Day of the Dragon

Free Day of the Dragon by Matt Christopher, Stephanie Peters

Book: Day of the Dragon by Matt Christopher, Stephanie Peters Read Free Book Online
Authors: Matt Christopher, Stephanie Peters
Tags: JUV032050
    Mark Goldstein took off his glasses, wiped them clean, and put them back on again.
I’ll never be able to do this,
he thought. Alison Lee, the teenager who kept watch over the town skatepark, was demonstrating a skateboard move called the kickflip. Mark and his friends, Savannah Smith and Belicia “Bizz” Juarez, were about to try it for the first time.
    “You guys can do ollies, right?” Alison asked. Mark and the girls nodded. “Well, the kickflip is like an ollie. Except when the board is in the air, it flips around, like a barrel rolling. Here, let me show you.”
    She put her left foot on the board’s kicktail. Her right foot went between the front and back trucks. “With an ollie, your front foot is sideways. With the kickflip, it’s at an angle.” She turned her right foot. “Think of the board as a clock face. The nose is at twelve o’clock. Point your foot between ten and eleven.
    “This next stuff happens fast,” she continued. “Stomp your back foot to make the board pop up, just like an ollie. At the same time, drag your front foot forward and off the side. Flick your toe just enough to make the board flip toward you. After the board flips all the way around, it falls to the ground and you land on it. Like this.”
    One moment, she was standing on her board. The next, she was high in the air, legs tucked up and her board a blur of motion beneath her. Then the board landed on its wheels and she landed on the board.
    “Easy, huh?” she said with a grin. “So, you wanna try?”
    Mark figured he’d have as good a chance of doing that move as flapping his arms and flying to the moon. He was about to say as much, but he didn’t get the chance.
    “Absolutely!” Bizz grabbed her board. “I’m going to practice on the grass first. It won’t hurt so much when I fall.”
    “Who said anything about falling?” Savannah picked up her board and carried it to a spot near Bizz. “Me, I plan to crash-land!”
    “Do a couple of ollies first, to warm up,” Alison advised. The girls nodded.
    Now, only Mark stood on the pavement, still undecided.
    “C’mon, Mark, you’ll never know if you can do it unless you try!” Alison encouraged.
    With a sigh, Mark put his board on a patch of grass. He placed his feet as Alison had shown him. But when he lifted his back foot for the stomp that would pop the board into the air, he lost his balance. Arms wheeling, he tumbled to the ground. He lay on the soft grass, staring up into the bright blue October sky. Then a shadowy figure blocked his view.

    “Whoa! Excellent fall, man!” It was Xavier Mc-Sweeney, better known as X. X held out a hand, grinning.
    “Well, you know what they say,” Mark replied. He took X’s hand and stood up. “Practice makes perfect.”
    “You’ll have to practice more later, then,” X said. “I’m calling a meeting.”

    Mark was more than happy to do as X asked. He could feel the beginning of a new bruise from the fall he’d taken.
    “Huddle up here, guys,” X called. Mark, Savannah, and Bizz joined X and their two other friends, Jonas Malloy and Charlie Abbott, at a picnic table. Alison wandered over to see what was happening.
    X reached into his backpack and pulled out a stack of bright orange papers. “It’s that time of year again,” he said solemnly. He handed a paper to each of them.
    Mark read what was on the paper — and tried not to groan. “Uh, oh,” Alison said, reading over Mark’s shoulder. “I’m outta here.” She put her board down and skated away.
    ANNUAL TOWN COSTUME PARADE! the flyer in Mark’s hands announced in big black letters. CELEBRATE HALLOWEEN WITH YOUR FRIENDS!
    Halloween was X’s favorite holiday. Every year he came up with a crazy costume in the hopes of winning first prize in the town parade. The year before, he’d dressed all in orange and put a real, hollowed-out pumpkin on his head. “I’m a walkin’, talkin’ jack-o-lantern,” he’d said. “See the

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