Arjuna Krishna-Das > Writing > Kids >

Arran and The Mer-Dragon

A short children's story (although it's not actually suitable for children, being based on a rather unsuitable role model).

Tall children may find it equally inappropriate. Cyber-Nanny Watch code XX.

© Arjuna Krishna-Das 1990

Arran was out for the day with Aiden, Jan and Neil. Aiden was his bossy older brother, Jan his mother, and Neil her friend, who had brought them all to the Welsh coast in his big almost-white van. Aiden was cross with Arran, who had crashed into part of his sandcastle. Jan and Neil sat on a sand dune, laughing and smoking.

"I hate it when you smoke mum" Arran said earnestly. "They'll make you ill."

"Why don't you run down and catch a sea monster?" she replied, tired of his boundless energy. He ran down to the crashing waves as fast as he could, both arms straight out like an aeroplane.

"Nnnarrrrrrr - Ohh!" he cried, speechless for the first time ever.

Lying behind a rock in a murky pool of water was a ... sea monster (or so it seemed). It had a curly tail, scaley skin, web arms and an alarmingly large mouth.

"Hello there" it said. "Nasty weather. Cold."

"Who are you?" asked Arran, feeling curious.

"I'm a Mer-Dragon" it replied. "You can call me Gary if you want." Suddenly it sneezed, rainbow flames jetting from its nostrils.

"Bless you" said Arran. "Can I get you something for that cold?"

"I'm trying to get to Hawaii for the Winter" explained the Mer-Dragon. "But I need more fuel or I'll die."

Arran looked into his sad eyes and didn't see a monster at all, just a terribly wet and cold friend, shivering.

"Would lighter fluid do?" he asked. Gary nodded, and Arran got up and ran, arms waving all ways this time. He had a plan. "Mum, can I have an ice cream?" he whined.

"OK my little tootles" she agreed, reaching into her purse. Get one for everybody.

He raced up to the shop onto the road. The woman looked down at him sternly.

"Lighter fluid?"

"It's for my mum. Really" he lied, putting a pound on the counter.

Reluctantly she sold him a small can, which he took back to Gary by a long route avoiding the others.

"You've saved my life. Thanks a bundle" said Gary, pouring the fluid down his gullet. He roared a long blue flame, jumped up and embraced his new friend, then dived into the sea.

Arran returned ablaze with enthusiasm. "A Mer-Dragon, A Mer-Dragon !" he cried.

"Don't be silly Arran" said Jan. "Where are the ice creams?" Arran looked shame faced.

"I lost the money" he said, staring at the sand.

"A Mer-Dragon ?!?" exclaimed Aiden. "Look!"

They all turned to the sea, where a fountain of rainbow sparks and flames burned from a far away figure, swimming away. It turned to them, waved then submerged.