If you're seeing this message, it means we're having trouble loading external resources on our website.

If you're behind a web filter, please make sure that the domains *.kastatic.org and *.kasandbox.org are unblocked.

Main content

Imaginative Worlds: reading creative fiction; The Dawning 5


Read the two passages. They are both taken from fantasy stories. Once you’ve finished, answer the question.

The Dawning

  1. Serilda quickly braided her thick black hair into a winding spiral on top of her head. They didn’t have much time, and she needed her hair where it would be less of a bother. As Serilda looked out over the distant Eastern Mountains, she could see them approaching already—the mass of black wings flapping in droves unlike anything she had ever seen before. Serilda did the math in her head. 19 minutes—she had roughly 19 minutes before the battle for Ollmhor’s Mountain commenced.
  2. “And about 22 minutes before it ends—if I’m lucky,” she scoffed.
  1. Suddenly Faolan and his dragon Kobold dropped from the sky, putting out Serilda’s campfire.
  2. “Really?” Serilda said. “I was just roasting my last bit of meat—you know, for my final warrior feast—and now you’ve ruined that for me as well!”
  3. Kobold, always aiming to be the peacemaker between the twins, was about to blaze the fire back into existence—but Faolan placed a commanding hand on his dragon’s neck. “No, there isn’t time—we must leave now!”
  4. “What do you mean? Father clearly instructed us to stay and fight,” said Serilda.
  5. “It’ll mean certain death,” said Faolan, nodding toward the black mass getting closer with each spoken word. “Yztan has made . . . um . . . improvements to his flock.”
  6. This wasn’t news to Serilda. “And?” said Serilda. “Your point?”
  7. Faolan measured his words, not wanting to reveal too much, but also needing his sister to relinquish her position and flee with him. “There’s another way.”
  8. “Run?—No, I will not be remembered by our people as the one that brought a thousand years of doom. I will fight courageously—even if it means my death.”
  9. “Sister,” pressed Faolan, “when father instructed us to remain and fight, he didn’t have all the facts.”
  10. “And you want me to trust you?” said Serilda laughing mockingly as she pointed to the approaching cloud of blackness. “You conspired with Yztan to create these monsters!”
  11. Faolan held Serilda’s gaze. “Yes, and that’s precisely why I know there’s an alternative.”

The Boy in the Painting

  1. Inside the forgotten temple, Xiang Zhao stomped his muddy boots on the intricately tiled mosaic floor. “How is it that no one from town knows this place?” he asked, turning to his younger sister who was staring intently at something on the wall.
  2. Of course, Xiang didn't expect Hulan to actually answer—she had never uttered a word in her entire life. Xiang followed Hulan’s gaze to see what held her attention. It was a painting on the far wall of a boy about 13 or 14—
  3. “Wait a minute,” said Xiang, staring in disbelief.
  4. Xiang shook his head and did a double take. Then he strode over to the painting and touched a stern-looking variation of his own face. Flecks of paint chipped off and drifted to the floor. Just then, a powerful noise grumbled from within the wall. Seconds later Xiang and Hulan sprung back as a portion of the wall slid open.
  5. Through the opening, Xiang could see a lush, green forest—quite different from the one they had just hiked through to get to the temple. Intrigued, Xiang grabbed his sister’s hand and courageously stepped through the opening into the extraordinary hidden world.
  1. A warm gentle breeze greeted them, and Hulan began to shiver. “It’s not cold, Hulan. Why are you shiver—?” Xiang started.
  2. But a friendly voice from the tree canopy interrupted him. “Welcome home, Prince Xiang and Princess Hulan!”
  3. Xiang turned to see a young guard spryly jump from a branch and quickly approach them. The medieval-clad youth bowed deeply and said, “Everyone in Yǐncáng De Tǔdi has anxiously been awaiting your return”.
  4. Xiang was stunned. “Uh, my name is Xiang, but I’m not a prince. I’m afraid you’ve got the wrong guy.”
  5. The guard only smiled and said, “Follow me.”
  6. Hulan clutched Xiang’s hand and nodded. Not knowing what else to do, Xiang trailed the guard through the forest, hoping that whatever was next would provide some answers.
  7. When they reached a clearing, Xiang gasped as an enormous medieval fortress and a beautiful, glistening lake came into view. As the trio got closer, chimes rang out in jubilant song. A man and woman dressed in clothes that Xiang had only seen in history books ran out, smiling widely as if they already knew Xiang and Hulan.
  8. “Hello, Father,” Hulan said as she rushed into the man’s arms. “I’ve missed you.”
  9. Xiang stared in disbelief. What was going on? Who were these people? What was this place? And perhaps most perplexing of all—Hulan . . . she was . . . talking?
The reader can tell that both stories are fantasy because—
Choose 1 answer: