Malinda found out later that she’d actually won third place in the spell writing contest for what the judges had called her “whizzing spark.” She wondered if anyone had noticed that she’d made a teensy dragon. Any really experienced witch would have been able to tell what she was trying to do from the words of the spell, but who was to say what kind of judges they had got for a random contest at the Leechdell Spelling Convention. She got a certificate and a bag of rotting bog scented bath salts, which she shoved in her ingredients cupboard just in case they might come in handy some time.
In the back of her mind, she worried a little about the dragon, but it was long gone, nothing she could do to bring it back. Besides, how much damage could a potato-sized louse-dragon do?
A week later, as she was scrolling through posts on Hagbook, she caught sight of an article about dragon sightings in Addervale, several miles to the south. This dragon wasn’t the size of a potato though, as it had been when it crashed out the castle window. More the size of an elephant. Several goats had gone missing, and a good part of the forest had burned down. Most of the locals suspected a prank, but one old witch claimed she had actually seen the dragon.
More like a giant insect than anything else, she’d said, with bulging bug-eyes and plate armor and huge, sucking mouth parts. Oh, and bat wings and breathes fire, like a proper dragon.
Malinda had barely sat back in her chair to think of what to do next when she got a text on her spell phone. It was from Botula, had a link to the article, and asked, IS THAT YOUR DRAGON???
Malinda wasn’t sure if her friend was excited for her, or if she was accusing her of terrorizing the countryside. Probably both.
I THINK SO, Malinda texted back. IT GOT AWAY. I NEED TO GO CATCH IT. WANT TO COME WITH ME?
She waited, pacing the floor of her squalid hovel, trying to come up with a plan, until the reply came back.
MEET YOU IN ADDERVALE!
Malinda grabbed her broom and threw her spell phone in her bag along with her dragon spell, some spare quills and parchment, and her best wand. What worried her was that if this was her dragon, it was apparently still growing, and she knew that any spell that made something get bigger and bigger without stopping was headed for trouble.