Semi-finalist #15

Name: Jesi O’Connell

I wake up with a very small, very ticked off firedrake sitting on my chest.

“Aw, crud,” I mutter. Sunlight stabs through the light curtains jigging in the breeze. I’ve overslept, big time.

Sassy hisses in displeasure and taps me with an indignant foot. Luckily, her claws are as tiny as the rest of her, so I barely feel it. Her red-gold hide is sort of pale, like a washed-out version of her usually bright self. She’s hungry. Which means all the others are, too.

“Maddie!” calls a voice.

“Okay, okay.Sorry!” Flinging back the light blanket still twisted around me, I sort of stumble-roll out of bed and promptly fall down with all the grace of a linebacker learning to dance en pointe. Sassy instinctively flies off but still manages to land upside-down next tome on the floor. Her claws scrabble at my bare legs as we both struggle to right ourselves and assess the damage.


Sassy hisses at me again. This time she sounds suspiciously like my mother, whose approval rating of swear words hovers somewhere around a Disney cartoon.

What the hell(sorry, Mom) did I fall over? Looking down, I discover a furry golden tail left over from my dreams. It’s snarled around my legs and twitching a bit.

Sassy jumps back when she notices my tail. A questioning chirp comes from her cute little beaked mouth. We both stare at my tail, and I try like crazy to grab the rapidly escaping dream.

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