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Emily's heart sank as she realized her cherished locket was missing. She retraced her steps through the bustling city streets. Each step was more frantic than the last. Little did she know her quest to find the locket would lead her to unexpected places and faces.

Emily was a 13-year-old girl who lived in a world of magic. Three years ago, an evil unknown darkness covered up the whole world of Arcadia (Emily's world). When she was 5, her mother left her, even though Emily didn't recall what incident happened in the past she always wondered why she left her own family. After Emily's mother disappeared, her father gave her an extraordinary locket, it was a beautiful shade of orange and had three small gems on it. Whenever she opened it, she saw a small warm flame that kept flickering and never went out. Emily's father believed that this locket was the last flame of the sun.

Emily hectically examined every house for her prized locket, after she realized that it was nowhere to be found she ran back home to inform her father about the horrendous news. Small trinkets of tears were slowly drooping down Emily's eyes, she knew how angry her father would be if she told him about the lost locket. She burst the door open and avoided her father's eyes, Emily jumped into her bed and dozed asleep wishing everything that happened was a dream. A few hours later She woke up and was ready to bear the fate she deserved for losing the locket, but when she walked into the kitchen her father was nowhere to be seen. She searched the kitchen for a while and eventually found a note. it read:

Dear Emily

You are probably wondering where I am. I know this is crazy but

your mother is ALIVE. I'll be back very soon, DON'T follow me.

PS If you do follow me, brush your teeth, and remember to keep

your locket is safe.

From Dad

Emily couldn't believe her own eyes, was her mother alive? Had her father gone to find her? Instantaneously she packed her bag and all her necessities, by the time she had fully packed her bag felt as heavy as an elephant. She opened the back door and jumped the fence. She looked back once and then set off following her father's footprints. This is either one of my best or one of my worst ideas, Emily thought to herself.

Emily had tirelessly travelled for three entire days; she was searching for her father and was also worried about her locket. What would her father say if she told him? A few hours after the thought, she heard a small rustle in a nearby bush, suddenly, a small spiky creature emerged slowly from the bush, it was a baby dragon. In the dragon's mouth was a small orange item, Emily examined it thoroughly from a distance. It was extremely like her locket. Then it struck her, the locket wasn't like her locket, it was her locket! Emily cautiously walks closer to the dragon. When she was at a good distance, she lunged at it and for some odd reason the baby dragon didn't flee even though she completely missed him. It slowly trotted over to Emily and showed her its mouth. Then Emily realized that the locket's chain was stuck in the poor dragon's teeth. She took the locket out and stroked the dragon slowly. A week after this incident Emily learned two new things: dragons eat a lot, and they grow a lot. She had befriended a dragon and had found her locket; the next step was to find her dad.

While Emily's bond with her dragon grew a great deal, she named him Phoenix. She also started sitting on his back when they were traveling which made moving from one place to the other feel tremendously quick.

A day earlier her father's footprints had gone missing because of a ferocious storm, Emily and Phoenix kept travelling north because of these circumstances. Then in the corner of Emily's eyes, she saw a few people in black cloaks standing around a man, but this wasn't any ordinary man, it was Emily's father!

Emily informed Phoenix about their encounter and told him to hide behind the enormous rocks behind them. They tried to listen to the conversation but then Emily let out a vast sneeze. Two of the cloaked people hovered over the boulder and grabbed her. They tied her in heavy chains and threw her next to her father. He looked at her sorrowfully, his eyes were red, and his body was filled with scars. Five minutes later when the cloaked people weren't looking, he slowly told Emily that he needed her locket. She didn't know why he needed the locket, but she reached in for her pocket and put it in his hand. Then at once he ripped one of the gems off the locket and held Emily's hand, he crushed the gem and shouted: home!

Emily felt as if she had been crushed by a thousand elephants and felt that time was slow as she jumped up and looked around, she was back home. Her father was sitting next to her looking quite wary and worried at the same time. He explained to her that the locket had three gems that explained three different things, Teleportation, Speed, and strength. One of the gems had already been used so she only had speed and strength left, her father said that the black-cloaked people were called death bringers, and if they wanted to put an end to the darkness and find their family, they had to throw the locket in the centre of the world. Emily was processing so much information she just realized… Where is Phoenix?

Emily was dumbfounded that she forgot about Phoenix, she couldn't stop thinking about where he could have gone. Even though she didn't tell her father about the dragon, she still persuaded her father to start the journey early to find her mother. At the crack of dawn, Emily and her father set off to reach the earth's core, while they were travelling her father told her all about the challenges they might face. From what Emily had understood from her father, she realized the middle of the world wasn't just a small town or piece of land, it was a black hole. If they wanted the darkness to go away, they only had one option, to throw the locket in the black hole.

After so many months of starving and walking they were only a few hundred meters away from the hole, Emily and her father ran the final stretch of the journey, the core closer she walked towards the black hole, the more she felt a dark presence following her, then out of the blue a huge swarm of death bringers floated over Emily's head, they looked more vexed than ever. Emily knew exactly what to do this time she pulled out one of the stones from the locket and crushed it, then she yelled: speed! She felt lighter than ever, her nimble legs zoomed to her father, and she pulled him. Emily looked in every direction for a small opening but there was none. She had no other option but to take the risk, she charged up all her speed and ran at the death bringers, but everything went black.

Emily woke up in a small metal cage and all her things were gone including her locket! To her right was her dad who was also in a cage and right under her was the black hole. She looked to her front and saw something unimaginable, right in front of her was…Phoenix, but he wasn't locked up. Next to him was a death bringer but this one had a crown; he was the real deal. He ordered Phoenix to take them into the cellar to die. Phoenix dragged them down a long staircase and stopped halfway, then he slowly opened the cage door without making a sound. Phoenix wasn't bad after all. Unexpectedly he also spit out her locket and urged her to use the gem. She had no other option, she needed to do it. Emily ripped the final gem out and crushed it, this time she felt like a rhinoceros. She held the locket and ran up the stairs, this was her only chance, with a great strong throw the locket sunk into the black hole. Before the death bringer processed what was happening, he evaporated into thin air, the darkness in the sky was slowly clearing off and Arcadia was liberated. Emily, Phoenix, and her father were slowly walking home when her father said that he had been keeping a secret from her. He told her that her mother wasn't alive and that he just wanted to remove the darkness. Emily would have felt angry with her father, but she couldn't, she knew how it felt to want glory. Emily responded by saying that she didn't need her mother, she had a father and a dragon.

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