Can the bonds of FRIENDSHIP overcome all odds?
Breaking
The Code
CHAPTER
5
Shattered
Bethany burst through the front door and slammed it behind her. “Mooooom, I’m hoooome!” she proclaimed, kicking off her shoes at the mat and shedding her backpack by the kitchen door.
“Bethany?” Mrs. Jones called from the living room. “Is that you?”
Bethany pulled open the fridge and proceeded to search it for her daily after school snack. “Yeah mom, it’s me.” She pulled out a strawberry yogurt tube and a pint of Sunny D and shut the fridge again. “What’s up?”
Mrs. Jones voice seemed to shake. “Can you come in here please?”
Bethany sighed. She took a slurp of yogurt and waltzed her way into the other room. She found Mrs. Jones lying on the couch, face flushed and hair pulled back into a sloppy bun. “Yeah?”
Mrs. Jones slowly sat up and took a deep breath. She leaned upon her knees. “I went into your room today,” she began, “and I found something quite startling on your dresser.”
Bethany’s brow furrowed. What did she have on her dresser that was startling? Certainly not the stuff she had found in the hedge. “What was that?” she asked, curiously.
Mrs. Jones looked Bethany squarely in the eye. “An egg.”
Suddenly, Bethany understood. That’s what that orb thing had been! That’s why it was pulsing! She bit her lip and thought. But what could possibly be in an egg that size? “What about it?” she replied, as nonchalantly as she could.
Mrs. Jones straightened her back. “I was holding it in my hands, to get a better look, when I felt it move. It surprised me so much that I dropped it.”
Bethany gasped. Her hand flew to her gaping mouth. “You did WHAT?”
Mrs. Jones gave her daughter an apologetic look. “I rushed out of the room after that, because I was so startled. I didn’t get a chance to see what happened to the egg.”
Bethany spun around on her heels and sped up the stairs, taking two at a time. What if... She burst into her room and looked around. At first glance, nothing seemed out of place.
But then Bethany looked down. There, on the carpet, no more then three feet away from the base of her dresser, lay a small pile of egg shell.
Bethany collapsed onto her knees, scooped up some of the shell fragments into her hands and stared at them sadly. It was such a beautiful piece of creation, that egg. It was definitely the most beautiful thing she had found in the hedge so far, and now it was ruined.
She looked around. What could have possibly been in that egg? Perhaps it was a dud, she told herself. Perhaps there had been no life in it.
Bethany closed her eyes and thought. But what if there had been?
Suddenly, Bethany heard the small sound of egg shell cracking. She peeled her eyes open and looked down at the fragments in her hands. They were unmoved. Then where had the noise come from?
Bethany heard it again, and this time it was accompanied with a small snort. Bethany froze. Something had been in that egg. And now it was free.
Bethany took a deep breath and looked down at the pile of egg shell pieces by her knees. It looked the same.
No, wait. It was moving. Slowly, up and down. It was almost as if it was...
Breathing. It was breathing. Something under the egg shell was breathing.
Bethany emptied her hands and carefully reached down to the carpet. She delicately scooped the egg shell fragments off the top of the pile.
She gasped as she caught a glimpse of what was underneath.
It was a dragon.
Bethany’s breath caught in her throat. A dragon. There was a dragon. She had hatched a dragon.
She managed to keep her composure as she worked up the courage to uncover the rest of it.
It was rather small, no larger than the size of Bethany’s palm. It had tiny turquoise scales layering its entire body, except for its belly and the tip of its tail. The scales on the tip of its tail were a bright yellow, and the skin coating its underside was a golden color. It had small, thin, speckled, ghostlike wings that were no longer than Bethany’s index finger. It had large, bulging blue eyes and a dry, pink nose, which was emitting a wispy smoke.
The dragon looked up at Bethany, unblinking. Bethany sat there in its gaze, stunned and in awe. It was beautiful.
And it was all hers.
Bethany sat at the end of the dinner table, stuffing her face full of mashed potatoes, eager to finish.
Mr. Jones looked her over with surprise. “Slow down there, sweetheart. Chew and swallow.”
Bethany obeyed.
“What’s your hurry, anyway?” he asked, taking another helping of chicken soup.
Bethany shrugged. “I have a lot of homework tonight,” she fibbed.
Mrs. Jones set down her fork and peered over at Bethany. “Oh? Like what?”
Bethany tried to think quickly. “Oh, you know...” She took a sip out of her glass. “Math, history, biology...” she searched her mind for any other excuse. “You know, the usual.”
Mrs. Jones looked at her husband and sighed. “Middle schoolers nowadays get more homework than I did in college, I swear...” she trailed off, reminiscing on the good ol’ youthful days.
Mr. Jones let out a hearty laugh. “Well, I guess you’re getting a good education, huh Beth?”
Bethany grunted. “Something like that.”
The next few minutes of dinner were quiet, nothing to be heard but the banging of silverware and the opening and closing of the Jones’ jaws.
Mr. Jones was the one to break the silence. “So, Bethany.”
“Yeah?” she mumbled through a mouthful of steak.
Mr. Jones stabbed his steak and tore off a bite sized piece. “Your mother tells me that she found something quite unique in your room today.”
Bethany’s face flushed. “Oh yeah, the egg,” she stated, hoping there wouldn’t be any more questions.
Mrs. Jones looked over at her. “What did you see when you went upstairs right after school?” she inquired.
Bethany blinked. What should she say? She couldn’t simply tell her parents that she now had a pet dragon. No way they’d allow that. “Well, it was cracked open,” she began.
Her parents looked at her expectantly.
She took a deep breath and continued. “I found a baby robin in my room. I helped teach it how to fly and helped it out of my window.”
“That was a robin egg?” Mrs. Jones questioned. “It looked too large to be from a robin.”
Bethany shrugged. “Well, there were two robins that hatched from it. I guess something went wrong in the egg and two yolks developed.” She adjusted herself on her seat. “I helped them both out of the window.”
Mrs. Jones nodded, seeming to accept this response.
Mr. Jones seemed enthralled. “Creation can sometimes be positively fantastic.”
Bethany’s thoughts drifted back to the dragon.
Yes, yes it could.
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