Chapter 3: Emerge
Instinctively Aveline veered aside just as the spell wore off, sending the behemoth shooting past her in a fiery blur. The longer she lingered in the chasm, the more obvious it became that she could not outwing the wicked worm, and that her only hope of survival was through the aid of magic and any clever designs that she could devise. But dragons were clever creatures too, and full of magic.
“How did you do that?” The dragon roared, its ravenous hunger unfulfilled.
“The name’s Aveline: fairy princess, Wishbringer and junior architect of the threads of time.” She bowed. She particularly like the word ‘architect.’ It made her feel big inside.
“You overestimate your ability.” The dragon’s eyes blazed.
“I think not. Now stop right there, Mr. Dragon.” Aveline raised her hand. Again he complied, freezing in place as he whipped his spiky tail. “I’m headed to the pumpkin festival. Would you mind pointing out the way?”
Suddenly her legs snapped together, tighter and tighter as if they were being wrapped in bubblegum. She gazed down in horror as the sticky spindle bound her legs together and surged past her waist. Though Aveline was blinded by the beast’s fiery eyes and ghostly webbing, she could still make out the ugly spider clinging to the dragon’s underside like a wart. Somehow it was impervious to her time spell.
And as the arachnid sprung for her, the little girl discovered a new magic word in her arsenal. “Aside!” she yelled, sending the spider and its webbing falling away harmlessly.
But the insect provided the distraction that the dragon needed. Aveline barely evaded the dragon’s tail as it sliced the air before her. She shot upwards, hoping to find a ceiling to the endless void. “Abracadabra! Err…hocus pocus!” she blurted out, but those were the feeble words of fantasy. “Open sesame!” she called. Didn’t she see that once in a Bugs Bunny cartoon? Finally, she thought back to the stories that her mother had told her. ‘Stop’ and ‘aside’ were featured prominently in those tales. Yet there was another she had not uttered. “Illuminate!” she screamed.
A ring of light severed the darkness above her.
“Did you hear that?” came a familiar voice.
“Hear what, dear?” came another.
“It sounded like Aveline.”
The voices became louder, and giggles, more frequent.