The roof of the house shuddered and cracks formed along the bedroom ceiling. Jess shot up in her bed, and her eyes flashed across the room. Pieces of the ceiling above her head drifted down like sand would slip through your fingers and a deafening unidentifiable screeching ran through the house. The house was shaking and Jess lay paralyzed among the covers, heartbeat thumping in her ears. The ceiling on the far side of the room caved in, she screamed and pressed herself against the wall. The ceiling looked like it was going to fall down completely and she suddenly threw off the covers, stumbled out over the rubble that now littered her bedroom floor.

 

As she sprinted out into the hallway, she skidded to a halt as she looked in the direction of where her mother’s bedroom door was supposed to be. The whole side of her house was gone, and the  whole street blazed with fire. Human screams rose amidst the smoke, and the icy night air couldn’t be felt with the heat of the fire. As she stood on the first floor of the crumbling house, she notice a dark, moving shape amongst the smoke. She could hear a low gurgling sound, and she just stood there paralysed with fear, unable to think clearly. An unreal shadow moved about below her, and her wide eyes darted around below her and over to the edge of the landing, so that she looked down into the garden that was alive with flames.

 

She heard  a close hissing, her throat dry and body shaking in utter terror. Suddenly, the dark figure emerged and revealed its face. A dragon, its face slimy – scaled skin, snarled nose and pitch dark eyes. Jess backed away from the edge of the landing corner and held up her hands in  fear and screamed as the creature came closer.

 

After a moment, nothing happened and she peeked out from behind her arms. Amazingly, a transparent bubble was shielding her from fire that erupted from the dragon’s nostrils. Her hands tingled and seemed to be attached to the shield in some way. It felt the way magnets are – opposed to each other.

 

The fire bounced from the shield into the dragon’s body, and he was engulfed in flames. Jess started at the creature in horror, and when it fell to the ground she looked at her hands in complete shock and disbelief. Before she could take in what had just happened, she realised that her house, or what was left of it, had caught fire. In an act of fear, and realisation of her new powers, she decided to jump. Using her shield almost like a skateboard, she used it to climb up and protect herself from the flames on the ground. She sprinted away from the street, leaving her flame-licked home behind her.