Sunday, July 16, 2017

First of three parts of a new Dragon tale set in our time

I said I would do four or five dragon stories,. This is number three and as the title says it is part one of three. This is another of my older stories. I like it and decided to see if anyone else does.

I revised it once or twice after writing it years ago and yesterday gave it another quick revision. I thought I wasn’t going to be able to get to this one because I couldn’t find it and once I did I couldn’t open it. I thought this one was another one I hadn’t updated but when I tried it with the older version of my WP that came with the last update I was able to open it. Once open I could save it to the new version of my WP.

This one has at least a trace of Romance it in.

This segment is 1,980 some words long. I wanted to make it a bit longer but I had many things to do yesterday and it is late. And this is a good place to break.




The Iron Horse Vs The Iron Dragon



For a second I saw something serpentine within Jerry’s iron dragon as I rode past it. I shook my head and rejected that vision. I decided that the combination of the gloom of dusk along with the forming storm made be me see things through my helmet's faceplate.
Because of the storm I decided to rev up my bike. My arms had gotten cold and the heat of the engine but help warm my body. Out of habit I sniffed to see if I could smell rain but all instead I got sweaty inside helmet stink. I wouldn’t be able to taste ozone on the wind or the exhaust of my bike either.
Jerry lives near Grainsville, a very small town in Texas, where he has sculpted creatures out of iron for years. His sculptures are very lifelike even though they are only a frame, almost like an outer skeleton of the creatures he makes. All of his sculptures are life size with the dragon being his largest. The next largest is a camel. If I stopped I knew I might be able to smell hot metal as he cut and welded iron bars to form the beasts he wanted to create. I was introduced to Jerry by my
cousins, but Penny took me out to his place to watch him work.
My bike roared on like a type of dragon. I bought the motorcycle for this trip. It’s five years old, a bare bones bike, mostly black with a faded red gas tank. I liked riding it and it saved on gas so I took it every where. As I increased my speed trying to out ride the storm, I couldn’t get what I saw out of my mind. It looked like a very large reptilian body which just fit inside the framework. However, the iron dragon looked empty when I glanced at it again, when I rode even with it.
Fifteen minutes later I spotted the lights of the depot where Penny worked. I met Penny the first time I stopped at a local coffeehouse. I forced myself to speak to her the first time. At that time in my life I struggled to step out of my comfort zone. I found it too easy to stay where I felt safe. As a child I suffered two separate events that scared me badly when I decided to take a chance. Once I decided to climb a tall fence. When I reached the top I froze for a long time before I finally fell off. Two years later a person I tried to be friends with acted like he wanted to hurt me. After those two events I found it hard to try something new.
When Penny caught my attention the first time I saw her I decided I better force myself to take a chance. She wore a red half sleeved top with blue denim pants. Even though modest she rocked them. Her face looked like a fairy’s. As cliche as that sounds that was my first thought. Her brown shoulder length hair looked great too, After talking with her a few times began to hang around with her which she seems to enjoy. I took that as a good sign.
That night, as part of our routine, I rode out to meet her where she worked at a train depot ten miles out of town. She wanted me to take her home, however with a storm on the way that probably wasn’t a good idea. The forming clouds made the air cold. I wore my padded riding jacket and helmet but I didn’t know how Penny would be dressed. I knew from personal experience that riding in a bad storm wasn’t fun. As I rode on I felt grateful that the storm still hadn’t hit even though it looked like it could rain any second. I fed the bike gas trying to out race the rain.
At that speed I pulled into the parking lot to fast and skidded to a stop. Gravel showered the building. I frowned when I wondered if I would get into any trouble for that stop.
I jumped off the bike, ripped off my helmet, grabbed the extra one I carried before running inside. As I entered I saw Penny at the register counting the money with her boss, Mr. Hardney, standing near the door PDA in his hand. He wore blue denim pants and a long sleeve green short with a blue full size apron. He nodded when I said hi. Despite my fears no one said anything about me spraying the walls with gravel. She was wearing brown denim pants with a long sleeved tan blouse. I thought it went well with my tan cords and heavy rust colored shirt. The place smelled of people, popcorn and
She finished and I said, “A storm is almost here and I would like make it back before it hits hard.”
Mr. Hardney said, “I thought the last of the storms hit two weeks ago and that one was late, but if there’s going to be one more maybe you should leave. It’ll be a bad one this late in the season.”
Penny said, “We’ll make it back in time. You know how those big city people are when it comes to exaggerating storms.”
I looked sharply at her, but by her smile I knew she was just teasing me. She knew I came from a medium size town in California.
She turned to Mr. Hardney and said, “Thank you, I’ll be here early to make up for it.”
“Don’t worry, you’re a good worker so be here at your normal time.”
 She smiled her thanks and grabbed the extra helmet out of my hands. She picked up a blue jacket putting it on as we hurried outside. I could smell ozone and the air felt colder so I knew the rain could start any second. We jumped on the bike, I and took off, I revved it to pick up speed fast.
I enjoyed being with Penny, not only because she looked very cute. She looked nice even with a little extra weight for her height of 5’3”. I liked her a lot. If I wanted just a good looking girl I could have asked out some of the other good looking girls living in the area. One, Brandy, could be a model for western wear. We talked a few times and even though friendly she didn’t attract me-outside of her looks that is. I wanted something more than that.
Penny on the other hand is intelligent, fun and we have a similar sense of humor. She has loads of common sense, is modest and respectful to people.
When I pulled onto the road, she placed her helmet against mine and shouted through both headpieces, ”Come on Star, open it up before the rain starts. You can hear the thunder.”
My nickname is the one thing about her I’m not sure about. My name is Howard but since I told her my last name Stj√§rnahammare meant Starhammer in Swedish, she’s taken to calling me Star. I didn’t dislike it but at the same time I’m not sure if like it either.
She knew thunder too and I think she said that this was going to be one big thunderstorm by the sound of it. While in the store I had heard another noise which I hadn’t been able to identify. I again heard that strange sound in-between the thunder just before I started the motorcycle. I realized that during the conversation with Penny’s boss something had tickled my ears and I realized it had been the same sound only fainter.
We rode at a pretty good clip until we reached Jerry’s place where I slowed. Something felt wrong. In the gloom I
couldn’t see much, but I knew something wasn’t right. I slowed more while I took a closer look at both sides of the road.
Penny leaned forward, touched helmets again, shouted over the motorcycle’s engine, “What’s the matter?”
I shook my head not knowing. When she pointed toward the right it hit me. I couldn’t see any dark patch where the dragon sculpture should be. I have ridden by here at night so I knew it looked like a dark blob until you rode close enough to make it out.
At that point my motorcycle ran over a rut in the road and it took all of my concentration to keep us from crashing. I slowed more and finally came to a stop. I waited for a moment until my heartbeat returned to normal. I told Penny I wanted to look around to see what happened to the sculpture to make sure I didn’t run into a piece of it.
After I turned off the engine I took off my helmet. I noticed that Penny’s dangled from her fingers already. I smelled ozone mixed with something I couldn’t identify. It didn’t smell like hot metal. It smelled almost like a different type of ozone. It was so thick I thought I could taste it. The wind blew through my jacket, but I felt the need to know what had happened. Evidently so did she.
I drew in air through my nose again. Yeah, something that smelled like wet lizard? Or snake? Of course they might all smell the same. Whatever it creeped me out. My heart rate increased and I think so did my sweat. I seemed to hear better all of a sudden.
She said, “What happened to it? The storm isn’t big enough to blow it over. Jerry anchors his sculptures to make sure they don’t blow over.”
“I don’t know but let’s look around. I want to see if any part of it is laying in the road, or had been dragged across the road.”
She looked at my with a puzzled expression on her face.
“We ran through a rut in the road. I’ve been over this road a couple of dozen times, there are no ruts.”
“Maybe Jerry dragged some of his iron pieces over the road.”
“Could be, but he’s always careful or so you tell me.”
“You’re right but a piece may have slipped off his forklift or something.”
“Let’s look around anyway.”
She nodded and we got off the motorcycle. After walking it
further off the road I settled it on its kick stand.
Not surprising we found it hard to see in the gloom. We needed to hurry for I could feel a cold wind blowing as we walked. After a few minutes of looking we saw that the cow sculpture and two others now lay on their sides. A set of four prairie dogs looked Ok as far as we could tell. Most of the other sculptures were either down the road, or on the other side.
At one point I looked up and noticed a light bobbing its way toward us. After a few seconds I could make out a man carrying a large, orange flashlight. When the man got close enough we saw he was wearing a black windbreaker with a hood and black pants, which explained why it took so long to make him out.
He said, “You’ll won’t find the dragon here anymore.”
I recognized the man as Jerry’s assistant Billy.
Penny asked, “What happened to it Billy? Did Jerry move it or sell it?”
I shook my head knowing I had seen it on the way to pick Penny up. They couldn’t have moved it that fast.
When he stepped closer I could see that he looked shell shocked.
He said, “Jerry’s out of town, but he didn’t sell it and we didn’t move it. Something else took off with it.”

end segment

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