Ruseth drew a breath, and let it out. The tree in front of her started to burn. She drew another breath, and let it out again. The tree in front of her started to burn fiercer. Satisfied, she turned around, and faced… her angry mother. ‘Ruseth!’ She yelled. How many times do I have to tell you to stop burning things in the house? If you want to practice your aim, you have your rock over there!’
She cringed. But just spitting fire at a rock that won’t burn whatever you do wasn’t fun. She wanted to see something burn. Something that would give her heat and energy. She could burn the paper waste, but for some reason, she was attracted to burning the trees on her lawn. She knew it was a bad thing to do, especially since trees took forever to grow. ‘Sorry.’ She said. ‘I’ll try not to make it happen again.’
‘You said that last time!’ Her mom yelled. ‘Just stop! You’re old enough to know that it’s a bad thing!’
‘Sorry…’ She said, quietly, looking at the ground. Now she was regretting her acts. Maybe she should’ve just practiced her aim on that rock instead, however it was boring to do. Fuming, her mother stormed back into the house. Ruseth just stood there, looking at the ground and regretting her acts. Then her father came out. ‘Have you burnt another tree again?’ He asked, flatly. Ruseth cringed inside even more. She’d disappointed her father as well. Great. ‘Good job, Ruseth.’ She told herself. ‘You know that’s a bad thing, Ruseth.’ Her dad said, in a bit less flat tone. ‘Don’t do it again, ok?’
‘Yes…’ Ruseth said quietly, still looking at the ground.
‘Ok. Now go apologize to your mother. That tree you’ve burnt was one of your mom’s favorites.’ Dad said softly, but in a way that meant that he won’t accept no. ‘Yes, father…’ Ruseth said, and hanging her head, went inside the house and looked for her mother. She was sitting on the sofa, still fuming. Carefully, Ruseth approached her mother, and sat down in front of her. ‘I’m sorry, mother.’ She said, looking at the ground. Her mother huffed, and looked at her. ‘Don’t do that ok? I’ll pass yet again, as you’re still on the stage of growing up, but if you do that again, it won’t be easy like today, got it?’
‘Yes, mother…’ She said, and turned around, went into the lawn again. Her fire bladder was still wanting to spew out more fire, and this time, she wasn’t going to just spew out fire at the trees. She didn’t want to disappoint her parents a second time today. When she got out, she saw her father burning off the remainder of the tree to plant a new one in the place.
‘Apologized to your mother?’ Asked her father, turning around and looking at her.
‘Yes.’ Ruseth said, still looking at the ground.
‘Good. Cheer up, daughter. Your mother won’t be mad for long. We can’t be for long at you. We understand. You’re growing up and you want to spew fire every few minutes. Although we can’t understand why you are so attached to burning trees. Come over here and help me burn the rest of the tree? I’m sure your fire bladder is wanting to spew out fire, and this time you have my permission.’
At that, Ruseth instantly cheered up and bounded towards her father. Together, they burnt up the rest of the tree, and planted a new one in the place. Then her father turned towards her. ‘Come. I’ll show you something fun.’
Kind of confused and excited for what waited, Ruseth followed her father into the sky. Her father headed for the local shooting range. ‘Pass for two, please.’ he said into the ticket booth. He got the pass, and went into the shooting range. Ruseth followed him into the range, and saw dragons shooting a variety of guns. She jumped at the sound of exploding gunpowder and shrank away from them. Jay laughed at the sight of her daughter trying to get away from the sounds of exploding gunpowder and waved her over to a corner. ‘Here. Step on this.’ He said when Ruseth hurried over, pulling over a chair for her. Ruseth stepped on the chair unsurely, and her father stood beside her. ‘Now, fire at that board.’ Jay said to his daughter. Confused, Ruseth looked at her father. ‘What? Fire.’ he said, again to his daughter. After a moment, he got that his daughter was confused, so he decided to take action and show her an example. He shot a fireball at the shooting board. The fire marked where it was hit on the board. Then Jay looked at his daughter. ‘See?’ He said. ‘Just like that.’ Understanding what to do, Ruseth shot a fireball at the shooting board. She got it near dead center. Jay, shocked, looked at her, then at the shooting board, then at her again. Confused, Ruseth looked at her father. ‘Had I done something wrong?’ She asked. Jay just shook his head. Then he spoke. ‘No…Not at all… It’s just that your aim’s much better than what I expected it to be. Come on. Keep going. Shoot another one. Maybe you’ll get it in the center next time?’
So Ruseth kept shooting fireballs at the shooting board. Multiple times, she hit the center of the shooting board. Jay looked at her with wide eyes. Never have he seen any dragon hit the center of the board as many times as he did now! The sound of gunshots stopped as well. Everyone in the range was looking at Ruseth shooting at the board with surprised expressions. Not hearing any gunshot sounds, the manager came in and saw Ruseth shooting fireballs as well. When Ruseth finally stopped, there was a smoking hole in the middle of the metal board. Then Ruseth turned to her father and saw that everyone was looking at her. ‘Why? Have I done something wrong? Was I not supposed to shoot at the middle?’ she said, confused.
‘No, no. You didn’t do anything wrong, dear. It’s just that your shooting… that’s quite something. Are you always that accurate?’ Jay asked his daughter.
‘I don’t know… I always shot at the rocks and they seemed to get hit well, but I don’t know.’
‘Want to try again?’
‘Yes!’ Ruseth replied excitedly.
‘Can we have another board, please?’ Jay asked the manager. The manager nodded, and went to the counter to get another board. Other dragons returned to their booths but not until they each congratulated Ruseth on how good her aim was. Then just before the manager changed the metal shooting board, one of the other dragons called her. ‘Hey. Wanna shoot a gun? See how much you’re good at it?’
Jay thinking that his daughter might be nervous, was about to ask his daughter about it when Ruseth just bounded towards the said dragon. Smiling, Jay followed his daughter, thanked the dragon, and asked him to teach Ruseth how to use a gun. After a few experimental shots and a few surprised squeals from the recoil of the gun, Ruseth got the hang of shooting and shot in a semi-rapid pace. Almost all of the bullets hit the center of the board, which shocked other dragons again. Jay thanked the dragon who let Ruseth shoot his gun, and led Ruseth back to their booth. ‘See?’ He said. You can shoot your fire here all you want, and no one’s going to say anything to you. This place here’s for shooting. Whether you shoot your fire, a gun, or something else, it’s your choice. Next time you want to burn something, let’s come here, ok?’
Ruseth thought. She had fun today. Actually, it felt even better than setting fire on trees. She was more than happy to come here again. ‘Yes!’ she said, enthusiastically.
‘I’m here!’ Ruseth yelled into her parents’ house. The world class shooting tornermant was finished, and she took first place easily. Now she could easily shoot dead in the center, and she was an unmatchable opponent to anyone else. She was the nation’s player in any kind of shooting tornermant. And she was proud of it. So were her parents. Her mom ran out and hugged Ruseth, and moments later, Jay joined in the hug as well. When the hug was finished, Ruseth nuzzled both of her parents. They nuzzled her back.
‘So, how did it go? Although we already watched it on TV.’
‘As you’ve seen, quite well. How did I do?’
‘Very well. We’re proud of you.’
Ruseth smiled, and went to the door when it ringed. She had something to show her parents.
‘Mom, Dad, I want you to meet my daughter, Yuri. I adopted her a week ago, just before I went on the tour. Yuri, say hi to your grandparents.’
Her parents both smiled and greeted Yuri. Yuri was shy at first, but was soon playing with both dragons. Ruseth, smiling, watched the scene, and took a picture. It was going to be her phone’s background. The dragons she loved the most in the world.