Juvenilia — The Nova Dragon

Over on her blog Deus Ex Machinatio, Andrea Phillips put out a call for writers to post the crappy stuff we wrote when we were younger. She posted something she wrote as a teenager — I decided I should go further back, since it wasn’t all that long ago I was a teenager. So here, from the depths of Grade 4, is a story I wrote called the Nova Dragon.

What I find most hilarious about this piece is that is was actually intended as a parody of the fantasy genre, and it actually holds up well in that respect. I mean, the writing is about what you’d expect from someone in grade 4 (I used a lot of exclamation marks) but the parody elements themselves are so on the mark. Without further ado:

The Nova Dragon

A Fantasy Parody

by Lucas Johnson [in Grade 4]


image from wikipedia. it's a dragon.

It was a dark and stormy night.  Actually, it was a bright and sunny day, but I’ve always wanted to start a story like that.  It was always sunny around here, thanks to Merlin MCCXXX (the 1,230th).  He was the wizard in this castle.  His spell made it sunny all the time.

Before I carry on with the story, I should introduce myself.  I am Darkenshira-Brodinbird Kacheramire, but since that name is so long, everyone calls me Dark.  I am a knight of the triangular table.  King Gradsimothom III built the table for the knights of the realm.

After the table was built a prophecy was made.  “Thee of the Triangular Table, who kills the awful Nova Dragon, will prove himself the son of the Great L. L. L. Louis.”  I came from a far off land because of this.

You are probably wondering about this prophecy.  The Great L. L. L. Louis is the greatest knight of all.  He is the movie star of the medieval world.  His great sword, the Excali-bird, was the only thing great enough to kill the powerful Disease Dragon, which at the time was killing everyone with the Babunonic Plague.

The Nova Dragon is a fierce beast.  No one has fought it and come back alive.   Come to think of it, no one has even fought it.  I, like many others, have gotten as far as his cave, but the dungeon has many fierce monsters in it that have caused me to lose an arm and a leg.  Luckily, Merlin has a spell that can grow back limbs.

Anyway, now that you know the background of this story, let’s carry on.  So I was walking along in the courtyard of the castle Bringamhammer, when I saw a cloud nearing the castle.  That must mean that something has happened to Merlin!  I started running towards the entrance to the castle, but because the castle is very, very, very large, by the time I even got half way there, a storm had started.  By the time I got to the door, I was soaked through with rain.  I entered the castle and a servant brought me a towel to dry myself with.  I quickly ran up the steps to Merlin’s tower to see what had happened.  When I got there, King Grads and the Queen were already there.

“What happened?” I asked.

“I don’t know,” said King Grads.  “When we got here he’d left.”

I went to the window, which happened to be open, and looked outside to see if I could pick up any clues.  When I looked up at the sky I saw a cloud shaped like the number “13.”

“AAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!” I yelled.

“What’s wrong?” asked the Queen.

“That cloud is shaped like the number 13,” I said.

“Oh my,” said King Grads.  “That can only mean one thing.”

Something terrible has happened to Merlin,” we all said together.

*     *     *     *     *

I was standing in my room, looking out at the now cleared sky.  What could have happened to Merlin?  Then I saw the strangest thing.  A cloud was shaped like the Excali-bird!  Then I realized that maybe the Nova Dragon had taken Merlin!  I was trying to figure out what could have happened to him, when I realized I needed a bit of rest.  I lay down on my bed and instantly fell asleep.

*     *     *     *     *

I was woken with a start.  King Grads was standing over my bed with a sword in his hands.  “Your time has come, Dark!” he said to me.

“My time?” I asked quizzically.

“Yes, Dark.  I’ve never told you this before, but you, are the son of L. L. L. Louis,” he said.

WHAT!!??” I yelled, astonished.  “I can’t be!”

“You are.  Didn’t you ever hear that L. L. L. Louis’ nickname was Sun?”

“No, I’ve never heard that.”

“Your uncle is the great Merlin MCCXXX.”


“Yes.  Your time has come to save the land of Grakenbire.  Just like your father.”

I couldn’t believe my ears!  I, the worst knight of the Triangular Table was the son of Sun, and the nephew of Merlin!!??  I was so excited.

“Even though it is only 5 o’clock a.m., according to my wrist sundial, you must leave now so that no one knows where you are going.  Take this magical sword with you.  It has special powers that can make you invisible.  First you must go to the abandoned cave of the Diseased Dragon, where Sun was buried.  There you will find his sword, the Excali-bird.  After that, you must take the sword and kill the Nova Dragon to get Merlin back.”

“I will,” I said.  I got out of bed and got my leather armour, my chain mail, the sword, a tabard, provisions to last for two months and my black horse, Starlight.  I then set off on the road with the king waving me good-bye.

*     *     *     *     *

As I was riding along, I saw a mountain in the distance.  I looked at the map I had with me, and saw that it must be where the cave of the Diseased Dragon was.  I quickened the pace of my horse with a tap of my heel.  As we galloped towards the mountain my wits were starting to get left behind.  What would be in this cave, anyway?  What if I couldn’t save the world, like my father?  I took a sip of ale and tried to grab my wits before they ran away.

We finally got to the cave, Starlight and I.  I tied Starlight to a tree outside and took out my sword.

As I walked into the cave, I could feel and see worms on my feet.  In fact, they were all over the floor.  I quickly got to the side of the cave so I didn’t step on any of them.  At the back of the cave, there was a door.  There was a rusty handle on the door that looked jammed.  I stepped up to it  and pulled on the door handle as hard as I could.  It finally opened and I was standing in a large room with a door at the other side.  In the centre of the room, blocking my path to the other side was a large pit filled with liquid Babunonic Plague. If I fell into it, I would almost instantly die!  I took out my grappling hook and tried to throw it to the other side so that I could climb across.  It hit the wall and fell into the plague.  I tried to take it out quickly, before it incinerated, but I was too late.  When I pulled it out, it was only a rope 1 metre long.  I sat sulking on the ground when I thought of an idea.  I’d take my crossbow and shoot it into the wall.  It was bound to stick!  I would have tied a rope onto it so that I could climb across, and I’d be over!  It worked too!

The door on the other side had a large keyhole in it, and a quickly took out the key that King Grads had given me.  It fit perfectly!  The door opened with a squeeeeaaak and I walked inside.  I was standing in the tomb of my father!  When I looked at the carving on the tomb, I realized that I looked just like him.  The Excali-bird was lying on top of the tomb.  The sheath that it was in was plated with brilliant gold, and studded with very expensive jewels.  I picked it up in awe, and took it out of the sheath.  The handle was wrapped in worn, but strong leather, the pommel was studded with a bright ruby, the hilt was dazzling gold, and the blade, oh, the blade, it was shining steel, sharper than the castle weaponsmith could’ve made it, and the whole thing was perfectly balanced as I pretended to wield it against imaginary foe. I wanted to throw away the old one for this magnificent thing, but then remembered its special powers.

Just then, a wind picked up in the cave.  My hair was blown to and fro.  Then I saw it.  My father was staring me right in the face.

“Darkenshira! I have been waiting for you for such a long time,” he said in a whispery voice.

“Father!” I said.  “Why are you here?”

“To instruct you on the use of the Excali-bird.  You must defeat the Nova Dragon with this sword.  Its powers are very mysterious; even I don’t know all of them.”

“How will I know what to do to make them happen?”

“The powers of the Excali-bird are that it will use what is necessary for the occasion.  You have no power over what it does.  You must trust its ability.”

“I will do that.” I said.

*     *     *     *     *

Starlight and I were riding along, using the path on the map to guide us.  We had been riding for two days and my rear end was starting to hurt.  Just as I was about to complain to Starlight again, I saw a smoking mountain in the distance.  It was a volcano!  This must be the home of the Nova Dragon.  Though it hurt even more, I quickened the pace to reach the volcano.  Finally we reached the entrance to a cave.  I had been here many times before on other adventures.   This time I was going to do more than just enter the cave.  I was going to get to the Nova Dragon and defeat him.    I tied Starlight to a tree outside of the cave.  I entered with the Excali-bird at my side.  The dungeon was larger and more treacherous than I remembered.  The beasts inside were greater and more powerful than ever before.  Maybe they had known about my quest.  Maybe they knew about the kidnapping of Merlin.  At one point, a giant minotaur with a powerful axe, spotted me and charged.  Luckily the Excali-bird was quicker than the axe.  I sliced the axe in two, and killed the minotaur with a swift blow.  I was already farther than anyone had been before.  Once, as I was going through the dungeon, I saw the skeleton of a long-dead adventurer.

Finally, I reached the entrance to the Nova Dragon’s immense cavern.  I saw him, but he didn’t see me.  He was fierce, his teeth were razor sharp, his wings stretched halfway across the cavern, and… he was two feet tall!  He heard me and whipped around, thrashing his tail behind him.  His breath singed my hair.  Quickly, before he could do anything else to me, I drew out King Grads’ sword and turned myself invisible.  The dragon stared around in amazement before I slashed through his wing with the Excali-bird.  Then he caught my smell.  His wild breath caught me off guard.  I was thrown into a pile of gold.  Quickly I jumped out and grabbed the Excali-bird back in my hand.  I attacked with the fury only the son of Sun could have mustered.  I easily sliced off his right wing, but his scales of his back were too tough for the quick blow that followed.  I stepped back in alarm.  His thrashing tail tore King Grads’ sword from my belt.  The minute I turned visible I was hit by a blast of fire.  I attacked with all the power I had.  His tail, and his other wing, fell off with my blows.  I had used up most of my energy, so I couldn’t finish him off.  Then I heard it – Merlin’s voice was calling out to me: “Get out of the way!”  I ran to the opposite corner of the cave.  A blast of ice and cold hit the Nova Dragon with strength I have never seen.  Merlin jumped down from a platform above, and once again hit the dragon with some of his magic.  It lay, bleeding to death, on the ground.  I picked up the Excali-bird, ran over to the dragon, and cut his head off with one swift blow.  I had killed the Nova Dragon.  I went over and thanked Merlin gratefully.

We rode back together towards the castle of Bringamhammer.

*     *     *     *     *

The feast was enormous.  I’m not even going to try and name all the different foods we had.  And at the end of it all I was dubbed Moon, the Great Warrior of Grakenbire.  I stood there on that clear, bright day and vowed to the whole castle of Bringamhammer:


“I, Moon, the son of Sun, will keep peace in this great land of Grakenbire.  No dragon shall withstand my power.  No beast, no monster, will be able to disrupt the peace in this land.   I will carry with me, the courage and bravery of my father.   The land of Grakenbire will live in peace forever.”



“So, there you have it, Hasickons.  The legend of your grandfather, Moon, the son of Sun.”

“Thanks for the great bedtime story, Grandpa!”

I stood up and walked over to the sword hanging over the fireplace.  “My sons and grandsons alike will uphold my promise to this land of Grakenbire.”


Have any embarrassing writing of your own? Share in the comments!

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  1. Jessalynn

    The 4th grade you just kicked the 4th grade me in the face… Lol. What I mean to say is I think in the 4th grade my stories consisted of ponies and “then I said…””Then he said…””Then there was a loud bang” “then I said”. I quite enjoyed the story but mostly I laughed at the triangular table and the length of the main characters name. Clearly even in the 4th grade you were meant to be a creative writer!

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