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always there

By Anna KerrPublished 3 months ago 11 min read
Photo by Steven Kamenar on Unsplash

The sky was dark and unforgiving. The wind whipped around the trees, the missing persons flyers blowing around wildly. Jenna’s voice was hoarse from all the yelling over the last few hours. It was one of those things. One of the things that happen to other people, but never to you. The kind of thing you never thought would happen in your town, let alone to your family. It was the kind of thing you read on Facebook, saw in the papers; but it didn’t happen to you.

But this no longer was the truth. It happened. Jenna had only been looking away for a moment. In fact, it hardly seemed like a moment at all. She turned her head for a split second upon hearing a strange roar in the distance. When she turned back, he was gone. It was like he had vanished into thin air. It had felt like she couldn’t breathe ever since.

Telling her husband was the hardest thing she had done in her life. They weren’t on speaking terms since she told him. He couldn’t understand how anyone could be so irresponsible as to be distracted by a “roar” in the distance, ignoring their only son for even a moment.

“Parker!” Jenna screamed, her voice getting lost in the distance. Her husband stood as far away from her as possible, speaking with the police, trying to coordinate the search for their son. Countless neighbors had shown up to help search the cold, unforgiving forest that sat behind their home. They owned a lot of land; but it was mostly forest. It was of concern for both Jenna, being surrounded by the deep woods.

It was nearing ten p.m., eight hours since Parker disappeared. With every waking moment, the worry for Jenna and her husband continued to increase. Where was Parker?


It was chilly. Colder than what Parker was used to. He hadn’t had time to grab his sweater from the garden before he found himself here. He didn’t realize what had happened. He just wanted to go down the new slide his parents had gotten him for his birthday. It was yellow and red, his favorite colours. He wasn’t sure where he was, but he didn’t see his mommy anywhere. Where did she go?

Parker looked around and let out a small whimper. Where was his mommy? Where was his daddy? All he saw around him were trees. At least, that’s what he thought they were called. The sky was a lot brighter than it was when he was in his back yard. With a frown, Parker began to waddle through the forest, looking for any sign from his mommy or daddy.

He gave up after only two minutes; he was already getting tired, and cranky. He sat down on the ground and looked around. Was there any food? His bottle? He started to feel a little home sick.

He wanted to go home. He wanted to play on his slide. With his trucks. With his dragons and dinosaurs. He loved playing with those. His mommy told him they weren’t real, but they were very real to him.

He must have been so caught up in his frustrations he didn’t even hear it approach him. He wasn’t stealthy. He was too big to be stealthy. He looked at the boy, with curiosity on his face. In the hundred years of his life, he hadn’t seen many of these appear in his forest.

“Well, well. What do we have here?”

The noise almost made Parker jump out of his skin. Was he seeing this correctly? Was this real? His mommy had told him they weren’t real. What was in front of him seemed extremely real right about now.

“It’s okay, I won’t hurt you” the dragon replied, tilting his head as he spoke. He wasn’t sure if the child could understand him. Typically, only older folks were the ones to travel his sacred forest. Were younger children able to understand him too? He wasn’t sure what someone so young would be seeking in his forest of wisdom, but he wasn’t one to deny anyone of anything.

“Mommy said you aren’t real” Parker spoke in a soft matter-of-fact voice.

“Then how am I talking to you right now?” the dragon asked Parker, who simply shrugged his shoulders. He had always told her they were real. He had known it. “What is it you are looking for?” he asked the young boy, who was confused by the question.

“I want to go home” Parker stated calmly. The dragon stared at him, a little confused.

“You came all the way here, just to want to go home?” the dragon asked, and again, Parker shrugged his shoulders. “Now, you have me confused” he told the boy, who bore the same expression as the dragon, confusion.

“Where’s my mommy?” Parker asked the dragon, who was still curious as to how a child so young ended up on his plane of existence. Typically, he only encountered young adults, maybe even the occasional teenager. But never a toddler. How did he get here? Would he even be able to answer his question?

“She’s at home” the dragon responded carefully, not wanting to upset the young toddler. From his understanding of humans in general, the younger they were, the more delicate their emotions. He had to admit, this was a unique opportunity for him. He could study him. It was a learning opportunity. “How did you even get here?”

“I slided down the new slide” Parker replied so calmly. He began to pick at the grass beneath him, fascinated by how green the patch he was sitting on was. He had a small temptation to eat it, but something within him stopped him from putting the delicious looking grass in his tiny mouth.

The dragon looked at the young toddler with interest. Slides weren’t a typical means of entrance into his world. Though, now that he thought about it, he didn’t ask every person who entered how they got there. He just knew one thing; they came here for a reason. Everyone always had a reason; he knew that played a part in how they could find him. But what could a three-year-old need from him? What could have possibly prompted him to seek him out?

Parker simply stared at the dragon with awe. He couldn’t wait to tell his mommy all about this. She told him dragons weren’t real. But here he was, talking to one.

“Can you fly?” Parker asked excitedly.

“But of course.” The dragon answered.

“Can we fly?” He then asked with excitement. Is that why the child found him? To fly? That couldn’t be. He was meant to be a source of wisdom, of knowledge, not flying.

“Of course, we can fly” the dragon decided to indulge the young boy. Maybe he had more of a purpose than just advice and helping people see their higher purpose. He set his wing down a little lower to allow Parker to crawl onto his wing. He had no means to help the boy on, or to help him stay in place. Was someone this tiny and young capable of knowing how to hang on?

Parker climbed on slowly, having no issue navigating his way onto the dragon’s uneven wing. His skin was scaly, but surprisingly soft. Parker had no issue climbing to the base of his neck, laying down and spreading his arms wide to hold on. Sensing he was ready, the dragon took off flapping his wings at a slow pace at first, before increasing slightly as they rose in altitude.

“Does this take me home?” Parker asked, almost yelling. He wasn’t sure how loud he had to be for the dragon to hear him. He didn’t move from his position; he was rather scared. He was high up, from what he could tell, anyway. Flying in the air wasn’t nearly as fun as he had always envisioned. “I want to get down” he whined, on the verge of tears. The dragon could sense the panic in the young boy’s voice, so he immediately tried to find a place to land.

The land he stalked was covered with thick, green trees; it was mainly a forest, after all. But there was so much more to the land to be discovered. He wanted to show the young boy the wonders his land contained, but he knew it would fall on deaf ears. The only thing this boy wanted was to return home. The dragon had no idea why he had found his way here, and he wasn’t sure he would ever know. He did know he would certainly plant the seed in the boy’s head to seek him out in the future. Perhaps then, he would discover the nature of his visit. Or the dragon thought just before landing. He will need his services sometime in the future.

“Here we are” the dragon commented, touching to the ground at last. He picked an open field of his land, where all you could see was forest in every direction. Up on the mountains he knew his brothers slept, waiting for the opportunity to help another in need.

Parker scrambled from the dragon’s neck, excited to touch the ground once more. He knew one thing for sure; he never wanted to leave the ground again.

“Home” Parker spoke with a pout. He was tired. He was hungry. All he wanted was food, his bottle, his favorite TV show, and his blankie. The dragon simply chuckled, looking into the child’s eyes.

“I’ll bring you home, but first I want you to remember something” he spoke quietly. He noted Parker looking at him, intrigued; he wasn’t sure if he understood what it was, he was trying to say, but that didn’t matter; he was going to say it any way.

“Whenever you need someone, I’ll always be here. If it be for advice, to vent, or if you just need a friend, you only need to slide down your slide, and I’ll be here. Until the end of time, I will fly these lands. My brothers and I will always be here in times of need, should you ever need to seek our guidance.”

Parker just looked at the dragon, truly not understanding anything he had just said.

“So, I can go home?” Parker asked, and the dragon half smiled, feeling slightly defeated.

“Of course. I hope to see you in the future, dear Parker” the dragon spoke, feeling content though somewhat defeated.


Parker looked around his backyard, wondering if anyone was watching. He was certain his parents were sleeping; it was well past their normal bedtime. They were very routine driven people, and for that, Parker was grateful. Looking into the dark forest, he took one look at the old slide. The one he had loved as a child. He chuckled to himself as he approached it. Who would have thought, fifteen years later, he would still be using it. It had taken all the powers of persuasion to get his parents to keep it. He continued to stress its importance. And, for whatever reason, his parents relented, regardless of how old he got, the slide could stay.

Parker took the familiar step up and sat down, closing his eyes, enjoying the sound of the wind swaying through the trees. He never grew old of that sound, just as he never grew old of the slide, he had grown so fond of.

“Parker” the dragon couldn’t help but smile. He had grown use to his old friend coming to visit him. He wasn’t sure what was going to happen after the first encounter fifteen years previous when Parker was only a three-year-old toddler. He wasn’t sure he would ever return after the first time he had seen him, but he had been pleasantly surprised. He saw him again five years later, when young Parker had found him for the second time. As a young boy, he was filled with joy and wonder; the pair would spend hours together. As the years grew, the dragon saw the boy even less, but he was never forgotten.

“Hey Euruisa” Parker greeted his old friend, sitting down on his favorite rock. “So, I need your help” he cut to the chase, wasting no time. Euruisa simply laughed, he never grew tired of their time spent together. It didn’t matter how old Parker got, he would always be willing to indulge his old friend, as long as he still believed, he would be able to find his way to him.


About the Creator

Anna Kerr

29| hockey fan | occasional writer | skyrim

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