My younger brother has always been obsessed with dragons. Our mom has made him a new dragon costume for Halloween every single year since he was five. He always told me his greatest victory was when he finally mastered the skills of reading and writing so he could make up his own dragon stories and fairy tales. At first, his stories began with the typical “Once upon a time…” but as he entered middle school and was devouring any and all books about mythical creatures, his stories became more serious, but also much darker.
Our parents always thought he was wasting his time writing stories, but his grades were the best in his class mainly because he would read every book he could find. Because he spent so much time reading, he had never gotten into the sports my parents considered “appropriate”, but had gotten serious about martial arts. All of which made him a target for bullies for the entirety of his middle school life.
Instead of retaliating with his fists (which I knew he could do because I had been on the receiving end a few times), he read more and wrote more and published his first comic book at eighteen. All of the bullies he suffered through in middle school were the villains in his story and were called out word for word. While he became a national bestselling fantasy author, they spent their time as living history for all the crimes they committed against my brother.