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

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Chapter 6: Stargazer

Oh man, this lobster is delicious! Its shell is tough like an oyster, but I can easily bite through it. I call for my fangs, and my human teeth shift to let them in. I think the lobster’s shell is my favorite part.

Alan, who is hovering over my shoulder, smiles. “Told ya he was craving a lobster!”

I rip five legs off the lobster and pop them in my mouth. My fangs break each leg and claw in half.

Maddie’s face turns green. She hides behind her hand and looks away from me. I think she’s both embarrassed and disgusted. My face is so close to the lobster that nobody sees my fangs. The dish is gone within minutes.

I lick my fingers until I can taste no more lobster juice. I blush at the sight of the whole table staring at me, and feel my fangs disappear back in my gums.

Mr. Carter says, “That’s the first time I’ve seen somebody finish off a whole lobster in five minutes.”

My face grows hotter by the second. Food is scarce in the Ocean. Whenever the dragons of my clan find something, we fight over it.

I’m so humiliated that I cannot stay there any longer. I push my chair away from the table and leap to my feet, bowing my head as an apologetic sign.

“Will, wait!” Maddie yells, but it’s too late.

I leave the restaurant.

I hurry to the bow of the ship, one deck down from the mini golf course, and gaze upon the Ocean. It’s dark, and the stars are magnificent. A blanket of them stretches across the whole sky and disappears on the horizon. It’s quiet out here. I’m alone. Wind whips through my hair, and I run my fingers through it. I can easily leave the ship–the coast is clear–but Maddie. I’m not going to abandon her like my parents. I love her way too much.

Seriously, Will... What is wrong with you?

“Will.”

Oh snap! Speak of the devil, here she is! Maddie appears next to me. She’s holding a paper plate in her hand, and on top of it is a small, mesmerizing, chocolate cake. “You forgot your warm chocolate melting cake. It’s the Ecstasy’s most popular dessert,” she says.

I want to accept her gift, but after what happened in the restaurant, I just don’t think I can risk it.

Maddie gives me a gentle smile. “There’s no need to be embarrassed. You were hungry. A shipwreck takes a lot out of a person.”

But I wasn’t in a shipwreck. The whirlpool is what tried to kill me.

She offers me the cake, but I push it away. I can’t, Maddie. I just can’t. You do not understand how I feel.

I need to apologize in a proper way. Facing the Ocean, I lift my hands over my head and sing my song. The stars twinkle like a thousand light bulbs, and my eyes catch a few waves emerging at the Ocean’s surface.

“What’s that song?” Maddie asks.

“The Song of the Beast,” I mentally answer. I end it and look deep in her eyes.

She returns my stare. She blushes and reaches for her cheek. Wow, she really does like me. This proves it.

“I’m glad you’re here, Will,” she admits. “You’re definitely making this cruise interesting.”

Is that a good thing?

“Come on. Let’s go to the Stargazer Lounge,” Maddie adds. Reaching forward, she clasps her fingers over my hand. My cheeks hurt; I’m so happy.

Maddie eats the melting cake on the way to the lounge. “Oh man, this is to die for,” she admits.

Maybe one day I’ll try it, but not now.

We reach the lounge, and Maddie throws the plate away. There is a small crowd in it, including retired couples and young families. We sit on the front row of chairs, directly in front of the screen. Light up stars shimmer on the ceiling. They catch my eyes, and I smile feebly. This is such a magical moment.

Inside Out is what humans call a “movie,” or a “motion picture.” It’s about a young girl who moves across the United States to a brand-new world, just like me. Her emotions, Fear, Joy, Sadness, Anger, and Disgust, embark on an epic quest to help her adjust. The girl’s name is Riley.

I can relate to her. I’m also in a world that I’m not used to, and the only thing that’s keeping me happy is Maddie. After all, she is my first human friend.

I grow so attached to Riley that by the end of the movie, I’m crying. What a sweet, innocent girl. I love her almost as much as I love Maddie.

She strokes my hair and lets me cry on her shoulder. “I know. It’s a bittersweet ending.”

The movie isn’t the only thing tripping me up. I miss my parents. Why did they abandon me? Why haven’t they come back? Am I bad son, a bad dragon, a bad Guardian? Why can’t I have a beautiful family like Riley? It’s strange, I’ve never felt this emotional about my parents before. Am I ever going to see them again, or am I an orphan? Something about Inside Out triggers my feelings.

I think Maddie can read my mind because she tells me, “We’re going to find your parents, Will. I promise.”

We leave the Stargazer Lounge and make our way back down the hallway where we met Mr. Ritchie. It’s late, so the trivia shows are over. There are still plenty of people in the adult game room, but for the most part, the ship’s quieted down for the night.

Maddie and I are exhausted. We yawn and drag our feet on the floor.

I sense that someone is watching me from behind, so I stop dead on my tracks. There’s something over my shoulder–a cyan light that’s shimmering from the hallway’s window.

Mom? Dad? Is that you?

I head towards the window, but Maddie’s voice startles the light. “Are you coming, dude?” She shuffles over to me. “What’s wrong?”

Nothing. I shake my head and give her a weak smile.

Something deep down tells me that my parents are close, or am I just going cuckoo? Perhaps too much Inside Out is in my head? But this feeling is similar to what I felt when I used to live with them. I have to investigate, even if it means blowing my secret.

Mom, Dad, are you really coming back for me?

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