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Birthday Story 2014
You may want to catch up on Part One and Part Two before reading the hilarious conclusion.
The girl put a finger to her lips and sharply shushed the silver dragon. She looked him straight in the eye, her eyebrows furrowed with determination to stuff her adopted brother into the cardboard box.
Dude, do you want to get us caught?"
Zinc stopped the objection to gather his thoughts for a moment. He looked at his surroundings; he was cramped into a box that was half his size, just to be a birthday gift to a celebrity—or proving the fact that dragons did exist in the today’s world. … Wait a minute. He was being a birthday gift? Birthday gift… somebody was having a birthday today… that would mean… there was to be cake and ice-cream… cake… and ice-cream…
His tummy started rumbling loudly. The fat dragon sighed and patted his stomach soothingly with both front paws.
"I’m hungry," he stated.
"You’re always hungry, silly…," Allie commented, taping the flaps shut. “Just a little more and… there! I know this isn’t exactly like our last present to him, Zincy, but at least he’ll be in for a big surprise."
"That’s because Snowdrop helped you out with the wrapping paper last year," Zinc reminded her, his voice muffled in the box. Inside, he scratched his icy blue underbelly and clasped his claws together politely. “Hey…um… you think we could get some of Mr. Wood’s ice-cream before we leave? I’m famished!"
Allie chuckled, tapping the top of the birthday box with an index finger. “I heard you the first time."
"Excuse me," came a voice, “do you need any help carrying that?"
Allie waved it off without taking the time to look over her shoulder. “Nah, I’m good. Thanks anyway sir. This is the right spot where it needs to be."
"You’re delivering that package to me?" said the man in disbelief. “It’s enormous! I have never expected someone your age to be part of the postal service. You must make them proud."
Allie turned around to face the man, squeezing one of her biceps. “With these scrawny arms? Sorry, I have to disagree with you on that… oh… holy crap."
She fixed her oval-round glasses and blinked twice, squinting to get a good look at the fellow who was now standing beside her. The girl stepped away, chewing an inward of her cheek. Her brown eyes rolled to the sky and she prayed to God that Zinc wasn’t going to make a fool of himself by jumping out of the box, tackling Elijah Wood across his front lawn and pinning him to the ground just to lick his face. Allie smacked a hand to her forehead as her other hand was engaged with the number one, springing her index finger out.
There was a yelp.
Out came the number two with her middle finger.
Last but not least, number three—
((Cue the cliché cartoony record scratch)) Zinc spread his wings and lifted his head, giving the celeb a funny look. “… Wow, Allie, you didn’t tell me he was the spitting image of Papa Ross…"
The dragon then rested his muzzle against the man’s chest and started sniffing out any sign of sweets. Elijah glanced over at Allie, who was trying to shove Zinc off him.
"Sorry—he does this thing to a lot of people—"
"It’s okay," said Elijah. “I love it when fans who are dressed in mascot costumes come bouncing around, just trying to pin me to the ground and sniff my cologne. That’s life, you know?"
Zinc stopped being nosy and tilted his head curiously at the young man with the big blue eyes. “Oh, sorry…," he apologized quietly. “I’m not trying to get a whiff of your cologne… I think Shimmer’s the only dragon in the world to wear that stuff, since he’s a king and all…" Elijah raised an eyebrow. Who was Shimmer? This ‘dragon’ liked to go off-topic quite a bit. “… I’m just trying to find your stash."
Elijah simply had no idea what he was talking about. “Stash? What stash?"
Zinc curiously lifted Elijah’s jacket and peeked inside. Nothing. He looked at him with a toothy grin and said, “Your ice-cream stash!!! It’s your birthday today! You’ve got to have an ice-cream stash in here somewhere…"
"Zinc, get off of him!" yelled Allie. “You’re crushing him with all that weight!"
"Whoops!" The dragon giggled and hovered off him and remained at the side. “Sorry Mr. Wood… if you don’t have the ice-cream stash on you right now, can we have some of your birthday cake instead? We came all this way…"
Just for dessert? Elijah thought. He brushed himself off and studied the dragon carefully. He was a particular one—if this was a birthday prank, these were some good special effects. He looked so real. His scales were pure silver, and his underbelly, wings, horns, spine, and the diamond tip of his tail were detailed in a dark steel blue. He had the mentality of a five-year-old. The qualities of the so-called gentle giant. Who apparently was obsessed with ice-cream. What was his name again? Zinc?
From a silly dragon,? ZINC.
Everything was becoming so clear now. Elijah began to stare at the dragon in wonder.
"So… you’re not some kind of studio prop?" he asked.
Zinc snorted. “Prop? Me? Nope… um… at least, I don’t think so anyway…" His claws fidgeted nervously together. “… Am I a prop, Allie?"
"I’m pretty sure you hatched from an egg," Allie informed him.
"And you’re not a special effect?" asked Elijah.
The dragon shook his head no. Elijah touched Zinc’s horn with his fingertips. He gave a low whistle of approval.
"One more question," he said. Zinc sighed in relief. The questions were giving him a migraine. All he wanted to do was to eat some ice-cream and head back home. Was that too much to ask?
"This isn’t a prank; you actually did eat my ice-cream from last year?"
Zinc perked up. He had no problems answering that one.
"Yeah… those gallons were really tasty! But I’m sorry… again…" He hung his head and shyly hid himself away by taking refuge behind his wings. Elijah looked at Allie and asked,
"Does he usually eat ice-cream?"
"Every day," replied Allie. “He can’t live without it. He practically survives off ice-cream. He’ll eat any flavor at any day, whatever the time may be. He’ll eat sweets without question. The only thing he won’t touch is frozen yogurt. Trust me, I’ve tried."
Elijah immediately felt bad for the guy. He didn’t know Zinc’s addiction to ice-cream was so serious that his own life depended on it. He gently patted Zinc on the wing, trying to comfort the dragon in any way possible.
"It’s okay… don’t worry about it, Zinc," said Elijah sympathetically. “I have an ice-cream cake in the house that I’ll gladly split with you."
The silver dragon tried to stand as tall as he could on his hind legs. He sniffled and brought Elijah into a bone-crushing hug. The embrace became so tight that the actor’s eyes were bulging out of their sockets. Elijah gave Zinc a playful swat on the shoulder blade in response. Zinc dropped him to the ground and skipped off to the house, his wings all aflutter. Allie provided support for Elijah by helping him to the steps.
"Tell me kiddo," said Elijah, interested, “How did you two meet?"
"Oh… it’s a long story," said Allie. Her expression of a beaming smile turned to hesitation.
"Well… a real-life silly dragon with an ice-cream addiction. I’ve never seen anything like it. He’s an extraordinary one, your friend Zinc. "
"Says the man who ‘owns’ a basement dwelling, pot-smoking dog…"
Stranger In Town
The town of Ivy Hollow was known for many things; hospitality, good food, extravagant parties, and, the most important of all, the many haunted spots and their accompanying stories. There was the old Pumpkin Spice Inn, seeing many years of deaths and gruesome murders; Myrtle’s Grocer, whose ghosts are friendly enough to keep thieves from bothering them; Black-Eyed Susan’s, the bar of ghastly shrieks and shattering glass; just some of the many hauntingly lovely places to be found throughout town. But the biggest attractions are, of course, the cemeteries, where zombies are rumored to spring from the grave, and the castles, where mad scientists, witches, vampires, and a stray werewolf or two are seen wandering the candle-lit corridors amidst the still, midnight air. One castle in particular, Akebiall, was home to a rather strange story. Legend spoke of a vampire who rode a dark horse on moonless nights from there, searching for his next prey. But what’s so interesting about this vampire and his haunt is that there’s a maiden laying asleep in the tallest tower, and to free her, one must spend three consecutive nights alone in that horrid place. Some only made it through one night and went home raving mad, but those who went for two nights were never seen again.
One day, a stranger came into town, astride a glossy black horse, an air of confidence blew through his sandy-blond hair, and a fierce determination shone in his grey eyes. Like those before him who wished to test their courage in the halls of Akebiall, he checked into the Silver Key, the only tavern lying in the shadow of the sinister castle. He left his name down as Luke, and it was in the tavern where he met a mysterious boarder named Matthew, who promised to help him face the terrors of Akebiall.
For the first night, Matthew gave Luke a lantern and some floral-scented candles and told him to not let the spirits blow out the candles or he would go insane. For the first few hours, Luke was alone in the castle, then, about midnight, the spirits showed their horrible faces, but they did not harm Luke while he had the candle lit. Then, when he needed to change candles, the spirits tried to blow it out, but Luke sang a song and that kept them away long enough for him to change the candle. And he completed the first night.
The second night, Matthew made Luke take some special food with him. About midnight, Luke found out why, three vempousi, female vampires, showed up, wanting him to play with them. He managed to get the food worked into the play, and got the vempousi to eat of the lamb. By morning, they were ash, and thus Luke made it through the second night.
The third night, Matthew gave Luke a bundle to take with him, giving him some final instructions before Luke ventured into the castle for the third and final challenge. For the first half of the night, Luke wandered the castle, looking for the staircase that led to the tower where the lady laid. He found them when he heard a sound from the first floor. Unwrapping the bundle to reveal a sword, Luke went to investigate. He found the source of the noise as being the vampire, who was waiting for him. The vampire’s eyes were black with white pupils and red irises, shooting fear into Luke’s heart. But Luke bravely fought him until Matthew arrived to finish up and let Luke wake Leyla. The vampire turned into ash as dawn peeked over the horizon, and Luke took Leyla to his own home in the south.
**By, Amanda P.
For a more complete tale of "Stranger In Town," please read here.
A note from the Author
First, I would like to extend my thanks to the town of Newbury Massachusetts, the city of Newburyport, Massachusetts and Plum Island Massachusetts.
All of these places are indeed real and I had the pleasure of growing up in Newbury, later residing in Newburyport, and spending many pleasurable days on the beach of Plum Island.
The Compass Rose Inn is also a real place and I have enclosed links so that you may view this beautiful and gracious inn.
Lastly, and most importantly of all, to Mr. Elijah Wood I dearly hope you will see this and grant me leniency on portraying you in this story. My warmest wishes to you on your thirty- third birthday, may there be many more.
Feel free to visit my writer's web page.