This is the seventh chapter of a 9-chapter novella by teenager Arden Calhoun. We’ll publish more installments of this story in weeks to come.


It was a few days later, and Johanna was used to having and hiding wings at this point. She would move through her classes with her cloak on, wings wrapped around and pressing up against her body, sitting on the edge of her seat, and trying not to reposition her wings if anyone was looking. It wasn’t too bad- it was just hard having to hide so much.

Her last class that day was her favorite. Woodshop! She always ran on her way there, but this time she had to tell herself to slow down, and hold her cloak forward while speed-walking towards the shop. When she got there, she let go of her cloak, so that it was draping around her shoulders and covering her wings. But when she dropped it, she found Mark looking at her funny for a split second. Then he shook it off the look and stepped towards her.

“Hi, Johanna!” he said, “How’s it going?”

“Good,” she responded, and they got to work. They were building a door for the coming play, and it was going well. They were chatting while they worked.

“Okay, the hinge should go here so it can move fluidly without getting stuck,” Mark said, “Oh, and speaking of motion, how’s flying, Brenna Daenerys?” Johanna was startled a bit, nervousness visible in her eyes for a moment, but she blinked it off quickly.

“What are you talking about? How could I be a dragon? Dragons aren’t even real!” she snorted.

“Oh, come on. Everything lines up. Come out here where we can talk without other people hearing,” replied Mark, glancing around the shop. There were a few others, Bob included. Johanna nodded, and they went out the door and around the building.

“Okay, so what were you saying?” Johanna said, even though she knew exactly what he was talking about. She needed an extra moment to think.

“Everything lines up,” replied Mark, “You and Brenna Daenerys, Dragon of Light, are the same. For starters, you have the same eyes. I’ve looked into yours, and I’ve looked into the dragon’s, and they’re exactly alike. Also, this cloak? You’re hiding something underneath it, and I’m pretty sure what you’re hiding is dragon wings. I did a bit of research, and supposedly, when a human transforms into a dragon, they can go back and forth between both forms, but when they are in human form, they still have wings. Plus, I’ve noticed a bit of a bump on your back where wings might be.”

“Alright, good research and sleuthing,” Johanna responded, taking a deep breath, “Now this is a big leap of trust for me, and you must never tell anyone, okay?”

“Okay…” Mark said, with a smile starting to form.

“You are right. I am a dragon, the very dragon you think I am. Come with me.” Johanna led him a bit more into the woods, where there wasn’t a chance of anyone seeing them. Then she untied her cloak and let it drop to the ground, exposing her wings.

“So, I’m right, at least about the wing part,” Mark said, not sounding as baffled as other people when they saw her wings for the first time.

“Yes,” confirmed Johanna, “ And you’re right about the dragon part, too.” A cloud of dragon smoke went up, and when it cleared, Johanna was in Brenna Daenerys form once again. “I’ll make sure you get a ride next time I’m a dragon when you’re around. Probably during activities tomorrow!” Brenna Daenerys/Johanna added, as she poofed back into human form.

“That was so cool!” Mark grinned.

“I’d love to show you more dragony stuff, but we should get back to class before anyone misses us,” Johanna replied, also smiling. She put her cloak back on, and the two walked back to the shop and got back to work.


All through the next few days, Mark and Johanna passed secret smiles when they were walking past each other in the hallways. Of all the people that knew Johanna’s secret, Mark was the most excited as well as the most chill person about it. Despite finding it really cool, the others also thought it was a bit weird. Mark didn’t seem to think that way. It was nice.

In the shop a few days later, Mark and Johanna were talking about it.

“Don’t you ever get tired of having to hide?” he asked.

“Yes,” Johanna responded, with a touch of sadness in her voice, “But I think it would be worse if I ended up in a science lab, or our next biology study in class.”

“True. But this is a nice community. I challenge you to not wear your cloak tomorrow. Just see what happens,” Mark said.

“Well, that is tempting,” Johanna replied thoughtfully, “I’ll try it!” She said this last part a lot more confidently. They both smiled.

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