Excerpt from The Missing Alchemist, Chapter 1 – The Field Dragon
“Sounds like you’re dealing with a field dragon,” said Cornelius. “Those can be tricky to deal with. Fortunately, I have a plan, but it might destroy your corn field.”
“That’s fine,” said Friar Baisley. “Do what you have to do to keep us safe.”
“Good,” said Cornelius. “I’m going to enter the field and flush out the dragon. With a little luck, it’ll come out into the open. At that point, Craig, I need you to distract the beast with whatever spells you feel comfortable with. While the beast is distracted, I will get in position to deliver a finishing blow. Understand?”
Craig nodded nervously. He hoped his training had prepared him for the situation. If he was unable to distract the dragon, everyone’s lives would be in danger.
After adjusting his cloak, Cornelius strolled out to the field, disappearing among the rows of corn.
The only sounds were the rustle of corn stalks shifting as Cornelius walked deeper into the field.
Minutes later, a loud snarl echoed across the field, followed by a yell from Cornelius.
The sound of corn stalks snapping grew louder and louder until Cornelius burst out of the corn field, a carriage-sized dragon right behind him.
Determined to distract the dragon, Craig ran toward it and shouted, “Incedium!”
A fireball erupted from his staff, bouncing harmlessly off the dragon’s chest.
As Craig contemplated another plan of attack, Cornelius held his staff over his head as a large granite slab grew out of the ground.
“Keep distracting the dragon!” shouted Cornelius. “I just need a few more seconds!”
Craig shouted “Incedium” again, this time aiming his staff at the dragon’s eyes.
A fireball rocketed out of Craig’s staff in a straight line toward the dragon’s face. The dragon batted the fireball away with his paw, but Craig sent another that hit the dragon in the right eye.
The dragon roared, rearing up on its hind legs, fire spurting from its nostrils and mouth.
Capitalizing on the dragon’s distraction, Cornelius finished the slab and used his staff to hover it in the air above his head. He made a whipping motion with his staff, and the slab flew through the air, hitting the dragon square in the head.
The slab burst into pieces, and the dragon fell to the ground unconscious.
Having grown up in an orphanage, Craig Pike appreciates his comfortable life as a student of Cornelius, a famous alchemist. But when Cornelius is kidnapped, Craig leaves comfort behind to search for him. Craig teams up with Audrey Clife, a clever archer, and together they travel across mysterious lands and battle otherworldly creatures. Their journey reveals that Cornelius's kidnapping is only a small part of an evil alchemist's elaborate grab for power, and the only people standing in his way are Craig and Audrey...
Caldric Blackwell realized he loved reading when he read about a bunch of people (with single-syllable names) and their pets (also with single-syllable names) in kindergarten.
Exposure to a host of great authors while studying at the University of California, Santa Barbara inspired him to begin writing fiction. Although he began writing short stories for adults, he eventually migrated to writing children's books. His debut work is an early chapter book titled The Enchanted River Race. His next release is a picture book, The Boy Who Couldn't Cry Wolf.
Outside of writing, Caldric enjoys hiking, gardening, and playing a variety of string instruments. Caldric currently resides in California.