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Shelby Braden



At the age of eighteen Vaughn came across a chalkboard in his grandpa's attic when he was up there hiding from the rest of the family. His grandfather had just died and he needed some time alone. Vaughn had always loved his grandfather but in the past couple years felt like he had lost him to the Alzheimer's. Vaughn started looking through everything that his grandpa had. His grandpa was a unique individual; he loved to travel and had many crazy stories. His grandpa was always telling stories about this amazing place he always visited where the people there were extraordinary. Vaughn always thought his grandpa was making them up as good bedtime stories. But ever since his grandpa got sick he quit telling them and started to forget about the place he loved the most.

The attic was dusty and very cluttered; boxes full of random things and spider webs lined the walls. The attic had a musk smell to it that reminded Vaughn of his grandpa. Whenever Vaughn came to visit he would always wonder why it smelled so weird, but now that is the smell he will never forget. As Vaughn was rummaging through some of his grandpa's stuff he came across a big wooden chalkboard. The board was green and had a half a yellow circle drawn on it. 

Vaughn had never seen this chalkboard before and wondered why it was up in the attic. The board was kept clean with no little left over erase marks on it. Vaughn reached down and picked up a piece of chalk. He started to draw a dragon that he had been drawing in art class. The dragon was big; it had spikes on his back and tail and was able to breathe fire. After drawing Vaughn got bored and decided to go back down stairs. But before he left he erased the dragon so the chalkboard was clean just like his grandfather left it. As Vaughn started to erase he noticed that the chalk sparkled as it went away. This made Vaughn very curious. He decided to draw something else and erase it again to see if it would sparkle. Vaughn drew a sword that he imagined had a bronze handle and would have magical powers. As Vaughn started erasing the chalk sparkled again. Vaughn then tried to erase the half circle that was already on the board but it wouldn't erase. 

Instead of erasing the circle he decided to finish the circle. As the tip of the chalk connected the circle there was a sparkle and then what was a chalk circle was now a black hole. Vaughn stuck his hand into the hole then jumped though. He landed with a thud. He got up and looked around and found himself in a new world. He was on a trail in the woods and started to walk it. There was snow on the ground and the trees were frosted. After a couple minutes of walking he came to a town. It was a small down and the streets were quiet. There were no big towers and not many cars. A small bakery was on the corner and Vaughn walked into it. 

"Hello?" Vaughn asked, "Anyone here?"

A head popped up from behind the counter. It was a girl; she had red hair and rosy cheeks, looked about 30 years old. She reminded Vaughn of his mother. She always loved baking and wished she had her own bakery. 

"Hi there." She said, "Who are you?"

"My name is Vaughn. Who are you and why are you hiding?"

"I am Sarah Beth, I own this bakery. Were hiding from the dragon that has came into our town."

Sarah Beth was his mother's name. Vaughn thought this to be strange but didn't think about it that much. They talked for a minute, Vaughn told Sarah how he got here and asked about where he was.

"This is Chalktopia. The chalkboard you came through is magic. Everything you draw then erase gets put here. Your grandfather found the chalkboard and created this whole world."

His grandfather, Vaughn wondered. That's why Sarah Beth is just like his mom and the town is small. Vaughn's grandfather loved the small town aspect. He never liked going to the big cities, he always felt at home when he was in the woods or with his family. 

Three people came running into the bakery and closed the door behind them. They were all panting and looked like they had just sprinted over. Sarah went in back to get them some cookies. They all had a stick in one hand and a bottle of water in the other. One of the three was a tall skinny kid with short hair; he said his name was Lee. Lee looked about Vaughn's age and kept looking out the window. There was also a shorter but more muscular guy who looked like he was in his twenties. He had on a pair of blue pants and a gray sweatshirt with a Coe college logo. His uncle had gone to Coe. Vaughn thought that he must have been created after his uncle Steve. The last one was a little bit older but still looked healthy. He had short-combed black hair and was wearing a plaid button up shirt. 

Vaughn knew exactly who he was. He had walked by the photo at least a hundred times, and now it was sitting on the table next to the coffin. It was a photo of his grandfather on the day he bought a new truck. His mom and uncle were in the bed of the truck, his mom wearing a white sundress and was no older than 6 years old, his uncle had on a pair of shorts and no shirt. The sun was shining and the grass was green. His grandfather was wearing a black pair of pants and a plaid button up shirt. He had a smile on his face that reached from ear to ear. Vaughn knew that this man was his grandfather.

"We are going out. We need to find it and kill it before it destroys our town." Lee said as he came back from the window

"What are you trying to kill?" asked Vaughn

"The dragon that has came into our world. If we don't kill it fast it will find our town and kill us," said the man that looked like Vaughn's grandfather. "My name is Jim, and we could use another person to help."

"I would love to help. I think it is my fault the dragon is here. I didn't know about this place when I drew it. I think I have something that could help us. I drew a sword that can kill the dragon but I don't know where it is."

"When things get drawn in they always fall in the same place. It's probably there." Said Steve

And just like that they were off. Once they got to the sword they had to find the dragon. Since it was snowing outside the dragon had left footprints. They were big prints and Vaughn had a thought that they might not be able to kill the dragon, but with the sword in hand and knowing he was there to help save his grandfather's world Vaughn knew he had to kill the dragon. After 20 minutes of walking they had found the dragon. It was stopped at the lake about a mile from the town. 

"Ok. He is too big for us to kill him standing up, we need to get him to the ground." Jim explained. "There is some rope in my bag. Lee and Steve you both grab an end and sneak up on the dragon you'll have to get him from both sides and wrap him up fast. Then Vaughn and I will jump on him. I'll throw water in his eyes as Vaughn stabs him with the sword."

With the plan in mind they all set out to do what they needed to. Vaughn and Jim hid behind some trees so they didn't startle the dragon. They watched as Steve and Lee snuck to both sides of the dragon. With one big yell they both ran at the dragon. That was Vaughn's clue to go. The dragon was caught off guard, but didn't take long for him to start fighting back. The ropes were tied and the dragon could not move. As Vaughn ran closer the dragon blew a huge flame of fire, Vaughn had to jump out of the way which gave the dragon more time to get free. Vaughn got back up and thought he wasn't going to make it but Jim came out of nowhere and threw the water on the dragon's face. The dragon was not able to blow anymore fire. With one giant leap Vaughn jumped onto the dragon and pierced him with his sword. The dragon died, and all the guys gave each other hi-fives and gave a big yell. As they walked back into town the townspeople were standing on the sidewalks clapping. Vaughn looked over at Jim and he was looking back at Vaughn. Right there Vaughn knew he would always have his grandfather, and some bedtime stories to tell his grandchildren. 

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