Saturday, July 29, 2017

Second part of the Dragon Tale

Part two of my current tale with a Dragon

Great, exciting fun, 2,159 words this time. Next week will be the ending which will be the longest segment. Most of you probably know what it is but fun having them figure it out and figuring out what to do about it.

It does have a touch of horror and a touch of romance as you may see.

Most people do not like to make comments I see. (Sigh)

So here is this week’s part:

For some reason I couldn’t identify I looked skyward, making sure nothing was up there. I wanted to spit what I thought of as bile from my stomach. Penny glanced at me with an expression I couldn’t read.
“What took off with it?” I asked.
“I don’t know I couldn’t see it very well, but it roared louder than a parcel of trains. The sky answered it with thunder a few seconds later.”
I looked at him, wondered for a second if he was high or being poetic but I recalled the strange noise I heard while in the feed store.
At that moment a flash of fire lit up the sky over a set of short hills that bordered Jerry’s land. It looked like it was a mile or two away.
Penny said, “The lightning is getting close.”
I said, “But the storm is coming from the other direction and there was no thunder.”
Billy said, “He’s right, if any lightning strikes were that close we would have been deafened by the thunder.”
“What was it then?”
“What ever took the dragon sculpture away. It was huge and seemed to lift the whole thing from the inside. I watched it try to lift off the ground three times before it broke the anchors. It roared the first time and later roared louder as it finally lifted it into the sky.”
Penny looked at me with a skeptical look. I would have joined her except for that noise, the fire and an emotion I had that I couldn’t quiet identify. At the same time I stepped closer to see if I could smell Billy’s breath. I didn’t smell any alcohol but you could buy drugs even out here that could make people hallucinate.
That left the question of what happened to the dragon
sculpture. Billy, or someone else, could have used the forklift to knock it over before dragging it away. I remembered that rut in the road.
I said, “Well, it might be a good idea to look around some
more and see if we can find anything.”
We looked around even as the wind blew harder and the storm clouds turned darker. The only thing we found was the rut in the road. It turned out to be part of a larger design. Something that almost looked like a print of some type. Billy had said that it had attempted to take off twice before it succeeded.
As a sudden thought hit me I said, “Maybe someone inflated
some helium balloons in the framework and floated away with the dragon.”
“I’m not sure helium would work that well but maybe hydrogen.” Penny said.
“That could explain the fire we saw. Something ignited the hydrogen.”
“If that’s case maybe we should go see if there were any survivors.”
“If we can figure out where they crashed and if my motorcycle can go there.”
She looked up at a movement than said, “Then again maybe they didn’t crash after all.”
I said, “huh?” just before something flew over head. My head jerked up and I saw something huge go by. I noticed that Billy’s head turned as fast as mine. I couldn’t see it clearly but I caught a glimpse of a reptilian body again. My heart beat much faster, sweat formed in my underarms, all of a sudden I could smell things, like their sweat, more intensely.
We continued to stare as it flew out of sight.
I said, “Well, that wasn’t a helicopter,” stating the obvious.
“What was it?”
Billy said, “Whatever took the dragon sculpture.”
We looked at him, I wanted to make a comment about that being his new favorite phrase but held it in, and he continued, “It looked just like the thing that flew away with the dragon.”
“Oh boy,” was all I could think of to say.
“I think we need to go check on that fire and see if anyone needs help.” Penny said.
I managed to say “But my motor...” before Billy interrupted me.
“I have a large SUV with an almost full gas tank. It’s filled with some of our welding supplies and other stuff but we should all fit.”
Penny nodded, so I said, “Ok, let’s go.”
I walked my bike off the road and leaned it against a tiny raise that lay in shadow, while Billy went to get his SUV which has Four Wheel drive. Good we wouldn’t have to worry about running out of road.
As soon as he pulled up in the older, dull blue SUV Penny and I piled in and even before we fastened our seatbelts he drove off. After a discussion we agreed that the fire streak I saw had flared southeast from our position.
He drove on at full speed with all of his lights shining. As soon as the hill along one side of Jerry’s property ended he turned to the right and drove on. We didn’t see anything for ten to fifteen minutes. Then we noticed what looked like a small fire burning.
Billy increased his speed and as we approached the fire he said, “Damn, that’s what I thought it was.”
I couldn’t tell what type, but it used to be some type of building. Now it consisted mostly of ashes, with a few half
burned, smoking boards sticking up here and there around the foundation. There was a strong smoke smell along with something else I couldn’t identify then.
I asked, “What was it?”
“A bar and meeting hall we use for various club meetings. The bar has been closed for a while, but we sometimes still held meetings in it.”
I looked it over again and said, “I hope no one was in it tonight.”
Billy said, “I wonder what exploded to cause a fire like that.”
We drove around it shining the SUV’s lights here and there. When we finished checking what remained of the building he said, “I don’t see any evidence of an explosion.”
He was right, a blast of any type would have sent debris
flying over an extended area. We finally stopped and got out. He walked over to where a gap in a fence. This section of it was in the same condition as the building. I looked again and saw what I thought looked like a metal bathtub. Now it looked scorched and lay on its side. Something had poked a large hole in one end.
Billy said, “That was for cows to come for water.”
I nodded for I knew what he was referring to. I looked again and thought I saw an imprint in the soil on that side of the fence. What I could make out looked like the design in the road by the sculptures.
Billy walked into the pasture shining his light at something. He stopped and called us over. On the way I could smell blood and burnt meat. The smell created a bad taste in my mouth.
When we stood next to Billy he pointed at something.
I wasn’t sure what it was but it didn’t look pretty.
I heard Penny gasp just before he pointed his flashlight’s beam on it. I saw what might have been the rear end and two legs of a cow. I quickly looked around but I couldn’t see the other part. Billy bent over and examined the part that ended abruptly.
He stood and said, “It looks like it was bitten off.”
My eyes grew round as I tried to imagine a predator that big. I quickly looked around with a sudden feeling that of being watched. Of course I couldn’t see anything.
Penny said, “I don’t think you will see anything on the ground.”
Billy snapped off his light and said, “I don’t know about you’ll but I think we should git back to the SUV.”
I noticed his accent sounded firmer, but I didn’t blame him. I couldn’t convince myself that the SUV would be any protection against any beast that could do this, but I liked the idea of being inside better than standing out in the open.
We turned as one and hurried back to the SUV. Nothing happened on the way but as we got into the SUV we heard that noise again. It didn’t sound like thunder. It sounded miles away but we piled back out to get a good look. Without thinking about it I searched the sky. After a few minutes of not seeing anything, I looked at Penny.
“I think you were right, it’s not going to be on the ground.”
She said, “Yeah, but how?”
“I have no idea but I think it sounded like it might be attacking something again.”
Billy said, “I don’t know what you think that is but we need to see if we can get some help.”
Penny said, “Yeah, call out the Guard.”
“What are we going to say?”
She just shook her head in exasperation.
“Well, if ya’ll think we should go find out what it is we need to stop at Jerry’s on the way.”
I nodded not wanting to go chasing after it, rather it was what Penny and I thought it was or not. But as I thought of my
relatives, Penny’s parents and the others which included Brandy and her family, I knew someone needed to do something. We at least knew about it and could prepare something.
We got back in the SUV and Billy headed back to Jerry’s. This time he drove with the lights off. That was taking a chance, I thought, but I didn’t say anything. I would have done the same thing.
He skidded to a stop near the building Jerry used as a workshop. He ran inside with Penny after him. He came back with a high powered rifle and an oblong object about the size of a fist.
Billy said, “I don’t know where he got this but it’s a phosphorous grenade. It might come in handy.”
Maybe I thought as I considered what we may be after. A few
seconds later Penny came running out of the building.
“I had to use the little girl’s room.”
I knew that expression, so I just nodded at her.
We got back in and we drove off in the direction the thing had flown in. After another twenty minutes we spotted another fire off the road. This time on the other side of a pasture. Whatever stucture it had been was much smaller than the bar had been. Now charred timbers lay about, as if something had exploded this time. Or my mind wanted to add, torn apart and thrown.
As we neared it Penny explained that it had been a tack building for horses. My heart froze. It would be one thing for the thing to eat cows. Horses that someone needed for competition or considered pets was something else. I hoped no one had been out practicing. Most probably no one would practice in this weather but dedicated performers don’t always use common sense. On the other hand horse people might have decided to make sure their horses stayed safe in the upcoming thunder storm. Thinking of that made me realize it hadn’t started raining yet.
Something lay out there that wasn’t wood. Part of a leg my mind insisted. Oh God I hoped it had belonged to a horse if I was correct.
I paused in my study of the ground, a sound. They must have heard it too for we all got out. My head spun around to look at the sky, more because of instinct than the motion I saw. Something in the sky. All of us ducked, almost dived, under the SUV for it flew lower than it had last time. I thought Billy paused for half a heart beat, maybe he wanted to go for the gun, but then decided it would take too long.
Once settled with my hands and knees on the ground ready to take me on a charge across the field, away from it I again found that my sense of smell had grown. I smelled sweat, dirt and oil I thought was from the SUV. At least I didn’t smell any urine, mine or anyone else’s. This time I noticed other senses. I thought I heard Penny’s heart beating at least as fast as mine too, and very large wings beating the air. The dirt under my two palms felt cool, and rough: dry and heated ground. I wondered how I could feel it that well. The darkness under the SUV became clearer.
When the sky looked clear we stood and stared after it. A long moment later we all turned as one and stared at each other. Billy’s mouth was open and Penny’s eyes were wide in fear. From their expressions I knew I voiced their thoughts when I said, “It can’t be”.

end segment

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