Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Writing in Progress: "Effie's Dragon"

Along with some other writers, I'm taking up the challenge of posting a weekly excerpt of a sotry I'm working on so that I will A. stop being so precious about it B. get used to putting my work out there C. finish the darn things. Sometimes it will be prose, other times comics, possibly even a poem or two. What they'll all have in common is that they will be just a bit of something longer.

The first excerpt is from a children's story, "Effie's Dragon". If you're familiar with my comics work at all this will be a nice change. Especially since it's A. for kids B. has no vampires and C. is prose. I've wanted to write a dragon story for little girls for awhile now because they've always been my favorite magic creature. This story takes place by the sea because I love the ocean and spent most of my childhood summers either on the rocky coast of Maine, or the beach at Rockaway.

So, here's a bit of: "Effie's Dragon"

Effie Rosemary Crumb was very fond of tea parties, toast with jam, and scaly sea serpents with long swirly tails.

Effie loved swimming and swords, dresses with bows and the color blue. She loved stories and plays, running until she couldn’t breathe, and building sand castles with curly bits on every tower.

Every summer, Effie was sent to her grandmothers’ house on the coast, where she spent every day on a rocky beach, searching and swimming and sailing handmade paper ships. This summer was particularly special as Effie had a new little sister, and although she loved her, she often needed to slip off to get some time to herself, because babies don’t do very much but sleep and cry and eat.

One afternoon, as she walked along the gray beach, having escaped from another fancy lunch with friends who were wishing her parents well, Effie cut her toe on a sharp sea shell and stuck her foot in the salty water to take away the sting. The water was cold and still, and Effie watched the blood from her toe make small swirls.

Suddenly, she heard a splash and a spluttering and a gurgle. And when she looked up…

There. She. Was.

“Oh, you’re BEAUTIFUL!” said Effie.

Where once had be still, steely water, now swam a slim and elegant sea dragon. She smiled at Effie, preening her scales proudly.

“Thank you.” She said. “I think you’re pretty, too.”

“I’ve never seen a sea dragon before.” said Effie.” You’re so much sparklier than I imagined!”

“I try.” Said the sea dragon.

“How old are you?” asked Effie.”

“Oh, young still. Only seven hundred and seventy six.” said the dragon.

“Wow. I’m only seven.” said Effie, who thought seven hundred and seventy six sounded quite impossibly old.

“That’s an excellent age to be,” replied the dragon.

“Do dragons live forever?”

“I don’t think so. But perhaps we get close enough.”

“Oh. Well. I’m Effie.”

“I’m Sahhafffhhhsnnnahs in dragon. But you can call me Sarah. I’ve always liked that name.”

“Why are you at the beach today? I’ve never seen you here before, and I’ve been keeping an eye out for dragons. Especially sparkly sea ones.”

“Maybe you weren’t looking hard enough.”

“Oh, but I always am!”

“Well, I don’t usually get so close to shore. But I saw this shell and then your little pink toe.”

“I hurt it a little,” said Effie. “But I didn’t cry. Well, not much.”

“Here, let me help.” Sarah the sea dragon craned her long lovely neck and gently touched Effie’s injured foot with the scales on her nose.

“Oh, it tingles!” said Effie.

“It should be better now.”

Effie marveled are her now healed and perfect toe.

“Thank you! But…” she looked worried. “What can I do for you? Oh, I know!”

Effie held out her hand. In the palm lay a perfect snail shell. It was pink and blue, pearly and swirly and shimmery bright.

“You’re so sweet. Where should I wear it?” asked Sarah.

Effie carefully looked over Sarah from head to tail. “Maybe there, on your neck?”

“Could you put it on for me?” asked Sarah. “I can’t reach, for I haven’t hands and arms like you.”

“Promise you won’t bite?”

“Of course not! That would be rude. Also, I only eat seaweed. Good for the scales.” said Sarah, a little offended.

“Sorry, I should have known.” Effie apologized. “I think I’ll need to climb up to reach.”


So Sarah swam as close to the shore as she could. Then, she extended her neck so that, should she have wanted, she could have touched Effie’s nose with her own. For her part, Effie marveled at the intricate scales of the dragon, made of shells and stone, in so many different shades of blue and green and violety purple pearl, that she did not think she could properly name them all.

It was, however, the sea dragon’s eyes that were the most strange and beautiful color, as deep a blue gray as the ocean at night during a storm. They were wise and playful, odd but comforting, and Effie was sure they held the secret to everything she had ever, or would ever, wonder.

End of Excerpt

Copyright MonsterTeaTime 2012

"Effie's Dragon"

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