Chapter One: Poopy is mightier than the sword.
“Look out" a large city guard shouted while staring into the sky with horror in his eyes. “It’s coming; run for the safety of the castle walls,” he ordered. Several villagers and guards ran for cover inside the vast stone walls of the castle. The great threat that caused this alarm came into view. Piercing the high clouds behind a ball of fire emerged the immense form of a dragon.
A young warrior maiden ran to the central tower of the structure as bodies poured through the main gate. She ran through the open doorway and proceeded to run up the spiralling flight of stairs with her long hair tied in a pony tail bouncing on her shoulders as she ran. This fierce warrior heard the sounds of the catapults loosing their projectiles as deep sounds of beating wings shook the castle walls. As she neared the top of the tower, she was knocked to her knees as a wall of fire penetrated the walls below her. Dust and sunlight filled the steep corridor behind her yet the stone walls held in place. She regained her footing and continued her ascent knowing that another hit would send the tower smashing down in thunderous ruin and her along with it. Reaching the parapet, she could hear the sound of battle and cries of the fight raging below. As she gazed out on the bloodshed below her, she saw the flickering of many fires burning through the King’s fields. Reaching behind her back, she pulled out an arrow and locked it in place. Taking position and steadying herself, the warrior took aim. She felt the air reverberate beside her ear as the arrow flew from the bow. The arrow was true and the razor sharp tip dug deep into the creature’s side where its wing met its body.
Sadly, the arrow did not have the desired effect and only served to anger the beast. Breaking the feathered end of the projectile with its teeth, the dragon freed itself of the foreign object and turned its attention towards the shooter. With a deafening roar, the creature charged through the air heading straight for the tower. The warrior reached for another arrow before realizing she had run out of time. She’d be skewered and barbecued by the time she had another bolt locked and ready. Dropping her bow, she unsheathed her sword and readied for battle. The dragon swooped over the parapet and dropped on the tower with a terrible sound; sending rock and mortar crashing to the ground. Warriors and peasants scattered from the debris crashing to the earth. The dragon was so close the warrior could smell the sulphur seeping between the jagged teeth of the beast. Raising its head high, the raptor let out a deafening roar that caused the warrior to fall on her bottom. Suddenly, the heroine’s eyes grew wide with shock and fear. The dragon glared at the woman as it prepared to launch a wave of fire. It seemed as though nothing could prevent the incoming carnage. The woman opened her mouth to scream and she uttered the only word that could stay her imminent demise.
“Pause,” she yelled. The dragon stopped mid-roar and simply stared at the warrior. Placing its talons on its hips, it glared at the woman in anticipation of an explanation. All the warriors and peasants had also stopped dead in their tracks. Some were in the middle of launching arrows, some were in the middle of fleeing; all were staring up at the woman and waiting anxiously to see what was going on. The warrior softly uttered the only words that could justify the use of the most sacred ‘pause.’
“I have to make poopy,” she stated matter of factly.
“Oohh,’came the collective response from all those gathered. Everyone understood the need to make poopy and had to make this call at some point or another. The warrior climbed down from the tower holding her bottom with her hand as she ran across the battlefield. As she went, the battlefield melted away revealing a school yard. The assorted warriors and peasants evaporated into several school children. The dragon on the tower turned into a small boy standing on top of some large playground equipment. The game had ended for now.
All eyes rested on the dragon. Everyone knew they couldn’t wait for the heroine to return to end their game. No one knew exactly when recess would end. Some days it lasted two minutes, sometimes just short of forever. Recess was one of the great mysteries of life.
“What about her, “ someone said, pointing to a little girl sitting on her own at the top of the play equipment. The girl, named Julie often played with the other children, although she seemed just as happy to read on her own. No one could remember her ever playing make believe with them yet not one of them doubted she had the ability.
“Hey Julie,” the dragon boy yelled, “wanna play make believe?” The girl looked at the group of her peers before nodding and agreeing to play.
“How do you play?” she asked.
“Just help us put out the fires from the dragon, “ she was told by a small girl. Another girl replaced the heroine as no one was going to give the ‘new’ girl such a prestigious position. Not without proving herself at any rate. As Julie took her position next to a group of school children, the playground reverted back to a deadly battlefield stained with the blood of the innocent peasants and their livestock. Fire erupted across the plains outside the castle and Julie stood in amazement as her peers ran to and fro throwing water on the fires started by the dragon.
“Help us put out the fires,” a brawny blacksmith yelled at Julie as the dragon roared atop the parapets in renewal of his attack. Julie looked around in confusion before asking,
“What fires? What dragon?” Her playmates looked at her in disbelief before a young milkmaid told her,
“Just use your imagination,” she was told. Julie tried, but all she could see were children running around as a boy yelled on top of the play equipment. That’s when she realized it. She didn’t know exactly when, or how, but she had lost her imagination.