Category Archives: Fiction

The Ice Dragon of the North Shore–the conclusion

Five Hours Later


We climbed across the snow covered rocks, slipping on ice, and occasionally tripping over fallen branches making this trip through the forest seem to take forever. All at once huge blast knocked us 10 feet away from our trail without warning. Looking back we could see a column of smoke from the blast.

“Dad!” I hissed as I saw what it was. He jerked his head in my direction with a look as if to say ‘what NOW?’!

“No. Sudden. Moves. Or we will be dead faster than we can blink”. I never took my eyes off of it… It was called the Crystal Snow Specter according to the Dreka although a more accurate name would be… the Ice Dragon!

Before I knew it Dad grabbed a camera to photograph it making sound which awoken the beast. As Dad snapped another picture the beast rose it’s head and… Dad was gone in an instant! The trail of the Ice Dragon as it walks through the snow

“Dad!” I screamed. I couldn’t believe it. The dragon from the Dreka had just eaten my dad. All of a sudden I heard the shutter from the camera click. And again I was in disbelief, Dad was taking pictures inside the dragon’s mouth. The dragon raised it’s head spewing him back out unscathed. A moment later the Ice Dragon came my direction only to nose me as gently as a new puppy. I giggle at how soft it was. In that moment I knew that this creature was kind and caring. In the Dreka book it had said whoever owned the book was the rider and life-long friend of this dragon. I believe it 100% and nothing could change that!

Eating the stone covered shoreline

A great scraping sound drove me from my thoughts as the dragon was eating the rocky shore! Could this day get any weirder? The dragon saw us staring at it with fascination. It’s tail came sweeping up under us to gently set my dad and me on it’s back. It was armored in ice harder than diamond but somehow covered with the softest and warmest snow you have ever felt. Granted the air around us was still freezing cold and I couldn’t help but to shiver. The dragon noticed as I wrapped my arms around myself for warmth and twisted his head around to look at me. His breath was like a warm furnace and I found I was no longer cold. I looked at Dad and saw from his expression that the same thing happened to him. The Ice Dragon climbing up a stone pillar preparing to leave

Hoping to be lifted into the air soaring among the clouds we were instead offered a way off as the specter lifted a leg motioning us to climb down back to the safety of the snowy ground we came from. Than the dragon stretched its wings and took off toward the sun that should have been setting but was instead rising into a new dawn.

The sun rising over this vast lake

The Ice Dragon of the North Shore–part two

Two Months Later


“Any ideas on where to go for spring break?” My dad inquired.

“Let’s go to the North Shore” I replied, exchanging a significant look with him. He knew what that meant.

“Actually, I think that would be a good idea”. He gave me a look that said ‘I’ll prove that old book is fantasy’. I had already told him I don’t believe that book either but it would just be cool to see the setting of the it. Why would I believe that book anyway?



“You know I don’t believe that book!”

“I know that”.


Another Two Weeks Pass

*** Hiking through the snow covered north

The North Shore was cold and covered in snow. We went to our favorite spots. Hiking along the trail when something moved just out of our line of sight. Suddenly a snow bank seemed to hit us off the trail. The snow blinded me as I was covered from head to toe with the cold, white powder. Shivering I sat up and most of the snow fell off allowing me to see once again. Dad was already standing and looking around like he was hallucinating. I was about to find out why

“What is it, Dad?”

“I just thought a snow bank came up and knocked us off the path” He slowly murmured in disbelief.

“Me too” Agreeing with his uncertain answer.

We looked around for any evidence to explain what just happened.

“We’re too far away from the path, I’m not exactly sure where we are”. He said with a puzzled look.

“I think I may know where we are!” I exclaimed.


The northern most shore of Lake Superior

“The Northernmost Shore of lake Superior”. He looked to where my finger was pointing and through the trees we could see the snow glittering on a large, frozen lake which appeared to be more like an ocean than a lake.

Dad whistled and said: “How did we end up here, we were miles from here!”

“The only thing that would make sense is if we were knocked out and kidnapped. Why would they just leave us here though? Thankfully we woke up before we froze”.

“I don’t know, but let’s start going back because it’s going to be a long hike and it will be dark before too long”. I groaned and stood up once again.

“Dad, what if they come after us again?” I asked, afraid that there would be nothing we could do.

“We’ll stay away from paths and try to stay where we have cover or stay where they can’t sneak up on us again”.

“If we have cover, so do they. If we stay where they will be in the open, we’ll be in the open too”. Dad shrugged and we started our journey of what felt like a million steps.

Trying to stay hidden on our journey back


The Ice Dragon of the North Shore

Lately I’ve noticed the librarian at the public library watching me whenever I’ve been there. She looked at me curiously at first, then she started giving me a calculating look. This time was an exception. She was obviously trying to avoid eye contact. I was looking at some fantasy books and when I looked up the librarian was standing over me. I quickly shot a  glance toward my Dad to see if he noticed but he seemed a little distracted.

“Kid, I need you to come with me.” she said, startling me. I desperately tried to get my dad’s attention without the her noticing. A difficult task which I failed miserably at.

“Kid, Stop that. I’m not going to hurt you it won’t take long.” she looked at me before adding “It’s about a book you reserved ”. She failed as badly as I did trying to give me a bored look.

“My name isn’t kid. If it’s about a book I reserved and you know what I look like, you know my name also!”.

“I… You… My colleague pointed you out to me and told me to get you”. I looked around her at the desk. A red-haired elderly lady with too much bright red lipstick on was sitting behind the desk.

“Sorry for being so defensive,” I said reluctantly. She looked conflicted and I could only imagine the internal battle that was going on. This must be awkward for her after staring at me for so long. She led me to the back where I noticed on one was around as we descended a nearby set of stairs leading to a door which appeared to be heavily locked.

Going down the stairs to the locked door

“I don’t think my book is in there,” I said with a look of uncertainly.

“It’s not,” the librarian replied seriously. She took out a strange, metal key, unlocked the door and motioned me inside. Once inside this librarian, if she truly is a librarian,  pointed me to a table covered in ancient drapes with an ancient and enormous leather book bearing a metal symbol depicting a dragon along with crystal like projectiles coming from the fanged mouth of this dragon resting next to these intricate drapes.

“What’s going on? More importantly What is this?” as I rested my hand on the large and obviously ancient book.

“That’s yours. It’s called the Dreka. and this cloth is called a Dreki Handhafa,” she told me as she eyed my (clean) hand resting on it. I noticed and quickly removed my hand from the Dreka as I scanned around and saw the books surrounding this Dreki Handhafa.

The Dekra and Dreki Handhafa

“This isn’t mine. I don’t understand. Why would you bring me down here?” I questioned, Confusion clouding my face.

“It was left to you by my Grandfather” She replied.

“I don’t think I knew your Grandfather” I quickly snapped back.

“You didn’t know him” this librarian confirmed.

“Why would he leave something for me if I never knew him?” I continued to question.

“He knew you, even though you never met” she said cryptically.

“This is mine then. Can I read the Deka book?”

The librarian laughed and said “It’s called the Dreka and you can read it if you want. It is yours after all”.

I sat and read until the librarian came back into the room, never realizing she had left to begin with. As she entered she said “Your dad’s looking for you and I can’t think of any other way to stall him”.

“OK. I can tell him about this right?” I asked.

“Yes but do it in an isolated location after you finish the book” she said, this time with a slight smirk creeping into her face.

“Why do I have to finish the book?” I asked quizzically.

“Trust me, you need to finish the book and it’ll all make sense” She said, as the smirk now became a full grin.

“OK” I replied leaving back up the stairway.


To be continued…


Photographing Christmas


It has taken weeks to plan a family Christmas celebration at your house for everyone to enjoy and that time has finally arrived. You’ve had wonderful images in your head about the beautiful decorations, the incredible food, and the enjoyment of everyone’s company while sharing gifts with one another. What a great opportunity to capture these moments with your camera and remember this time for many years to come.

For the past several weeks there have been countless emails, texts, and phone calls all in an effort to find a day and time that everyone can come together for a short time. Should it really be that difficult? If it is, does everyone really want to be together or is that just a fantasy in your head? Where’s the aspirin?! I feel a headache coming on. Why do I fight with these decorations for so long? How did they get tangled together? When they were put away last year they were wrapped up nicely and carefully put into storage containers. Now it’s one big pile of wires and glitter. Get the cutters! I’m going to win this battle if it’s the last thing I do.

Tangled Christmas lights and electrical cords on hardwood floor

Who’s calling me now!? Great, it’s my mother saying she can’t make it at the time we agreed on earlier. More emails, texts, and phone calls to accommodate her. Just what I was hoping to do right now. Ouch!! I think I cut my finger instead of the wire. Got to stop the bleeding. Who used the last bandage and left the empty box?! Tissues and tape will have to do. There’s no time for a trip to the store, well maybe the ER for a few stitches. Later, I’ve got to get more presents wrapped right now. But first let’s get these lights put up outside. Drag out the ladder along with nails and a hammer to hang these stupid lights. Why am I starting to get dizzy up here? Ohh, there’s a small pool of blood under my ladder now.

What? Why am I laying on the ground? I’ve got to get these decorations up and get to the store yet. How come these lights aren’t on? And those over there are blinking? Oops, I cut the wrong wire. Enough, I’ll have to do this later. Good, here come the delivery truck. My online order has arrived just in time. That’s not the color I ordered. Too late now, better get it wrapped. I’ll have to exchange it later. Now for the trip to the store to get the last of the food. There’s the phone again. What’s my sister doing with her friend at the bar? She’s suppose to be here soon. Can’t deal with that now.

One more thing to get – cheese for the potatoes. Why is that space empty? Sir, do you have more shredded cheese?  Sir…. Sir?  HELLO! SIR! No more shredded cheese?! OH but you have that 5 pound block of cheese? Wonderful! Just what I wanted to do yet today – shred cheese. A few more hours to go before our wonderful guests begin to arrive.

Adam's Art

That snowman wasn’t laying on it’s side when I left. Now all the lights are off. Well Mr. Snowman. How would you like to meet my great oak? Here you go! That problem solved. Are these lights plugged in. Who unplugged them? Better plug them back in.  Who’s that screaming in the garage? Dad? What are you doing? Oh, you were working on the electricity for the decorations. Sorry, I didn’t know. Where’s mom? She’s getting her no good brother out of jail. THRILLING! Who’s pulling up in a taxi? Wonderful, it’s my sister.

That can only mean one thing? Yep, she almost tripped over the pieces of the snowman. What great fun this is going to be. Well, at least she’s pulling enough bottles from the trunk for us all. That is until she dropped the box and broke them while falling on top and slicing her forehead open. Wait! don’t pull away yet. Can you drive her to the hospital to get…?  Wait, Wait! Uh, Dad? you’re up. Never mind, I’ll do it? Here you get the cheese shredded inside for me then. Come on sis.

Unbelievable how busy that place was. Do they have more than one doctor? Back to the house for this amazing Christmas celebration. Now my mom’s here. Maybe she can help get things back on schedule. Or not seeing as how she’s crying while my uncle keeps insisting he’s been clean for weeks now. Not one hit of pot or anything. He accidentally tripped through the window to the police station. Those TV’s and computers in his truck belonged to a friend of his. How was he supposed to know he stole them? I’ve got to get in the house. Where’s all this smoke coming from? The ham is on fire! Quick get it out of there. No, don’t use water!

Can you deliver three large pizzas to room 121? Thank you. Maybe there’s some hope to get a few nice pictures of this Christmas still now that it’s a complete failure. At least the hotel has done a nice job of decorating for the holidays that will be a nice background. Why is this not taking pictures? Thanks brother for pointing out my blinking light that says low battery. Forgot to charge them again didn’t I. Are there any more bottles that survived the fall around?

For those hoping to get tips out of this article there’s probably not much here but hopefully you were entertained for a few minutes and have a much better Christmas story than this one.

On This Christmas


I can’t go any further! How can I stop? This little girl needs to get somewhere warm. We’ve been walking all night in this freezing weather just to keep from freezing to death. I thought I heard someone say it was going to be one of the coldest nights of the year with temperatures below zero. The feeling in my hands and feet left several hours ago. Sara has been shivering for hours. How could we possibly go on? She hasn’t had anything to eat since yesterday at the shelter. I wish they would have had a spot for us so Sara could be comfortable on this Christmas holiday. Just a little bit further. There is a mall near. I just need to get her inside for awhile.

Look at all these people hurrying to finish their Christmas shopping and get home to be with their families. Oh how I would love to be with family but they’re all gone now since the fire destroyed our house and took my mom and sister with it. And then a car accident killed dad a few years ago on his way see Sara at the park. I just don’t think I can go on. Resting in this snow bank wrapped around this child I can feel the snow and cold slowly taking our life. Is there a reason to resist any longer? Of course, she deserves better than this. I need to get up and move again. Just a few more steps. But nothing seems to move.

Ah warmth. Are we dead? I pry my eyes open to see someone has put a jacket around Sara and placed a blanket around me. Why is this person helping us? With the glow above he must have been an angel. There are sounds coming from his mouth but I can’t make out what he is saying. Finally I hear “eat?” and know this child needs some nourishment to continue on. So I accept the offer and with his help get Sara and myself into his car. What a glorious feeling of heat! Still unsure of where we are going I look back towards her and see a small amount of color entering her cheeks. For a quick moment I feel a sigh of relief and offer a prayer of thanks for this angel sent to help us in this time of desperation.

The Glow From Above

Arriving at a nearby sandwich shop I can begin to feel my fingers tingle. Something I have not felt in hours. Unsure if this was a kind person or cruel individual, we order something to eat. Maybe he should have left us. It would probably all be over now. Has his kindness just extended our misery? A little bit of heat will make it torturous to trudge back into the frozen white earth for another night of wandering just to keep some life. This must have been our fortune at this moment so I will take in some food and get Sara all she can eat to prepare for this night while I continue to figure out what we’re going to do.

Steve began to talk, asking us questions about where we’re going and how we got there. First asking Sara for her name and how old she was and offering the information that he has two daughters of his own. After finding out we had no where to go, he eagerly invited us to stay with his family on this Christmas night. I could possibly accept. He has done so much already and how could I face new people while wearing the same clothes for the last week and in bad need of a shower. No, we just need to get through tonight and hopefully a place will open up at the shelter. We’ll be ok I promised myself. Ouch! what’s that. Hey I can start to feel my tows again. I didn’t think I would ever feel those again. By this time Sara had taken off Steve’s coat and began to bounce around a little as the heat and nourishment entered her body. My face started to get a little wet as I realized we couldn’t give up. She has so much life in her.

After declining a few more offers to join Steve and his family he made another offer. A night at a hotel to recuperate. How could I possibly accept this? Beginning to again turn down his generous proposal I looked at this little child and realized I could not decline again. Hesitantly we joined him in his car and drove towards the nearest hotel. Holding Sara close I could see this gentleman talking with the person at the front desk and then another person entering the lobby. After several minutes Steve was escorting us to our home, carrying Sara, on this Christmas Eve. Unlocking the door, we entered a beautiful room with a bed for Sara and one for me. With all this space I couldn’t tell if this was a dream or if it was really happening.

Sara was laid in her bed and fell fast asleep. Steve wished us a “Merry Christmas” and disappeared through the door. I didn’t know how to thank this kind and generous person. Without him I would not be able to hold my little child again. Just as I was about to take a soothing bath there was a knock at the door. Oh no, it was too good to last. Will we need to leave this place? Slowly answering the door it was Steve again holding several packages. He quickly placed them near each bed explaining which ones where for Sara and even left one for me. Again he wished us a Merry Christmas and disappeared again.

With tears beginning to fill my eyes I glanced towards this beautiful sleeping child and noticed his jacket. Grabbing it I raced down the hall towards the exit to catch this angel. I met him near the door and offered the best hug I could thanking him for saving us tonight on this Christmas Eve. Tears were rolling off of both our faces as we waved good bye. I could hear Christmas music playing in the lobby which I hadn’t noticed before. That helped complete a day I couldn’t have imagined. Better get back to Sara and wait for her to awaken Christmas morning with gifts to open. Yes, Santa brought us both more than words could describe!

Exhausted I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. Soon I began to dream – of a house for Sara to grow up in, people to share our lives with, and angels watching over us. A new beginning On This Christmas!


Just Another Christmas

A Wintery Christmas Eve

I really don’t want to be at work today. At least traffic was light on the way in this morning and the office is really quiet. What do you expect? Tonight is, after all, Christmas Eve. I use to really enjoy this holiday but every year it gets less and less enjoyable. All of the hours spent shopping at busy stores and trying to figure out what to get each person on a list that continues to grow. At least the internet has made shopping easier as long as you plan ahead a little. Focusing on the reason for the season – the birth of Christ would help make the season better until I found out that Christmas Day isn’t even the actual birthday of Jesus. The church chose to celebrate it on this day. Almost as if the church is trying to make this holiday all about them. It seems they have to find a reason to steal all of the celebrations and guilt people into attending. I’m sure I’ve got this mixed up somehow but that is just how it seems to me. So now it’s just another Christmas.

Should be a slow day around the office because so many people have taken the day off so I won’t be able to take care of things that require help from co-workers. Probably a good day to take care of things that have been on my desk awhile as low priority. Hopefully I can get out of here a little early and finish up my last minute shopping before going home and getting ready for Christmas Eve dinner at our house. At lunch time there wasn’t much going on so I decided to leave for the day to get home with the family to celebrate. As luck would have it, trying to walk out the door I get stopped to take care of a problem since there really isn’t anyone else around that can take care of it. Fortunately I have a few minutes so let’s hurry up and get this taken care of. An hour and a half later I finally made it through the front. Lunch is out of the question in order to take care of the last few gifts and get home on time.

Great, it’s starting to snow! This is going to make the afternoon that much more fun. Finally arriving at the store and the parking lot is full. After driving around the lot for several minutes a spot opens up and I take it. A quick glance at my phone highlights the fact that now I’m running late and need to hurry through the store. Like that is possible with all these people here! This is what they call battle shopping. Weaving in and out of other people, dodging shopping carts, working your way in between people to get to the shelf only to find the person ahead of you grabbed the last item you were looking for. Not quite as bad as black Friday but close. Some people consider this fun. Not me! Surprisingly shopping went faster than expected and all that is left is to check out with the cashier. This certainly helps put my timeline back on schedule until my phone starts singing telling me there’s a new text message. Yep, I need to fight my way through the store once again to pick up forgotten items for this evening. Patience is running thin as I’m in a hurry once again. Looking around the store it is clear I’m not the only one. We are all try to be cordial if only on the surface.

Racing towards the exit I can see the snow is still falling. The roads must be covered by now causing traffic to move slowly. Using my gloves to remove the snow from the door so snow doesn’t fall inside when the door is opened, I shove the packages into the car. Out of the corner of my eye I notice a woman bent down. She must have dropped something. After brushing the freshly falling snow from the rest of the car I open the driver’s door ready to get in when I see this woman again and she is still bent down. Another quick gaze at my phone tells me I really need to get going. A further look reveals a child with this woman. Walking towards the pair shows they are both wearing tattered sweatshirts and shivering. Not enough to keep warm in this wintery weather. Quickly my jacket is around the child and I’m running back to the car to retrieve what blankets there are in the trunk. Within a few minutes they are both wrapped in blankets trying to find any bit of warmth they can. Their thin, pale faces indicate they have not eaten in awhile so I ask if I might provide a meal in a warm place pointing to a sandwich shop nearby. A few moments pass and the mother hesitantly agrees bringing the first smile to my face this holiday season.

Driving a short distance we all get out of the car and go in to enjoy a quick meal and warm our fingers. They each order a full meal while I get a warm drink. While these two eat like they have not had anything in a couple of days I send a text to my wife admitting that I would be late tonight and apologizing. It’s almost as if I had just finished typing when there was a reply: “Another late night at the office? We really need you here! Your mom and dad will be here any minute.” I could feel the displeasure in this response but this mother and child are more important than another Christmas dinner right now. As the mother is finishing her sandwich I could see some color entering her face and the child was beginning to move a little more fluidly. The warmth had started thawing their muscles allowing them to relax a little. Appearing as though conversation might be possible I asked the child what her name was. She quickly responded with “Sara”. A few minutes more revealed she was 4 years old and really liked ice cream. I mentioned that I had two daughters with the youngest being just a little bit older than her.

Turning towards her mother I thanked her for allowing me to buy them lunch and asked where they were headed. She said they really didn’t know. This economy has impacted them greatly forcing them to leave their house and sell whatever they could to get by. Knowing this I asked if Sara and Michelle (Sara’s mom’s name) would like to join us for a wonderful Christmas meal and a warm, comfortable place to sleep. Michelle refused saying I had done enough already and they weren’t about to impose on my family further. I continued to press, inviting them to our home with no luck. Michelle did not feel up to meeting a bunch of new people in her present condition. Understanding this, I offered an alternative – how about staying in a hotel for the night with a warm room and place they could get a good night’s sleep? Immediately she began to reply “No” but then hesitated while looking at her daughter. Finally she agreed and we retreated back to the car.

The snow had continued leaving beautiful wonderland and slow driving making what usually would have been a quick trip to the closest hotel a bit more challenging. Inching along with the heater blowing full blast, their blankets started to loosen indicating Sara and Michelle were finally warming up. Finally we entered the parking lot and I pulled up to the front entrance. I walked up to the front desk and asked for a room while the other two hung back close to the door. Apparently the hotel was booked up for the night with nothing available. Pleading I asked if there was anything they could do. These two have been out in the cold for a long time and have no place to stay tonight. Again the reply was there was nothing available.

Feeling defeated heading back towards Michelle and Sara to tell them the news a gentleman spoke up “Sir!?” Turning around with a disappointed look I pointed to myself as if to ask “me?” He walked towards me and said his family had two rooms reserved for the night but that I could have one for these two ladies if he could get a cot to add to one of the rooms. Bounding back towards the desk with this kind man in tow we inquired about a cot for his room. After getting him and his family set up, one of his rooms was transferred to Michelle and Sara and at a nice discount thanks to the hotel staff. I shook his hand aggressively thanking him to whole time for the generosity of him and his family. As they headed off towards their room I spoke with a loud tone almost shouting “Merry Christmas!”

I walked with Michelle carrying Sara towards their room. Both were beginning to yawn as these weary travelers were warm and full. A nice shower and comfortable bed will be the perfect way to spend this wonderful holiday. Reaching the door Sara had fallen asleep in my arms bringing yet another smile to my face. Looking over towards her mother I could see she had the beginning of a smile also. Entering the room I placed this wonderful child on her bed and started for the door. Michelle thanked me for all that I had done on this Christmas Eve day. I was grateful for the opportunity and wished her a “Merry Christmas” while hurrying out the door as I was incredibly late for celebrating with my own family. Returning to the car I remembered the gifts I had purchased earlier. They should be able to open presents too I thought.

Knocking I could tell I surprised Michelle as she slowly opened her door to see who was there. Handing her the packages I whispered “Merry Christmas” one more time so as to not wake up Sara and explained which ones were for her and her daughter. There were tears beginning to well up in her eyes causing me to quickly turn away and say good bye one last time before those same tears entered my eyes. As I neared the exit I could hear the pounding of footsteps racing closer and closer. Turning around there was Michelle with my jacket saying that I had forgotten it. She wrapped her arms around me giving one of the most grateful hugs I have ever received saying “thank you for saving our lives today!” As tears began to roll down my face running into my ever smiling lips I thought” I didn’t save you, you saved me!” Michelle and Sara were two angels sent to remind me the meaning of this great holiday. This wasn’t just another Christmas. It was one of the best Christmas’s ever!

A Christmas Tree

Climb to Badlands Mountain…part III

The top of Badlands Mountain

The top had a spring and… there it was five treasure chests full of 5,000,000 pieces of gold. There was only one thing that startled the girls… a skeleton staring straight at them. *This is my master, the ghost* the dragon thought to Mellisa. “Oooooooooooh” The skeleton moaned. Suddenly, a faded man was lying in the skeleton. I’m the ghost of Badlands Mountain, my name is not important but I will tell you anyway. I am Charles Goff the 3rd.” A jolt of energy ran through Mellisa’s body. Why did she recognize that name! “Wait, are you Charles Henry Goff?” asked Mellisa. “So, you’ve heard of me.” “You’re… Ana’s dad!” “Yes, I am. I came searching for this treasure right after she was born . I’ve wanted to see my little darling since but have been unable to. I’ve only seen her once.” “What if we bring her to you instead?” asked Mellisa “would you!? You can use the dragon to get there and back!” replied the ghost. “Yes we will. See you in a little while with your wife and your daughter.” said Kristiana. The girls climbed back on the dragon to go to Wall in search of Ana and her mother.

The Ghost of Charles

It took about twenty minutes to fly from the Mountain. The whole town was alarmed at the sight of the blue dragon. “Wait! We’ve come in safety” shouted Mellisa. “We’re looking for Ana and her Mom.” Ana and her mom made it to the front. “What do you want?” “We have a surprise. Get on!” answered Kristiana. Ana and her mom climbed on and they immediately took off. “I can see the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation! It’s much bigger than I thought it was!” exclaimed Ana. “Wow!” said Ana when they got to the top. “What is that!?” she exclaimed as she noticed the skeleton. “That’s what we needed to show you” said Mellisa. “Just wait and watch it” Ana and her mom’s eyes widened when they saw Charles. “Charles!?” asked her Mom. “It’s me Sandy.” “Daddy!” yelled Ana when she saw him. Both Ana and her mom ran over to hug him. “Thank you girls!” Charles told Mellisa and Kristiana. When Ana and her mom were finished talking with Charles, they returned home to Wall. Mellisa had just one last thing to say: “So that’s the whole secret of Badlands Mountain. The mystery is solved!” An adventure of a lifetime for Kristiana and Mellisa.

Climb to Badlands Mountain…part II

badlands sunrise

The next morning, Kristiana couldn’t wait to begin their adventure up Badlands Moutain. Finally it was 6:00 a.m. the agreed upon meeting time so she went to meet Mellisa at the Yellow Mounds. Mellisa was already there. “Well, Good Morning. Are you ready?” “As ready as I’ll ever be!” Kristiana said excitedly. “Well let’s start our journey then. I hope we live to tell about this someday, even if we don’t make it to the top. We would have at least tried.”

Heading out from the goldmounds

Mellisa lead them on their way on the trail to the top of Badlands Mountain. The first boulder came crashing down just five minutes after they started climbing. “That was fast! I wasn’t prepared for boulders this soon.  Oww! I caught a bone in my foot. Give me a few minutes to get up… Ok let’s go!” “That was faster than I had predicted.” commented Kristiana. “It must have not been to bad an injury.” “I brought some herbal medicine from Ancient Hunters overlook that we collected yesterday” replied Mellisa. “The Ancient hunters used this same remedy when they were wounded. Now let’s move a little faster to try and avoid some of these boulders. Just let me know if you get tired!” “Ok.” Kristiana said.

Falling Boulder

Shortly after the first boulders they saw the first trap.”Watch out!” screamed Mellisa. “That’s the first trap. It’s a very small pit though so I think we can just jump over it. I’ll go first.” Mellisa jumped and got to the other side easily. “Now you jump over it.” Kristiana jumped but this time, a giant plant leaped out of the pit and ate her.  “No! I will kill you plant!” Using her strength, Mellisa snapped the plant at the base and raised the head up so she could get Kristiana back. She pried opened the mouth and pulled Kristiana out. Fortunately Kristiana was fine, just a little slimy. “That’s just the first trap, and the easiest. So try to be a little more careful next time” said Mellisa. The girls continued on with their journey.

Blue Dragon

Finally, after hours of avoiding traps and boulders, the girls got to the middle of the mountain. Mellisa was the first to sense the dragon was coming and wasn’t very far away. “Here comes the hardest part, making friends with a dragon…”Sure enough, a blue dragon came zipping around the corner. Using her powers of persuasion, Mellisa started to communicate with the dragon. *We are not your enemies, we just want to become friends* The dragon slowed to a stop in front of them. *You can communicate with me!? Very well then, I may like you, and we can be friends* *Can you take us to the top please, we just want to see it, even if there is a treasure we don’t care about it. We just want to see what the top looks like* *Well, you could be trying to trick me, but you seem like very nice girls I could trust. I guess I could fly you up to the top. Climb up on to my back* *Oh, Thank you sooo much!* The girls got onto the dragons back and took off for the top. They felt the nice breeze in their faces as the dragon gliding up the mountain. ”I can see the White River Valley from here!” Shouted Kristiana “And I can see Castle trail, that’s the trail we took to the mountain!” They zipped around corners, into tunnels, and then finally they flew towards the top of the mountain. The dragon made a jolt upward towards the top.

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Climb of Badlands Mountain

Badland Mountain

It was a wonderful day in Badlands National Park. Two girls, Mellisa and Kristiana were racing to Ben Reifel Visiter Center when Mellisa spotted the eerie peaks of Badlands Mountain! Sliding to a stop Mellisa said “Hey! Kristiana, have you ever seen that big mountain before?” “No!” she exclaimed, “It’s called Badlands Mountain. Have you heard the stories about that place?” asked Mellisa. “No, should I know about them?” responded Kristiana. “Are you kidding me?! I’ve talked about the tales of Badlands Mountain with some of my friends! Ok, I have to explain the rumors of this place.” “How many stories are there?” asked Kristiana. “There are four stories in all but I’ll just tell you the main one for now” Replied Mellisa. “Ok” Kristiana said.

Mellisa started: “So, there are rumored to be 5,000,000 pieces of gold at the top put there by ancient mammoth hunters who mysteriously disappeared on top of Badlands Mountain. Many have attempted to climb to the top in search of this gold but only one is said to have made it – Charles Goff the 3rd.” “You mean Ana’s dad?” Kristiana asked. Ana was one of their friends back in the little town of Wall. Mellisa continued “Yes, that’s the one and he has never returned. Many people believe he found the gold and headed for California. Others believe he was killed by a ghost that watches over this treasure waiting for the mammoth hunters to return. Do you want to know why it’s called Badlands Mountain?” asked Mellisa. “Of Course!” Responded Kristiana with a puzzled look. “Boulders fall suddenly on top of anyone who even tries to climb the mountain. People say the ghost pushes them.  If the boulders are not successful in keeping away an intruder, he summons the big dragon to help guard his treasure. Anyone who gets even close to the middle is said to be carried off by the dragon and never seen again.” “Wait, what dragon?” asked Kristiana.

badlands night

“Have you heard any growling at night or even a flash of golden light?” Mellisa responded. “Yes but I was always told it’s just my imagination?” said Kristiana. “It’s not your imagination!” exclaimed Mellisa. “It’s the dragon warning people during the night.” “Well that dragon did a good job, it sure scared me!” replied Kristiana. Mellisa continued, “Yes, anyway every year at least one person attempts to find that treasure and never returns. It is assumed they die because they are never seen again. There is another person that almost made it to the top but just as he reached the peak the dragon swooped down and knocked him down all the way to the bottom. The poor man lost most of his memory so we still don’t know what it looks like up there! I just wish I could see it. Anyway, besides the boulders and dragon, there are secret traps such as poisonous snake pits, and hidden caves. So it’s impossible to get to the top alive!” announced Mellisa. So, do you get the main point, if you even try to do it, you’ll fail and never be heard from again. So don’t get any ideas!”


“But you’re not a normal person” said Kristiana “you have abilities that I have not seen in anyone else. What if you use your powers to protect us, and to become friends with the dragon and the ghost, you could use the dragon to fly up…” “NO! My powers are limited. We could die trying!” replied Mellisa. “But if anybody has a chance to get to the top you do” said Kristiana. Mellisa responded “You do have a good point… If we spend the rest of this day gather the necessary items we could climb Badlands Mountain tomorrow. Fine we’ll leave in the morning. But if I need help you have to do exactly what I tell you, do you understand?” asked Mellisa “Yes I do! Thank you sooooooooo much! I’ve wanted to go on an adventure my whole life, especially a dangerous one!” Kristiana replied “You want to die!?” Mellisa asked. “No! I just want a really cool adventure!” said Kristiana “Oh, I see. Well we better get started on packing our supplies” Said Mellisa and off they went.

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