I’m shacking up with my parents in Colorado for two weeks on a semi-vacation, semi-sabbatical. I had some United Airlines vouchers to spend after getting bumped off a flight last August, and May is just about prime time on the Great Plains, so I figured this would be as good a time as any to squeeze in some quality family time.
Like most twenty-somethings who moved away for college and never came back, I have mountains upon mountains of boxes of childhood memorabilia stored (see: forgotten about) in my parents’ basement boiler room, just waiting to be opened and rummaged through for gems of pre-pubescent madness.
Now that I write full-time, sometimes I think to myself, “Would the ten-year-old girl in me be proud of what I’ve become?” Well, after casually snooping through a cardboard box with the highly descriptive label “JUNK,” I believe I have an answer.
Sometime during the cataclysmic period when I was eight, nine, or perhaps ten years of age, I wrote a truly great work of fiction titled Warguard Wolf. The moment I saw the cover (see above) bound in spiral with a slightly melted sheet of plastic over the top as protection (a surprising degree of foresight, probably my mother’s idea), I knew I’d found a diamond in the rough. (I was able to determine the age of my authorship via the MS Paint work of art on the first page, and the typographical brilliance of small-caps Lucida.) It was sandwiched between a binder of rare Pokémon cards (not one, but two copies of Charizard) and a snarky college-entrance essay on vegetarianism. Truly, a great find.
So beware, my dear readers, for you are about to experience a fantastic, genre-defining work of fiction: I bring you the full manuscript of Warguard Wolf.
Warguard Wolf protected the royal palace where the treasure, and Bully Dragon were kept during wars (of which there were lots).
Warguard Wolf had long shaggy brown and gray fur. He liked practicing archery and jousting. Warguard Wolf was a dragon trainer. He was also in charge of palace entertainment. He would go and look for a good court jester and hire him.
One day Warguard Wolf went out to hire a court jester for King Damantoa. He hadn’t laughed in weeks. So Warguard Wolf went out to hire a court jester.
When he found one, his sides ached; he had laughed for fifteen minutes. Warguard Wolf hired him. Rabbit Star happened to be his name. He took him back to the palace.
That night Rabbit Star snuck into the hall. He was a spy from the enemy. He had come to steal the dragon so that they could attack King Damantoa’s palace so they could steal the treasure. So Rabbit Star stole the keys from the guard and unlocked the cellar where Bully dragon was kept. He took off the chains and got the royal dog’s leash and put it on the dragon’s neck. Rabbit Star took the dragon down the hall which Warguard Wolf heard from his room. Warguard Wolf got his sword and tiptoed into the hall. When Warguard Wolf saw Rabbit Star and the dragon he ran towards them on all fours, running like a dog. When he got behind Rabbit Star, he yelled a spine-cracking, eyeball-popping yell. The whole palace woke to the sound. Courtesans came running. Warguard Wolf jumped in front of Rabbit Star, and pulled out his sword. Then the courtesans surrounded Rabbit Star. Warguard Wolf took the dragon back to his cellar, and the courtesans imprisoned Rabbit Star by orders of King Damantoa, for life.
“Good-bye, Rabbit Star,” said Warguard Wolf.