Dragon Zoo - Londons hottest new tourist attraction in the making!

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

On getting those eggs back from my friends...

In Nic's house...

I quickly opened the door and sort of hopped inside, trying to stay low whilst simultaneously shield my face with my empty rucksack. This time there was no lethal unforeseen flying dragon attack, just a normal vacant 13 year old girl’s room. The unmade bed, the Barbie Mansion in the corner covered in dust but still embarrassingly present, the heels and sandals in a pile by the wardrobe. The presence of her school bag wasn’t immediately forthcoming and a quick scan of the room didn’t reveal the rock to be on her desktop or bed.
“Sit down! Chill out, I got you a coke.”
Nic’s sudden appearance right behind me made me jump an absolute mile. My heart instantly pounding, furious at the fright I’d just had.
“Whoa Lucy! I said chill! Are you OK?” she asked, handing me the coke glass and walking into the room.
“Yeah sorry, you scared me that’s all” I sat down on the bed, still discreetly searching her room for the schoolbag with my eyes whilst I took a sip of coke. She sat down next to me and brushed her blonde hair out of her eyes needlessly as it fell right back in them again.
“So what you doing here then? You’re not here to talk about Scot are you? Or are you freaking out about your choices? I know Stacey was, I just told her to ditch IT and do Drama like she obviously wants to.”
“Oh, right” I looked up, finally seeing the bag propped up against her desk behind her. I needed to get to it right this second and get outta here and to the next house. “No, I’m not freaking out, I just wanted to come round and er...ask if” I stopped my sentence short as I could have sworn that her backpack had just moved slightly behind her.
Nic glanced behind her at the stationary corner of her room and looked back at me quizzically. “Lucy what is up with you? How did you even get here anyway, you still haven’t even told me why you’re visiting and to be fair, you’re being a bit weird.”
I tried to ensure I made eye contact and look calm when I replied “Sorry, I’m really sorry. OK.” I breathed in deeply and huffed all the air back out of my lungs before continuing, “Right. I’m here because I need to ask you something” as I said it my heart skipped a beat. Was I imagining it or had that bag just rocked slightly where it sat propped against her desk leg?
“Go on, what is it?” Nic replied, impatience beginning to creep into her tone.
The school bag suddenly slipped completely from its supported position against the desk leg and landed on the floor with a thump. I jumped up onto my feet with panic, what was I going to do? There is a dragon in Nic’s bag, I had no doubt now, she couldn’t find out. It was definitely dangerous. I need to get out of this house with that thing now. Quick Lucy think!
“Nic can you quickly go downstairs and ask your mum a question? I’m here because my Mum asked if your Mum has any oven gloves she can borrow. You see we were cooking and she found there was a hole in hers.” Lame excuse! I took my eyes off the bag for the smallest amount of time possible and looked at her almost apologetically, praying over and over she’d take the bait. Say yes and get out of this room as quickly as possible.
The bag moved again. “I guess so” Nic replied, “Is that all you came over for, couldn’t she just buy some?” Another scuffling noise within the school bag, she was going to notice if I didn’t get rid of it soon.
“Sorry Nic, I’ll visit properly soon. Can I hurry you if you don’t mind?” the sentence came out louder than intended, making me seem more than a little unhinged. More movement in the corner, my eyes darted again back to the bag unwillingly only to see it stationary once more. Nic was thankfully still unaware; my outright friendship ending weirdo behaviour was more than enough to distract her.
Nic looked at me with sheer disbelief before leaving the room, “yeah sure, whatever...I’ll just go check.”
I waited until I was sure Nic was going down the stairs before I made my move. I didn’t want to risk opening the bag here in fear that the dragon might escape in my friend’s house and cause even more destruction than I’d managed to achieve with my freakish behaviour. I grabbed a cushion from the bed and shoved it into my rucksack to make it look full like Nic’s. I set it down against the desk leg and quickly exchanged it for hers. She was sure to notice that her bag was missing; I’d have to remedy that later. For now I was just grateful that both bags were black so she might not spot it straight away.
I swung Nic’s rucksack onto my back and instantly felt the weight difference through the shoulder straps. I knew now for sure, it wasn’t my imagination, there was definitely something squirming in there. I still couldn’t, and really didn’t want to check, my main priority right now was to get it out of this house and to somewhere safe and hidden.

This is a passage from Chapter 3 of my Dragon Zoo Story. You can read more when the full story is released.

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