It’s a cool summer morning and you’re on your way to the local middle school to speak to their creative writing class. You’re all set to go. You’ve got writing samples and free copies of your newest book and a grande triple latte fueling your enthusiasm. As you pull into the drive, the rising sun shines through your windshield. You wince so hard, you can barely see, so you shuttle into the nearest parking spot you can find. You open your door and step outside.
As you blink aside the big black dot that’s burned into your vision, an even more ominous silhouette appears. A towering dragon with golden metallic scales, burning red eyes and bloody teeth is perched atop the school. Even the half-full latte you’re holding seems dumbfounded. Suddenly a green portal appears across the parking lot, but the dragon sees it. Two people leap from it: a young woman in shimmering robes and a grayed, weathered man in charred, blackened armor. Before they can react, the dragon breathes, blowing them twenty feet across the pavement, stunned and barely conscious, but alive.
The man’s sword clatters ten feet away, and a narrow stick the length of your forearm bounces off your car and lands at your feet; it has intricate runes carved into it that glow as you stare at it. You hear a bell. Morning recess. Excitedly oblivious kids stream from the side door and onto the playground. The dragon cranes its long neck and leers at them. It shifts its weight. You know it’s about to pounce.
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