First Contact
by Yvonne DeBandi


Short Reads

First Contact by Yvonne DeBandi

Challenge: Write a scene based on the title: “First Contact”
Photo by Marko Blažević
Written for:

By Yvonne DeBandi

© Copyright Yvonne DeBandi 2019

Baldric, that’s me, named for my courage and bravery. When I first learned the meaning behind the name, it seemed like a lot of unnecessary pressure. I mean, isn’t everyone afraid of something? Nope, not Baldric the Great Warrior, he stands unafraid while others tremble and hide.

Okay, so maybe that is laying it on a bit thick. At first, I just played the part. They expected me to be brave, so I did all the things that brave ones do. I would stand tall and stare down my enemies. Didn’t take me long to realize…it really works! Well, most of the time. Funny thing about it, I was more scared about being embarrassed than about facing the obstacle in front of me.

You know what I mean? Come on! Who here likes to be laughed at? Raise your hand. Unless you are a comedian or intentionally trying to get a laugh from the cute girl sitting next to you, I’m guessing you slid down in your seat on that one.

I’m sharing all of this because I may have met my match. I thought it was just another normal day, but little did I know. There I was, walking through my favorite garden when something moved out of the corner of my eye. I ducked down and peeked through the branches…he was watching me. No matter how brave I stood, or how daring I tried to present myself, this one matched me move for move. We must have played this game of chicken for hours. Finally, I decided to call it a day. I would come back tomorrow and investigate the situation further.

Later that night, I’m hanging out with my pals and I asked them. “Hey, you all seen the new guy on block eleven?”

“The one in the back garden? I sure did. Not all that happy about it either. Was out on a walk with Serena, and all she could say was what a handsome fella he was. I think she was looking for an introduction. On our walk tomorrow we are definitely taking a different path. I mean, seriously…who could be more handsome than me?”

“What’s wrong there, Magellan? Scared of a little competition? Now you know how we feel when you walk into the room. Personally, I didn’t think the guy was all that much to look at, kinda scrappy. Sure acted clever though, he countered my every move.”

“Smarter than you? That’s just not possible,” I said. “You’ve been the cleverest of them all for as long as I can remember. I mean, even your name says you are clever: Merlin. Doesn’t that say everything you need to know? Nah, nothing to worry about. I think I’ll pay him another visit tomorrow. He needs to know this is our territory. We can’t allow him to trespass all over us.

“If anyone can do that, it’s you, Baldric. And you’re right. We can’t let the new guy come in and just take over the town.”

My friends left that night and my bravado seemed to leave with them. Who was I kidding? This guy really had me knocked off my game. I couldn’t eat, barely slept, and by dawn I knew I had to get on with it. So, I sauntered back over to my favorite garden early, thinking I might surprise him.

To my great dismay, he was already there waiting there for me! I nonchalantly changed my course to block his view, but this guy was quick. Okay, who am I kidding? Not going to lie to you. I jumped behind the nearest thing that would give me cover. It didn’t matter. He was just as fast and as brave as me. I even tried to channel my inner Merlin…wondering how I could be cleverer.

By the end of the day, I had had enough. I had to make a stand. So, I stood taller and I walked towards him with the most ominous expression I could bring forth. He didn’t like that. His expression and eye contact became quite terrifying. I was being challenged.

“Challenge accepted,” I yelled as we both began running forward. With only victory in my mind, I took a final leap in the air, ready to pounce and show him what it meant to be the warrior named Baldric, King of this Garden.


“Oh, my goodness! Did you see that?!”

Slowly, I stood and shook my head to clear the stars. The warrior that dropped me to the ground was now toying with me, mimicking me in my pain. My worst fears were coming to pass. My reign as the warrior in these parts really might be coming to an end. As he mocked me, I contemplated my next move. What else could I do to prove I was really the best? I needed a minute to lick my wounds before I attempted another challenge.

Before I got the chance, I saw two feet belonging to the strange species called human, standing behind me. This one was nice. She fed me sometimes, and I liked the way she scratched behind my ears.

“Poor kitty. Let me guess, first contact with a mirror?”

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by Yvonne DeBandi”

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