Read My Very UnFairy Tale Life: Jenny’s First Adventure Online

Authors: Anna Staniszewski

Tags: #adventure, #humor, #fantasy, #childrens book, #fairy tale

My Very UnFairy Tale Life: Jenny’s First Adventure

BOOK: My Very UnFairy Tale Life: Jenny’s First Adventure
10.26Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub






My Very UnFairy Tale Life


Jenny’s First Adventure


A Short Prequel


Published by Anna Staniszewski at Smashwords


Copyright 2012 Anna Staniszewski





Smashwords Edition, License Notes

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Jenny’s First UnFairy Tale Adventure


I wasn’t just sitting around twirling my hair
when my life went from normal to magical. I was in the middle of
gym class, trying to convince my teacher that mini-golf should be
taught in school. I’d just spouted one of the catchy slogans I’d
invented the night before when—
!—something exploded on
the other side of the gymnasium.

Kids all around me screamed like they were in
a horror movie.

I whirled around to find a gnome standing
next to the bleachers. Seriously. A gnome. With bright orange hair,
a bright orange beard, and a bright orange lollipop in his

“Jennifer?” he said. “Anyone here named

All eyes swung toward me. “Um,” I said,
half-raising my hand. “I usually go by Jenny.”

The gnome’s face lit up as he practically
skipped toward me. He really was a gnome. Unless the taco I’d had
for lunch was making me—and everyone else in the class—hallucinate.
The beef
been particularly spongy that day.

“Who are you?” I managed to say.

“I’m Anthony,” the gnome answered, sticking
out a pudgy hand and furiously shaking my fingers. “And I’m going
to be your magical guide!”

I checked to see if my teacher, Mrs. Hartley,
was going to do anything about the situation, but she was busy
being frozen in shock.

“Are you really magical?” I asked.

“Sure am!” the gnome chirped, sticking the
lollipop in his mouth. “See?” He snapped his fingers
!—an enormous duck appeared in the middle of the gym

“Quack,” it said. It wasn’t actually making a
quacking sound; it was literally saying “quack” like it was
imitating a duck. And, on top of that, its feathers were bright
purple. Clearly, this was no regular animal.

“No birds allowed in the gym,” Mrs. Hartley
said weakly.

I heard something hit the floor behind me.
When I glanced over my shoulder, I saw that a few of the kids in my
class had fainted.

I should have been scared. I guess any normal
person would have been. But if there was one thing my best friends,
Trish and Melissa, were always teasing me about, it was that I was
normal. So while everyone else in my gym
class was passing out, I was getting annoyed.

“Maybe we could talk about this somewhere
else?” I asked the gnome. “Since you’re freaking everyone out?”

Anthony’s grin faded. “You humans are so
sensitive.” He grabbed my arm and—
!—everything around me
disappeared. Instantly, I was thrown into an upside-down
tilt-a-whirl. I tried to scream, but the sound got sucked right
back into my throat.

Then the horrible feeling faded, and I
realized we were in my bedroom. My legs gave out, and I flopped
onto the carpet. The purple duck landed next to me with a

“Ouch,” it said.

I couldn’t deal with talking ducks at that
moment, so I ignored the creature and glared up at Anthony

“Couldn’t we have just walked to my house
instead of doing…whatever that was?” I said.

The gnome rolled his eyes. “Look, if you’re
going to be traveling between worlds, you might as well get used to
how it feels.”

I sat up. “Did you just say something about
traveling between worlds?”

Anthony’s grin came back. “That’s right! I
told you, I’m going to be your guide, and you, Jenny-girl, are
going to be an adventurer.” He puffed out his chest and looked at
me like he expected me to jump up and down with glee.

“What’s an adventurer?” I got up and went to
sit on my bed. The purple duck had made itself at home and was
roosting in between my pillows. I pretended not to notice.

Anthony let out a loud sigh. “I knew this
world had no magic, but this is ridiculous!” He shook his head, his
orange hair bouncing. “Okay, fine. When you’re an adventurer, you
travel to magical worlds and swoop in to save the day. All the
magical creatures adore you for helping them, and they reward you
with riches and jewels and a million other things. It’s pretty much
the best job ever.”

“A job? I’m nine! I’m not even allowed to

“You are kind of young to be an adventurer,
but the Committee sees a lot of potential in you.” Anthony wrinkled
his nose. “Though I’m not sure why. Anyway, this first mission
would be a trial run. If you do well, you could become a
full-fledged adventurer. So, are you up for it? A life of magic and
adventure and blah blah blah?”

I glanced at my bookcase which was stuffed
full of stories about regular kids who were thrown into magical
situations. I’d always loved disappearing into those tales. In
comparison, real life seemed so boring.

“Well?” said Anthony, crunching on his

That’s when I realized: this was it. If I
wasn’t taco-hallucinating, then this was my chance to become one of
those kids in those amazing stories. My life would never be boring

“Yes!” I said with a laugh. “Trish and
Melissa will never believe me when I tell them about this!”

Anthony shook his head. “Sorry, Jenny-girl.
No telling anyone about your adventures. You have to keep the
magical worlds a secret. Otherwise, you’ll get in serious

My excitement dimmed. “What about the other
kids in my gym class? They saw you just like I did. Doesn’t that
mean they already know about magic?”

“Not anymore,” said the gnome. “Right before
we left, I wiped their memories so they’d forget all about me.”

I hugged a pillow to my chest. “But what’s
the fun of going on fantastic adventures if I can’t share them with

“Don’t you worry,” said Anthony. “You’ll make
tons of magical friends, and you’ll be able to tell them all about
your missions. It’ll be a blast. I promise.”

He was right. How could I turn down a chance
like this when it meant having a whole new, amazing life? And who
knew, maybe one day I’d find a way to tell my friends about it

“Okay,” I said. “I’ll do it.”

“Fabulous!” said the gnome. Then he grabbed
my hand and snapped his fingers. Before I could even brace
!—we were off again.

This time, after an eternity of spinning
through suffocating rainbows, I collapsed on a pile of dirt. The
smell of burnt wood filled my nose as Anthony pulled me up to my
feet. I was just going to ask what had happened to the purple duck
when I spotted something swooping high above our heads.

I really had to be seeing things because the
swooping figure looked like a dragon. And worse, the dragon
appeared to have a bathtub in its mouth.

I blinked and blinked as the creature
disappeared among the gray clouds. Wings. Spikes. Claws. Unless I
had a dragon-shaped piece of dirt in my eye, what I’d just seen was
for real.

“Where are we?” I whispered.

“The locals call it Pssshaazz,” said Anthony,
making a sound that reminded me of sizzling oil. “But I just call
it Dragonville. Either way, the residents need your help.”

As I glanced around, I realized why it
smelled like something was burning: something
burning. We were in the middle of what used to be a forest, but was
now mounds of ash and singed wood. It looked nothing like a magical

“What happened to this place?” I said as I
followed Anthony down a barren path through the woods.

“A few things you should know about dragons,
Jenny-girl. They like to burn things. And they like to steal
things. And they’re not very bright.”

“And we’re here to
them? It
sounds like we should be finding a way to lock them up.”

“Technically,” said Anthony, jumping over a
fallen tree branch, “we’re here to stop them from burning the
entire land. They’ve been at war with the sprites ever since the
sprite queen said the dragon king had a thick neck. Things pretty
much went downhill from there.”

“What about the sprites?” I said. “Anything I
should know about them?”

“They’re feisty things, that’s for sure. Most
of the time, they fly so fast that you can’t even see them. But the
one thing sprites are known for is their metalworking magic.”

“What does that mean?” I said. “Do they make
pots and pans and stuff?”

Anthony giggled. “I guess they could, but no.
They make amazing crowns and jewels. Their stuff is all over the
magical kingdoms. Whenever you see a fancy tiara, one that twinkles
just a bit more than it should, chances are the sprites made

Suddenly, I thought of the purple and silver
bracelet that had once been my mother’s. It was one of the few
things I’d inherited of hers after my parents had disappeared a few
years ago. I’d always thought there was something unearthly about
that bracelet. Was it possible it had been made by sprites? Wait,
that was crazy. My parents had been dentists. There was no way they
could have gotten their hands on anything even remotely

“So what exactly am I supposed to do when we
get to the dragons?” I asked.

Anthony shrugged. “You’re the adventurer. I’m
just here to make sure you don’t get hurt.”

“That’s it? No instructions? I thought you
were going to be my guide.”

“You’ll be fine,” he said. “You’re a natural.
I can tell.”

I didn’t feel like a natural. I felt like
someone in a dream—or maybe a nightmare. As excited as I was that
something amazing was finally happening to me, part of me still
couldn’t believe it. And okay, I was a tiny bit scared. What had I
gotten myself into?

We kept trudging through the charred woods
until we got to a large clearing. It was dotted with dozens of
shiny hills, glowing against the burned landscape. As we got
closer, I realized the hills were shiny because they were pretty
much heaps of metal.

And milling around the metallic hills were
dozens of dragons.

I’d expected dragons to be enormous, so I was
a little disappointed to see the creatures up close. The biggest
one was about the size of a moving van, but most of the others
weren’t much bigger than a car. The dragons were hovering around
the metal mounds, combing through forks and weathervanes and
ladders. I spotted some random non-metal things poking out,
including the bathtub I’d seen flying through the air minutes
earlier. It occurred to me how strong dragons had to be if they
could carry objects that were almost as big as they were.

“What is this place?” I whispered to

“The dragons’ home base,” he said. “It’s
where they bring back all their treasure.”

I didn’t know if “treasure” was the word I
would use to describe a rusty stepstool that one of the dragons was
hugging to its chest.

At that moment, the dragon closest to us—and
the largest of the bunch—spun around and glared at us with yellow
eyes. I expected him to snarl and fry us up for dinner, but instead
he said: “You’ve been sent to help us?”

At his words, the rest of the dragons in the
clearing stopped what they were doing and eyed us curiously.

“Yes, indeed!” said Anthony. “This here is
Jenny. She’s going to fix everything.”

All dragon eyes swung toward me, which made
me inch back a step. Even if the dragons weren’t enormous beasts,
they were still pretty intimidating. And the fact that they could
set me on fire with just a hiccup wasn’t exactly comforting.

“Um, hi,” I said with a pathetic wave. “Nice
to meet you all.”

“I am Hsssshhhem,” the large dragon said, the
name coming out like a long hiss of steam. “I am the leader of this
clan.” His neck was thicker than all of the other dragons’ which
probably meant he was the king—at least based on what Anthony had
told me about the sprite queen’s war-starting comment.

“Er, do you mind if I call you Sam?” I asked,
pretty sure there was no way my tongue could make boiling-water

The dragon sighed, letting out a small puff
of smoke. “It does not matter what you call me as long as you make
the sprites leave us alone. They attack us and drive us out of our
own woods.” He shook his head. “And worst of all, they make us
leave our treasures behind. Do you know what it feels like to
abandon chairs you’ve been collecting for decades?”

BOOK: My Very UnFairy Tale Life: Jenny’s First Adventure
10.26Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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