporary Fantasy. Now, because this story kind of introduces all the characters, it had to come first, but soon enough (after part two and maybe another base story)  we can get to the fun part where you start having a say. aka, you get to toss random ideas at me and I turn them into a story.

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