About a week later, I was in school. I was sitting my my locker and a few bullies walked past, but for once, they ignored me.
Dell sat next to me and said “Do you have a GC meeting today?”
GC meetings were what we called my visits to the guidance counselor. GC standing for Guidance Counselor.
“Yeah.” I said. “But not until later.
“Oh. I'm tired. I didn't sleep well. Kill any dragons lately?” asked Dell.
“No. I've been waiting for one to get caught in my trap.” I said with a sigh. “I should just take it down. They don't seem to be very interested in me lately.”
“Yeah, I haven't seen any lately either.” said Dell. “It's weird. They all just seemed to just... Go.”
“I know. It's very weird. Oops. I got to go meet Hope. See you later.” I said.
“Becca! Want to come over to my place once you're done?” called Dell.
“I'll ask Hannah, but yeah!” I called back as I ran down the hall.
I ran into the office and said “Sorry I'm late!” but it wasn't Hope sitting there. It was a man.
“Who the hell are you?” I said.
“I'm the substitute GC.” said the man. “You must be Rebecca Jones. Hope warned me that you would be coming. My name is Jason Gaunt.
Gaunt was right. The man was tall and dark and he had a sort of sinister look about him. I blinked and said “I'm not talking to you!”
“Why not?” he asked, sitting down. He was dressed all in black.
“Because you wouldn't understand my problem. When is Hope getting back?” I asked.
“Tomorrow.” he said.
“Then I'll talk to Hope tomorrow.” I said.
“She said you might take it this way. She wouldn't tell me much about you and she wouldn't share her notes, but I assure you, I am just like her. Now, what's bothering you, Rebecca?”
“Right now: You. You're dark and sinister looking! I'm not talking to you. Tell Hope I'll spent two hours with her tomorrow.” I said. I stood and left, even though Gaunt-guy called me back a few times.
When I got home, David said “You're home early. No meeting today?”
“There was, but some Jason Gaunt was there instead of Hope, so I left. I'll spent two hours with Hope tomorrow.” I said. David sighed and said “Does Hope know that?”
“I told Gaunt to tell her.” I said with a shrug. “Is Hannah home?”
“No. Not yet.” said David.
“Right. Tell her than I'm spending the night with Dell.” I said. David smiled. My whole family knew who Dell was now.
“Okay.” said David. I left a note for Hannah because I knew that David would forget to tell her.
I walked to Dell's house and her mom let me in.
“Dell's room is up the stairs and it's the first one on the right.” said Dell's mom. I ran up with a hurried thanks and walked in.
“Hi, Becca.” said Dell, not looking up from her book. She put the book away and looked up at me, smiling.
“What's that?” I asked. She smiled even more and said “I'm writing a book about Dragons and Fairies.”
“Can I help?” I asked. Dell smiled more and said “I was hoping you would want to. Okay, I'm writing down facts about Dragons. What do you know? I figured you're the expert.”
“Well, they're very smart. They didn't go for my trap at all. You know, we should go try and find one. A Dragon, I mean. It's been too long since I last saw one.” I said. Dell nodded and said “Yeah. Is the Kingdom good?”
“Yeah, I went the day after it was attacked and it was fine. The Dragons are still gone and the Queen refuses to tell me anything.” I said.
“I wonder why. I mean, you are the Dragon Slayer, after all.” said Dell.
“I know. I think she's hiding something.” I said with a sigh. We sat in silence and then we both saw a flash of lightning and heard thunder. I smiled and said “Storm Dragons.”
“What?” asked Dell.
“Storm Dragons! They love a good storm. C'mon.” I said.
“But it's not raining!” said Dell.
“Not yet it isn't! We're not made of paper. We won't melt.” I said. We ran out to the beach and I saw Storm Dragons circling the skies.
“Dragons!” I yelled, excited. I pulled out Stella Ensis and handed something to Dell. “This is a weapon. It's my back-up in case something happens.”
Dell took it and I used a magic powder to make us fly to the Dragons.
Dell wasn't actually very good at fighting Dragons. But, then again, neither had I when I first started.
When they were dead, I said “Did you like it?”
“No! I'm all wet now and my mom is going to wonder what happened!” said Dell, but she was laughing.
We got back to Dell's house and Dell changed clothes. I was skilled at killing Dragons, so I didn't get very wet.
We both worked on the Dragons book for a while, then went to sleep.
I woke up in the middle of the night. It was very dark, but Dell's mom seemed to still be awake. I walked downstairs and Mrs. Clemons turned to see me. She had been talking to a man and she said “Are you okay, Rebecca?”
“Fine. Just thirsty.” I said. Mrs. Clemons got me some water and I went back to Dell's room. But I stopped when I heard Mrs. Clemons arguing with the man. I peered out back out into the living room and the man and Mrs. Clemons were whispering an argument, but they were getting louder. But that wasn't the problem. They were talking about Dell.
“Maria, Dell has... illusions of Dragons! We can't ignore this.” whispered the man. “She's my daughter, after all.”
“I don't care, George. Dell isn't insane! It's just her imagination. It's a game that she and her friend plays.” said Mrs. Clemons.
“Then what were they doing on the beach? Dell was all wet and the other girl didn't have a drop on her!” said the man. “Face it, Maria. Dell has schizophrenia.”
I walked out and said “That's not true. Dell is not crazy!”
“Rebecca, this has nothing to do with you.” said Mrs. Clemons.
“Yeah, it does! Look, if you want us to play Dragons at my house instead, then I'll respect that choice. But otherwise, we're not going to stop. We both really like to play Dragons!” I said. Mrs. Clemons looked at the man and he rolled his eyes and said “Dell is crazy! She has schizophrenia.”
“You think I'm insane?” I heard Dell whimper from behind me. I turned to see Dell in pajamas, with tears running down her cheeks. “You think I'm insane, Dad?”
I put my arms around Dell and she sniffed. Dell's dad looked at her and then looked at Mrs. Clemons. “I'll see you tomorrow, Maria.” and he left. Dell burst into tears and ran down the stairs, opened the door and screamed “I hate you!” and slammed the door. I ran down to her and she cried into my shoulder. “Do you want me to go?” I whispered. She shook her head and I said “Okay. I'll stay.” and we sat there for a moment and then Mrs. Clemons said “I'll make some hot chocolate.” and so she went into the kitchen.
Dell and I moved to the couch and Dell curled up and said “Am I insane?”
“No, Dell. We're both normal. We have Sight and no one else does. We can see what they can't.” I said. Dell nodded and said “Yeah. You're right.”
The next morning, I went home. Hannah asked me how it was and I told her it was fun.
“Did you two kill any dragons?” asked Hannah.
“Yeah, actually. They've been hiding, but some finally came out. We killed some and then went back to Dell's house. It was great! Anyway, I've got to go and see Hope.” and I went to the school.
Hope was expecting me of course. We sat down and she said “So, what did you do yesterday?”
“Well, after I got to Dell's house, I finally saw Dragons! We fought them and Dell's not very good at it. She'll get better, though. Her dad showed up in the middle of the night and Dell overheard him saying that she was insane. She was pretty upset.” I said. We talked for another two hours and then the session was over.
When I got back home Hannah and I had an argument about my room.
“You painted it with your paints and you have clothes all over your floor! said Hannah.
“You said I could paint my room with my paints, remember? And it's not like Dave and Logan care about my room.” I said.
“That's because they're boys! No offense.” added Hannah to our brothers.
“None taken, Sis.” said Dave and Logan in harmony. We kept arguing and I got madder and madder until I shouted “You're not Mom! However much you may look like her, you're nothing like Mom! You never believe a word I say and you never talk about Dragons the way she would. You don't even know me!” and I ran to my room and slammed and locked my door. There were two jackets on the floor and a hat. I picked up the hat and put it on and I put the jackets away. I grabbed a slip of paper with Hope's address on it, my sketchbook, and a pencil with an eraser and unlocked my door. I walked out of the house with Hannah calling me back. I ignored her and kept walking. I always walked and when I was extremely mad and I usually didn't talk at all. I was very, very pissed off and I decided I hated Dragons with a fiery passion. I wanted to challenge someone. Anyone. I walked more and soon, I was at Hope's house. I knocked on the door, but she wasn't home. I walked to the curb and sat down. I started to draw Mom. They way she had looked before she had gotten poisoned.
“Rebecca?” I heard. I turned and saw Hope walking up. I stood and she said “Is something wrong, Becca?”
“Hannah and I had an argument.” I said with a sigh.
Hope smiled and said “Why don't you come in?”
I followed her into her house and she said “Do you want to chocolate milk?”
“Sure. Thanks.” I said. I sat down at the kitchen table and watched her.
“Do you want to talk?” Hope asked.
“I don't know.” I said. “I mean... No, I don't. I just wished someone other than me could see Dragons. That's all. I wished that Hannah believed that they exist.”
“I do.” said Hope.
“Really?” I said.
“I never did forget that first session we had.” Hope said with a laugh. I smiled slightly and said “Yeah.”
I thought for a moment. “Hope?” I asked.
“Yes?” she asked.
“Would you like to see a Dragon? Really see one?” I asked.
“Why not?” she asked. I smiled and opened my bag. The bag was crammed full of magic items. I pulled out a thin bottle of clear liquid and said “This is tasteless. Take only a drop of it.” and I handed it to her. She put a drop on her finger and the put it in her mouth. She frowned for a moment, then rubbed her eyes.
“Mm, I'm feeling tired.” she said.
“It'll wear off in a minute.” I said. Soon enough, her eyes widened and she said “Okay. Now I feel wide awake.”
“Great!” I said. “Let's see...” I pulled out Stella Ensis and said “Do you see what I'm holding?”
Hope's eyes widened more (if possible) and said “That's- That's-”
“Stella Ensis.” I said. She nodded slowly and said “C'mon.” and she followed me out as I put the sword back into my bag. I stopped dead. The Dragons were back and flying about. Hope screamed and said “What the hell!”
I turned to her and said “This is how I see the world, Hope. Dragons.”
She looked at me and said “And you kill those things?”
“Yup. Some hare harder than others.” I said. I walked up to a sleeping on on Hope's front lawn and stabbed it. It vanished like it always did and I said “See? Not hard at all. I tend to kill them where others can't see me, but whatever.”
Hope walked back inside and said “When does this stuff wear off?”
“No idea.” I said. “Queen Amelinda didn't tell me.”
Hope sat down and said “Bloody hell.”
“I know right?” I said. “I'd give this stuff to Hannah, but I can't waste it.”
“Then why did you give it to me?” she said.
“Because you said you believed me. Hannah doesn't.” I explained. “Dell can see them too.”
“Really?” she asked.
“Well, not all the time like I can, but still.” I said.
“Why didn't you tell me?” she asked.
“I had to protect Dell. Everyone thinks I'm crazy, but Dell has the sense not to tell anyone that she can see them.” I said. “Dell is my only friend. But the Dragons have been acting... Odd lately. They vanished altogether for a long while. But now they've come back again. But only a few. I'm not sure why.”
Hope didn't answer. She seemed rather shocked still and so I said “Do... You want me to leave?”
She didn't answer so I said “I'll go now.” and I stood and walked to the door.
“Rebecca.” said Hope. I turned. “This is a big battle you're fighting. Make sure you're on the right side.”
She stood and walked out. I went home and Hannah said “Where the hell did you go?”
“Nowhere.” I said. I went to my room and saw a note on my bed. I opened it and it said If you want a battle, meet me on the beach, Sunday afternoon.
I looked around and saw a Dragon staring at me. It flew off and I crumpled the paper. Tomorrow was Sunday.
I waited on the beach for a long while. I was half an hour early and I suddenly saw a few people coming up the beach.
“Ah, nuts.” I groaned. It was the three stupid bullies from school. They saw me and then walked up to me and started to laugh.
“Whatcha waiting for, Biker Girl.” Jade asked. “Make-believe dragons?”
“What are you doing? Looking for little kids to beat up? Pick on someone your own size!” I said.
“Like... You?” she asked. Her fist met my face and I stumbled back. My nose was bleeding. I stood, but she punched me again. Her friends grabbed my arms and I finally used their weight against them and flipped them over. I punched Jade's face and then tackled her to the ground. She rolled me over and then she was pulled off me.
Dell had come. Jade turned around and hit her. Dell stumbled back and fell. I stood and wiped the blood off my face.
“Okay, Jade.” I snarled. I took off my hate and threw it aside. I pulled out the formula I had used with Hope and tacked Jade to the ground. I eventually got a drop of the stuff into her mouth and she stood up, coughing.
“Jade!” I shouted as I pulled out Stella Ensis. She looked at me and screamed her bloody head off.
But not at me. I turned and said “Oh. My. God.”
“What the hell is that?” Dell screamed. I turned to look at her and said “It's Ladon. King of the Dragons.”
Ladon had one-hundred heads, all like black snakes, hissing and snapping at me. And when the spoke, they all spoke at once, in perfect harmony.
“Magistra Sanguis. I see you have come for our battle.” he said.
“Are you kidding me? How the hell am I supposed to kill you?” I shouted.
“You're not. You are the one I shall be killing.” he snarled and he lunged at me.
I chopped off a head and rolled. Jade, her two friends, and Dell ran to find cover. I jumped onto Ladon's back and stabbed him best I could.
Our battle went on for some time. Each time Stella Ensis clashed with his scales, a crash like thunder came. I finally saw his underbelly and I stabbed. He screamed in pain and I pulled down until his belly had been split open. He turned into black smoke and retreated. And I fell and fell and fell until I hit the ocean, a mile below me.