Bump onna roof: Dragon

I couldn’t let the dragon stay, even though all my friends were safe now. Safer. A dragon inna area was bad news. So Cooper’n’me loaded up with stuff an’ went back. We kept eyein’ the sky, in case it was flyin’ over. But we found it still sittin’ onna roof where we’d left it. So we snuck back inna house, hopin’ for some cover while we figured out how to make a dragon go away.

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Cooper sat down an’ opened the Monster Cryptology book from Pip. It had a bit bout dragons, so we were lookin’ for ideas (like maybe they didn’t like mistletoe or somethin’).

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While he read, I checked my weapons. My sword was sharp, but the dragon was up so high, it probably wouldn’t be much help. Bow an’ arrows would be loads more useful. They were sharp too. Good.

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But I wasn’t sure if I could shoot it high enough. I mean, houses are awful tall. Maybe I could climb onna roof, though. I wished I hadda big net or chain or somethin’, someway I could keep it grounded.

While I was thinkin’ bout roofs, Cooper sighed.

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“I am not sure whether your weapons will suffice to defeat a dragon. This book seems to suggest that the only weapons that will defeat dragons are magical in nature.”

”Magic?” I echoed. “ I don’t got none. Where do you get a magic weapon?”

He looked down atta book an’ ran a finger along the page. “ You might find one while on a quest to a magic location. Fairies have some. A strong magician can make one, or might have one in his collection. They sound rare.”

I sighed too. “So we don’t gotta chance?”

“Well…perhaps not to kill it. But your weapons should be enough to engage it and perhaps to drive it away for a time.”

Long enough, maybe, to figure out a real fix. That’d have to be good enough for now.

But it also meant I needed to get closer. Lots closer. Rooftop closer. The windows didn’t open big enough for climbin’ out. There wasn’t no attic. I was gonna hafta climb. But carefully. Vale’d taught  me a li’l bout climbin’ careful, an’ she’d given me some rope an’ harness an’ that thing you throw up with a rope attached. I forgot it’s name, but I could use it ok. It was easier to throw far cuz it was heavy-ish. Easier’n lobbin’ an arrow up onna roof, at least (weird, how it was hard to throw a light thing very far, but easier to throw somethin’ heavy…but not too heavy).

I fetched the stuff an’ had Cooper help me with alla buckles an’ things. He was right good at gettin’ ‘em tight so I wouldn’t slip. Once I was strapped in, I picked up alla weapons an’ hung ‘em on myself. Fingers crossed I didn’t drop nothin’. Then it was time for goin’ up!

Climbin’ a house sure is tough. There’s sorta handholds, if you count stuff like doortops an’ window ledges an’ all, but then there’s great big flat places too where the only way up was to grab onna rope, plant feet against the wall, an’ walk, hopin’ the rope was caught good on whatever was up top so I wasn’t gonna go fallin’ back down. Cooper was onna ground, watchin’, but I think, if somethin’ had given loose, alla good he woulda done was get hurt too.

Thankfully, the rope held.

After lotsa lotsa pullin’, I grabbed onna roof edge an’ pulled up.  An’ then…oh my gumdrops, but it was big!

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It didn’t see me or hear me at first, which was good.  I dunno how it didn’t hear me.  I sure was breathin’ hard, an’ I’m pretty sure my heart was poundin’ loud enough to wake some dead things.  But it didn’t seem to notice me.  So I pulled one leg up over the roof edge an’ slipped the other up, tryin’ get my feet somewhere stable.  Roofs are an awful lot steeper’n’ they look from onna ground.  Gettin’ stable was hard!  I decided I wanna stay by the roof edge an’ use the bow.  Goin’ in with a sword swingin’ sure didn’t seem like a good idea from up here.

Then one of the metal clips used to attach onna rope slipped off.  It fell chunk against a shingle an’ dropped down down down to the ground, where dust puffed up round it. Gulp.  I didn’t wanna fall that far!

But that was nothin’ compared to what I saw when I looked up.

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Gulp!

I went all fumble-fingered, tryin’ get my bow un-slung an’ an arrow outta the quiver.  I didn’t wanna look ‘way from the dragon, but I hadda look at the bow cuz the arrow kept slidin’ off.  Finally, I got it up tight an’ raised the bow an’ sighted down the arrow…

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I dunno what happened.  That dragon couldn’t’ve been scared of my one li’l bow, or the arrow I had knocked in place.  I was close enough to hit it, sure, but chances were pretty good the arrow wouldn’t go past its scales.  An’ I was too shook up to aim for the eye or some other soft spot dragons got.

But maybe this dragon didn’t know that.  Maybe this dragon’d had run-ins with people before.  Strong people that had magic weapons an’ things. Or maybe it was young an’ scared.  Whatever happened afore, it took off when it saw me pointin’ my bow.  Let out a big, mighty roar, flapped its huge wings, an’ flew off over the forest. I hadda grab onna roof’s edge so I didn’t go slidin’ off from alla wind it made.

I watched it for a bit, makin’ sure I knew which way it was goin’, then I started climbin’ down.

Onna ground, Cooper helped me take stuff off an’ put it up.  Climbin’ a house was hard work.   I let him know that the dragon was alive still an’ it’d flown off deeper inna forest.  I was pretty sure we had somethin’ more to do bout it too.  We hadda follow the dragon.

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Cooper took a deep deep breath, picked up the bow an’ quiver an’ book, an’ put on his  brave face.

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“Okay then.  Let’s go track a dragon.”

My brother’s the best.

~Kestrel

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Bump onna roof…

Recap:
There was a big BUMP (kinda a small BOOM) onna big white house roof while we were recreationing inside.  We all went, “What the gumdrops?”

The story continues…

I grabbed up my sword.  I wanted it nearby in case somethin’ bad was afoot.

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Big bump/booms like that usually mean bad things.  Cooper grabbed up his shovel, too, cuz it’s got a wicked sharp edge (kinda like a saw).  I figured we all got our favorite sorts of weapons.  If a saw-shovel keeps my brother safe, then he’s welcome to it.  He stayed in with everybody else while I went out to check on things.

I stepped out.  I looked up.  GULP.

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I went back inside, fast.  Dragon.  A real, live dragon was perched onna roof.  Oh gumdrops, this sword wasn’t gonna do any good…

My heart was thumpin’ hard.  I tried to remember what I knew. Most dragons wanna eat dollies for snacks.  Loads of ’em breathe fire, too, an’ a wood house mixed up with a dragon’s breath seemed like a bad idea.  My friends were inside.  Double bad.  Buncha dragons breathe acid or frost instead. When Pip an’ Amalynn an’ Smidge an’ Voir an’ alla we were in Arkansas, I met dragon parts, an’ baby dragons, an’ alla them were nice.   But they were babies.  Babies start off nice, with treats an’ all.  Without treats, tho, maybe alla big dragons would be mean. Some dragons are nice. Some dragons are mean. No dragons wear signs sayin’ which one they are.

I needed more information. I needed better weapons. I needed to get my friends out of danger.  Alla sudden, I hadda plan.

I went back upstairs.  I could hear thumpin’ onna roof from the dragon’s feet, an a draggin’ sound from where its tail kept rubbin’ over shingles.  When I came up inna room, everybody started babblin’ at me.  The thumping onna roof stopped, an’ I could just feel that dragon listenin’.  It was like ice down my neck. I put my finger over my lips, an’ everybody went real quiet.  They gathered close round me, an’ I let ’em know there was a dragon onna roof, and we hadda go.  It might be a good dragon, but I didn’t know, an’ I didn’t wanna try an’ find out with everybody here.

Nobody made much noise after that, which was good.  Cooper kept his shovel. I didn’t think it’d do much good against a dragon, but maybe he could scoop dirt over some fires.  Falcon went to Meikiko’s room to get her.  He coulnd’t find her at first.

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But he called her name, real soft, an’ she leaped out from under the blankets, into his arms.  Poor thing.  She was so scared, she didn’t even ask about none of her dollies or toys or nothin’.

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We all grouped up again an’ headed for the door.  I figured it’d be best if we got everyone back home before I tried doin’ research.  The Hittys joined us goin’ out the door. I was proud of ’em for keepin’ quiet, even tho they didn’t really know what alla fuss was about.  At least, I didn’t tell ’em, an’ I should’ve.  I hope Cooper or Lark did. We made up a line so we could watch each other.  Cooper went in front, with the shovel.  Then our friends inna middle.  I brought up the back so I could keep an eye on the dragon, in case it decided it wanted to follow us.

The dragon didn’t pay us any mind, which was good.  It just kept lookin’ out from its perch onna roof.  It was lookin’ forward, though, an’ we all went out the side.  Maybe that’s why it never saw us.  But I didn’t stop watchin’ it til we were far outta range.

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Alla we got home safe.  I let the others know what happened.  Wren got all sortsa worried.  If a dragon was at the big white house, maybe it’d come to our main house too.  An’ it might.  We decided we were gonna keep everyone inside for a bit, even Riley an’ the goose.  I was gonna go back to the big white house with weapons an’ books so I could figure out more.  Cooper said he’d come with me.  Brave brother.  I was glad he said he would, cuz I was straight up scared.  Dragons are no laughin’ matter.

After makin’ the plans, I grabbed my bow, an’ Cooper brought the books an’ a big metal spear we had.

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We both took deep breaths an’ set back out to the big white house.

… to be continued…

~Kestrel

Day 1: Dragons!

 

Oh, gumdrops!  There’s dragons everywhere.  The first one wasn’t a carved dragon.  An’ it’s kinda big.  But it was just a head.  I hadda watch it carefully, makin’ sure it wasn’t gonna hurt anybody (cuz everybody was there:  me, Cooper, Amalyn, Pinkly, Smidge, Pip, an’ Voir, as well as Grammy Happy an’ Aunty Glenda an’ Wizzy an’ Bean an’ lotsa other folk)

I wasn’t quite sure what to think.  It coulda been a mean dragon.  But it’s hard for a dragon that’s only a head to do much damage.  So it was ok just to keep an eye on it.

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At least for a li’l bit.  Good thing, too, cuz I forgot my sword back atta cabin.  But it was just first day, so the dragons couldn’t do much anyway.  An’ they’re just babies.  Baby dragons can kinda nibble a bit, but they’re too little for breathin’ flames an’ causin’ chaos.

But Smidgie took a tumble on alla wood chips from carvin’.  She needed a bit of rescuin’.

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Yikes!

By day’s end, the li’l dragons were startin’ to take shape.  It’s kinda cute.  I don’t think it’s dangerous yet either, so that’s good.

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More tomorrow!

~Kestrel

Samhain

 

Halloween Eve, after alla Littles were tucked in blankets on the floor an’ cozy, I was lookin’ for monsters out the window (just in case).  I mean, it was Halloween.  It was time for ghosts an’ ghouls an’ monsters an’ evil spirits makin’ tricks.  So it was time for keepin’ watch.

Out the window, I thought I saw a light.  I watched it for a bit.  It kinda came an’ went a little.  Then it was steady.  Hmm.

I checked the Flock.  Asleep, all of ’em.  Falcon sprawled on his back, mouth gaped open an’ snorin’ soft.  Meikiko asleep face down over his stomach.  Cooper inna ball.  Wren an’ Sparrow an’ Nim tucked under their blanket.  All good for now.  But somethin’ might be comin’.

So I stepped out inna night.  It was cool, but not cold.  I was barefoot, feet soft-swishin’ through the leaves an’ silent-steppin’ on pine needles.  The moon was a tiny sliver, but the light ahead was steady gettin’ brighter.  Looked like fire.  I started thinkin’ bout alla fire monsters: dragons, phoenix, hellhound, salamander?  But no, not a monster.  Just a fire.  An there were people sittin’ by it.

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Juniper an’ the witch.  They said this was how we all outta celebrate Halloween.  Only they didn’ call it Halloween.  They called it “Samhain” (I hadda look it up later, cuz it didn’t sound nothin’ like how it’s spelled).  They asked me to sit with ’em.  They were gonna sit all night with their fire cuz it was a way to honor dead spirits an’ cuz it was a good time for powerful magic an’ a time when doors inna other worlds might open for a bit.

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It was nice, sittin’ with them.  I didn’t see any doors openin’, an’ I didn’t see any magic happenin’, but it felt special, like first snow inna night, when snowflakes are driftin’ down through trees an’ it’s so quiet you might be the only soul inna world.  I kinda fell asleep sometime inna night.  When I woke up, it was mornin’, the fire was out, an’ both witch an Juniper were gone.  The house was quiet still an’ everybody safe.  No monsters.  So maybe keepin’ watch by a fire kept alla monsters away?

I dunno where the Witch an’ Juniper went.  Maybe a magic door really did open an’ they slipped through.  I don’t mind not goin’.  I wouldn’t wanna leave the others behind.  But I hope those two are doin’ ok, wherever they got to.

~Kestrel

Halloween Party!

I’m late with my writing, but I promise I didn’t forget.

The day of Halloween, Wren showed us all what she’d been workin’ on.  She an’ Sparrow didn’t wanna dress up in costumes, but they both had pretty Halloweeny dresses, hers with cobwebs an’ Sparrows with bones (an’ paws, but don’t mind alla paws.  They’re just there for extra cute).

Cooper an’ me gotta be Victorian steampunk monster hunters!!  I’m super excited.  I love our hats, an’ our capes, an’ I get to carry a sword.  So if anybody comes playin’ tricks, or if any monsters come inna house, I can take care of ’em right quick.

An’ Falcon an’ Meikiko got costumes, too.  Theirs match up too!  Lately, Meikiko’s been watchin’ a show about a girl that fights crime.  Her name’s Ladybug Girl.  An’ she has a friend who fights crime too.  They’re friends as super heroes, but they dunno each other in real life.  His name is Cat Noir.  Wren made Meikiko a ladybug costume (kinda different from what Ladybug Girl wears, but Meikiko liked it better) an’ made Falcon a black cat costume!  When Falcon said the other day that he thought we outta get a black cat, it made me giggle.

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We finished putting out alla decorations, movin’ the pumpkins around, an’ gettin’ cobwebs set up.  Before long, there was a knock, an’ the Littles arrived!  They came in, some walkin’ with a friend, some walkin’ alone: Aqua an’ Rosy an’ Poppy an’ three kittens, an’ a couple girls I dunno, an Nim an’ a baby.  Our whole room was filled up!  Vega an’ Hazel an’ the other new girls didn’t come, an’ I’m kinda glad, cuz I dunno if there’d be room for everybody.  I mean…wow!

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(Wren says next year, we gotta find somewhere else for a party)

I think it surprised the rest of the flock, too, cuz Falcon’s eyes got kinda big, an’ Sparrow just kept blinkin’.  An’ yea, it’s a lot.  Alla Littles make a big crowd.  But they’re fun, an’ happy, an’ it was good to see ’em all here again.

An’ then the party began!

The Littles kinda did their own thing.  Poppy was dressed up like a DJ an’ had a radio, so she played alla music for the night.  She had spooky sounds an’ good dance music an’ all sortsa fun stuff for a party night.

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The Kittens got inna mischief fast, messin’ round with Mr. Bones inna corner.

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There was apple bobbin’, an’ Meikiko helped the new girl nab her apple before she got one for herself, too (I dunno why we didn’t put water inna bowl first).

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An’ New Girl an’ the baby played ball with an eye, pushin’ it back an’ forth a bit.

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After a bit, I noticed that lotsa the big kids were missin’.  First I missed the boys, then I didn’ know where Sparrow’d gone, then Wren was gone too…  Wren leavin’ surprised me.  But the Littles were bein’ awful noisy.  They were havin’ fun, but it was noisy fun.  I looked over at Nim an’ asked if she knew where the others got to.

She didn’ know.  I didn’t know either.  But we giggled an’ slipped off, lookin’ for the others.  The Littles’d be ok, Nim said.  They did all sortsa stuff on their own without gettin’ hurt too bad.  We’d cleared out alla sharp swords (I put ’em inna closet before the party), an’ we’d moved the rocks away.

We found the others hidin’ inna bedroom.  Cooper an’ Falcon were playin’ dinosaurs, an’ Wren an’ Sparrow were talkin’ onna bed about just how many Littles were inna other room.  Nim joined the girls, an’ I sat down with Riley to cuddle.  Even the bunnies were hidin’ out.

Out inna main room, tho, the party raged on.  New girl found some rock candy.  The kittens got mixed up with a ouija board.  Rosy an’ Aqua started makin’ some witchy brew (I cleaned it up after–man, was it nasty!).  An’ the baby was playin’ with a pumpkin, kinda suckin’ on her thumb too.

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The kittens even started a game of monster tag!  I could hear ’em runnin’ round.

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There was only the tiniest bit of danger, when Aqua got ahold of a sword.  I dunno if it’s the one Cooper was usin’, or if I left mine behind.  But she got it, an’ she brandished it, an’ things were lookin’ kinda scary.

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Meikiko stepped in real quick, tho, an’ told em they hadda put it down cuz a sword’s not a toy.  Not that kinda sword.  I was a bad dolli for not makin’ sure alla swords were picked up afore I snuck off.  I’m glad everybody was ok.  Go Meikiko!  Ladybug Girl to the rescue!

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But they all got worn out.  Nim said they would.  We found ’em sitting quiet, kinda lookin’ sorta dazed.  The baby was asleep, curled up round a pumpkin.

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We spread out some blankets an’ set out pillows an’ made ’em all comfortable.  It was too late to be trekkin’ alla Littles back through the woods to Dolli Lane.  So we hadda sleep over with a lotta little friends.  It was kinda hard to tiptoe round ’em all, but they were safe an’ warm.  It was a good night.

Hope everybody else had a fun, happy Halloween too!

~Kestrel

Happy Halloween!

We’re all abuzz!  Wren’s been busy sewin’, an’ we’ve been busy decoratin’, an’ today is Halloween!!!  (Juniper says it’s “Samhain,” though, an’ we’re calling it all wrong? An’ we need a bonfire?  I dunno bout that.  Littles are…well…little.  They might get hurt near a big fire, since we don’t got a good setup here like Smidge’s got.)  Anyhow!  We’re still settin’ stuff up.  As soon as it all seems done an’ ready, there’s somethin’ else inna corner that really has to be put out too.  I haven’t had much time for pictures, but Wren made me’n’Cooper stand still while we were tryin’ on the costumes she made.  An’ they’re awesome!  Cuz we’re twins, she made us twin outfits.  We’re Victorian steampunk monster hunters.  I forgot to grab my sword for the picture.  I’m sure we’ll take more later.  Wren’s the best, though.  I think she has fun makin’ costumes!

If I don’t get back to share more pics today (an’ I might not, cuz it’s gonna be B.U.S.Y.!), hope everybody has a super fun, spooky cool Halloween!!

(Falcon says we need a small black cat.  He cracks me up!  I’ll show you why later)

~Kestrel

Research Phase

 

When we got in, I went an’ gotta book for researchin’ monsters.  Started in the winged section.  Dragons, Pegasi, Harpies, Phoenixes…  Hmm.  Not much good there.  None of ’em looked anything like what I’d seen.

I sat back with a sigh.  Cooper looked over at me an’ asked, “What’s wrong?”

So I showed him the pictures I’d taken.

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An’ I described the dead monsters an’ the live monster an’ alla what it’d done.

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“That’s not a monster, sis,” Cooper said.

I just kinda looked at him an’ raised an eyebrow.  Sure looked like some sorta monster from where I was standin’.  Sittin’ now.  But he hopped up an’ gotta computer.  He typed some stuff inna search page an’ brought up some pictures.

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“Those are cicadas.  They’re large bugs, but they’re not monsters. Or aliens.  The nymphs that hatch drop down and burrow underground, where they can spend years growing and digging before they finally emerge from underground.  They come up in cycles–some cicadas come up every year, some every thirteen, and some every seventeen.  They come above when they’re ready to transform from nymphs–or grubs–into adults.  What you called dead monsters are really just the husks of the insect as it grows bigger and changes from one form to another.  Insets don’t have skeletons, like us.  Instead, they have a really hard shell.  So every time they grow or change, they have to shed their skin.  And they change form as they grow older, too.  So the nymph is kind of like a caterpillar or a worm but, as it gets bigger, it develops things like wings.”

Cooper pointed from picture to picture, showing me cicadas in different stages.  It was makin’ my head spin!  But ok.  Insects.  Just insects.

“So…you’re sayin’ they’re just bugs?”

“Yes.  They are just insects.  Probably these holes were made by the nymphs when they crawled out of the ground.  But they aren’t dangerous.  There is nothing here that you need to fight.”

“Really?  Nothin’?  Not even like…the centipede?”  I showed him the picture again, in case he had forgotten.  “It almost bit Perdita!”

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“Oh…sis…”

~Kestrel