Dragon: Myth of the Bermuda Triangle (Claxton Spinoff Story)

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Chapter 9: Freedom

Welcome to the library. It’s where Mr. Ritchie takes Maddie and I.

It’s a small room that has only a few bookshelves, but there is a sitting area at the other end of it, which includes two chairs and a couch. Past it is a porthole that overlooks the vast, blue sea.

My nose twitches when I take in the scent of... What is that? Sweat? Just how many people have been in here today? Currently, Maddie, Mr. Ritchie, and I are the only ones in the library.

Mr. Ritchie sets me down on the couch, and he saunters on over to a small refrigerator next to a tall bookshelf.

I can tell that Maddie is very confused. Her face asks, Why are we in the library and not at the doctor’s?

Even I do not have a huge idea of what’s happening right now.

Mr. Ritchie returns to us, carrying a couple of water bottles in his hands. He gives one to Maddie and explains, “We need to drench him with water.”

“What? Why? Don’t you think Will’s had enough for one day?” she questions.

“Will is not who you think he is, dear.” Mr. Ritchie pauses for a minute–most likely to set his mind straight–and then adds, “He is a dragon.”

But of course, Maddie does not believe him. It’s not easy to convince her, now is it? She scoffs and asks, “Mr. Ritchie, don’t you think it’s a little early to be hitting the bottle?”

Mr. Ritchie’s face turns red–I don’t not blame him–but he counts to ten in order to calm down. “I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s the truth. If you’re not going to give him water, then I will do it myself.”

Maddie is obviously a little bit pissed. She shoves her water bottle into Mr. Ritchie’s chest. “You do that. I’m going to go hang out with people who are actually sane! First, Will says he’s from the Bermuda Triangle, and now this!”

“But he is from the Bermuda Triangle,” argues Mr. Ritchie, “and he needs your help to defeat the Calamitous Beast!”

Whoa! Whoa! Hold the phone! Nobody said anything about me having to defeat something! What the heck is the Calamitous Beast?

“Calamitous Beast?” Again, Maddie scoffs. “I knew it. You’re not crazy. You’re just...insane.”

Mr. Ritchie is not able to take a break from the argument. Honestly, he almost sounds offended by the fact that Maddie does not believe in dragons. “But the realm of the dragons is in danger! Fine, then you leave me no choice. I’ll prove to you that Will is a dragon.” Here, he unscrews the cap of one of his water bottles, and he peers down on me. “Sorry, kid, but I have to do this.” Then, just like that, he pours the water all over my head.

It runs down my face and shoulders and drips onto my legs. The warm liquid is gentle to the touch, and I feel my strength returning. So, that’s the issue. I’m dehydrated. Makes sense. Water dragons are like amphibians. We can’t stay on land for long, or else our bodies dry out. Not only that, but... Oh. I see what Mr. Ritchie is doing.

Heh, heh. I’m so screwed.

I grow my wings, tail, and claws, but I only take up the length of the couch. I’m such a pathetic excuse for a dragon.

My chin is resting on the couch arm closest to Maddie, and my tail whacks the porthole. I give her a nervous look and chuckle.

She does not take the reveal very well.

She stares, blinks, stares some more, and then screams. “Ahh!” She falls flat on her butt. “Dragon! I’ve been playing with a dragon this whole time! Gross!”

Well, ouch.

Maddie leaps to her feet and quickly sprints out of the library. “Dragon! Dragon!”

Mr. Ritchie and I are frozen with shock for about a minute. Then, Mr. Ritchie states, “Well, that went well.”

I shoot him a sarcastic look. However, I can’t let Maddie leave me. We hit it off so well. I love her with all my heart. A dragon is no different from a human, right?

Mr. Ritchie gives me a gentle nod. “Fly, young dragon, and find your friend. She needs to see the wonders of the Water Clan if she is going to help you take down Calamitous.”

Again, what the heck is Calamitous? I’m not interested in dying in battle, Mr. Ritchie. I’m here on the Ecstasy for one reason and one reason only.

Opening my wings, I give them a few flaps and lift into the sky. Okay, I can do this. In order to squeeze through the library’s doorway, I wrap my wings around my body. Now, here I am, floating over the thirteenth deck of the ship.

At the sight of me, humans yell. They drop their purses, canes, lunches, etc., and make haste to run away, but a few children are intrigued.

I look around for Maddie. There she is, down five more decks. I see her through the domed gap that has the striped flag hanging over it. Quickly, I shoot down the opening and close in on her. She is the only human I care about, and maybe Mr. Ritchie. It’s strange. Something about him feels familiar. How does he know so much about the Water Clan? Not now, Will. You have other pressing priorities.

Holding my paws in front of me, I grab Maddie with my claws and snatch her right up from the floor.


“Ahhh!” she shrieks.

With her tight in my grip, I take another trip up the gap and wind up on the deck that has the pool.

Humans are all over the place, and every one of them is traumatized. Nevertheless, a few grab some ropes and toss them over my back and tail. It does not take much effort to break free. I may be small, but I am powerful.

A human man asks, “What’s going on?”

“There is a dragon on the Carnival Ecstasy! Duck and cover! Duck and cover!” a woman answers.

“For God’s Sake, Will, put me down!” Maddie shouts.

Um, I don’t think so.

To push my way through the crowd, I roar. Humans quickly scatter.

I conjure up a blue fireball deep in my belly and use it to smash through the doors leading to the pool. I sure hope this ship has insurance. There are no humans in the vicinity, so they’re safe.

Next, I zoom over the pool deck and cause a few to fly forward. Others jump into the pool or hide under chairs.

A man, who is playing tropical music from the stage, grabs his instrument and ducks behind it.

Maddie’s mom and dad are on the pool deck. They were just trying to get a nice tan when everything went hectic.

“Maddie!” they scream.

“Mommy! Daddy!” she yells back.

“Maddie!” Mr. and Mrs. Carter stop everything they’re doing, and they hurry after me. Unfortunately, they can go no further than the ship’s edge.

Victory! I’m free! I’m finally free from all these nasty humans and am with the love of my life! She is the whole reason why I followed the Ecstasy in the first place.

I fly up to the ship’s funnel and land on it, giving off one final roar. I’m basically saying, “Victory is mine!” And I’m off.

I leave the Ecstasy and return to the Ocean. Excited, I toss Maddie into the air, but I catch her on my head. It’s such a beautiful day for flying. My wingtips touch the surface of the water.

There is an island on the horizon. Perfect. That’s my destination... Home sweet home. The Carnival Ecstasy is growing smaller by the second.

Maddie is so shocked and scared that she literally collapses onto my head and faints.

Uh oh. Did I maybe take this too far? Ack, she’ll be fine. I’d rather protect her than fight a so-called monster. Monster-hunting is not what I signed up for.

Now, just how long will it take to reach my island?

And what will Maddie think of it?

I can’t wait to see.

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