Simon and I lead the way and this time the tunnel walls not only become lighter, but the colours of the walls were changing too. The walls were almost a dark orange colour and there were many lanterns lighting the way. It seemed to go twisting from left to right and back again and we walked on for what seemed like a long period of time.
I could hear a strange noise in the distance and looked at Simon with a puzzled look on my face. He grabbed my arm and said “Stop, what is that” I asked?
We all stopped and listened to try and figure out what the noise was. It was faint and appeared to be far away, but it was almost like listening to someone breathing right in your ear.
I turned to Simon and said “It sounds like breathing of some sort. I’m not really sure what it could be”.
Isabel and Rachael looked at me and Rachael asked if we could have a short break before continuing on. At least this tunnel had changed colour and seemed to keep going. Hopefully we were going the right way and it was leading us somewhere closer to the island.
I grabbed the backpack from my shoulder and opened it up to find the small box. When I opened the box the usual five bottles of water came out along with a bag of lollies.
“Oh my goodness. It’s Lollies. Winnie is the best!” Rachael shouted with excitement.
I sat down and leaned against the wall joining the girls who had already sat down and I opened the bag of lollies. Simon and Michael quickly joined me and everyone held out their hands for a handful of lollies. I shook the bag and poured some lollies into each person’s hand and then kept some for myself. They were jelly snakes. A good source of sugar I thought. Winnie certainly thought of everything and made sure we never went without. I still wondered how he did that with the small box.
Once we had finished the bag of lollies and finished our drinks I placed the small box back in the backpack and placed it over my shoulder ready to continue on. Rachael was the last one to get up and I think she wanted to rest longer, but we really needed to keep going and get out of these tunnels.
I started walking and beckoned Isabel to walk with me. She walked over and we walked together with the others closely behind. As we continued to walk the weird breathing noise was getting more prominent and louder. Rachael looked at me “What do you think it could be” she asked?
“I have no idea” I said looking at her and then to the others. “I just hope if it’s anything prehistoric likes the jungle, it’s friendly like Albress was”.
“It could be anything. Even a piece of machinery making that noise” said Michael “I guess we will find out soon enough” as we continued to walk although looking around especially at what may lie ahead. As we got further into the tunnel it seemed to get lighter. I was too busy looking at the wall colour and seeing how much lighter it had become when there was a much louder hissing type noise.
“Oh my goodness” said Rachael “Do we really have to keep going to see what that is” she asked as she hung onto Michael’s arm and appeared quite shaken by the loudness of this noise. It had got a lot louder.
I put my finger to my mouth to signal to everyone to be quite and I quietly walked ahead of them around another twist in the tunnel to see what the noise was.
I hadn’t walked too far when I saw it. It was huge. A real dragon and it was red and orange in colour and was sleeping. It was laying on the ground taking up the whole width of the tunnel. That must be what the noise is that we are hearing. The dragon breathing. I stretched out from behind the wall and stood just looking at the sleeping dragon. It was a really big dragon and I wondered how big it would be when it stood up. I wasn’t in a hurry to make noise and find out.
I quietly walked back to the others who weren’t too far back and once I reached them they were looking at me as if I had seen a ghost.
“What is it Red? What did you see” asked Simon while the others were staring at me waiting for me to reply?
“It’s a dragon. A really big sleeping dragon” and I stood there still stunned that I had seen a real dragon just up a little further in the same tunnel that we were in.
“No it can’t be” said Michael looking at me for another explanation. I nodded as I looked at them all and said again “It’s a dragon. A really big sleeping dragon”.
“Could you see if there is a way we can get past this dragon without waking it” asked Simon?
“Well the dragon is really big and laying down sleeping. It didn’t look like there was any room at all to sneak past it, if that’s what you mean”. I was looking around a t all of them trying to not to freak them out, but it was really big.
“It is really big and red and orange and that’s what the noise is. A really big sleeping dragon” I explained as I had my hands wide apart trying to explain how big this dragon was. “It was laying down and it didn’t look like there was any room to get past it”.
“I think we need to call the fairies” said Isabel “maybe they can help us”.
“What if we go back and try another tunnel” asked Rachael?
“After all there were plenty of others that we haven’t tried yet” she said.
“No, I think Isabel is right. We should call the fairies and see if they can help us” I said.
Everyone looked at each other and took their crystals from their pockets. We all held our crystals and each called our fairy. I closed my eyes and called Lou Lou over and over.
I opened my eyes again and there before us were all five fairies hovering in the air smiling at us.
Celine came forward. She seemed to be the one that took charge every time we had called the fairies.
“What can we help you with” she asked looking at all of us one by one?
“We have come across a dragon just up ahead in this tunnel and we were wondering if you could help us to get past it” asked Simon pointing further ahead to where the dragon was sleeping?
“Well we haven’t actually seen the dragon yet, but Red has. He went up ahead to find out where the noise was coming from. Is it easier for us to turn around and go back to the domed area and pick another tunnel” Rachael asked?
“Red this is part of your journey. You see you are the only one who hasn’t used your crystal. You hold the red crystal. The red crystal of fire” said Celine.
“You hold the key to getting back to the island here Red” said Lou Lou “However you will still need more than your fire from your crystal after you defeat the dragon.”
“I don’t understand” I said to Celine and Lou Lou. “Are you saying that I will have to use fire to defeat the dragon? Have you seen the size of that dragon” I was feeling very uncomfortable now. It was the thought of making fire and then trying to defeat that huge dragon. There had to be another way.
Lou Lou came over to me and placed her tiny hands on my shoulders. She said “Red, the only way to defeat that dragon is with fire balls. You have the red crystal that represents fire. You just need to hold the crystal and imagine throwing fire balls, one after another while holding your crystal. The crystal will do the rest. This is the final leg of your journey to the island, but once you have defeated the dragon, you will need our help to get through the portal.”
“Portal. What is a portal” I asked Lou Lou?
“This is what will get you back onto the island and you will need us to help you get through the Portal. That is why the dragon is here. The red dragon is protecting the Portal” Lou Lou explained.
“What is a Portal” I asked Lou Lou?
“The Portal is like a magic bubble.” Lou Lou said as she looked each one of us. “You can step through this Portal and then you will be back on the island. It is the only one that we know of and this is why it is protected by the red dragon. The dragon stops anyone coming through from the other side and also from this side” she explained.
I looked at Simon and then Michael who were looking as confused as I was. I looked at the girls who seemed amazed and were absorbed by every word Lou Lou was saying.
“Now I must also explain to you that when you are ready and you throw fire balls at the dragon, you will only knock him out for about a minute. That means you all need to stay close, so we can get you through the Portal and back onto the island”.
Celine came over to Lou Lou and whispered in her ear. Lou Lou nodded and looked over to the others and then back to me and said “We are coming through the Portal with you.”
The girls looked at each other and clapped together. I think they were excited that the fairies were going to come with us through the Portal.
“I think I’ve got this right.” I said looking at the fairies and then at Simon and the others. “ So you want me to throw fire balls at the dragon and that will knock him out for about a minute and then we can all get past him and go through the Portal” I asked?
“Yes, that’s right Red. There is nothing to worry about. You see as soon as we all get close enough to the dragon, he will awaken. He always does” and Lou Lou looked at the other fairies to confirm this was the case. “We have never been in here and seen for ourselves, but we have heard many tales and it is written in the fairy book of magic that there is a great red dragon that protects the Portal to the magical island”.
“What if the fire balls don’t knock him out” asked Michael?
“Well you see it is written, so therefore it must be correct” said Celine as she looked to the other fairies that were all nodding in agreement.
“Alright then. Let’s do this” I said as I looked at the crystal I was still holding in my hand. I walked ahead and turned to make sure the others were close behind me. This time the girls were at the back behind Simon and Michael and who could blame them. We were approaching a huge red dragon and I was to throw fireballs at him to knock him out so we could get past him. It was frightening to think I could even make and throw fireballs, let alone get past the dragon quickly and through the Portal.
The fairies were right beside us and fluttering through the air lightly.
As we got closer to the dragon, you could hear his breathing get louder and louder. We were walking at a fast pace, but trying to walk quietly so the dragon wouldn’t wake up until we were right near him and I was ready with the crystal to throw fireballs.
We walked around another bend in the tunnel and then straight ahead there he was sleeping and making a very loud noise as he breathed. I stopped and everyone behind me stopped.
“Oh my goodness” Rachael said “look at him, his huge. Are we really going to be able to get past him” she looked at the fairies and asked?
“Well yes of course” said Celine. “We will all make it through the Portal in time before he wakes”.
Lou Lou looked at me and nodded to let me know it was time for me to get the crystal ready. We only needed to take a few more steps she had said and he would be awake. I would need to be ready. I was so nervous and held the crystal tightly in my hand.
Lou Lou signalled for us to move forward just a little more and I had to go first and be ready. I took one step at a time and it seemed like I was walking in slow motion and my heart was beating so fast. I thought the dragon would hear my heart beating and took only a few more steps when the dragon opened one eye and looked straight at me. I stopped suddenly and looked straight into his open eye.
He blinked and blinked again and then stood up and let out a huge sigh. It was really loud and I blocked my ears to try and block out the noise. I didn’t take my eyes off him, but I could feel myself trembling at the thought of what I was about to do. He seemed harmless as he stretched out and stood up, but he filled the tunnel and made us look so small in comparison.
We all stood back and I held the crystal and closed my eyes. I started thinking I need fire balls and I need to throw fire balls and I need it to happen now. I opened my eyes again and there was a fire ball in my hand. I couldn’t even feel it and before I could think it was going to burn me, I threw it straight at the dragon.
The first fire ball hit him and landed at the top of his eye. I quickly threw another fireball and it hit him right on his eye. He stood back and let out a huge roar that made all of us jump. Lou Lou said “Again Red, again”. I threw again and another fireball hit him at the side of his face. He seemed to stagger a little and looked dazed. I must have thrown around nine or ten fireballs when finally the dragon lost his balance and fell to the ground as the ground shook around us. It had taken a few fireballs to get him to fall and I honestly thought he may have had fire in him to throw or breathe back. I looked at Lou Lou and asked “Does he breathe fire” and she replied “I believe so, well according to belief and the fairy book of magic. Maybe he was so stunned by your fireballs, that he didn’t have a chance. Now we need to hurry and not think about that. You did a great job Red, one straight after the other” patting me on the shoulder.