Really…Dragons Are Just Fallen Stars…A short story by Ashley Houston.

It was in the time beyond dragons and yet there were those who still dreamed of becoming knights.

Why? You may ask.

Because, maybe there were dragons lurking somewhere within the darkness of time.

Annie wondered about what it would be like to become a knight. Her brother always picked at her, claiming that only he could become a knight.

“You are just a girl.” Thomas yelled as he wondered around their small bedroom.

Annie rolled her wounded gray eyes at her twin brother.

“I could become a knight, that is if there were still dragons around…” Annie muttered loudly enough for her brother to hear.

“ARR! You have more of a chance of becoming a pirate than a knight!” Thomas laughed as he laid down onto his small worn twin bed.

She waited until her brother fell asleep before silently climbing out of her bed. She crept over to their small cramped bedroom window and looked up at the twinkling night sky.

The more she stared up at the glowing stars the more one particular star stood out to her. She blinked just to make sure that her eyes were not playing tricks on her.

The star was moving, becoming bigger and ever brighter.

She had to close her eyes because of how bright it was becoming.

There was a loud crash, the brightness fading outside her window.

Annie looked over at Thomas, making sure that he was still asleep.

She crept over to the bedroom door and paused just as her hand touched the cool metal of the door handle.

What was out there?

She stood frozen.

“A knight would not let fear get in the way of discovery, even if the unknown was full of scary things.” Annie whispered to herself.

She had just gotten the courage to open the door when something touched her shoulder. She jumped back from the door.

“Ouch. Quite a knight.” Her brother cried out as he pushed himself off the floor.

Annie laughed nervously as she realized that she had no reason to be so scared.

Thomas glared.

“What are you laughing about? You nearly broke my back.”

Annie laughed even more, her bright gray eyes tearing up.

“Maybe next time you won’t sneak up on me.”

Thomas just stared at her.

“Well are you going to open the door?”

Annie looked at the door, not sure if she should go outside anymore.

She had to be brave. Even if her brother did not believe that she could be a knight, she would believe in herself.

The door creaked open as the two twins tipped toed past their aunt’s bedroom. They wondered down the old squeaky stairs till they were facing the front door.

Annie looked over her shoulder at her twin.

Thomas smiled encouragingly at his sister and waited. He did not expect her to actually open the door, figuring that he would have to eventually take charge of the situation.

Annie took a deep breath, her hand resting momentarily upon the worn handle. She turned the handle and pushed the door open.

Thomas was in a hazy state of shock that she had actually opened the door.

Annie breathed in the crisp cool air of another autumn night as she peeked outside.

The night was thick with an unnatural fog and it was dark and eerie. She tried in vain to see through the fog.

Once again Annie was faced with a question. Did knights get scared of a little fog? Of course not…right?

“You have gotten this far…you might as well keep going.” A voice whispered from within the fog.

Thomas took a step back when he heard the disembodied voice.

“Come now boy…are you really going to let your sister go outside all by herself?” The voice whispered from within the fog.

“My brother would not abandon me.” Annie shouted out into the endless fog.

Thomas’s brown eyes widened in surprise because he was thinking of hiding under his covers until morning came and the fog disappeared.

The next sound they heard was laughter, it grew so loud they had to cover their ears. The ground was rumbling as if something really big was rolling around outside, somewhere within that thick fog.

Annie knew she should just close the door but the voice was right, they had made it this far.

She reached behind her until she located her twin brother’s hand and took it.

Taking a deep breath Annie walked out onto the small wooden front porch, dragging her brother behind her.

Thomas stopped fighting against his sister’s tugging when he realized how silly he was acting.

This was just some joke one of his friends was playing on them…it had to be.

“Ahh so I see you have decided to back your sister up…good plan weakling. Perhaps you may learn something, yet.”

Annie ignored the voice as she focused on finding out who it was that was taunting them.

Thomas pulled his hand roughly out of her grasp as she started to venture into the swirling fog.

He was frozen with fear.

“Don’t you see it?” Was all he could whisper as he bolted for the door.

Annie stood still, not really understanding what had come over her brother.

The disembodied laughter started again. It made the ground rumble and the front door slam shut.

Thomas beat against the door from inside the house. No matter how hard he tried he could not get the door open, it was sealed shut.

“So we meet little one, who so boldly called me down from the heavens.”

Annie stared, momentarily frozen as the fog started to clear.

The dragon grinned his mouth full of teeth, stretching his silvery wings out.

With a sigh he laid his large silvery head down onto the ground so that he could look the girl in the eye without getting a neck cramp.

She was looking into the green luminous eyes of a dragon!

Instead of being afraid she became curious.

She walked closer to the imposing dragon.

“Go ahead little one, I can tell there is something you would like to say.  Or perhaps, you have a question for me?”

The dragon’s eyes twinkled with delight.

“So, I can be a knight!”

She smiled.

“Ahh yess you can but you don’t need me to become a knight. For you see, little one, that is a common mistake. There would need to be ‘evil’ dragons for there to be one such as you.”

The dragon stared at her for a while.

Annie was confused.

How was she supposed to respond?

The dragon shook his silvery head slowly, as if clearing it of old memories.

“Not all dragons are evil, most of us, are just roaming guardians. We live to protect various things and creatures, you see little one. Do not think you need to slay a dragon to become a knight! You already are one.” He smiled.

“I don’t understand.” Was all Annie could think to say.

“It is your actions, your bravery…the very fact you were able to step outside that door that made you a knight.”

The dragon stood up, taller than the small two story house that he was facing. Bowing his head down at the girl.

“I am honored to be in your presence, Lady Knight!” He roared out for all of the heavens to hear.

The stars glowed brighter.

“You see that, Lady Knight, my fellow dragons and guardians have accepted my choice to make you a knight.”

Annie smiled, her heart and head felt light with emotion.

Was the dragon serious?

Acting on impulse Annie bowed her head and knelt down onto one knee.

“I am honored.” She tried to do her best knightly impression.

The dragon laughed as he shook his large silvery head.

“To be a true knight means that you are pure of heart and do not faint easily. I am glad that I was able to find another knight through the ages. Remember that I will always be there for you when you need me most.” The dragon whispered as he flew up into the night sky, rejoining his fellow twinkling stars.

She watched those twinkling stars for what felt like an eternity.

Thomas opened the door and ran to his sister.

“I am so sorry that I left you alone.” He cried softly as he hugged her.

She smiled and shook her head.

“I was never alone.”

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