Julia’s Dragon (Older Edition)

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Erin burst into giggle as Katey grabbed her. Apparently the only thing she found funnier than running around the living room was when her mother invariably picked her up.

Katie’s phone rang, and she dropped the giggling child onto the sofa.

“It’s Auntie Jewels,” she told Erin before answering. “Hey, Julia-”

“Hi, Auntie Jewels!” Erin shouted.

“Hey, Katey. Um… you busy?”

“What’s wrong?”

“What? No, nothing’s wrong. I… I just need your help with something.”

“Come on, spill.” Katey started to pace.

“It’s… I wasn’t supposed to have to do this part.”

“This part of what, Julia? What’s going on?”

A heavy silence filled the air. Even Erin became quiet.

“Are you still there?”

“Yeah, I just… It’s easier to show you. Can you come out to Cook’s Ravine? Like now?”

“Now? I can’t. Jeremy’s out of town, and I need to get Erin’s dinner ready.”

Julia swore. “Food. I didn’t even… Do you have any raw meat? Like hamburger patties or something? I’ll pay you back.”

“I’m sorry, Julia, I can’t-”

Please.” There was desperation in her voice. “You can bring Erin with you. I can’t do this on my own.”

Katey pulled over to the side of the road near where Julia was waiting. Why here, she didn’t know. The road ran alongside the woods for miles, and there was nothing noticeable about this particular spot.

“Oh good,” Julia said, running over. “You made it.”

“You’d better tell me what’s going on, Julia.” Katie thrust a plastic bag at her sister. “And why you needed raw meat, of all things.”

The anxiety seemed to melt away from Julia and she smiled. “Trust me. It’ll be simpler if you just see it for yourself. It’s not far.”

“You’re pushing it, Julia.” But Julia was already helping her niece out of the car seat. Erin gave her a sloppy kiss and hugged her neck.

“Heya, squirt. Wanna see something really neat?”

“Yeah!” Erin said, delighted. “Can I, Mommy?”

“Fine, let’s get this over with.”

Julia led them down into the woods. The hill became steeper as the drew near the ravine that cut through the middle of the forest. Katey found herself grabbing branches more and more in order to keep her footing. Julia, however, walked as casually as she would down a sidewalk. Her balance didn’t even seemed threatened by Erin’s constant twisting as she stared at the various wonders a forest had to offer.

“It’s right in here,” Julia said, stopping in front a large rock outcropping. With her free hand, Julia pushed away some of the vines that covered it, revealing a hollow that lead into the hill. With a mischievous smile, she ducked inside.

Katey might have turned around and left, just to deny Julia the pleasure of surprising her, if Julia wasn’t carrying her daughter. Instead, she followed them into the cave.

It was warm inside, despite the crisp autumn weather. In the back of the cave Julia and Erin knelt beside a fire pit. In the middle of the ashes and glowing embers was a large, black rock. There were cracks running along it, that reflected the orange light of the embers, making it look like they were glowing themselves.

With a sharp crackling noise, another crack suddenly appeared on the stone. A moment later, another appeared, then another.

“Looks like we made it just in time,” Julia said.

“Will you please tell me what’s going on now?” Katey asked. She glanced momentarily at her sister, but found she couldn’t keep her eyes off of the strange rock.

“Mommy!” Erin said, also staring at it in fascination. “Auntie Jewels said it’s a dragon egg!”

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Prompt: Different Ages

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GuyRand gave me this week’s prompt in response to Julia’s Dragon. Take a scene you have written down, and change the ages of the characters by twenty years in either direction.

Good luck and good writing!