The Golden Staff Saga: The Pillar of Light
   Christina Neely   

I was not a brave person, but I knew that I had to help in some way. Crawling over to where El-Stev's sword lay, I picked it up. It was heavy. I had never held a sword before. It took all my might to begin swinging it over my head.

            "Elena, get out of there," yelled El-Kahn.

            "No, I want to help," I screamed, still swinging the sword. The blade was stopped in midair as I connected with one of the Kavee's legs. The loud shriek was deafening. I nearly dropped the sword to cover my ears. My strike didn't do much damage, just a small cut to the beast. I mostly succeeded in making it angry. My arms were aching from swinging the heavy blade above my head. The beast could tell I was getting tired and was slowing stretching out its talons toward me. It was only a few feet away now. I closed my eyes, mustering up all my strength to continue swinging the sword, but I knew pain was coming soon. The Kavee let out a loud shriek. My eyes flew open and I could barely make out a small object sticking out of the Kavee's back, but there was a lot of blood dripping on the ground from the giant bird above. Now is my chance, I thought. While the Kavee was facing the unknown attacker, I could attack it from behind. I had just begun to move in on the beast when El-Stev came up behind me with his torn shirt over his wound.

            "Thank you, Elena, I will take over from here." He said my name and "thank you" in the same sentence. I was smiling as I handed over his sword and took a step back so that El-Stev could take over fighting. He continued my attack, sneaking up on the beast from behind. Just as he swung, the giant bird ascended so all El-Stev struck was air. The giant bird rested in the air for a moment before it came in for another strike. I just barely saw it out of the corner of my eye, but I felt the huge black wing strike me in the side, and soon I was falling. Just as before, El-Kahn stopped me in midair. I looked over my right shoulder and I could see over the edge of the mountain the ground a good fifty feet below me. In front of me El-Stev continued to fight the Kavee. El-Kahn was running in my direction. The Kavee was flapping its large black wings. One of them hit El-Kahn. He was sent stumbling backward. At that moment I felt the wind on my back. Looking back over my shoulder, the ground was now getting closer and closer. The Kavee had succeeded in knocking me off the mountain.