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Adventure Fantasy Teens & Young Adult

Maev blinked and opened her eyes. Her throat was dry, and she rubbed her eyes from sleep. It had all been a dream! A curious and wonderful adventure but just a dream! She leapt up from her chair, sending it crashing against the far wall of her room. She had just fallen asleep pouring over the equations for spell-making. She shut the book and tossed it onto her bed. 

She was done with magic and wizardry. The life of an accountant seemed very appealing. No excitement and no crazy adventures with a stupid cat or elf or whatever he was! She knew her parents would be crushed but she wasn’t going to pass the review anyway. 

Maev opened the door to her room and walked across the hall to the bathroom. After having been in that pub and that women’s room nothing smelled quite as good as home. She bent down, turned on the water and splashed her face. She hoped she hadn’t slept the entire night. That would mean it was time for school and she had to get ready. 

She looked up and reached for her toothbrush. In the mirror, staring at her was a girl with yellow eyes and straight long flaming red hair. She held up her hands in shock to see her skin was red and scaly. 

“Oh...my...gods!” 

It hadn’t been a dream, her mind raced as she staggered backwards. It had all been real. The cat. The trip to that strange place. And that damned bauble. It was all real! 

“Maev is everything alright in there hon?”, her mother asked from the other side of the door. 

“All good mum. Just, washing up,” Maev quickly explained. 

“Oh, okay. I was just worried because you screamed. I just wanted to check and...” 

“I’m good mum. Thank you!”, said Maev cutting her off then she winced at her rudeness. 

“Well, okay dear. I have fried plantain chips and a fried egg for you ready downstairs.” 

Maev waited until her mother’s footsteps moved away from the door and down the stairs. What was she going to do? How on Earths was she going to explain this? All she wanted was to be able to cast spells. Not be a dragon! She groaned and pressed her forehead against the door. 

And I thought having a pimple the size of a mountain on my nose was the worst thing that could happen. She glanced over her shoulder at the mirror to confirm that the pimple was still there. Brilliant. Even dragons get pimples, she bemoaned. But at least I have my nose and not some disgusting snout like the dragons from my school. 

It was something as Maev took a deep breath and cracked open the door. Confident that her mother was downstairs she pushed open the door and started out. 

“Oh, good morning, Maev!”, welcomed her father in a big hearty voice. 

“Omigods Dad! Really?”, Maev shrieked as she dove into her room and slammed the door shut. 

“Silas, please leave your daughter alone. She’s already running late for school”, her mother shouted from downstairs. 

“Right, right,” he mumbled. 

Maev searched her room trying to figure out what she could wear as a disguise until she could figure out how to turn back into a normal Exemian humanoid with her smooth lilac skin, black stringy hair and yes still her yellow eyes. She slid back her closet door and started to rifle through her clothing. She pulled on a grey jumper with the capital crimson letters of E, L and I and pulled on a pair of black leggings. She looked at her three-toed clawed feet and then at her trainers on the floor by her bed.  

It’ll just have to do, she thought resolutely as she grabbed her shoes and shoved them on. Surprisingly, they fit. In fact, all her clothes fit perfectly.  

How, how is this possible? Then her thoughts turned to the black cat/elf. Had he transformed all her clothes so that they fit her? She hesitantly looked through each piece of clothing. All were in dragon-human form sizes. 

I suppose I’ll have to at least thank him for that. It’s the least he could do after all! Now one last item. Maev grabbed her sunglasses from off the nightstand and slipped on the hood for her jumper. She opened the door to her room, looked both ways then tried to quietly make her way down the stairs, but the wooden floorboards creaked in pain under her weight alerting her parents. 

“Now do hurry Maev you’re going to be late!”, her mother called out. 

It’s now or never, Maev thought as she swallowed back the nervous lump that had formed in her throat. She leapt down the last four steps and landed with a heavy thud surprising her mother and causing her father to spill his coffee all over his pressed oxford white shirt. 

“Blimey Maev!” her father exclaimed as he sought to wipe up the spilt coffee. 

“Sorry! In a rush!” she responded as she darted over to the table, grabbed a handful of plantains and was out the door before anyone was the wiser. She picked up her bike and sat down. The bike wheezed in exasperation as the tires almost flattened but held.  

Feeling relieved, Maev kicked off but not before her mother called out to her. 

“Maev, darling, aren’t you forgetting something?”  

Maev’s eyes trailed behind her. She knows! She clenched her eyes and slowly looked back over her shoulder. 

“You’re ruck sack dear,” her mom said holding her school backpack. 

“Thanks mum!” Maev said grabbing the bag and flipping it over her shoulder as she started off again. 

“Best of luck!” her mother shouted as Maev worked her way down the street of their village and to her school. 

Two professors and one Mistress, as she preferred as her title, sat at a table on a raised dais in front of Maev. 

“This is not what we were expecting at all,” the Mistress said briskly.  

“Well, I assure you this is Maev Caitrín Sekhmet.” the professor to her right said flustered. 

“But she’s not a dragon,” the Mistress said. 

“Uh, no. Uh, normally she’s a uh, she’s an Exemian.” 

“Normally? Is that to mean that she often takes on other forms?” 

“No, ah, that is to say she’s always been, to my recollection an Exemian humanoid.” 

“And yet, as we can all clearly see she is not an Exemian humanoid, is she?” 

“Quite right.” 

The three turned their gaze back upon Maev. 

This wasn’t going well at all. She had breezed through the written portion of the exams but from the moment she had walked into the recitation hall everything had gone downhill from when the facilitators had told her to remove her hood and sunglasses.  

The Director of her school, Dr. Holliday, had all but fainted at the sight. While the Headmistress of Morroia, the most prestigious school in the CommonWealth for those wanting to pursue a career in spells & incantations, had begun to interrogate her. Why was she a dragon? Had she always been a dragon? Is she going to change back? Can she change back? Why a dragon? The questions went on and on and Maev didn’t have a particularly satisfactory answer for any of them.  

Just then the Admission Director for Morroia piped in. “Well, I do say this is all rather unusual and complicated. The girl, at this junction, is a dragon. And as we all well are aware, dragons possess a naturally gifted connection to meta energy as well as the ability to manipulate it. As such, we shall forego further examination bearing the outcome of the written portion of her exams.” 

The Headmistress cast the Admissions Director a baleful glance that he returned in kind. 

“So be it!”, she declared.  

Maev stared at them in shocked silence not sure what to do next. 

“You may go my dear,” Dr. Holliday said motioning to the door. 

Maev hastily exited the room.  

That was it? No demonstration of my magical abilities? No testing of my knowledge of spells or wand craft? All because they think I’m a dragon! Maev allowed herself a nervous smile. She then started down the hall, first walking at a brisk pace before breaking into a gleeful galloping run as other students and professors looked on. I can’t believe it! I am so in! I know it! This is the best day of my life ever! 

This was the worst day ever”, her father said. 

Maev sat at the kitchen table. Her head bowed and her foot shuffled apprehensively. 

“How could you not tell us Maev!”, he roared then got up from the table. “Your mother had to hear it from one of the other mothers at the school. We’re the bloody talk of the town!” 

“I’m sorry dad. I didn't mean to...” 

“Didn’t mean to what?” he said in a hard voice, cutting her off. “Embarrass us? Make us look like a bunch of fools that don’t know what our own daughter is up to?” 

“It’s not like that.” 

“Then tell us what it is then Maev, huh? What is this all about? Did someone at school put you up to this? It was that Barney bloke, wasn’t it?” 

“Barney?” Maev asked confused. 

“He means Blarney, dear.”, her mother corrected. 

“Blarney? No, Blarney has nothing to do with this dad.” 

“Always going on about how he can cast these stupid spells. I told you Alyce”, he said wagging a finger at his wife. “I told you that boy was no good. I always thought there was something off with that lad; wearing a mage’s robe since he was a toddler.” 

“I thought you wanted me to be a mage.” 

“I want what’s best for you but not like this. If you didn’t want to be an accountant that badly you could’ve just told us. You didn’t have to go and do something like this and have Blarney turn you into a blimmin dragon!” 

“It wasn’t Blarney, okay! It was a stupid cat!” 

Maev’s dad stopped in surprise and looked down at her mother who was equally surprised. 

“A what?” he asked uncertainly. 

“It was a cat or an elf. A dark elf. ‘Least I think that’s what he was.” 

“A cat? A cat turned you into a dragon? Do you think your mum and I are thick? I thought I had heard it all but this?” 

“Silas,” Maev’s mother chimed in soothingly. “Let’s try to listen to her.” 

“For what? She’s not going to tell us the truth!”, he said jabbing a finger at Maev. 

“All we’re going to get are riddles and stories!” 

“Silas Elicott Sekhmet”, Marge said. “Sit your arse down and close that mouth of yours right this instant!” 

Silas glared at Alyce before clamping his mouth shut hard, grabbed a chair, and sat down with a grimace. 

“Maev, I understand girls your age going through some changes,” she started in. 

“Ugh, mum, this isn’t like that!” 

“I know, but just listen to me and then we’ll be done here.” 

“Whatever it is you’re going through right now I want you to know that we are here to support you no matter what.” The last part Maev’s dad grumbled sourly which earned him a shooting glare from her mother. 

“But you need to be honest with us. No more games or hiding, okay?” 

Maev nodded. 

“Right then,” she said getting up. “No sense talking through this further.” 

“But”, Silas started in. Alyce held up a hand to silence him. 

“Now we just wait for the exam results to come back and then we go from there. In the meantime, if there is anything else you can remember, anything at all, you’ll let us know Maev?” 

“Yes mum.” 

“There’s a good lass. Now go on up to your room. It’s a mess and you still must study for the remainder of your exams.”  

Maev took her queue and bolted up the stairs leaving her parents who started into the conversation anew. 

If I get in, then it’ll all be worth it. I know it. 

Three weeks passed and nothing had come in the mail. Maev made a point of making herself scarce around her father as his bad mood had still not dissipated. In fact, every time he saw her, he would get all wound up again. It made her think that it wasn’t worth it. She wished she had never met that stupid cat, wandered into that strange woman’s room and touched that stupid bauble. What made her want to touch it anyway? She shook her head at the thought. Wouldn’t do her any good to rationalize it now. What was done was done. 

Then, on the fifth week she heard what sounded like her father leaping up the stairs. She mentally braced herself for yet another round of scolding but when he opened the door, he had the broadest smile she had ever seen on his face. In his hands he held a long, thick manilla envelope. 

Maev’s heart jumped with glee as she slid off the bed. 

“I didn’t open it, but they don’t send this sized envelope to just anyone.” 

Maev took the envelope from her father and slowly turned it around. It was addressed to her, and the sender was the École et Lettres d'Ingénieurs. Maev’s heart sank. 

“Go on! Open it up!” 

“Silas, give her some space.”, Maev’s mom said stepping into the room. 

Maev dragged one of her talons along the seam of the envelope and pulled out a folder. 

“What does it say?” her father asked in earnest. 

“Oh, for Pete’s sake Silas, she hasn’t even opened it!” 

Maev opened the folder with leaden fingers. Her eyes trailed across the acceptance letter, and she looked up at the excited faces of her parents. 

“I got in”, she said flatly. 

“I knew it! I knew it!” her father crowed in jubilation. He reached down and gave her a bear hug. 

“Even though you were a dragon I knew, what with your grades and how well you did on the entrance exams they had to take you. The other partners at the firm said they rarely take dragons because they just don’t have the mindset for this kind of study, but I told them”, and he drew himself up proudly, “My daughter is quite different. You see she’s not actually a real dragon. Just pretending to be one for right now. Once she’s done with this foolishness then she’ll be an Exemian again and be one of the next genuinely great minds of business! Or what am I saying, next great scientist or explorer! Now your acceptance to Morroia means nothing!” 

Maev hadn’t been listening to her father up to that moment. Then her ears perked up and she leaned forward. 

“My acceptance to Morroia?” 

“Yes, yes but that doesn’t matter now. Can’t you see? You’ve been accepted into the grande école. The most exclusive group of schools for higher learning in all the CommonWealth. Only nobility and masters of industry attend these schools. It’s something I would have only dreamed of for you, but you did it!” 

“But Morroia is part of the grande école.” 

“Yes, what of it?” her father asked with an air of irritation as he read over the acceptance letter. 

“You just said that now my acceptance to Morroia doesn’t matter but I don’t recall receiving a letter from them.” 

“Yes, of course you did. Some weeks ago, but that ridiculous school doesn’t matter now. There you would only learn magic tricks and how to make sock puppets speak. Not a real profession with little prospects. At École et Lettres d'Ingénieurs you will be able to pick what you want to do and where. It’s a dream come true!” 

“But that’s not my dream dad”, Maev said hollowly. 

“What? What are you babbling on about?” 

“Silas, when did the acceptance letter for Morroia arrive?” Maev’s mother asked. 

“Well, I don’t know! What is this, the Inquisition! Don’t you hear what I’m saying? It doesn’t matter when it arrived. The point is that she’s been accepted to the École et Lettres d'Ingénieurs and that is where she will be attending in the fall!” 

“Silas, go get the letter.”, Maev’s mom told her dad. 

“What, what’s that?” 

“I said, go get the letter and bring it this instant.” 

Maev recognized the stern tone her mother had taken on and she shrunk back reflexively. Her father spun out of the room and came back with a small white envelope. Her mother took it from him and handed it to Maev. 

Maev took it in shaking hands and pulled out the letter. 


MORROIA COLLEGE-OFFICE OF ADMISSIONS AND FINANCIAL AID 

Doctor Thrommerlun Embermaster 

87-135 Brompton Rd 

Zarzule   

SW1X 7XL 

Dear Ms. Sekhmet, 

I am delighted to inform you that the Committee on Admissions has admitted you to the Fall Cohort under the Trial Admittance program. Please accept my personal congratulations for your outstanding achievements. 

In recent years, nearly twenty thousand students have applied for the three hundred places in the first-year class. 


“I did it!” Maev shouted with joy as she jumped up on top of her bed. Her mother joined her and the two bounded back and forth. 

Her father looked morosely at the envelope in his hand from the École before Alyce extended her hand to him. 

“Come on you sourpuss. We’ll talk later about how you ‘lost’ the letter from Morroia. For now, let’s enjoy the moment.” 

Silas took her hand and the three began to jump about. 

It’s the life of a dragon for me! Maev thought exhilarated as the three spun around laughing and giggling. 

The life of a dragon indeed, observed a black cat slyly as he turned and walked back into the shadows of the room. 


May 24, 2023 23:40

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6 comments

Michał Przywara
20:42 Jun 01, 2023

An amusing story, filled with the academic stresses of young adults :) I think having her try to hide her "condition" from her parents was the right call, as it added a lot of extra tension and conflict. The dad comes across as a domineering arse, though given he's celebrating at the end, maybe there's hope for him. And of course, the appearance of the cat is ominous at the end - maybe acceptance to Morroia is not the win it appears to be. Critique-wise, there are a couple issues with formatting and the like that another round of editing...

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Daniel Rosas
16:42 Jun 02, 2023

Good Morning Michael and thanks amillion for taking the time to read my story and provide insightful feedback! I really have to stop relying upon Word to catch all of my formatting errors! Appreciate your catching and calling those out so I can fix them! Yeah, that should have read Alyce not Marge. I put Marge in there as I was writing so I could keep going with my train of thought and looks like I didn't catch all of them to change! Thanks again. Great feedback and hope you have an excellent weekend!!

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Tricia Shulist
23:10 May 29, 2023

Interesting story. You know those black cats, always up to mischief. Thanks for this.

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Daniel Rosas
17:16 Jun 02, 2023

Good Morning Tricia and thank you reading my story and sharing your thoughts! Hope you have a great weekend!!

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Mary Bendickson
06:12 May 25, 2023

🐉🐉what was the difference in the two schools? Once you used the word 'stated' think your meant 'stared' Magical story!

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Daniel Rosas
18:31 May 25, 2023

Good question! The École et Lettres d'Ingénieurs is a school for engineering. Morroia is a school for spells & incantations. While completely different institutions in different places they’re both part of the grande école which is a formal/informal collection of preeminent specialized institutions of higher learning in the CommonWealth which is where Maev lives. I did mean “stared”. Thank you for catching that and letting me know! Very much appreciate you for taking the time to read my story and provide feedback Mary!!

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