Through The Dragon's Eye
Chapter 1 - The Dragon From Pelamar

"If dragons were real," said Jenny, "I'd like a pet one."

Scott stopped painting and looked at her.

"You'd be scared silly," he said.

Jenny, Scott and Amanda were painting a huge dragon on their playground wall. It was part of a mural the whole class was working on. Amanda stood back and looked at the waterfall, the meadow, the white house and the dragon they had painted.

"Right," she said, "I'll go and tell Miss Taylor we've finished."

"Hang on," said Scott. "We haven't done his eye yet."

Jenny wanted to paint in the dragon's eye.

"Paintings look alive if you do the eyes properly," she told Amanda.

She painted in the eye and they all stood back.

The dragon winked. The three children stared. It winked again. The waterfall began to tumble and splash real water.

"Please," said the dragon, leaning right out of the painting, "don't be afraid. Come in. There's a path behind the waterfall."

Jenny, Amanda and, last of all, Scott walked slowly behind the waterfall. They found themselves in a meadow.

"It's our mural," whispered Jenny, "come alive."

The dragon bowed.

"Welcome to Pelamar," he said. "My name is Gorwen."

Gorwen told them that the land of Pelamar was dying. Plants and creatures were fading away. Houses were suddenly collapsing.

"But why?" asked Jenny, puzzled.

"Because the Veetacore had exploded," said Gorwen.

Scott was even more puzzled.

"The Veetacore? What's that?" he asked.

"May I show you?" said Gorwen. "Let us go to the Pool."

He led them back behind the waterfall.

Scott began to write in his notebook:

Gorwen blew on the pool and they saw in it a dazzling golden shape.

"That is the Veetacore," said Gorwen. "The life-force of Pelamar. But you are not looking at it as it is now. This is just an image."

He blew on the pool again and they saw Doris, Boris and Morris, the keepers of the Veetacore. Doris was purple, Boris orange, and Morris green. They also saw the Book of the Veetacore lying closed and dusty. As they watched, the Veetacore began to spin faster and faster, until finally it exploded.

Amanda was shocked.

"Why did it explode?" she asked.

"We do not know," replied Gorwen. "But without the Veetacore there can be no Pelamar. We will all fade and die. I fear that only you can save us."

"Us?" said Jenny.

"How?" asked Scott.

Gorwen told them that the Keepers had found all the pieces. They were now trying to put the Veetacore together again. Scott couldn't see the problem.

"All they've got to do is read the Book, and do what it says. Right?"

"What if they can't read the Book?" said Gorwen. "No one else in Pelamar can read."

Scott was amazed.

They looked in the pool again. The Keepers were trying to read the book upside down.

"I think you're in big trouble," said Scott.

"So will you help us? Will you read the Book?" asked Gorwen.

"Sure," said Scott.

He wasn't quite so sure about flying to the Veetacore House on Gorwen's back.

Safe on land again outside the Veetacore House, Scott tore his notebook into three bits and gave the girls one each.

"I think we should write all this down," he said, "so we don't forget."

The Keepers didn't want any help and wouldn't let them come into the Veetacore House. Suddenly a tree crashed down and burst the door open. Gorwen led the children inside.

"How dare you come in here!" stormed Doris.

But then the videophone crackled. Words appeared on the videoscreen.

Amanda read them:

The Keepers were surprised.

"How do we know she's telling the truth?" asked Morris.

Then Rodey, a giant white mouse, rushed in.

"I'm sorry I'm late," he panted. "I flew over the Great West Lake. It's awful - everything there is dead!"

The Keepers had their proof. These children from the other world could read. But would Doris let them help? She stood for a moment.

"Well, get on with it," she snapped.

They turned to page one. The Book of the Veetacore was very hard to read.

"Do you understand it, Scott?" whispered Amanda.

"Only that there are twenty-five bits and they're called Veetons," said Scott.

That was a start. Amanda counted the Veetons scattered around the floor. There were only twenty-two. Three were missing!

To be continued...

There's no place like home...