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Dan and the dragon, p.1
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       Dan and the Dragon, p.1

           Andrew Nicholls
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Dan and the Dragon
the Dragon

  By Andrew Nicholls

  © 2013 Andrew Nicholls




  Breakfast and ink stains

  School as usual

  A bad day



  Secrets, secrets!


  The Pits!



  A helping hand

  The dragon’s lair



  Shaky awakenings



  Homeward bound


  Sshhhh. Dan is sleeping. Dan is sleeping and Dan is dreaming. Dan is dreaming of witches, of wizards. Of Monsters, Goblins, Elves and dark places. He is dreaming of the things that make your hair prickle on the back of your neck. Dan is dreaming of heroes, knights in shining armour. And DRAGONS!! Yes. Dan is dreaming of dragons. But he’s not just dreaming of any old dragon. Dan is dreaming of his dragon! For you see, Dan has a dragon. It was quite by chance and with a lot of luck, but a dragon nevertheless. He has known this particular dragon for what seems like an age. And perhaps it is! And perhaps it isn’t! He has seen many things that you and I can only dream about. He has been on countless adventures to faraway places and faced danger at every turn. But with his heart racing and eyes popping, palms sweating and nerves jangling, he’s always had the dragon to protect him. For you see, he as good as rescued the dragon. Rescued the dragon from, well, let me take you back to where it all began!


  Dan awoke. The glint of the knight’s armor was replaced by sunlight, which streamed into his bedroom between the chinks in his curtains. The light fell on Dan’s face, warming the skin, making him blink hard. Dan lifted the warm duvet over his head, welcoming the dark once more. What was his dream? Dan remembered fragments, pieces of a jigsaw, which he couldn’t yet solve. He remembered running. Running away from?

  Yawning, Dan rose out of his bed and, stood rubbing his eyes in his favorite pajamas. They were dark blue, with a monster on his breast pocket. Dan loved monsters! In fact, Dan loved anything scary. He wished he could take a few with him to school. They wouldn’t laugh then..... Would they?

  Stumbling around his room, discarded toys tossed about like litter on a windy day, he reached the mirror.

  “Wish I was bigger”, muttered Dan to himself. “Wish I was bigger.....they wouldn’t laugh at me then, would they?”

  Dan surveyed the scene.

  Although Dan was nine years old he appeared younger than his years. Skinny legs, milk bottle white with sticky out knees held up a short, narrow body. On top was the head. Stickier out bits, ears this time were placed either side framed by a mop of curly brown hair. Dan kept it short. The longer it grew the curlier! Especially at the back which was noted for being useful to tug at! Yes, Dan kept it short all right! Pale skin!

  “Get some sun boy! You should play outdoors more”. The teachers used to comment often like this. Dan would always mutter back,

  “But I do, all the time!” They never believed him though. The strange thing was it was true. He always played outdoors. He looked back at the window. Through the chink in the curtains he could just make out the wood.....

  Dan stared back at his image in the mirror. The mirror image stared back. He closed his eyes and was just beginning to remember more of his dream. A knight on horseback, fighting. Fighting what though? Oh yes, now he remembered. Fighting a.....

  “You awake Dan? Best foot forward. School today in case you have forgotten!” Dan’s mom waited for a reply before moving off to his sister’s room.

  “Ok then mom. I’m up!”

  After showering, Dan returned to his room to find the bed made and uniform placed neatly on top. There was a white shirt, grey jumper and grey trousers. Dan noticed the faint ink stain on the left trouser knee. Sitting in class, dreaming, Dan hadn’t noticed the leaky biro, which emptied most of its contents onto his knee. Too busy imagining faraway places to worry about the here and now. How the others had laughed! Toasty smells wafted into the room, focusing Dan’s attention immediately. He was, after all, rather hungry!


  Mom was busy in the kitchen, washing up a few cups from last night’s cocoa session. Turning, she studied Dan for a few fleeting moments before returning her attention to her task.

  “I couldn’t shift that ink stain I’m afraid. I wish you would be more careful, they cost money you know”. Dan noticed the sternness in his mother’s voice and tried to steer the conversation away from his obvious failings.

  “Any marmalade mom?” inquired Dan innocently as he spread thick layers of margarine onto his rapidly cooling toast.

  “All out, Jenny just had the last! Have to make do with that,” replied mom, cocking her head into the direction of the blueberry jam laid out on the table. Dan wrinkled his nose and was about to complain about the fact that his sister always seemed to get the best of everything, when he remembered the stained trousers and decided to keep quiet this time!

  Monday morning. Dan couldn’t believe his weekend came and went so quickly. He longed for the next one when he could do what he liked, go where he liked, especially...

  Mom was rushing around the kitchen as usual, doing ten things at once or so it seemed to Dan anyway. She gave him his rucksack containing homework, books, pens and pencils. The sandwich box was placed on top and the flap buckled down securely. A quick peck on the cheek from mom, then with a quick flick of her head, sent both Jenny and Dan on their way. Opening the front door, both children stepped out into a new morning.


  Dan trailed behind as he usually did in the morning walk to school. He didn’t mind walking on his own. It meant he could walk at his own pace; stretching out the time it took him to walk the fifteen minutes to his school. His mind wandered, as it often did, back to his latest dream. He remembered it fully now. The knight had been fighting a dragon. A big red dragon! The dragon had been chasing Dan through a dark, dense, foggy wood. A gleaming knight, who attacked the dragon, had saved Dan from his fate. Dan had awoken before the fights conclusion but was confident that the dragon would win! Dan was so busy daydreaming that he hadn’t heard footsteps behind him until a voice called out to him.

  “Dan, hold on. Wait for me!”

  Lucy was Dan’s best friend and like Dan was a bit of a dreamer too. She was slightly taller than Dan and looked older by a good two years, even though they were in fact the same age. She had plain brown hair, nothing special with deep dark brown eyes. Lucy also sported a serious amount of freckles, which covered her nose and cheeks. Dan soon involved Lucy in his latest dream and they chatted merrily until they reached the school gates.

  The playground was busy with screaming, running children. A football match, involving half the school it seemed, was under way. A fight broke out between two of the older children and a passing teacher quickly pounced, pulling the children apart and quickly taking them into the school. No doubt to the headmaster’s office!

  Dan closed his eyes and wished himself far away to the quiet, tranquil wood.


  3.30 p.m. The bell rang and Dan was only too glad to be able to pick up his books and scurry out of the school. Today had not been a good day for Dan. In fact the whole week had been nothing short of a disaster, but today, Friday, was the worst on record! A classroom incident had started it. Dan had been daydreaming and completely missed the teachers question to him. How the others had laughed, especially Peter. But of course, Peter couldn’t leave it there could he? Oh, no! Peter had come up with some witty remark, which the others, including the
teacher found most amusing.

  The day continued from there. A bad result in a science test followed, and ended by getting picked last at football in P.E. At least Dan had scored a goal.

  “Pity it was an own goal though!” mused Dan to himself.

  He trudged slowly home, alone.

  By the look on his face, mom guessed Dan wasn’t a happy bunny!

  “Good day today Dan?” mom inquired innocently.

  “Kay I suppose” muttered Dan, not looking up from the difficult task of untying his shoelaces.

  “If there’s anything you want to talk about...” his mom’s voice trailed off as she walked into the kitchen to continue cooking tea.

  Dan washed and changed before joining his mom in the kitchen.

  “I don’t like Peter at school. He’s always horrible to me”

  “If he’s anything like his mother, I’m not surprised” chuckled mom and quickly added,

  “But don’t say I said that, okay?”

  After tea, Dan watched telly. Although the programme was one of his favourites, Dan wasn’t there at all. He was in the woods, stalking his prey or crashing through the trees as if someone or something was after him! Dan loved the woods, and soon? Yes, soon he could go and play in the woods. Dan smiled and continued to watch the telly, eagerly waiting for the dawn of the following day.
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