“Don’t stay up too late!” Alyssa’s mother called out as her footsteps faded down the hallway. Alyssa barely acknowledged her mother’s request. She sat quietly at her desk, concentrating on her father’s birthday gift. She had received the drawing pad along with a letter from her father just last week. Since then, she has been completely captivated by it. It was a thoughtful gift, as Alyssa had developed a real talent for drawing, but that is not what made this gift so special. Her father, who travels all over the world for work, wrote in his letter that the drawing pad had magical powers. “With this drawing pad, you can travel to other worlds and meet fantastic beasts,” her father wrote. Of course, Alyssa assumed her father was speaking of creativity and imagination, until she made her first sketch.
Her first drawing was a simple drawing, but one that made her happy. She used her treasured set of colored pencils to sketch different shapes and sizes of butterflies. As she placed the final touches on her drawing, she placed her finger gently on one of the butterflies in admiration. She was surprised by a sudden swirling sensation which made her eyes fade to darkness. When she opened her eyes, she found herself standing in the middle of a meadow surrounded by beautiful butterflies. The colors were even more vibrant than in her drawing, but she recognized their patterns and colors instantly as the ones that she had created. She looked down at her legs, which stood strong amongst tall grass and flowers. She was barefoot and could feel the soft tickle of the blades of grass nestled between her toes. The butterflies began to fly away, so Alyssa wanted to follow them. She timidly lifted her legs at first, still trying to get comfortable with this new world. After taking a few small steps, she slowly gained the confidence to chase after the butterflies. Exhausted after chasing butterflies for what felt like hours, she collapsed into the grass. She laughed so hard that her eyes began to tear up. She closed her eyes to wipe away the tears, then came to in her room in front of her drawing pad.
This was just the first of her many adventures. Alyssa had fulfilled many of her fantasies. She had explored magical worlds and visited majestic castles. She met great wizards with wonderful magic, and even ridden a unicorn. She ran through the forests with centaurs and swam in the ocean amongst dolphins and mermaids. She always had a wonderful time exploring other worlds with her drawing pad, but tonight, Alyssa had a specific goal in mind. “Today, I will fly,” she stated with confidence. She had dedicated her evening to drawing the most magnificent dragon she could imagine. When she touched her finger to the dragon, she felt the now familiar sensation of being transported to another world. This time, she found herself face-to-face with a gorgeous dragon with massive wings and beautiful blue-green scales that shimmered in the moonlight. Most children her age would likely have been frightened by this grand sight, but she felt very comfortable in the presence of this wonderful creature. She felt a kinship with all her creations, and this was no exception.
Still, she approached the dragon cautiously. She took her first few steps carefully, building her determination as she approached the dragon. The dragon politely lowered her head to allow Alyssa to climb up her back. Excitement coursed through Alyssa’s body. She gripped the scales behind the dragon’s long neck. She didn’t need to speak to communicate with the dragon. It felt as if they were one, as the dragon’s wings began to beat slowly but fiercely, causing them both to gently lift off the ground. Alyssa tightened her grip around the dragon’s body with her legs. The firm squeeze compelled the dragon to fly forward with impressive speed. Wind rushed across Alyssa’s cheeks, throwing her hair back wildly behind her. She laughed out
loud, but she couldn’t hear her own cries of joy over the sound of the air soaring past her. They flew together through the night, until Alyssa had trouble keeping her eyes open.
When she opened her eyes, she again found herself within the comfort of her own room. For a moment, she could still feel the aching in her legs and the delicate burn that the wind had left on her cheeks. She placed her hands on her legs, gently massaging them. Alyssa calmly rolled her wheelchair back from her desk and over toward her bed. She lifted herself with her arms and crawled into her bed, drained from her latest mission. A big smile spread across her face as she began to brainstorm her next adventure.