Question to Madeleine: How do dragons get through to the other side and back to Brooklyn?
Answer: Through a cloud portal
Madebonne adjusted her goggles and got a good grip on the Dragon’s neck. She loved flying. The wind whistled past her ears and she could almost understand the secrets it seemed to be telling her. She looked into her pocket where her mom swished her tail listlessly. In twenty minutes Madebonne would finally be home. She crossed her fingers that there wouldn’t be any more obstacles along the way. If they didn’t get there quickly, her Fairy Godmother’s potion might not be strong enough to change her mom back into a mom. And it just wasn’t any fun having a gold fish for a mother. Gold fish didn’t give you hugs or help you pick out what clothes to wear in the morning. And they sure didn’t help you calm down when you were worried. And Madebonne was worried. Her mom was acting fishier and fishier every minute.
The Dragon soared over the water. Madebonne looked down below and saw water stretching in every direction below her. She suddenly had a scary thought. What if the Dragon planned to dive through the Porthole of Atlantis. Could she hold her breath for that long? Madebonne stretched her neck as high as she could and shouted into the Dragon’s ear, “How do we get through to the other side to Brooklyn?”
“What’s that?” asked Madebonne.
“What’s what?” asked the Dragon looking around at the sky.
“What’s a cloud portal?” asked Madebonne.
“Oh, it’s how you get to Brooklyn,” said the Dragon.
“But what is it? How does it work?” Madebonne persevered.
“You’ve never been through a cloud portal? How did you get here?” asked the Dragon.
“I came down a drain and then flew and hopped and rolled and swam through a rainbow. After that I took a sled down a giant hill and then at the Penguin Express igloo I took the elevator to the castle. Then I took a boat to the Island of boys and now I’m flying on a dragon.”
“Cloud portal is so much easier,” said the Dragon puffing up his chest proudly. “Dragons are so smart.”
Madebonne laughed. “So how does it work already. Geez.”
“It’s a dragon secret but I’ll tell you since you are part dragon,” said the Dragon. “The cloud portal is made of dragon mist. We conjure it up with a mixture of fire, cold air and green magic. Once I get high enough in the sky the air gets much colder. Then I breathe a small fire which creates a mist which we conjure into a portal to Brooklyn. Simple.” Madebonne was quite impressed.
“Where exactly does it come out in Brooklyn?” she asked.
“In the sky near LaGuardia Airport. The dragon mist is quite shimmery and makes us look like planes. That’s why they say that LaGuardia is one of the busiest airports in the country. Dragons love to visit New York City.” Madebonne wondered how many times she had mistaken a dragon for a plane when she looked up in the sky.
“Is it dangerous to fly near all those planes?” asked Madebonne.
“It can be a bit tricky,” admitted the Dragon. “The dragon mist disguises us but it also cuts down on visibility. So keep your eyes peeled for planes.” Madebonne held on tighter. She wasn’t sure that she liked the sound of this.
“Don’t worry Madebonne. You can usually hear the planes before you see them. And I am an excellent flyer.” The Dragon flew higher into the sky and Madebonne began to feel a chill. But her adventuring outfit soon changed into a snuggly jacket. Henry leaned up against her to keep warm.
“Here we go,” said the Dragon. He took a deep breath of cold air and breathed out a low rumbling fire. A shimmering mist streamed out behind them as they flew through the air. The Dragon took another deep breath and the mist grew thicker and thicker.
“How can you see where you are going?” asked Madebonne.
“I just have to fly straight until we are through the portal. Then the mist will thin out a bit,” said the Dragon. Madebonne glanced down into her pocket.
“Hang in there mom. We’ll be home soon,” she said. And soon enough, the mist began to thin and Madebonne heard the rumblings of New York City life. They flew out of the portal and into LaGuardia airspace. Madebonne was so excited to see the city that she wasn’t a bit scared to see airplanes taking off and landing around her.
“Yay!” cheered Madebonne. “We’re back in New York. I can’t believe it.” The Dragon turned and breathed some mist on Madebonne and Henry to make sure that they were properly disguised.
They soared over the city, past the Empire State Building, over the Brooklyn Bridge, around Prospect Park and finally right up Madebonne’s block.
“Your street is too narrow for me to land in front of your building so I’m going to land on your roof,” said the Dragon as he circled above her building. “Can you get down to your apartment from there?”
“It’s easy,” said Madebonne. “There are stairs that go right up to the roof. We go up there to watch the fireworks on the Fourth of July.” The Dragon made tighter and tighter circles as he flew around Madebonne’s roof until he made a very elegant landing right at the roof’s edge where he grabbed onto the wall with his toes, then hopped down onto the roof. Madebonne and Henry climbed down off his back.
“Dragon, thank you so much for getting me home,” said Madebonne.
“I’m glad that I could help,” said the Dragon. “And I can stock up on dill pickles while I’m here.”
“Have a safe flight back,” said Madebonne.
“Good luck changing your mom back,” said the Dragon as he spread his wings. With a gentle flap he lifted off the roof and glided down the street. Madebonne turned and ran towards the stairway with Henry at her heels. She wrenched open the door and leapt down the stairs two at a time until she reached the twelth floor. She opened the door and ran down the hallway to her apartment.
“Fairy Godmother we’re back,” yelled Madebonne as she burst into the apartment. “Fairy Godmother! Where are you?” Madebonne ran into the kitchen but her Fairy Godmother wasn’t there working on the spell. She couldn’t believe it. Where was her FairyGodmother? Madebonne looked around and saw a note on the fridge. It said
“Went to the laundry room.
Drink the tea on the counter.
It will make you feel better.”
The note was signed with a heart. Madebonne wondered why her Fairy Godmother would be in the laundry room. Maybe she spilled some of the potion on her clothes and wanted to wash it out. She looked on the counter and saw a teapot. Madebonne went over and lifted the lid. A bitter smell wafted up in the steam. Madebonne plugged her nose. How was she going to get a fish to drink the potion? She took her mom out of her pocket and put her into a glass, then got a spoon out of the drawer. She poured some of the tea into the spoon and held it over the glass. Her mom looked up at her through the water.
“Sorry Henry,” said Madebonne shooing Henry outside. “I’m not taking any chances this time. You have to wait outside.” She shut the door behind him then poured some tea into the spoon and held it over the tub.
“Come on mom. You need to drink this,” she said. Her mom swam around the tub but didn’t take much notice of Madebonne or the spoon full of tea. Madebonne started to get frustrated.
“Mom, you need to drink this.” She put her hand into the tub and gently pushed her mom towards the corner then she scooped her mom to the top of the water and poured the tea into her mouth. Madebonne took her hand away and waited. Nothing happened.
“Maybe that wasn’t enough of the potion,” she said to her mom. “Come drink some more.” And again, she scooped her mom to the corner of the tub and poured two spoons of tea into her mouth. Madebonne sat back and waited. Still nothing happened. Tears started to stream down her face. Maybe it was too late and her mom would always be a fish. Madebonne had to do something drastic. She knew that fish breathed through their mouths so she took the pot of tea and poured the whole thing into the tub. That way she would be drinking the potion as she swam around the tub. Her mom swam and swam around but didn’t look any different than she had ten minutes ago. Madebonne didn’t know what to do any more. She was out of magic potion, she couldn’t find her Fairy Godmother and her mom was still a fish. She sat down on the floor beside the tub and burst into tears. Then she started to cry, then she howled. She felt like her heart would break.
Madebonne sobbed and shouted at the tub, “Mom, I am not kidding around any more. You need to change back into my mom. It’s not fair. I WANT MY MOM BACK!” Henry howled on the other side of the door but Madebonne was too upset to get up and let him in. She felt a soothing hand on her head.
“It’s alright darling. There’s no need to cry.” Madebonne whipped her head around and saw her mom, her REAL mom, leaning over the edge of the tub.
“Mom, you changed back,” said Madebonne as she leapt into her arms, fully clothed, right into the tub of water.
“Thank you for saving me,” her mom whispered into her ear. Madebonne looked up at her with tears in her eyes.
“What happened to you mom? Why did you turn into a fish?”
“Well, as I was swimming my laps I kept thinking ‘swim like a fish, swim like a fish’ and the next thing I knew, I was a fish,” she explained. “I was very happy being a fish. It’s amazing to breathe under water. But when I heard you yelling for me I realized that I wanted to be your mom more than I wanted to be a fish. The next thing I knew I was your mom again.” Madebonne could have sat in the tub with her mom until bedtime but Henry was yowling on the other side of the door so Madebonne hopped out of the tub. She opened the door and Henry came bounding in. He circled around their legs until he was satisfied that everything was back to normal.
“It’s nice to see you again Henry,” said Madebonne’s mom as she scratched him behind the ears. Henry flopped on the floor and rolled onto his back. Madebonne gave him a very gentle pat on the belly.
“Henry is the best cat ever,” said Madebonne. She was so happy that he had come on the adventure with her.
“What do you say we get changed and go pick your dad up from work,” said Madebonne’s mom. Madebonne looked down at her sunfish bikini.
“Once this dries I’ll be ready to go,” she said. “That’s the great thing about an adventuring outfit.”
“I think we’ve had enough adventuring for the time being,” replied her mom.
“Who are you?” asked Madebonne with surprise. The little girl jumped out of bed and gave her a gigantic hug.
“You’re back,” said the little girl. “I missed you so much.” Madebonne didn’t know what to say. So she asked her again.
“Who are you?” The little girl looked up at her with smiling eyes.
“I’m your sister Sacha, silly,” she said.
“I don’t have a sister,” she said, confused.
“Only for the past five years,” said Sacha. “Before that you didn’t have a sister. Do you want to take me to the park?”
Madebonne looked at Sacha then looked around her room. Something was definitely not right. She took out her butterfly phone and dialed F-G-M.
“Hello, Operator. What is the state of your emergency?”
“I need to talk to my Fairy Godmother right away. I have an unexplained sister in my bedroom.”
“Please hold while I connect you,” said the Operator. Madebonne held while Sacha bounced back into her bed.
“Mabebonne? Where are you?” asked the Fairy Godmother.
“Fairy Godmother, we have a problem,” said Madebonne.
“I’ll be right there,” said her Fairy Godmother. Madebonne hung up her butterfly phone and listened for the doorbell while Sacha bounced on the bed.