The Tales of Natasha Donnigan Part 1
Dragon City Stories 1:
The tales of Natasha Donnigan
By Micah McNully
I extended my wings slowly so I didn’t accidentally bump them into anything in Kim’s dad’s lab. I wasn’t sure about some of the suspicious chemicals lingering in jars on the shelves. They could either bleach my scales or rot my wings off for all I knew.
“Very good,” Dr. McCrockagan said, examining both my wing arms and wing membranes.
“Doctor, why do you need to examine me?” I asked, feeling uncomfortable.
“It’s simple, really,” he replied, grin spreading on his crocodile-like face, showing his sharp pointy teeth, “I need to see if there are an adverse effects on a dimensional traveler.”
“Hang on,” I said quickly, fluttering my wings in apprehension, “You don’t know if this device is dangerous?”
He shook his head, “No, it’s perfectly safe, but the way it works, I don’t know if it’s going to change you in any sort of way. Nothing dangerous, I assure you.”
I didn’t like that, but I had agreed to help him test his device. For some reason his children, Kim and David, weren’t up for the test. I had been suckered into it by David, whom I kind of liked, though I would never tell him that. Something about a muscular male dragon just—Ahem—sorry.
It also didn’t help that Kim is one of my only friends and she had asked me nicely. So there I stood, my snout horn coming up to Dr. McCrockagan’s chin, being examined for a trip to another universe and he wasn’t sure the machine would affect me.
“Alright, Erin,” he said, putting his notes into his copier, “I think that’s all I need.”
He handed me the copied notes. “Give these to my other self and have him fill out the bottom portions.”
I looked at them and there were measurements and exact coloration of my scales. I don’t know where he had gotten the names of the colors. I had just thought of my main scales as being brown and my wing membrane and the top of my head as being light brown. The only thing that he noted that my description of myself agreed on was my eye color being silver. I wondered what any of this had to do with anything.
“Please step into the device,” Dr. McCrockagan said, opening the door. It looked like a generic porta-potty. I felt a little weary of the design, but entered it regardless.
“Just stand still,” he said.
“Wait, doc,” I said, holding up my hands to stop him from closing the door. “How do I get back?”
He frowned, stroking his feathery goatee. “The other me should have a similar device. Just find him.”
“And if he doesn’t?” I demanded.
He handed me a small remote. “This should activate my device here and pull you back through.”
I took the device and slipped it into the little pouch that was attached to the scales next to my right wing. I had gotten a color close enough to my actual scale color that it blends in. Most dragons don’t see it, even when my wings aren’t. I had other things in the pouch including my cell phone, a little bit of cash, and a novel that I had been reading.
I folded the sheet of paper Dr. McCrockagan had given me and held onto it. He shut the door and turned on the machine. There was a whirring noise and a few clicks from the machine. The traveling was instantaneous. One minute I was standing in the port-a-potty, the next I was standing in his darkened lab. It looked the exact same as it had before I stepped into the machine, except the port-a-potty device wasn’t sitting next to his lab table. It was off in the corner, covered with a sheet.
“Doctor?” I called out, my voice sounding weak. I called out again, with a little more confidence in my voice.
I had just noticed the sound of the TV upstairs because it had suddenly gone quiet. The door opened and I heard the sound of talons clattering on wood. Someone pulled the chain on the basement’s light and I was staring at Mrs. Crockagan.
“My word!” she declared, “Ve ‘ave an introoder!”
I tried to speak, but she was shouting for her husband. Dr. McCrockagan came in after her. He stopped and starred at me, tugging on his beard.
“Who are you?” he demanded, “How did you get down here?”
“I—I’m Erin Parrity. Don’t you recognize me?”
“You are a poor imitation,” Mrs. McCrockagan laughed, “’Aven’t you noticed zat she ‘as blue scales?”
“Hang on, Emily,” Dr. McCrockagan said, getting closer to me, “How did you get down here?”
I swallowed hard and met his eyes so he would know I wasn’t lying. “You had me test your device to see if it would send me to another universe. I think it worked. I don’t think this is my universe.”
I held out the notes about me.
“Dad?” Kim called from upstairs, “What’s going on?”
“Stay out of here, Kim,” Dr. McCrockagan called as he unfolded the notes. He looked back and started to read them. “This is my handwriting, but I don’t remember writing it.”
I pulled the pouch off my back, hearing the distinct sound of the cloth separating from my scales making a sound akin to Velcro coming apart. I unzipped it and pulled out my flying license and held it out for him to take.
He took it and held it between his clawed fingers.
“Erin Samus Parrity,” he read, “This looks real. I mean, why would anyone pretend to be a preteen dragoness?”
“Especially Erin Parrity,” Mrs. McCrockagan laughed.
“Emily, be nice,” he scolded.
“You have an Erin Parrity in this universe?” I asked.
“Well, yes,” Dr. McCrockagan replied, “She and my children go to school together, but our Erin is blue. She is the result of genetic mutation. You, on the other hand, are more likely considering the parents’ coloration. Well, it looks like my other universe’s self has built himself a universal teleporter.”
“Great, can you send me back? My parents are probably wondering where I am,” I replied.
“Unfortunately, I disassembled mine to use the pieces for a time machine.”
“Of course,” I sighed.
“I can have it back in running order in six months,” Dr. McCrockagan offered.
I held up my hand and pulled out the device the other McCrockagan had given me. I pressed a button, but nothing happened.
“What’s that for?” McCrockagan asked.
“I…it’s supposed to activate his machine and send a portal over here for me to go through,” I replied, clicking it again several times and pointing it in different places. I even smacked it a couple of times.
“May I see it?” he asked.
I handed it over. He took it over to his lab table and pulled out a set of screwdrivers. Amazingly, he got the size right on the first try. He pulled it apart and began examining it.
“I don’t think this will work in our universe,” he explained, “Most remotes don’t work unless they’re in the same room as the device, but you’re in a whole other universe. I’m not sure why dimensional twin would have thought it would.”
I frowned. “So I’m stuck here?”
“For now,” McCrockagan sighed, “The best I can offer you is a place to stay until I can send you back.”
I nodded. “My parents are going to go crazy. I wish there was a way to contact them.”
End of Part I
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