By Jeshanth K

He landed softly barely making a noise. It came easier now even though he was a natural like a certain boy wizard. He swung his leg off his long blood-red broom, Nebula which had blue straws, and walked towards the dark cave. The wind ruffled his hair and he could sense what was inside. It was a rare gift and that made him a powerful wizard. He took out his right hand and said “Lights”. The ring on his right hand glowed like a 100 Watt bulb. His ring served as the extension of his power, a more sophisticated output for the greater race. No silly wooden sticks.

The cave was like any normal cave: dark, smelly and moss grown from the moisture of the sea. There were, however, long claw marks against the walls. The light from his ring made eerie shadows of himself and the occasional bumps on the cave walls gave a rather frightening image. He ignored it all and proceeded forward with a stern look. Eyebrows knitted and his hood covering his forehead.

The end of the cave no longer needed the light from his ring. It was illuminated by the light from the orange lava river flowing below. It made the crystals appear yellowish red but he couldn’t tell if they really were of that color.

“I was expecting you”, said a gravel like voice from 100 feet above. A flying creature descended and stood at the opposite end from him.

It was a magnificent creature with ruby like scales which glistened like water and a snout that blew smoke when it spoke. It had horns but was curved in an elegant way appearing dangerous though at the same time one could stop and admire the intricate work on its morphology.

“Where is he?”, Arnav asked. He had covered his face with the cloak to avoid the smoke from the lava.

The dragon lifted its right arm and pointed to a few meters below them where there was a cage with a little bear inside. It was unconscious.

Arnav jumped on Nebula and zoomed towards him but was blocked before even making the dive.

“Not so fast”, sneered the dragon, the voice a bit more dangerous now. “We have to trade, remember?”, he moved his hands in a matter-of-fact-way.

Arnav was still in mid-air watching the dragon’s blue eyes.

“Your broom for the bear”, It hissed.

“Not happening, scum!”, yelled Arnav once again attempting to zoom towards the cage. The dragon blew a thin jet of icy fire towards his face.

“Shield!”, he yelled and his ring became bigger and bigger until he used it to cover his face.

The dragon bellowed in anger and rushed towards him. He had pure white teeth and they were visible through his snarl.

Arnav swerved and ducked but knew he was losing the race. He tried to shoot a couple of energy blasts from his ring but only succeeded in making the dragon angrier. What’s worse? He was flying higher and away from the cage.

It suddenly got quiet and he risked a glance behind him. The dragon was missing. He was then kicked on his back and he fell hard on the rocks close to the lava river. The dragon laughed an evil laugh. Arnav was gasping for air holding the broom in his one hand and noticed he was just a few feet away from his bear. He used another energy blast at the locks and the gates sprung open with a tiny groan. The dragon’s red eyes widened and swooped to attack Arnav with full speed and ferocity.

It pinned him down rendering his right hand useless clutching with its claws. It however missed his left hand, the one clutching the broom and that was the only reason the dragon didn’t take a bite off his head. Nebula was now lodged between the dragon’s teeth causing sparks to fly from it. It won’t be long before the magic from the broom faded away. Arnav fought hard and kept trying to push away thoughts like: Oh boy, I’m gonna be dragon food or shucks, his breathe smells. It looked like this was the end and the dragon was about to take his final bite…

“Mom! Arnav is playing with the broom, again!”, yelled Ankita looking at her 9 year old brother on the floor.