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
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.
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.
“Oh...er...I’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.
But how was today's amazingly planned post?
Did you like the story?