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Read "The Dragon Queen," a Novel Excerpt Contest Runner-Up!

Last month, we challenged you to submit a 400 word excerpt from your NaNoWriMo novels. From over 500 fabulous entries, we chose two Grand Prize Winners and four Runners-Up. We hope you enjoy reading them as much as we did! (For more excerpts, check out this forum thread.)

"The Dragon Queen" by Leila M.

"Queen Gold, I challenge you for the throne of the Gold kingdom!” my daughter Winter hisses.

Dang it.

When female dragons like me lay eggs, they lay more than one at a time. They hatch at different times, when they're ready-30 minutes to 3 years after they do. I laid all four eggs at the same time, but Spring hatched first, nine months after she was laid. However, dragon eggs require special care.

Winter's egg was turned upside down in the nest, even though I watched over the eggs. The turned egg gave her evil.

I was expecting a challenge soon, and I thought it would be easy.

It’s not.

I turn over and pounce on Winter. I can easily kill Winter NOW.

Part of me wants to kill her. She tried to kill me!

But another part of me loves my daughter.

I decide to speak up.

I let go of Winter and leap out of the ring. Then I run out of the ring. I hear murmurs from the crowd, confused.

"I can't do it!" I cry.

"Why!?!" Someone yells. I take a deep breath, and talk.

"I'm not an insane person. I still love Winter, no matter what she does to me. She’s my daughter. No matter what happens, I'll still love her.”

"Because I'd rather have her kill me than die knowing that I tried to kill my own daughter. It would haunt me for my whole life. Winter may be evil, but she's my daughter. Why should I love her even less than Spring or Fall? We all make mistakes and are deserving of forgiveness.”

Little did I know that Winter is right behind me. She says, "Well, I still hate you, and I will kill you!" She snickers. She pounces on me and digs her sharp claws into me. Then, a millisecond later, Spring's magic hits Winter. Winter inhales it and crumples to the ground. I want to scream, but I am in too much pain to say anything.

"Mother!" Spring runs over to me. Winter is whimpering on the floor. I feel bad for her. I hope she doesn't die. I manage a whisper, "You are the queen, once I die." Spring nods, tears in her eyes. "I'll miss you, Mother" I wish I could stay with her forever. I feel hazy. Suddenly, everything goes black.

author photo

Leila M. is in 5th grade at Underwood Elementary School in Newton, Massachusetts. When she isn’t writing stories, she loves to play the clarinet and piano and do anything crafty. Her favorite hobby is sewing. She also loves to read, and especially enjoys books about dragons! Once she read every book about dragons, she chose to write her own after her teacher introduced her to NaNoWriMo in school. Leila loved the experience and is currently working on a prequel.

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