Brad turns off the light switch. Starlight shimmers through the window making the dust floating in the air look like stars in deep space. Brad looks around the shadowy features. There has to be more to life than this nightmare he’s experienced so far. There must be more. There’s a creature living in his bedroom with him – he’s seen it before.
Brad walks to the corner of the room and pulls two metal cigarette lighters out of a secret pit hidden under the carpet.
He crawls across the room, and blocks the door just in case someone tries to walk in. He opens the lighter lids. He knows the creatures will only come out when the fire is lit.
Brad presses his thumbs on the lighters’ spark wheel, and he begins counting backwards… 3… 2… 1…
He spins the lighters wheels, and a shower of sparks shoot out into the room. The gas in the lighters ignites, and the room bursts into the color of the flame. Shadows peel back. Two orange flames rise from his hands and look like miniature explosions in the blackness. Brad watches the shadows change shape and dance around the room like spirits being released from his hands.
His eyes focus on the energy flowing out of the flames. He looks for the familiar creature.
It slowly starts to happen. The wall cracks and a cave opens into the wall. Brad holds out the lighters so he can see. The room glows in a mixture of yellow and orange fire light. The shadows resemble spiders as they scurry around the room.
The spiders scamper over the furniture in the room with their little red eyes. They pool in gangs in the wall corners. Behind them, the cave opens wider, and a much larger creature comes to the edge of the cave and peers out at Brad. It has the silhouette of a dragon. Brad tries to focus on it through the shadows. Is this real? Or is he imagining all of this?
Brad has never seen the creature this close before. He looks at it, and whispers through the fire, “What are you?”
Its head bows, and Brad hears its voice echo into his mind. “I am your friend.”
The light from the flames aren’t strong enough to see everything. He lifts them up to penetrate all the shadows. Brad squints his eyes and leans in, “Why am I the only one who can see you?”
Brad leans toward the opening. The creature stands taller. Maybe he’s not meant for this earth. Maybe he’s supposed to go with the creature into the cave.
His fingers burn from the hot lighters. He drops the flames. The cave and the spiders disappear, and the room goes black. It’s just him again, and everything is silent.
Brad’s not sure what just happened. He wants to tell someone, but who would believe him? They’d think he was crazy. They’d lock him up and call him insane. So he decides to keep his reality a secret. But he knows he’s not crazy.