Brooke Gil De Matos, Grade 10
There it was! It moved! Ben leapt out of bed, covers scattering to hang haphazardly across the mattress . He raced towards the far wall, stumbling as his foot was snared by a rogue blanket. Kicking it back, Ben scrambled to the wall where the intricate painting twisted and danced across the plaster. It looked exactly as it did the last time he checked, and the time before that and the time before that. The boy sighed, bringing a hand up and dragging it through his messy brown curls. He felt tired, frustrated and, he wasn't going to deny it, slightly insane. Ben turned to walk back to the messed up bed, his excitement quickly draining from him. He knew it sounded crazy, but something had moved. Turning his head, Ben's gaze fell on his dimly glowing alarm clock on the bedside table, 1:46 in the morning. Sighing again, the young boy sat on the mattress and looked up at the painting covering most of the wall. His mind whirled as he looked it over for the hundredth time. Through the dimly lit darkness he saw the familiar form of the painted dragon, a Chinese dragon if his limited knowledge on myths was correct, bright and vibrant, looking to have been painted by a master artist. Perfect from head to tail, pin-point detail on each and every scale. Ben looked down at his feet, a depressing wave washing over him. What if he was going mad? Well, if he was, then at least he had an excuse for what he was about to do. "Listen, whatever you are, I promise I won't hurt you". Yep, now he knew he was losing it. Deciding that it really didn't matter at this point, Ben continued. "Look, I saw you move, so quit hiding, I just wanna talk". Nothing stirred. The boy frowned, staring up at the dragons face, looking it straight in the eye. He stared for several long moments, telling himself over and over that he had definitely seen it move. He finally tore his gaze away, too crushed to care that he had just tried to talk to a painting. Ben yawned and reclined back on the bed, his eyelids and his heart feeling heavy. He felt himself drifting off, a comforting darkness reaching up to pull him away from his painful waking emotions. Turning to his side, and facing the dragon wall, he couldn't help but smile as sleep took him. He felt everything melt away, his mind slowing down as he embraced the night and it sung him it's lullabies. The soft melodies filled his heart and the words lifted his spirit, and as he left the waking world, the dragon's eyes met his.