Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Appalonia. She lived in a small village surrounded by forests. Appalonia lived with her mother, father and little brother near the center of the quaint small village. Their front doors opened to the town’s center. On weekdays, they could hear and see the market from their porch. If they walked out their back door, they would be in the forest.
Appalonia was adventurous. She went out the back door into the forest. She would sing and dance with the creatures of the forest. Deer, squirrels, birds and butterflies would dance and swirl around Appalona as she chirped her songs in a melodious tune. The birds would answer her call. Deer would bound after her as she danced along the path toward the stream. The butterflies would trail in her waking steps.
One day, on one of Appalonia’s adventures, she went down to the stream to soak her feet after dancing through the forest. Her feet were sore. She sat down at the stream’s edge and took off her shoes. She put her feet in the cold water. It felt good on her sore feet. Appalonia stretched back and layed down looking at the sun through the trees.
Suddenly, the birds stopped singing. The deer ran away. The butterflies scattered.
Appalonia was startled by the quiet of the forest. She sat up and took notice. She could not see anything wrong but felt like someone or something was watching her.
Slowly she pulled her feet out of the stream.
SPLASH. CRASH. SNAP.
An alligator tried to bite off Appalonia’s little feet. She had pulled her feet out just in time.
Quickly, Appalonia grabbed a nearby stick and brandished it like a sword. The alligator slowly came out of the water. He said to her, “I am Gordan the Gator. I am here to eat the little children. I think I will start with you.”
Gordon started toward Appalonia. She swung her stick like she was batting a baseball for a homerun. It knocked Gordon in the snout causing a mouthful of razor sharp teeth to fall on the ground.
Gordon growled and screamed, “ I will get you for this!”
Appalonia yelled, “I don’t think so. I’ll get you first.” With that, she ran away.
At home, she tried to explain to her parents that an alligator had attacked her at the stream. Her mother told her, “Honey, alligators do not live in these parts of the forest, let alone in these parts of the world. You must be mistaken.”
Her dad said, “Apples my dear, you have a strong imagination. I think you should stay out of the forest for a while.”
Appalonia was upset that her parents didn’t believe her. She went to bed upset. Nobody noticed she came home without her shoes.
The next day, Appalonia took a hatchet and small sword with her into the forest. The forest creature whispered to her to be careful. Although they were her friends, they did not want to get eaten by Gordon. They were cautious.
Appalonia went back to the stream. She did not see anything. She found her shoes right where she had left them. Maybe she had dreamed the whole thing. Maybe she was losing her mind.
She took her shoes and went home. Leaving the hatchet and sword buried outside in the grass, just in case.
She stayed out of the forest for a week.
Panic struck the village. Herbert, a six year old boy, had gone missing. He went down to the stream to get some fresh water and had disappeared.
Appalonia knew it was Gordon. She hadn’t made it up. She got her hatchet and sword and went out to the forest to find the beast.
Gordon was waiting for her. He smiled a crooked smile with his missing teeth. Immediately, He snapped at her leg. She jumped and swung the hatchet at his head and missed.
Gordon turned his body around quickly and swiped his wide, fat tail and tripped Appalonia. She fell to the ground. As she fell, she dropped her weapons. Gordon turned back around and started to close in on her. He was just getting ready to eat her when from the sky a dark cloud covered the sun.
It distracted Gordon. It was enough time for Appalonia to roll away and get to her feet.
The dark cloud started moving closer and closer toward Appalonia and Gordon.
A mighty roar filled the air. Giant talon swooped down. Wings beat the air, stirring dust. Appalonia could barely see what was going on.
The dark cloud was no dark cloud, it was a dragon. A dragon the size of a school bus had descended and planted itself between Gordon and Appalona. It clamped it’s sharp claw on Gordon. The dragon was so large it didn’t take much to hold Gordon down. The dragon effortlessly pinned the gator.
The dragon spoke, “I am Darkspear. I have ventured out and smelled a treat. We dragons don’t usually get alligator meat. It’s special and rare. I also see he is causing trouble in my town.”
Appalonia replied, “Yes, he said he is going to eat the little children and was going to start with me.”
Darkspear said, “I have spent hundreds of years guarding your town. I will not have it destroyed by a minor thing such as an alligator.”
And with that, Darkspear took his foot off Gordon. He stepped back and let loose a breath of fire and roasted him like a chicken. Darkspear then gobbled him up.
After eating Gordon, Darkspear told Appalonia, “Don’t fear going into the woods. I enjoy hearing you sing and seeing you dance from my cave in the mountains. You are going to be a great adventurer some day.”
Darkspear flew away.
Appalonia went home. She told her parents all about the roasting of Gordon and the compliments of Darkspear. They did not believe her.
The next time she was in the forest, she sang a little louder and danced a bit prouder. She fought off an alligator and had a dragon for a friend.