The visual prompt:
Our main characters are:
A Bone Dragon ~ A dragon that doesn't breathe. It's bad to the bone.
Medusa ~ Make eye contact with this devious diva and you'll be stopped in your tracks.
The special object in this story is:
A Mega Mushroom ~ If you eat this fat fungus, then you'll grow humongous!
Our story takes place in:
The Plains ~ Even ground.
"Drake, dinner's almost ready, hun. Are you gonna come down soon?"
Drake groaned. "Not now, mom, I'm busy."
"I'm busy, mom."
"Mom, I'm playing Monster Quest!" Drake yelled, so his mom could hear him from downstairs. "I'll be down in a few minutes!"
"Monster Quest? Sweetie, can't you give that game a break? You've already been playing it for hours."
Drake ignored her and kept clicking away at his computer mouse and moving his avatar across the green virtual landscape.
He was a bony skeleton of a dragon which Drake called Draco_Bones. He'd spent a lot of time on this avatar, raising it from a baby dragon, doing battles, gaining experience, finding gemstones, feeding it the right potions, and now it had turned into this bad-ass monster.
All Drake had to do now was find one more special item, the rare Mega-Shroom. Any monster who found it had the power to eat it and grow 5 times in size at any time in battle, as well as boost all of its strength and health stats like fifty percent. If he could just find the mushroom, basically all he'd have to do was stomp on other monsters, and they'd never see it coming.
That's what he was doing right now, hunting for the Shroom. Rumor had it in the forums that it could be found somewhere in the Plains of Pratum. He'd already been searching for it for about half an hour, looking under every rock and digging every flower for the chance that it might be there. He found a few pouches of gold Quest Qoins and some interesting magic stones and weapons he could trade later, but no Mega-Shroom.
Sometimes he would encounter another monster on the grassy plains, though he hadn't encountered anybody for quite a while. His strategy was that if they looked weaker than his dragon avatar, like a little ugly goblin or a vampire or something, he'd do battle with them and very likely own them, like the noobs they were. Draco_Bones was already pretty powerful, even without the mushroom.
If he thought the monster looked like a decent contender, like a titan or a giant troll, he'd engage them in a quick chat, maybe talk battling techniques or hunting strategy with them. The other monsters always had the option to start a duel with Drake instead of talk, but usually they accepted his chat request. They probably were too cowardly to fight with the likes of his bad-ass avatar, knowing it would take ages to go through a battle with a monster such as him.
It was a sign of respect when monsters reached out peacefully to you instead of squashing you into the ground. If you didn't respond to a chat request, ignoring an obvious peace offering, and the monster initiating the contact was offended enough, they could easily start-up a battle, which hardly anyone wanted. Especially not with Draco_Bones. Probably he'd scared everybody away from this area, since he hadn't seen a single monster besides himself for a good solid ten minutes.
The last guy he'd encountered had actually been one of his good friends on Monster Quest, Neil, whose avatar was a necromancer. Apparently Neil lived all the way in Italy, which was pretty sweet. When Drake told him he was hunting for the Mega-Shroom, Neil was all
"What, again, bro? Merda! Amico, che cosa stai pensando? What are you thinking, dude? You're always after that Mega-Shroom. Why don't you just give up on it! Arrendersi!"
Drake knew he could just as easily have hunted for other, easier to find power-ups. He would have gladly paid for them, if he had enough gold Qoins to afford them. But the thing about the Mega-Shroom was that it was an item you couldn't just buy from the Monster Market. It had to be hunted, earned, worked hard for. Only the best, most persistent monsters would deserve a rare, special item like that. If Drake could just find it...
"Drake? Sweetie?" Merda. He could hear his mom coming up the stairs now. He still hadn't found the stupid Shroom yet. She knocked on the door and opened it without even asking if she could come in. "Oh my goodness, Drake!"
"I told you to clean up your room hours ago. You haven't even started! Look at this, look at this!" She held up a pair of his dirty white socks with two fingers. "Didn't I say you were supposed to do your laundry yesterday? Dare I even ask if you've done your homework yet?"
"Relax, mom. Geez. I promise I'll get everything done, I swear. Just seriously, I need to finish this one quest, it's really important."
Mom raised her eyebrows with curiosity. "Oh really? It's important?" She pushed the huge pile of Drake's laundry aside to make herself some room to sit on the bed. "How about you tell me about this big, important 'quest' of yours, hmm?"
Drake turned around in his chair to look at her. He really didn't have time for this. "Mom..."
"No Drake, I'm serious. I'm really sincerely interested to hear about what kind of quest you're on. It must be very, very exciting if it's making you ignore all your chores and school work. Please, enlighten me."
Drake rolled his eyes and tried not to laugh. "Mom, you don't have to freak out over me. I'm fine."
"Oh, I know you're fine, honey. Just tell me what your quest is about."
"Just tell me and I will be out of your hair, Drake," she said, reaching over and purposely messing said hair up so that it stuck out in all the wrong directions.
"Mom, not the hair! God!" Drake batted his mom's hand away in disgust and attempted to straighten his black bangs. "Alright, fine. I'll tell you what the quest is." It wasn't like she was going to understand it anyway. She didn't even know the rules of this game.
Mom grinned in triumph. She stood up from the bed, hovering over her son's shoulder and peering at the computer screen. She watched as the fierce, bony dragon ran through the pixelated grass of a seemingly never-ending field.
"Okay, so these are the Plains of Pratum, and I'm the dragon."
Mom pulled out her reading glasses so she could see the name hovering above Drake's avatar. "Draco underscore Bones," she read slowly. "Goodness, his mother ought to feed him more, right?" She laughed and nudged Drake's shoulder.
"If he's a dragon, how come he's not able to fly?"
"Well, he used to be able to fly. Right now all he can do is glide a bit, kinda." Drake showed how the dragon flew, and it only stayed in the air for like two seconds. "I fed him this potion that turned him into a skeleton. It took away most of my flying power, but it improved my strength a lot, and because I don't have any vital organs I can't get stabbed. Plus it just makes him look freaking bad-ass!"
"It's a trade-off. But right now, what I'm trying to do is make old Draco here hunt for the Mega-Shroom. See?" He demonstrated clicking on a white, fluffy dandelion that was bending in the simulated wind. His dragon avatar used it's bony claws to dig a small hole, but all he found was a measly Qoin pouch. All it had were 3 Qoins in it! "Ugh, it's not here either!"
"The Mega-Shroom?" asked Mom.
"It's this power-up that will make me basically unstoppable when I do battle with other monsters." Drake took a moment to pull up another tab from his browser, so he could show his mom what the Dragon Quest forums said about the Shroom. He scrolled down to where someone had posted a picture of their avatar, a mossy, angry looking earth monster with horns, having dug up a fat stemmed, red and white-spotted cap mushroom from under some blue flowers. In the next picture, it had turned into an incredible behemoth that towered over the trees in the Fantazian Forest!
"See, Mom? That's what the Shroom does to you. It makes monsters really big, like ginormous. Then no one would ever be able to beat you in a monster duel again. They wouldn't even try."
"Ah, I think I see." Mom nodded, impressed. "So you'd be completely untouchable with that mushroom? Unbeatable, you say?"
"Yes, mom, I'd be unbeatable with the mushroom."
"Okay... So what happens after you become unbeatable?"
Drake paused and shrugged. "I don't know... I'd win the whole game, I guess."
"Hm." Mom put a hand to her chin. "So you're trying to find this mushroom so you never have to play the game anymore?"
"Haha, well I don't know about never," laughed Drake, "but yeah, that's pretty much the basic idea."
Mom straightened up. "I see." She patted her son on the back. "Well, I hope you find your Magic Shroom soon, hun. Dinner should be ready in fifteen, so if you haven't found it by then, would you please take a break from your quest and wash up?"
Drake nodded. "Sure, Mom. I'll be down soon."
"Good." She smiled at her son. "I'm glad we understand each other a little better." With that, she walked out of his room and closed the door behind her.
Drake shook his head and scoffed after his mom as she left. She could be a real pain in the butt sometimes, with all the nagging she did. Really though, she was an excellent mother, a true force to be contended with. It was annoying when she got like that, but at least she was curious about what he was doing. That was kinda cool, he supposed. Just as long as she didn't do it too often.
Now then, back to business. Drake scooted his chair back close to the desk and kept moving Draco_Bones across the Plains with the mouse. He moved a few rocks aside and dug to see if the Shroom was hiding there. But there was nothing there, a dud hole. Merda!
Maybe Neil was right. Perhaps he should give up on finding the dumb Mega-Shroom. The longer he hunted for it, the more impossible it seemed to find, and the less likely it seemed to even exist in the first place. But it would just be so, so cool to be able to eat that mushroom any time, turn into a humongous dragon made of bones and crush his enemies into the dust... He would just dig one more hole for loot. He was sure it was under those tulips.
Drake stowed away a just acquired shielding charm when, at that very moment, he saw a bush of blue flowers some distance away. They looked exactly like the flowers the behemoth monster had found his Mega-Shroom under.
Could it be? Had Drake really found what he'd been searching so long and hard for? He dragged the mouse over and clicked as hard as he could so he could move his dragon avatar as quickly as possible. He even made Draco jump and fly a couple times, even though it was pretty pointless.
Suddenly, there was a flash of red light on the screen. A new monster was logging in to the Plains of Pratum. It had almost landed right on top of him!
"Aw, come on!" He couldn't deal with fighting another monster right now! He needed to get to the Shroom! What if it got to it before he did?
EVILEYES_71 WANTS TO TALK TO YOU.
Drake examined this new avatar, EvilEyes_71, some kind of green alien woman in a white toga dress. She had extremely long, pulsing hair, and this wide, permanent smile on her face that was downright creepy. Definitely not a bad looking monster. She didn't look like any noob. But he really didn't have time to be chatted up when the Mega-Shroom was literally right there. He clicked the IGNORE button and kept on running towards that blue flower bush.
Well, it didn't look like EvilEyes liked that very much. Her hair suddenly started flying in all directions, like every strand had a mind of its own. Drake realized that it wasn't hair that was coming out of the alien woman's head... They were snakes! Thin, angry black, purple and green snakes, all of them hissing and waving their tongues at him, giving him the evil eye. Draco_Bones stopped moving for a second, frozen in place.
What was going on? Was the computer lagging or something? "Come on, move!" Drake urged his avatar.
The dragon moved again for a second, but once again stopped in its tracks. Slowly, haltingly he moved. He couldn't go any faster.
What kind of sorcery was this?
It had to be EvilEyes' doing. She was using her snakes to freeze his dragon, somehow. And now look at her! She was walking right towards the flowers! The snakes continued to hinder Draco_Bones' progress.
"No!" Dammit, dammit!
Right before his eyes, Drake watched as the monster woman crouched down, dug under the blue flowers, and found it. The Mega-Shroom! It had been there the whole time.
So it actually did exist!
EvilEyes_71 picked up the fat little mushroom, turned around and looked at Drake's dragon with that evil white grin of hers. The Shroom blinked a few times as she ate it.
Magic lights flickered around the green alien woman avatar, and Drake watched his opponent grow, and grow, and grow! The snakes attached to her head flailed about as each one grew thicker in diameter and longer in length. Her details in her sandals became more defined, and she got so big that Draco_Bones could have easily looked under her toga if he wanted to. If he'd actually been able to move, that is.
The name above the now gigantic woman blinked green as she updated her avatar title. EvilEyes_71 suddenly became Mega_Medusa.
Drake took his hand away from the mouse and covered his face, groaning. "No, no, no!" How could this happen? He'd been so freaking close to finding the rarest of all Monster Quest power ups, only to have it snatched from under his nose, and there was absolutely nothing he could do about it.
He helplessly watched as the Mega_Medusa lifted a huge, leather sandaled foot high into the air, and brought it down hard on his beloved dragon avatar. The giant had Fe-fi-fo-fummed him into ground up bone dust for her bread.
It was game over. Drake closed out of Dragon Quest, shaking his head, still unable to believe quite what had happened.
He quickly washed his hands and went downstairs to the dining room. He found the table all laid out for dinner, with steamed green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and his favorite kind of lasagna. He saw his mom still at the kitchen counter, her back facing him as she did something on her laptop.
Tiptoeing to the table, Drake tried to sneak a finger of meat sauce from the edge of the lasagna dish.
"Ah ah ah, Drake, it's still a little hot!" said his mom. She hadn't even turned around! It was like she had eyes in the back of her head.
Drake reeled in his hand and put it behind his back. "Sorry mom. I uh... I'm done playing Dragon Quest now. Can we eat now? I'm starving."
"Oh, sure! Of course, sweetie, whatever you like." Mom removed her reading glasses and moved away from the computer. "Did you end up finding that mushroom of yours?"
"Nah, some other dumb monster beat..." Drake started to say, when he noticed what was on his mom's screen.
"...beat me to it." The browser was open to a Monster Quest avatar profile page. But it wasn't just any profile page.
It was Mega_Medusa herself.
She and Drake's mom smiled twin smiles as she came to sit down at the table. "Well, isn't that a shame? Bean and mushroom casserole, Drake dear?"