Important! If you have not read chapters 1-7, then this will not make any sense! Links in comments!
Previously: Izzy ran away, bribed a ticket lady, caught a bus, nearly got kidnapped, and now she is hitch-hiking with two people named Debbie and Gwen. (they're good people, I promise)
"So, to recap, you found a baby dragon living in the library, took him home and hyped him up on sugar, got the attention of more dragons, who then demolished your house and took him?" asked Debbie. "And you're using news articles to track them down?"
"Wait, you believe me?" Izzy couldn't believe her ears. She assumed that anyone who heard her story would send her to the nearest loony bin.
"Of course! I don't think the idea of giant lizards roaming the earth is too difficult to wrap one's head around. Right, Gwen?"
Gwen nodded in agreement. "I mean, giraffes exist, and they're super weird once you start to think about it."
She was right.
"Also, I've seen the news articles," said Gwen. "People are coming up with all sorts of conspiracies."
"Like what?" Izzy asked. She hadn't talked to many people since she ran away, so she had no idea what rumors were going around.
"They're saying that it's this huge hoax and the government's making it up to scare them. But I think it's real.
A ton of different news sources are covering it, and all of the pictures bear some semblance to each other."
"Don't forget that video at the library," Debbie chimed in. "That would be really hard to fake."
Izzy nodded. "That was the library where I found Inky."
Gwen and Debbie gasped. "You weren't there when it happened, right?" Gwen asked.
"No. But he was taken right after that."
Sighs of relief.
"So, how are you going to get Inky back?" Debbie asked.
Izzy fidgeted in her seat. "Well, um, I don't know."
Debbie turned around. "You don't have a plan?
"You need one! What were you going to do, just waltz into the dragons' lair and ask politely?"
Izzy scratched the back of her neck. It wasn't that she hadn't thought of what she was going to do when she got there, it was just that whenever she tried, she came up with nothing.
She had just been trying to survive the next five minutes, so the plan always got pushed to the back of her mind.
"I mean, I don't know." She bit her nails.
"Ok, what do you know about them? How many are there? Do they have fire breath? Horns?"
Izzy struggled to recall the few pictures of the dragons she had seen. "I know there's at least four of them. And I haven't seen them breathe fire."
Debbie opened her mouth to say something, but then a phone began to ring. Izzy pulled hers out, praying it wasn't her mom, but the screen was black.
"Gwennie, I think it's you," Debbie said.
Gwen fumbled around blindly for her phone while keeping her eyes on the road. "Hello?" she said once she had picked up. "Oh, hi."
"Who is it?" asked Debbie.
"My mom," Gwen whispered.
"Wait," Izzy interrupted. "You aren't sisters?"
Debbie laughed. "Do you think we look alike at all?"
Izzy took in Debbie's twig-like frame and dark brown eyes next to Gwen's soft features and eyes the color of ferns. They looked nothing alike.
"She's my girlfriend."
"We're going up to Canada to meet her parents."
Debbie looked over to Gwen and made sure that she wasn't paying attention, then leaned over and whispered in Izzy's ear. "I'm going to ask them for permission to propose to her."
"Oh!" Izzy gasped. "Well, um, good luck!"
Debbie smiled. "Thanks." She turned back to her seat.
Gwen set her phone down. "She said they're waiting for us at the border."
"Sounds good. How much longer?"
"About twenty minutes. Also, how are we going to get the kid across the border? We don't have papers for her. Not to mention that if we get caught with her, we could go to jail."
Gwen gripped the steering wheel tighter.
Izzy pursed her lips. What if they decided to turn her in?
Debbie seemed to sense her anxiety. She turned back to look at Izzy. "Don't worry, kid. We won't give you up. You need to go rescue your dragon. Gwen's just a huge worrier."
"Hey Gwen?" she asked.
"What was the border like last time you went to go visit your parents? Did you have to go through security?"
"There was just one officer who searched us and asked for our papers. Why?"
"I have an idea," Izzy replied.
The car pulled up next to the check-in stand at the border. Izzy crouched on the floor in the backseat.
Gwen rolled down the window as they reached the officer.
"Hello, ladies," he said with a grin.
Gwen smiled back at him, then her face slowly shifted to a horrified expression. She raised a finger and pointed to something behind him. "Dragon!" she screamed.
While the officer's attention was drawn to the trees behind him, Izzy quietly opened the door on the opposite side of the car and slipped out.
"Where?" the officer asked.
"Oh, I thought I saw one. You know what they're saying in the news," Gwen said.
Izzy dropped to all fours and crawled to the front of the car so she could see Gwen and Debbie through the windshield while the officer stood right by the window.
He sighed. "I have to admit, I didn't believe the whole thing, not until I saw them."
Debbie's jaw dropped. "You actually saw them? Wicked! Where?"
"I was hiking just yesterday at the mountains over there." He pointed off into the distance, where Izzy could see a group of mountains.
"On my way back, a huge shadow came right over me, then I looked up, and there it was. And then I saw another, and another, and another. They didn't notice me, thankfully."
"And where did they go?" Gwen asked.
He pointed to the tallest mountain in the cluster, the one in the very middle. "They stopped somewhere up there. I assume they have some sort of nest or something.
Now, if you ladies will please step out so I can run you through the metal detectors and see your papers, that would be appreciated."
Gwen opened the door. Izzy tensed and prepared to run, waiting for the signal.
"Hey, kid," Debbie hissed. Her door was cracked open.
Izzy rushed over to her. "What?" she whispered.
Debbie slipped her a slip of paper. "Here's my number, and Gwen's too, in case you need us. We'll be here for the next two weeks or so."
Izzy slipped it in her pocket. "Thanks."
"And remember, you got this. I believe in you. You get your dragon back, Isabelle."
She grinned. "Call me Izzy."
"Oh!" Gwen's voice came from the other side of the car, unnecessarily loud. "I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to!"
Izzy looked over. The officer was drenched in the contents of Gwen's cup, now empty.
That was the signal. Izzy took off running away from the car, away from the border, and into Canada. No one followed her.
Sorry it took so long :/ So I just hit 1000! Thank you all so much! I actually can't believe that 1000 people like my writing! It means a lot <3 I've been telling you guys for awhile that I would do a face reveal when I hit 1000. While I am comfortable with this, I would like to know if you all are interested, because I'm not going to post it if no one is. Let me know in the comments! -Mari <3