Julie has been a music teacher at a public school in Arizona since 1987. She enjoys writing, reading, walking, swimming, and spending time with family.
The Search for Dragons
"There weren’t always dragons in the Valley, but we were faced with a desperate situation." I raised my voice to capture their attention. Now, the patrons of the pub were hanging on my every word, with curious, eager eyes. I ate it up. I had come to the village of Sumax, halfway up Desert Peak Mountain. I continued, "Our land, Morax, of the Salovian Valley, is the most fertile on the continent, no offense to you fine people." I looked around the room, mostly seeing shrugs or vacant stares. I heard a few snickers. Fairly certain I hadn't truly offended anyone, I went on, "As you probably know, most of our neighbors trade peacefully, but we must be vigilant for those who wish to take Morax by force. A month ago, marauders came from the south with ill intent. We fought them off at great expense.
I didn't mean to procrastinate, but I couldn't help myself. I did my homework and school projects at the last minute. I was always the last one to the table, and still eating after everyone else got up. I was typically the last one in the car when my family went to the grocery store, to Grandma and Grandpa’s, or anywhere else. I stayed up late, often until midnight, and slept in. I was frequently late for class. Mom teasingly called me "Susie Sloth."
The Dragons of Verde Valley
There weren’t always dragons in the Valley. That all changed in 2052. I was just finishing up my junior year at Mingus Union High School in Cottonwood, Arizona in the heart of the Verde Valley. I was going nowhere. I suppose it was partially due to my dad leaving when I was 10. I had a long record of getting into trouble.
A Dream Home
Brooke toweled off her athletic, 28-year-old body with a sigh. For the thousandth time, she wished she had her own pool so she could swim laps whenever she wanted. Patrons of the public pool at the recreation center were only allowed 1/2 hour time slots since they reopened following the COVID 19 outbreak. That wasn't even enough time for Brooke to do her mile swim, let alone some cool down laps. Plus, the indoor pool was only 20 yards instead of the standard 25.