Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Thing

As with my last two posts, this is another creative writing exercise continuing the adventures of Algernon Dragon. I hope you enjoy it.

Algernon Dragon hurried along the path towards his house. He buttoned his coat up to his chin and wrapped his scarf tighter around his neck. The light was fading. Cold crept in through any cracks it could find in Algernon’s coat. He shivered.

He reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a torch. He pushed the button and a beam of light shot out. His house was not far away now. Algernon thought of the hot chocolate he would have when he got home. The thought made him hurry. If he was quick he could have a hot bath.

But the night had arrived. The light of the torch made the shadows darker and more menacing. Algernon gripped the torch tightly in his paw. He glanced around. The darkness seemed to be alive and moving. The wind whipped through the trees and whistled through the branches. He quickly looked back at his tiny puddle of light. The light flickered suddenly. It danced and jumped around. Algernon shook it violently. The beam of light settled down again. Algernon sighed with relief. But then the light deserted him, plunging Algernon into the dark.

Algernon looked around himself, his paws shaking. The shadows seemed to move and dance like monsters from the stories his mother used to tell him before bed. A small shadow crept from the trees and began to slink towards him. Algernon peered as hard as could, but he couldn’t see what it looked like properly. Was it a snake? Did it have huge teeth? Maybe it was poisonous. Was it icy cold? Did it have rock hard scales? Could the shadow be a dragon slaying monster? Algernon didn’t want to know.

He saw two glowing green lights shining in the middle of the shadow. Every dragon knows that dragon slaying monsters have glowing eyes. Were they hypnotic? Algernon looked away quickly. He’d be hypnotised if he watched them. But the Thing might sneak up on him. Algernon sneaked a look. If he didn’t look at the eyes he’d be safe.

But then Algernon saw a white flash just under the glowing eyes. Were they teeth? Were they poisonous fangs? Algernon couldn’t move. His sneakers seemed to be glued to the path. His muscles seemed frozen into place. The glowing eyes and the flashing teeth were so close he could smell a strange fishy smell. Did monsters eat fish? Algernon didn’t care. His legs finally unfroze and he pelted down the path.

His dragon sneakers slapped against the path, thumping in time to his racing heart. Algernon felt a cold sweat trickle down his snout. Something hit his leg. It was cold and hard. Was it the Thing’s teeth? Or maybe it was a claw. Algernon screamed.

Algernon’s furry hat slipped down covering his eyes. He screamed again. Had the Thing blinded him? Algernon felt his sneakers slip on the path. His legs flipped from underneath him and he flew towards the ground. Algernon’s nose crunched into the cold hard ground and he winced. For a few seconds he lay winded on the path. The Thing jumped into his mind. Where was it?

He pulled his nose out of the path and sat up. Algernon couldn’t see anything. He felt the warm tickly fur hat on his nose. Algernon sighed with relief. He wasn’t blind after all. He heard pattering footsteps. The Thing was coming. Algernon felt it rub against his leg. It wasn’t cold and it wasn’t scaly. It was warm and furry. The Thing climbed slowly into his lap. Algernon heard a noise like a little lawnmower. He grinned. The Thing certainly wasn’t a monster.

Algernon pulled his hat off. Sitting on his lap was his cat, The Kibble Eater. She rubbed her wet nose against his sore nose. He picked her up and stood up slowly. His knees hurt and his nose was swollen. But Algernon didn’t care. He was going home.

Algernon slipped his key into the lock and unlocked the door with a click. He pushed the heavy door open and turned on the hall light. Algernon dropped The Kibble Eater onto her favourite chair and headed for his bathroom. He turned the tap on and hot water splashed into the bath. He pulled a bar of soap out of the cupboard. The phone rang just as he was about to put the soap on the edge of the bath. The soap slipped out of his hand and onto the floor as he ran for the phone.

Aunt Bertha wanted to talk to her nephew. It had been her birthday a few days ago. She loved chocolate and Algernon had sent her a ginormous box. But Aunt Bertha wasn’t quite happy with her present. She might like chocolate but she didn’t like this particular flavour: Fishy kibble. Algernon groaned. That cat! She loved chocolate and had done a swap.

Aunt Bertha talked and talked and talked long into the night. Finally she decided that Algernon was innocent. She hung up the phone and left him to return to his bath. The water was cold and he bent over to pull the plug. He felt something slip underneath his foot. For the second time that night Algernon’s feet slipped out from underneath him. Soap!

The soap was added at the request of Imogen.

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