There weren’t always Dragons in the valley—Ethan Edwards began, loudly clearing his voice—his eyes darting out the lead-lined windows as he nervously clutched the note cards in his hand.
“Oh my boy—but there were, there are” Professor Pennyfield’s terse voice coo’ed from the back of the rather large classroom, in as ominous a tone he could muster as he swept past the rows of desks, his long robes shuffling behind him as he made his way towards Ethan, bumping a few desks in his frenzy.
“You just haven’t looked close enough,” he added as he woefully joined Ethan Edwards gaze, his eyes firmly resting on the windy valley sea surrounding them. It was like he knew what would happen next, it was almost as though he knew what Ethan was going to say.
Of course—not much was known about the Valley prior to the Dragons living there. The valley sat in stark difference from the scene that would have been there years before—the barren rocks, scorched fields and simmering puddles had been replaced with new life.
Now it was chock full of meadow lilies and other assorted blooms—lilacs, lavender stalks and sea-dwelling grains, all thriving off the sun swept winds from the oceanic mountains nearby.
The only thing out of place besides the school was the smoldering fog that had begun to rise from the valley around them.
“None of you can imagine the world we lived in back then, it was a different time, a scary time,” Professor Pennyfield muttered, “I barely survived it myself, and everyday I live with the fear that one day they will return to finish us all.”
Chuckles and other nervous chatter broke out amongst the students, stifling the eerie silence.
“But Professor, sir…you’re joking right? There aren’t any Dragons out there, do you actually see one right now?” student Seamus Jones asked in an incredulous tone as he stood up and walked towards the looming bay window, staring out the crisscrossed panes.
“Nothing is out there, it's only us,” Fellow student Patrick Lee began…
A smile spread across the good Professors face.
This was true. Dragons hadn’t been spotted in nearly half a century, the school now sat in the very spot a rather large dragons nest once lie. Besides, no other animals roamed the area save for a few stray birds but even those had gone missing.
“Never let your guard down, you should always assume one is out there—waiting—“ Professor Pennyfield began, his voice stern and brash as he didn’t see any amusement in being questioned.
“Waiting for what,” Reagan Sullivan asked curiously, moving her desk closer to the aged Professor. “We don’t know my dear, could be anything, or nothing. All we know for sure is there are still dragons out there and we should be ready for them when they come.”
The good-Professor paused.
“That’s what I’m trying to say,” Ethan yelled from the front of the class but it was no use. He watched as Professor Pennyfields gaze locked once more on the distance and what appeared to be prayers fell from between his lips as he pulled at the beads on his robes and reached for his wand.
No one else seemed to notice a change in the air. The rest of the class buzzed furiously with incessant chatter, it would seem Ethan Edwards could finally sit down— that’s if he was a regular-ordinary student—but as things were, he wasn’t.
Most of the students here weren’t; it was Wayward Valley High after all, a special school removed from the rest of the town for those students who weren’t “normals” like you or me. Oddly enough, whether or not they had chosen to build their school in such a precarious place had yet to be determined.
Wayward Valley was perfect place to disappear, and what luck could it be that a school for the magically inclined was build squarely upon an old dragons nest. That was either the stupidest or bravest thing anyone could have done.
Either way, Professor Pennyfield made sure his classroom faced the opening of the valley, he spent every waking day in the school, never leaving its side. It was actually quite unusual now that it’s being said aloud—how would Professor Pennyfield actually fend off a dragon if he only stayed inside? but this would be a question for another day.
Ethan was trying his hardest to get through what he had bravely written on the cards as he cleared his voice again, his hands sweat profusely with a layer of thick paper crumbling apart against his fingers as he held the smeared words up near his face and began talking over the chatter—“there weren’t always Dragons in the Valley, but then there were, he paused, daring to take his eyes off the words as he spoke louder—“there weren’t always dragons, but then there were. Not one or two, maybe three, maybe they are more like you or me, but whatever it was, whatever it is, I swear when I spoke to them they could hear me,” Ethan began, the class around him slowly died down as his words sank in. “And after a while they spoke back to me, they told me things” he continued, “the elder one sent a warning—saying they will be back,” he didn’t get a chance to continue—before the candles above snuffed out and what felt like an earthquake shook the buildings around them as large plumes of smoke filled the room.
Ethan finally looked up, waves of thick fog had rolled against the thick panes of glass, blocking the view of the valley.
Screams of students could be heard as the ground beneath their feet started to give way. Ethan had barely enough time to escape the falling beams overhead. The unmistakeable flutter of wings could be heard as large grunts of dragons breath hissed against the glass, shattering it in one fell swoop.
“Run,” Professor Pennyfield’s voice cut over the chaos. “Run towards the chambers, bolt yourselves in,” he cried out, “don’t wait for me, just go, save yourselves,”—and with that, it had begun.
- [ ]
About the Creator
Writing my escape, my future…if you like what you read—leave a comment, an encouraging tip, or a heart—I’m always looking to improve, let me know if there is anything I can do better.
& above all—thank you for your time