TITLE: Matchbox Dragon
GENRE: Upper Middle Grade Fantasy
Leda lay on her bed in a puddle of moonlight, holding a small, tattered matchbox. She’d found it two years ago on the front lawn, near the birdbath she could see from her bedroom window.
She slid the box open a crack and touched the four-leaf clover inside. She’d spotted it last year in the same place, on this same night, the third Thursday in June--the night the man always came, and her mom met him outside and sent him away.
How many years had he been coming? Leda closed the matchbox. She couldn’t be sure but she suspected it was thirteen years, ever since she was born. And more than that, she could feel the truth deep inside her, a lingering ache that never went away. He was the one man her mom never talked about. The one man Leda longed to know--her father.
The rumble of an approaching truck drifted in through her open window. The click, click of Mom’s high heels raced down the sidewalk toward the street. Headlight beams fanned bright streaks across her bedroom walls. He was here!
Leda bounced out of bed. She tucked the matchbox into the pocket of her sweatpants.
She dashed across her bedroom, her stomach wriggling like a thousand fireflies were flashing and fluttering around inside it. Her toe caught on the edge of her rug. Yikes! If she tripped and twisted an ankle, she’d never get down the stairs and out to where she could eavesdrop.