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"You Won’t Believe How This Creature Changed Their Lives!" by Sara Codair
Two young mages, Patix, age 13, and Alix, age 16, were born into a life of poverty on the streets Sur Playa, but a single act of kindness changed their lives.
They had just been released from their lessons at the Public Witches Academy and were practicing wearing enhancement spells while walking to their uncle’s papaya farm when they heard a distressed groan in the bushes.
“It sounded sad,” Patix, told EtherBuzz correspondents. “The creature was clearly in pain. I couldn’t bear to just leave it like that.”
The two teenagers followed the noise deep into the forest.
“The further in we got, the tighter the forest became. At one point, we couldn’t walk without bumping into those sticky sugar trees,” said Alix. “I was worried, but when my sibling gets xir mind set on something, there’s no stopping xir.”
After wandering around the woods for over an hour, they found the source of the sound: a small cave.
“I didn’t want to go in,” Alix told our correspondent. “It looked like a giant’s mouth waiting to swallow me alive.”
“Xe tried to stop me, but I went in anyways,” said Patix.
Both siblings described the cave as narrow, damp, and cold. They expected it to be infested with snakes and spiders, but it was devoid of all insects and critters.
They found out why when they reached the cave’s end and saw the creature. Its skin was peeling, white, and translucent. Below the flakes and curls of dead membrane, they saw partially formed scales: blood red speckled with green mold.
“It was clearly a molting reptile,” said Patix, “but it was the size of a house cat. Most reptiles I knew of were either much larger or much smaller than domestic felines.”
Alix wanted to put it out of its misery, but xir sibling insisted they take it to the university. Patix conjured a bubble to send a message to xir uncle. Next, xe sent xir sibling out of the cave to collect sticks, which they transfigured into a gurney. Together, the siblings had just enough magic to levitate the creature onto the gurney.
“If we had been more advanced in our studies, this would have been easier, but the best we could do was change the shape of things, not the texture. Our twig cart bumped and stalled the whole way back,” complained Alix.
Xir sibling, though, never lost xir confidence. “I had no doubt we’d all make it out alive, especially since the creature was so cooperative. Xe curled xir spiky tail around xir four legs and dozed with xir long snout resting on the carts edge.”
It took nearly three hours, but the two siblings got the creature to Sur Playa University, where it intrigued Dr. Goldish Burner, the chairperson of the Veterinary Healing Department.
“I’d never seen anything like it before,” Dr. Burner claimed.
Xe summoned xir best students, Southern Realm native Franco Azule, and a Murican exchange student, Greg Goodie. They bathed the creature in warm water, scraped off the mold and molted skin, then set its broken wings.
“When those kids brought it in, I thought it was a shaved cat. I’d never imaged it was a young dragon,” said Dr. Burner.
Since dragons are on the Extremely Endangered Magical Species list and haven’t been seen in over a century, both children were rewarded for bringing it to the university. The orphaned drake will receive proper medical care until xe is large enough to survive in the wild.
“I wanted to buy a new bike, but my parents made me put the reward money in my college fund,” said Alix when a correspondent asked what xe wanted to with xir reward.
“I will save money so I can study veterinary science at the University,” said Patix when asked the same question. “I’d rather spend my life working with dragons than picking papayas.”
Dr. Burner said xe would consider hiring Patix as a research assistant when xe is old enough to enter University.
Sara Codair lives in a world of words. Writing is like breathing; they can’t live without it. Books are food and equally important. Even their day job involves reading and writing. Sara teaches and tutors writing at a Northern Essex Community College. When not consumed with words, they enjoy hiking, swimming, and trying to make food grow. They live with Goose, a cat who likes to “edit” their work by deleting entire pages and a dog who makes sure they don’t spend too much time on the computer. Their debut novel, Power Surge, will be published on Oct. 1, 2018.