Smoky

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Children Stories  |  House: Booksie Classic
Smoky is a magical story about a boy who discovers a dragon in his back garden (apologises for layout as it was a long time since i wrote this and i can't revert back to its original format)

Submitted: August 04, 2013

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Submitted: August 04, 2013

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Smoky


This is an unbelievable tale I’m about to relate, even to this day
I still wonder whether it was all just a dream.  I sometimes
think what would have happened if the dragon was still around,
maybe I would have seen more unbelievable things than what
happened that mid-summer evening all those years ago.  So I
shall begin......

The story began back when I was still in my childhood, when
my mind was full of adventure and wonder at the world around
me.  At that age many things captured my imagination, but the
one thing that remained with me and always stoked my
thoughts with fire was the old stone dragon that stood at the
bottom of my Grandmothers garden.  Let me tell you a bit
more about the old house she lived in, it was a place that many
a child would have been in their element, with its large garden,
many twisting corridors and decorated rooms.  It was the type
of house you’d expect a ghost or two to pop out of the next
corner at you.  It was a solitary house in the middle of a wild
countryside and at either end of this magnificent building were woodlands. It
was indeed a magical place.

But the best part of the whole house was the garden, a long
carpet of grass with beds of different flowers arranged carefully
and left to blossom into seas of beautiful colours.  Then there
was the huge pond, filled with gold fish and many different
insects, such as pond skaters and mosquito larva.  Many a long
day did I sit at the edge of this pond watching the pond skaters
twirl patterns in the rippling waters.  A small fountain sat in the
middle, what was a sculpture of a large fish.  It was old and
weathered, the once perfect patterning on its sides were
now chipped and scratched by the years it had spent its time
spraying water from its mouth.  At either side of this pond
were two large green bushes, buzzing with the activities of
bees and wasps.  But between these green, giant bushes was
the bottom of the garden and the stone dragon.

It was one particular holiday from school that my family
visited my Grandmother, too stay for a weekend.  Being the
only child I was spoilt with sweets and toys and as much
attention was paid to me.  Of course I was only eight, but
those days the dragon filled my thoughts, not the sweets.  I
called the dragon ‘Smoky’ and I always asked Grandmother if
I could visit him, she would reply...

“I’m sure Smoky will be happy to see you,” then she’d smile as
I raced out with excitement to see my old friend.
I would then sit at the end of the pond and look at ‘Smoky’
hoping he would come to life and breathe fire for me.  I would
also talk to him, tell him how I had been and relate
problems from school too him.  It was strange but the statue
always had an air about it, a magical spark, something I just
couldn’t to this day explain.  ‘Smoky’ just used to sit at the
edge of the pond as he always did, his tail curled around him,
his long neck and his alligator like nose pointing towards the
sky, crouched on the stone that he was fixed upon.  His eyes
staring towards the clouds as if he was desperate to fly.

Everyone wondered why I was so eager to see this stone
dragon, but I always had the feeling my Grandmother knew.....
It was the evening of the last night we were staying
round my Grandmothers house, as usual I went to bed and my
father read me a bedtime story.  This one was about a boy who
met a dragon and they went on many adventures together.
This story was especially interesting; my father had picked it
out of hundreds of books my Grandmother kept, it was good
as it related to the bond between me and the stone dragon.
When he finished I pretended to be asleep so my father would
leave the room.  The story had caused my imagination to run
wild, I had never visited ‘Smoky’ at night!!  So I waited till my
family had all gone to bed and when they had I decided it was
time to visit ‘Smoky’.

As I carefully sneaked out my room and crept down the
stairs, the darkness swirled around me and through the
corridors.  At one point I felt as if I wanted to go back to the
comfort of my bed, but my determination to see ‘Smoky’ was
stronger so I continued boldly on.  For a child of my age the
darkness of night was very frightening and my imagination was
filled with all the things that might walk these corridors when
everyone else was fast asleep.  I managed to reach the stairs
and slowly I tip-toed down them being careful not to make a
sound.  Once at the bottom of them I moved into the library.
Too me this room was the most frightening of them all, but at
the other end was a large glass door that led into the garden,
so my determination at seeing the doors was ablaze within me.
I crept through the shelves of old, dusty books and crinkled
portraits of people from the past that hung upon the faded
walls.  Their eyes seemed to follow me as I glanced up at them,
but that thought never knocked me from my objectives.  Once
through the library I reached the weathered glass doors that led
onto a small, moss ridden patio.  These doors were usually
locked but this particular night they were not.  As I carefully
pushed the doors open the warmth of the night filled the
library and brushed my skin gently.  The garden was totally
different in the dark, the light of the crescent moon shone
down creating a ghostly light that rippled above the plants and
across the carpet of grass.  The sky loomed over, its stars
winking at me as if they anticipated what was about to happen.
My boldness grew stronger within me, I had made it into the
garden and I wasn’t going to turn back although the darkness
was beginning to get more frightening.  There was a gentle
summer breeze that swayed the trees, which stood like soldiers
around the garden.  Tall and at attention they creaked as I
moved quietly through the corridor of darkness that shaped
and swelled within the confines of the garden, my only source
of light being that which was cast from the beacon that was the
moon.  I made my way through the flower beds and up to the
pond where ‘Smoky’ stood silently looking towards the sky.

Once there I didn’t really know what to do next, that was
when I began to realise that my determination and bravery
were dwindling.  The moon reflected off the stonework of the
great statue, but as I stood looking at my old friend my eyes
seemed to be tricking me.  As I watched I was sure the
stonework was beginning to change into scales!!  At first I
blinked in amazement, but then suddenly the dragon moved its
paw and stretched its wings!!  ‘Smoky’ was alive!  At first
instance I was staggered at what I was witnessing.  His once
stone clad body and wings were now of living flesh, of a colour
I could not describe, but as the moon shone down upon the
dragon the more he changed.  As you can well imagine my
thoughts were first to run and hide, as this was indeed
something out of the ordinary and being of the age I was, quite
enough to frighten me.  But for some reason I knew that
Smoky wouldn’t hurt me, how could he? After all we were
friends.  At first Smoky stood there, in exactly the same
position as he had always been, perched on the stone that he
had been attached to since I had visited him.  Then he turned
his alligator like features towards me.  I hesitated, awaiting
what Smoky was going to do next.  The Dragon stood,
silhouetted against the brilliant white of the moon, then his
eyes fell upon me.  His eyes widened, he did recognise me
before giving a sort of smirk in surprise.

“Why look so surprised?”
The dragon then spoke; my immediate reaction to this was of
complete shock, all the time I had wished he was alive and then
for it to happen was hard enough to accept.
I couldn’t reply... my tongue failed to work.
Smoky sat, crouched on the edge of the pond, his deep blue
eyes fixed upon me awaiting a reply.
“Well boy, you awoken me,” he announced, “so do tell me
Why?”
Smoky seemed rather shocked to have been discovered.
After a jumble of surprised words, I asked him how I had
awoken him, he explained to me that my wish to have a living
dragon as a friend had brought him too life.  All the time he
spoke, he shook his tail and every so often stretched his wings
out.
“Cramp,” he did say, “from being asleep too long.”
As we began to talk more the dragon related tales about a far
away land and of its magical inhabitants and of his master, an
elderly wizard who watched our world with interested eyes.
Smoky also told me that the wizard knew of me and hoped that
one day we would meet.  That’s when even more fantastic and
wondrous things began to happen.

“Care for a flight my young friend?” the dragon asked.
Naturally, being of my age and remembering the story my
father read to me just a couple of hours ago, I
accepted, it would be something to tell my friends at school,
not that they would’ve believed me.  He did tell me that I
would be home by the time the sun came up above the horizon.
“Well then, off we go....” the dragon then announced as he lay
down his wings and let me climb onto his back.
Then he slowly began to flap his wings....
“Hold on tight young Jacob,” he declared.
It was unbelievable, but as he lifted into the air, his wings only
made a gentle whooshing sound.  I watched in amazement as
the ground rushed away from beneath me and the garden
faded into the darkness.  The house slowly vanished into the
night as Smoky rose high into the air.  Soon
the countryside below us rushed along like a steam train.  We flew over
hills that stood out like camel humps and across rivers that
snaked their way across the trodden earth.  It was an amazing
sight to behold as towns and villages appeared and disappeared
below us, the lights from houses and street lamps shone
brightly casting mixtures of yellows and oranges against the
black carpet of night.  My thoughts now lay on where we were
going, the mystery was rather exciting and filled me full of
wonder.  Soon we were on our way over the dark blue of the
ocean, the moon silhouetted upon its rippling surface.  The
breeze over the waters was much stronger and colder, but that
didn’t stop Smoky’s determination.  Behind us the land
disappeared into the distance, until only the beacon of a
lighthouse could be seen faintly on the blackened horizon.
Smoky’s wings pounded away, his muscles working overtime
as the sea flew along below us.  

The wind whistled in my ears
and the strong breeze flickered in my eyes causing me to
squint, but through this narrow sight I caught a glimpse of
some more land coming into view.  A thin mist was wrapped
round the sheer cliffs as we got closer.  The sea battered itself
harshly against the ‘razor-sharp’ rocks below, it was all very
frightening for me.  The crashing waves filled my ears and
echoed up the cliff face like hammers pounding upon the rocks.
But within a few moments we’d left behind the evil waves that
clashed the shores and we began moving inland.  I started to
wonder where we were, which country this was, but then I saw
that we were actually flying over an unknown continent.
Below us rolling green plains stretched for miles in either
direction.  Then I caught a glimpse of movement within the
confines of the grassland.  

 I couldn’t believe what I was
witnessing, Smoky moved low over the grassland and circled
about as if in response to my interest.  As we swooped over
and around I could clearly see below that it was two knights in
mortal combat.  Their swords clashing against each other as
the sound they made reached into the darkness of the night.
One knight wore a shiny, silver suite of armour, which glinted in
the moonlight, clear and so bright you’d be able to use it as a
mirror.  The other wore a deep black armour, as dark as night
itself, in fact the only thing that gave him away was his shining
blade.  The two struggled together, swinging at each other in
their duel, unaware that Smoky and I circled above them,
watching intently.  Smoky with one final circle swooped over
them and away, I craned my neck back to look but so fast was
my old friend the knights vanished into the gloom.  All that could be
heard was the clashing of the swords within the night sky.  I
could not help but wonder where we were, I did ask Smoky
who just answered back....

“Your imagination young Jacob... your imagination.”
Next we started to cross into mountains as tall, if not taller
than ‘Everest’ herself.  We swooped through gapping valleys
that were full of huge rocks and covered in moss as rivers of
melted snow from the ice peaks wound their way carefully
through.  As we passed over we came across a pathway that
carved its way up a mountain.  Then I noticed them, a long
row of them in fact, carrying large woven baskets full of what
looked like exotic fruits.  They were short, green and hunched
over with pointed ears,  their baskets on their backs.  Their
green, skinny hands clung onto the baskets as these creatures
carefully made their way up the mountainside.

“Goblins... not the nicest of creatures to meet,” Smoky then
replied to satisfy my curiosity.
Then one of the Goblins looked up and caught a glimpse of
Smoky and I.  His features told the story, twisted and evil he
grunted before continuing further up the mountain.  After all
even a Goblin wouldn’t want to tempt a dragon into a fight!!
Smoky moved on over the huge spikes that were the mountains
and onto a forest of tall mushroom-like trees.  These trees
swayed in the breeze as we flew over them, they moved in time
as if they were a sea within themselves.  Over the forest, too
the edge, we soon came across a small town.  The houses were
made of wood with large, thatched roofs and lanterns burning
away outside, casting ghostly light over the cobbled streets that
lay along side them.  There was no movement in the streets
until we came across a large square in the centre of the village.
There dancing around to a haunting music was a series of
short, stout ladies and fellows.  Each of the fellows wore
different colour hats that were tall and pointed excepting the
end that dangled down with a huge fluffy ball at the end.  The
fellows all had beards white as snow itself, each in hand they
had what I took to be their wives.  Each of these wives wore
long dresses, were short and stout too and had huge red, happy
faces.  Their hair was in the style of pig tails and had flowers in
them creating a blossom of colour and light.  Lanterns shone
down on the happy party as they danced around in circles to a
small band on a little wooden stage.  Four of them were upon
it, one played a harp the other a flute, another a trumpet and
the last an organ.  The music they played was enchanting and
bright, reflecting the happiness that was shone in their dwarf
faces.  I was too discover from Smoky that I was correct in my
guessing.

“Dwarves like their wine young Jacob, there must have been a
wedding today!” Smoky proclaimed with a huge grin on his
alligator-like mouth.
Then on from the dwarf village I spotted a distance off, a tall
tower that spiralled up into the reaches of the night sky.
“Aaahhh!” growled Smoky, “Our destination young Jacob.”
As we got closer I could make out that at the top a bright light
shone, from which a balcony protruded out like a tongue
from a small mouth.  The tower was perched on the edge of a
large lake in which the rivers from the mountains flowed into.
Smoky began to slow, before touching down gently upon the
ground outside the tower.  Dust was thrown up a little as
Smoky landed, it swirled in the air a bit, making me sneeze
heavily.

“Sorry young Jacob, dust is always a problem this time of
year,” Smoky proclaimed.
I climbed off Smoky’s back and looked at where he had
brought me.  The tower spiralled upwards, so tall was it I
nearly fell backwards trying to see the very top.  At the
bottom, straight in front of me was an old rickety door that
looked as if it had seen the wars.  It was battered and
weathered from the years of service it had given as an entrance
to this strange yet homely tower.  Then to my surprise the door
slowly swung open of its own accord.  I stepped back,
awaiting for something to appear from the gloom of the
doorway.  Nothing did so I stepped forward too peek in, it was
dark so I stepped back again, to indecisive whether to enter or
not.
“There is nothing to fear young Jacob, he awaits your
company,” Smoky said.
I turned to look at him; the dragon was curled up, his tail
laying across him, sitting much like a cat would on a cushion.
His long neck stood alert and his head was turned in my direction,
 his blue eyes were transfixed on me.  When I asked him who was
waiting for me he replied…

“The Wizard young Jacob,” the answer was accompanied by another
of his customary smirks.
I turned and looked back into the gloom, my trust in Smoky
was so much that I moved into the doorway.  It was dark, but
as soon as I stepped in, light filled the room as several lanterns
sparked to life to reveal where I was.  The door slowly closed
behind me as I noticed the room was in fact empty, just the
lanterns and a set of spiralling stone stairs that twisted round a
corner.  The floor was made of marble with black and white
squares upon it, as if it were a chess board.  My only option
was to climb the stairs, so that’s exactly what I did.  Slowly I
made my way one step at a time, as the stairs slowly spiralled
round like a coil of wire.  Each step I took I wondered what
awaited me at the top, what was this wizard like? How did he
know me? Many questions remained in my mind and swirled
round my head like a whirlpool.  Slowly with these questions
echoing in my thoughts I made my way to the top.  When I
reached the last worn step I came across a small landing
outside a large oak door.  A red carpet lay outside with frayed
edges.  It was worn and faded with small thread bare holes
letting the floor peek through.

I stepped up onto the carpet and as I did the door slowly
swung open, yet again by itself.  Through the doorway I could
make out a large room with a table in the middle.
“Come in my boy,” suddenly rose a calm, gentle voice.
I gulped to myself before stepping through into the room.  The
warm crackle of open flames under a stone fireplace and the
light orange glow of a series of lanterns reflecting along a row
of shelves swept forth to greet me.  The shelves were lined
with a series of books.  These shelves were on all the walls of a
large circular room in which at the middle, in front of the
fireplace was the table.  On this table was a large amount of
equipment, resembling that of which you would find in a
chemistry lab.  A blue liquid bubbled away in one of the glass
jars that sat over a small flame.  Past the table was the fireplace
with two huge leather chairs, with comfortable looking
foot rests in front.  From the right of the fire place was a large
pair of glass doors that led out onto the balcony I had seen
from the outside.  From the left standing at one of the shelves
carefully studying a book stood an elderly man.  I was almost
startled by his sudden appearance, as while I had been studying
the room I hadn’t noticed him.  He had the book perched in
one weathered old hand, open to a page, studying through a
thin pair of spectacles.  His clothing was of something I had
never seen even to this day.  He wore a large purple cloak with
golden stars dotted all over it, these stars sparkled like the sun
would in the height of a summers day.  Upon his head he wore
a large pointed hat which matched his cloak.  The cloak itself
was baggy at the arms and flowed down his back onto the
floor, trailing behind him.  His face was wrinkled but friendly
and he had a long, grey beard that nearly reached the top of his
knees.
“No need to be afraid my young friend,” he spoke in a wise and
thoughtful tone, “I trust your journey here was not too rough.”
He smiled at me as he spoke, I just nodded in reply.
“I hope Smoky looked after you well,” he continued as he
snapped the book shut and peered at me through his glasses.
He then placed the book back into its position on the shelf.
“I know you must be wondering why you are here,” he
announced stepping over to the two chairs in front of the fire,
“well sit my boy, I shall tell you that reason.”

I stepped over to one of the chairs and sat myself down, the
chair was indeed leather and very comfortable.  The old
Wizard moved to the other chair and gently but awkwardly
seated himself, before producing from a hidden pocket in his
cloak a pipe and proceeded to light it with a click of his
fingers that produced a spark.  He sat quietly for a few
moments, collecting his thoughts as the flames from the
fireplace reflected in his spectacles and etched patterns across
the lines of his wrinkled face.

Then he related a tale to me, about a time many years ago
when he visited our world.  He was surprised at the things he
saw, cities, towns and many other things that interested him.
There he stayed for a while, taking note of everything around
him and visiting such inspiring places of beauty and creation.
Until his eyes fell upon one such creation of beauty, an
amazingly stunning young lady.  Of course he was young at
that time too, and his heart ran away with him the minute his
eyes met hers.  I sat listening intently as he told of the undying
love he had for this young lady and how much she loved him.
“Her eyes were of pure blue, her hair was like a blond
waterfall.  She was prettier than the sun and the stars
themselves,” he related too me.

But still he was troubled, although his feelings for this young
lady were strong he could never live away from his own world
of which he had been born and bred.  In the end he had too
explain to the young lady in question that he was not of her
world.  At first she didn’t believe him, but then with time and
his abilities he showed her his own world by creating a dragon
to take her on the journey I had just been witness too.  As he
related the tale, every so often he placed his pipe back in his
mouth and paused a while to drift into thought before he
took a couple of puffs.
“Unfortunately the young lady could not live away from her
own world either.  She had too much to give up,” the Wizard
glubbed, I noticed a tear appearing in one of his eyes, “so we
made a pact that we would stay together for eternity.  But with
the passing of time we both grew old and she couldn’t make
the journey anymore.  Now we will never see each other
again.”

-The Wizard looked despairingly at me for a few seconds.
I asked him how he and the young lady had kept in contact,
with the reply he said....
“Smoky of course young Jacob.  He’d stay of stone at the end
of her garden till the time she wanted to come to me, then by
the power of a wish and the shining of the moonlight the
dragon would breath life once again.”
He smiled, a warm affectionate smile and looked upon me.
Then my inquisitive mind told me to ask what I had to do with
this.

“Young Jacob, I would like you to give the young lady I speak
of a special gift,” he spoke, “the last thing I shall ever give to
her, so she shall remember me always.”
He reached into the pocket in his cloak and pulled from it a
large case.  Then he opened it and showed it to me.  It was a
large diamond connected to a golden chain so bright in its
colour it almost dazzled me with its reflection of light.  It was
beautiful, even too this day I never saw anything quite so
magnificent as that diamond.  He closed the case and looked at
me, before handing it over with a sad smile.
I took it from his etched hand and held onto it tightly.  I asked
him who the young lady was and how I would find her.
The old Wizard smiled at my question and removed his
spectacles.....
“Why my boy... its your Grandmother!”
I gasped in surprise at what he spoke, my Grandmother! I was
in a state of shock for a few moments.  But that then explained
many things, why Smoky existed in the back garden and why I
had the feeling that my Grandmother knew.
Once it sunk in the Wizard smiled at me....
“Aaaah but before I forget my young friend you also will
receive a gift for your trouble.”

The Wizard then got up from his chair and stepped over to the
table where the chemistry set bubbled away.  I watched from
my chair as he poured from the glass jar the blue liquid into a
dish that stood next to the flames.  Then with a wave of his
hand and a flash of white sparks that crackled into the air he
lifted from the dish a blue gem, so deep in its colour it reflected
 around the room.  The old Wizard stepped over to me and
placed the gem into the palm of my hand.
“That is a very special and rare gem young Jacob,
priceless.......” he announced as he placed his pipe into his
mouth and took another puff before removing it to finish his
sentence, “as strong in its colour as it is in the luck it carries
with it.”
Then he looked towards the large window out onto the
balcony.
“You must go now my young friend, for if you don’t now I’m
afraid you may not make it back in time for the sun will soon
be rising.”

I stood up from my chair and promised him my Grandmother
would receive the diamond then we said our farewells. I
made my way to the door, the old Wizard watching as I
stepped through the doorway and down the steps.  Once out
the tower, Smoky looked up from the place he’d been lying
awaiting my return.  He turned his alligator features upon me
and smirked.....

“About time young Jacob, we must be quick now to get you
home,” he growled softly.
Without a moment to loose I climbed back onto Smoky, the
diamond and gem clasped safely in my grip, the things I’d been
told swirling around my head.  Smoky then lifted into the air,
his wings beating as we did.  Then I looked upon the tower to
see standing on the balcony, the old wizard.  His broad smile
giving me hope of a quick return home before my parents
found out I was missing.  He waved a final farewell and I
smiled before waving back.
Then he called out.... “Farewell young Jacob, until one day we
meet again!”

Then within a few moments Smoky beat his wings strongly and
we were on our way back.  We floated over the dwarf village
and over the mushroom tree forest.  Past the mountains and
back through their valleys where the goblins had once been
prowling.  Then over the open grasslands where the knights
had been battling so ferociously.  We flew silently over the
cliffs and rocks with their crashing waves and across the ocean
until we reached the open lands of the world that I had been
born and bred.  Back over the villages and towns until we
reached my Grandmothers home and the familiar garden with
its pond and long grass lawn.

Then Smoky slowly hovered down to where I had been used
to him perching.  Once down I climbed off him and turned to
face him for the final time before he turned back to stone.
“Well young Jacob,” he spoke, “at last we met proper, I shall
be with you always my friend.” a puff of smoke popped from
one of his nostrils as he spoke.
Then he gave that familiar smirk before I gave him a final
cuddle and told him he’d always be my best ever friend.
“As I will always be yours,” he announced, “farewell young
Jacob.”


It brought a tear to my eye as I watched him slowly take up his
familiar position on the perch and then change back into his
stone clad form.  I stood silently a little while after he had
changed and watched the reflections of the fading moonlight
dabble along the stonework.

Then I moved back into the house.  Before I went back to bed
I sneaked into my Grandmothers bedroom while she slept,
there I placed on her dressing table the case with the huge
diamond in it.  Then quietly I went back to my bedroom,
feeling tired and very sleepy.  Soon I was in the world of dreams, until the
next morning when I awoke with extra excitement and vigour.
The time past quickly as I spent my last moments with Smoky,
before it was time for my parents and I to leave.  As I looked
back at the house my Grandmother stood at the doorway, frail
but smiling.  Then as I watched she smiled at me and winked
before revealing the diamond secretly from her pocket.  I
smiled and winked back in reply, the weight of the gem in my
pocket scrapping against  my inner leg.

My Grandmother and I shared the secret now of the dragon
at the bottom of the garden.  Later, in the next year my special
Grandmother passed away silently in her sleep and I still miss
her to this day.  My sadness was deepened as I never saw
Smoky again and I still don’t know what became of him.  But I
still have the gem, although the blue has faded some what.  It
remains a reminder to me of the events that night and of my old
friend ‘Smoky’.

The End.

Started: 23rd. November 1999.
Completed: 3rd. January 2000.

Word Count: 5377


 


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