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“We’re in deep trouble,” Kyle said, gaping at the animal control officers stepping out of the van.
The uniformed woman slid on heavy gloves while her partner pulled out a long pole with a loop of wire on one end. They were coming to capture our friend.
“We have to get Zhu out of here.”
“There’s no way they’re going to let us go. We’re going to have to explain what happened.”
“What do you mean they’re not going to let us go?” Zhu shrank behind the couch. “Are they going to hurt me?”
A crack of thunder shook the house. I stroked her head. “No. Some people aren’t ready to accept the idea of a dragon. Until they do, we have to find a way to hide you.”
Knock, knock, knock.
A woman’s voice boomed. “Open up. Animal Control.”
“We can’t let them in,” I hissed.
“Hailey, everyone saw her.”
“I’m not welcome here,” Zhu said. “I should return home where the people care about me.”
“What if she turns into water and we hide her in the sink or something?” Kyle suggested.
“Can you do that?” I asked.
She closed her eyes and puffed her cheeks, but she didn’t change. “I’m sorry. I’m too nervous to concentrate.
More knocking. “We know you’re in there. Answer the door.”
“Out the back,” I whispered, as I pushed Zhu out of the living room.
We stopped in the kitchen. On the other side of the fence, I spotted the top half of a long pole with a snare on the end. The other officer was in the alley. We were surrounded.
“There’s no escape,” Kyle whined.
Another series of knocks at the front door. “We need to talk to you, kids.”
I turned to Zhu. “Can you carry us out of here?”
I opened the back door and let her crawl into the yard. She lowered her body so Kyle could climb on. I snatched a water bottle from the kitchen counter and climbed on Zhu’s back. Her scales were slick and smooth, and I tried to find a spot to grab. I settled for leaning down and hugging her body.
“Ready,” I said.
Whoosh! I felt like my stomach had been left on the ground as the air rushed past my face and we lifted into the sky. I peered back. My house was as small as a doll’s house.
Kyle squealed with delight. “We’re flying! I can’t believe we’re flying.”
Zhu turned her head back toward us. “Where should I go?”
I had no idea.