The Dragon

The Student Journal of Middlesex Middle School

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The Dragon

The Dragon

Goldfinch Sky

Image Source: Holden Forests & Gardens

It was a warm April afternoon the day the sky was ripped asunder. Harper Collins had been sitting in her distinctly boring English class, daydreaming of fluffy clouds and cool lemonade as her teacher droned on about some insignificant topic. Ryan What’s-His-Name was repeatedly clicking his standard-issue ballpoint pen, and Harper, who was unfortunate enough to be assigned as his seatmate, had just about had enough. She was about to tell him to quit it or she’d break his nose (she was a rather violent girl, especially when forced for hours to sit in on lessons she couldn’t care less about) when a thunderous crack tore the clear azure sky apart. Her dull green eyes snapped to the window just in time to see a bird making squiggly loops through the air, its fluorescent yellow form diving down past Harper’s limited viewpoint. She suppressed a gasp, the shock of the plunging bird not trumping the burn of embarrassment that would come with any sort of unsolicited reaction. She glanced furtively at her peers, yet none appeared to have noticed the odd event that had transpired. Tucking a golden lock behind her ear, she cleared her throat and turned her eyes back to the teacher. Surely such an event must have been born of her rampant imaginings, she thought, or someone else would have noticed! Still, she worried for the creature. For if it had been real, it must have been gravely injured. Such an innocent life-form, ripped from this world by disease or age or the misguided rock of some savage youngster? Why, it was more unfair than the C she got on her English essay, which Harper would argue was quite well-written. 

Her thoughts were soon interrupted, as all thoughts are, by the obnoxious ringing of a bell. Her classmates arose from their seats with vigor, as this shrill sound marked the end of another torturous school-day. However, Harper’s movements held a certain languor unsuited to her. She packed her bag and trudged out the classroom door sluggishly, as if her feet weren’t quite sure how to walk correctly while her mind was preoccupied. The bird, the bird, the bird, the bird. This was the only thing Harper could think about. She now could classify it as a goldfinch, with its distinct yellow hue and ebony wings. Her brother’s favorite, she recalled dimly. But that didn’t matter now. All that mattered was the confirmation of the avian’s existence – and survival. 

With newfound energy, Harper quickly packed her backpack and rushed outside. Running around the side of the school, she tried desperately to remember where her English classroom was located. Around and around she wandered, frantically searching for her bird. And, in an instant, she saw it. If the creature had been brown or black or any shade less obnoxious than the yellow it was, Harper surely would have missed it. She rushed to its side, reaching out a single pale hand to its tiny, shivering form. She hesitated, recalling advice she had heard someplace insignificant, which stated to never handle a wounded animal. Perhaps she should call her mother? But no, Harper would then be forced to leave it in favor of chores or homework or cello practice (all less important than saving a life such as this, something her mother would likely disagree with). But who else could she turn to? Harper racked her mind, yet came up empty. She did not often seek the companionship of others her age, though whether from adolescent awkwardness or some other indecipherable emotion she could not discern. Her elder brother was busy today, as he was most days, with the sort of magical things a high school senior busied himself with (none of which involved pesky little sisters). With the conclusion of that remarkably short list, she was rendered utterly alone. Yet, hope was not lost! For Harper could do what she commonly was forced to; rely on herself. Just like the protagonists of the science fiction books she so passionately delved into, she would complete her righteous task in solitude. As they say, true heroes require no validation. And a true heroine Harper would be, she thought, gathering the painfully silent bird in her steady hands. 

One tiny, feathered creature at a time, Harper’s name would become legend.

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