Woodwyrm Academy
Jenny Knox
Being perfect is hard work, but Alexander B. Worthington will tell you he's up to the task. A ... Show More
Fantasy, Young Adult
fantasy, dragons, school, young adult

Chapter 1

It was not a good start to the school year.  Alexander had been at WoodWyrm Academy of the Arcane for all of ten minutes and already ran into a major, major problem: his new dormitory room was utterly awful.  

There must be some mistake, he thought.  

Alexander B. Worthington had taken great pains to choose a secondary school that met his long list of standards.  Certainly, the school had to be fully accredited, its professors had to be well-versed in the arts of alchemy and anathema, and his living space had to be, well, livable.  This room, however, looked nothing like the lavish dormitory suites in the brochures that WoodWyrm's Dean of Admissions had sent him during the spring semester of his last year of grammar school.  Alexander stroked his chin with a long, clawed finger as he surveyed the small room critically, making no effort to stifle a loud sigh of disappointment.  The room was dank and the air smelled stale.  A lone candle flickered on the windowsill.  Alexander dropped his cumbersome brown satchel onto the ceramic tiled floor and paced gingerly across the tiny room to the window.  He tried not to disturb the ambient filth that hung in the air, lest it soil his freshly pressed waistcoat.  He retrieved a handkerchief from his pocket and wiped greasy dirt from the miniscule pane to peer outside.  His room overlooked a steaming bog.  

Alexander couldn't take the sight of the bog, and turned to survey the rest of the so-called room.  His wing narrowly missed toppling the single wobbly bookshelf leaning precariously against the opposite wall.  He tucked his wings in and sat down on the cold floor to consider his situation.  Butterfly dragons, as a rule, are tidy creatures.  They insist on perfection in everything, and the Worthingtons were no exception.  In his home, things were indexed, alphabetized and categorized.  There was a place for everything, and everything had its place.  Here, however, there wouldn’t even be room for everything.  How could he fit his alchemy library on the tiny, two-tiered bookcase?  And where would his serum workbench go?  He’d be lucky if he could fit Volumes One through Three of Aristan’s Alchemy Primer in this little hovel.

Well, it could be worse, he reasoned as he began mentally rearranging the spartan allotment of furniture that WoodWyrm Academy provided for him.  

A great commotion at the door interrupted his planning.  First there was a pounding, then a wheeze, followed by a skritch-skritch-THONK!, all punctuated with a tiny squeak of “help, please!”  Alexander stared blankly for a moment and then rushed to loose the deadbolt and heave the cumbersome oak door open.

“Whew!  Am I glad to be here!  I tell you, I am exhausted!”  A corpulent green mud dragon spilled into the room.  His feet were three sizes too large for his body while his head was two sizes too large for his bulbous nose.  The behemoth dropped four bulging knapsacks onto the floor.  The largest sack toppled over, and a mange-covered rat squeezed his way out and scurried across the floor, finding a safe haven under a rickety nightstand.  "Ah, nuts," the portly intruder lamented.  "That was my snack."  A forlorn expression hung on his face for just a moment before he brightened up.

“You must be Alexander.  I’m really pleased to meet you.  I’m Fleevius.  I’m a first-year like you.”  The green dragon extended a pudgy clawed hand for a long awkward moment before realizing that Alexander was not inclined to engage in a handshake.  Fleevius' honey colored eyes searched Alexander’s face for a moment and then swept the room thoughtfully.  “Well, this should be cozy.”  

A dumbfounded Alexander, who until now had been watching this new stranger with silent bewilderment and a touch of revulsion, finally found his voice.  “It’s nice to meet you.  Erm…I’d invite you to stay, but I just arrived myself, and I’m trying to get my things organized.  Perhaps we could meet later for tea?"  Alexander wiped a disgusted sneer from his lips and willed his face to smile. It was a monumental task.

Fleevius blinked.  “Stay?  Of course I’ll be staying – this is our room!  23F, right?  We’re roommates, buddy!”  Fleevius gave Alexander a firm slap on his back, which nearly sent Alexander toppling onto the pile of knapsacks between them.  Fleevius pulled the corners of his mouth back to reveal seven crooked, yellow teeth.  Alexander suspected that the expression was intended to be a grin, though in practice it came out as something ugly and odiferous.  Alexander prided himself on his aesthetic acumen, and found nothing attractive or even likable about Fleevius.  His skin was mottled and bumpy.  He smelled faintly of vinegar.  His fingers were fat little stumps, and his tail was stubby.  Even his wings were pudgy!  Pudgy wings!  How is that possible?  Alexander couldn’t imagine spending ten minutes with Fleevius, much less an entire school year – especially in these close quarters.

“Are you absolutely certain you’re supposed to be in 23F?” Alexander asked, his cheeks aching as his false smile began to wear out its welcome on his face.  “This is such a small room.  Perhaps you were looking for 23E?”

Fleevius shook his head and removed a tightly-wrapped scroll from the smallest of the four knapsacks.  “It’s right here…23F!”

Alexander sighed.  This was definitely not a good start to the school year.
Log in to add a comment or review for this chapter Chapter updated on: 9/5/2013 11:02:00 AM
  • annah brown commented on :
    4/1/2016 1:05:35 AM
    Hello good day, i will like to meet you in person, am miss Anna, am from France and am leaving in London, please contact me on my email id at (annh1brown@hotmail.com), ... Show More