I’m sharing an excerpt today from The Dragon’s Cave, my first middle grade novel. It’s up for nomination on Kindle Scout (please, please, please go and nominate it?).
Seamus opened his eyes, blinking to make out the picture in front of him. Treetops. Filtered sunlight. The air smelled woodsy.
“Seamus, what are you doing, boy? Taking a nap?” a man’s voice said, his English—or was it Scottish?—accent unfamiliar.
Seamus scrambled to his feet and dusted himself off. And then froze.
What was he wearing? Tights? Leather lace-up boots? And where on earth was he? It appeared to be some sort of meadow, not…his mind grew fuzzy trying to remember where he had just come from. All he remembered was the brightest flash of light he’d ever seen.
“Seamus!” the man snapped.
His head jerked up, and he realized the older man was speaking to him. “Yeah?”
The man frowned. “You mean, yes, sir.”
Bewildered, he peered around for some clue to help him understand where he was and what was happening. A flicker of panic bubbled up in his chest. Realizing the man waited for a response, he said, “Yes, sir?”
“Come. Supper is ready.” The man wore strange clothing—a cream-colored tunic with the emblem of a crimson dragon embroidered on the front, like a knight from the Medieval Dinner Theatre where his mom once dragged him. Something about the knight seemed familiar, although he had never seen his face before.
He glanced down and realized he, too, wore a tunic with a crimson dragon. Was this some crazy dream? He touched his face. Who was he? Did he appear different? Had he somehow fallen into another boy’s body? Some kid in medieval Scotland? A tickle on his neck made him bring his hand back to find shoulder-length hair. He pulled it out to see the color—a darker brown than his sandy-blond mop back home.
The knight’s eyebrows drew together. “Come on, boy, what is the matter with you tonight?” He didn’t wait for an answer, just turned and walked away while Seamus trotted to keep up. They entered a clearing where many other knights milled about, some sitting on logs and rocks eating, some standing and talking. A large tent on one side bore the same dragon emblem they wore on their tunics. A fire burned in the middle of the clearing, and a large kettle hung over it, suspended by a chain and a tripod of sticks.
The sight of a boy his age made goose bumps prick his skin. Andy. The memory of their parting scene came back in a rush—Lacey falling in the wash, Andy’s joy that he couldn’t race, the bolt of lightning… Had it struck him? Had he died and come here, to this place? It sure didn’t seem like any version of heaven he’d ever imagined. Nor did it appear to be hell or even purgatory. What was this—medieval times?
The Dragon’s Cave
A DRAGON’S TREASURE. A GREEDY KING. ONLY ONE BOY CAN RESTORE BALANCE BEFORE THE MOUNTAIN IMPLODES. Seamus’s day couldn’t get any worse. His best friend stops speaking to him, his cross-country coach benches him, and lightning strikes him down, right in front of his middle school. But it does get worse. When he wakes up from the lightning, he finds himself trapped in the body of a squire in medieval Scotland, preparing to face a dragon.