Tuesday, August 8, 2017
Third and final part of my Dragon tale
If you have not seen them, parts one and two are just done the scrolling bar.
At one time I thought about doing a series of stories about these three, mostly with Star and Penny. But I have only one done, with just Star. A zombie story where zombies appear on a collage campus when someone reads a very ancient curse in its original language. That is the reason for the way I ended it like I did. The ending could use some help but it's easy to get the gist of it. And it does have a bit of horror and Romance in it.
Because of various real life events I hurried through the revising but it is still more readable than the original version.
I stared, as I saw through the corner of my eye, so did Penny and Billy. I knew we all believed.
A real dragon wearing Jerry’s iron dragon sculpture. We gaped at each other. I looked at Penny and saw a look that said she had figured it out already. I nodded at her indicating I knew she had known all along.
She said, “We need to call the Guard out.”
“And what are we goin’ to say that a honest to Betsy dragon is wearing a dang flak jacket?”
Penny looked at me for help, but I just shrugged my shoulders for he was right. I didn’t know what we could do about a dragon wearing “a dang flak jacket” but I knew if we reported it the authorities they would measured us for jackets of our own. Straight jackets in our case.
Penny’s eyes lit up suddenly.
She said, ”I know what to do. We can sic an iron horse on the iron dragon.”
I started to ask where we would get a train engineer when she continued. “I know how to operate a train engine and I know where we can get one.”
I managed to get out “How did you...?” before she continued, “A guy liked me a while back. He was training to be a train engineer and he taught me how to operate an engine. He thought it would be a good bonding experience for us.”
I wanted to ask if it worked, but she said, “I liked him but I think he felt like it took me too long to come around to his way of thinking. He ended up graduating and moving away for a good paying job. He writes now and then but...” she ended with a shrug of her shoulders.
Billy added, “He wanted her to go with him so they could live together while their relationship grew, then maybe get married.”
She looked surprised that he knew, then shook her head as if to say she didn’t want that. I felt relieved that she didn’t have a boyfriend after all.
I think she saw the relief on my face but she didn’t say anything.
She said, “As I was saying I know where to get an engine. It may be hooked up to only one to three cars but that will be enough. We need some bait on the train tracks at the bottom of a small hill I know of. It’s just outside of where the Roger ranch is. I can get the engine going and as it curves around the top of the hill I can shut done the engine and let the momentum carry the train down the hill. If the dragon is at the bottom I will hit with more iron than is around the dragon.”
Billy said, “I don’t know it sounds tricky and the dragon has to cooperate.”
“If we use the right type of bait it probably will. The dragon where ever he came from probably doesn’t know about trains and we will have your high powered rifle as back up. Its either that or let him attack and kill enough people--your friends--to get the authorities moving,” I said.
“You’re right but I don’t like it.”
“I don’t either but it’s this or sit back and watch it start eating or flaming people. If it hasn’t already.”
“Ok, you sure know how to git to a guy.”
We split up at that point. I gave Penny her helmet along with my jacket and two other pieces of equipment I found in the SUV. She rode off on my motorcycle to find her engine. Before leaving she described the place where we should place the bait. Billy knew the hill’s location so he could find it easily. I watched her go hoping that she would come back alive.
I joined Billy in the SUV and we went on a hunt for cows. The tracks ran by a ranch near the place Penny had chosen, which made it fairly easy to find a few cows close to where Penny wanted them. It wasn’t, however, easy leading them but we managed to get four cows to the bottom of the incline and to tie them down. We used ropes we found in the back of the SUV. The cows fur felt rougher than I knew. Billy took it all in stride, probably because he know both things about cows. I also found out how their fur tasted when one jerked to a stop as I pushed at it. My right hand slipped and I ended up with my face too close to the one I pushed.
They mooed and jerked at the ropes-I had to redo one-but settled down and started chewing on the grass that grew around the tracks. Up close I found that cows stunk more than I expected. Maybe that was why Penny figured the dragon would show up for these cows.
One company had cell phone towers out here which allowed us to keep track of each other. Penny found an older engine ready to go with three cars. She figured the engineers had gone for a bathroom break or ran when the dragon flew overhead.
She later told me that she managed to get through the gate and to get on it for the guards stood happy and ignorant lulled into a slack routine because nothing ever happened out here. One listened to what she assumed was music. No one came to check it out when she started it for they had expected it.
I asked Billy to get a cutting torch ready to go just in case we could cut some of the iron bars off the dragon. I had no idea how we would do that but I wanted to be ready.
With that in mind I readied two items I thought might help. I also kept the grenade even though I doubted the phosphorous would hurt a dragon. Distract it maybe which would be good.
Penny thought the dragon might be flying a pattern, perhaps looking for something or just getting used to the land. If she was right the dragon should be flying over head about the same time we got things set up.
Sure enough five minutes after we had the cows tired up and the cutting touch ready we heard the noise the dragon made while flying. A kind of rumble I had heard twice now. I didn’t know if that meant it was hungry or if it talked to itself. We parked the SUV out of sight and scrambled to separate hiding places near the cows.
The dragon circled the area while the cows went crazy with fear. It dropped down landing on the tracks. So far so good but we needed to keep it there for another minute. Penny was on the way, I could hear it. The cows madly pulled at the ropes trying to escape. They pooped in fear. And sweated. I felt sorry for them. Sweat ran down my back and from under my arms and my hair became matted with it.
At that moment something unexpected happened. The dragon turned in my direction and spoke.
“I can smell you, human. I know this is a trap, but your puny weapons can not harm me especially with this metal armor on. I’m protected just like one of your paltry knights.”
Maybe he did know about guns after all. In either case I could see that the sculpture didn’t cover everything which meant that Billy’s rifle would still work.
When I felt the earth move under me I knew the train was approaching. A second later I wondered why he couldn’t smell Billy. Maybe my after shave attracted him or I sweated more than Billy.
“What weapon do you think would be able to do me harm, oh
Deciding to take a chance I shouted, “Oh great dragon you are right all we have is a horse to fight you with.”
I could hear the train so I knew it even closer.
“A horse! You mean one of those unicorn like animals that you like to ride? How could one of those hurt me?
I knew the dragon still could escape but I didn’t know how to keep it there. Two heartbeats later I realized it sounded egotistical, that gave me an idea.
“Hey, snake face. What happened you make you lucky to come here?”
It reared back lifting its head as high as it could go. I thought oh oh I over did it.
It finally spoke, “It took me years to gather the knowledge to change worlds. You humans don’t know of the other worlds but we dragons do. It has been eons since one of my kind was here but we still talk of your world. I had to use almost all of my strength to come, here I made it, as your eyesight can testify.
“I had looked into this world and spotted this armor. I knew instintly that I would become even more invincible with it on. I almost made it on my first attempt so I knew I could do it. I can do anything I want to even fly with this extra weight.”
So Penny had been right, it needed to eat. That thought of her reminded me that I couldn’t hear the train anymore. It must be curving around the hill and ready to ran down that decline.
I hoped Penny would be all right. She wore my riding jacket as well my extra motorcycle helmet. The padded jacket could protect a rider from a fall so it might protect her. The knee and elbow pads, Jerry used in making his art, would help also I thought. All of that may not be much but at least the padding would protect her if the dragon knocked the engine off the track. It helped that the engine weighed tons, probably even more than the dragon and the sculpture combined. Of course if the dragon used its fire nothing we could do would protect her.
A glance showed me that Billy readied the rifle just in case it looked like the dragon was going to breath fire at her. From his angle he could hit it where no iron protected it. How much harm a bullet from that rifle would do probably depended on where it hit, I thought.
I shouted, “We are going to bring you down with a horse you foolish dragon.”
It reared its head up looking for me. I was right even though it could smell me it didn’t know where I hid. At that moment the engine came whistling down the decline. I heard a gun shot and saw a spark as a bullet hit and ricocheted from one of the iron bars. I heard a second shot followed by a second spark. I knew Billy was just trying to distract the beast.
The dragon said, “Your puny weapon can’t hurt me and neither can your horse.”
I shouted, “Its an iron horse.” as it flapped its wings possibly to take off.
My heart stilled for it looked like the train would just miss when the beast shifted its weight as if it would leap upward. A frozen second later though and the engine hit. I saw and heard the smack as iron hit flesh-even the thick dragon’s skin was still flesh. The horrible noise almost made me sick and I tasted bile for a second. The next heartbeat I heard metal tear as iron bars split. The engine continued on after while the dragon fell to one side and tumbled down the slight rise of the tracks.
I moved as quick as I could and grabbed the two devices I hoped would work on the dragon. One consisted of a huge tube almost as big around as a quarter drum. I could barely lift it as I picked up the second tube, a narrow, long cylinder. Both were colored a faded red and both could be operated by pressing a spray nozzle. I ran up to where the dragon lay. I could see one side was torn and bleeding. I almost gagged from the very strong smell of blood. A second odor I couldn’t identify. I thought it might be burnt skin or dragon musk.
I avoided the blood as I started spraying its chest with fire retardant. I have been told that fire retardant felt cold and it did seem to lower the temperature around its chest. When the larger fire extinguisher run out I grabbed the smaller one and sprayed it around the beast’s head. I don’t know if the form helped or not but the dragon looked more unconscious then just stunned for which I was grateful.
I shouted for Billy. He came running up from his hiding place carrying a small cutting touch. He lit the flame and started cutting the sculpture off. I called Penny. She sounded Ok and the engine was still in one piece.
Billy cut two bars all the way through and had started on a third when the beast shook its head. He dropped the torch and took off stumbling down the incline to a ditch. I backed off as fast as I my legs would move.
The dragon shook its body and tried to lunch itself into the air. It didn’t get very far.
It started raining finally with close lightening bolts.
The beast roared, it then looked at me as I continued to back off.
“You think that is all it would take to stop me. I will heal and I will be back.”
Penny voice came over the phone. I thought I heard her say she would back the train up. I told her not to, it looked too dangerous now. I saw the beast flinch as I heard a gunshot which indicated he hit it this time.
I heard the train in-between the thunder and knew that Penny was backing up for another try. The dragon saw the train backing up and readied itself for what I thought would be a shot of flame. I didn’t have anything except the grenade so I pulled the pin and threw at the dragon.
I thought it would at least distract the dragon. I aimed for the partially cut iron bar hoping the explosion would break it the rest of the way through. The grenade exploded against the beast sending a cloud of burning phosphorus over the dragon and iron. It roared in a way I thought sounded humorous.
“Puny human you thought that would harm me. That burns delightfully.”
Shouting I said “No, I thought it might distract you.”
I heard two gun shots, one right after the other and I saw the beast’s skin ripple where the bullets hit. Its head jerked just before it looked down trying to spot where the bullets came from.
A second later looking straight at the train it tried to take off again. It only managed to gain a few yards of height when the train hit it again along one side. It hadn’t been able to build up much speed or kenitic force but it weighed tons. The dragon flapped a wing but dropped from the sky. It hit the ground some ten yards away. I heard a bar break.
The second it came to a stop the beast stood and roared its defiance. I opened my mouth to tell Billy to try another shot when it launched itself into the air. I wondered how it could fly with one side torn apart, it leaked blood from more than one spot, and other injuries. I stared and saw that neither wing had been injured. Maybe that was how it could still fly and just plain determination.
Just as Billy came running up to get a good shot at it lightning hit it. The beast screamed joined with the thunder and blast as the bolt’s power went through it. I thought its roars earlier sounded loud but this one was so loud I covered my ears. I stumbled backward while Billy slipped further down a hillock. I hoped Penny was safe in the cab of the engine.
I smelled burnt meat and burnt metal, making me hungry and nauseous at the same time. The dragon tried to keep flying but failed as another bolt hit one of the iron bars. It screamed again, or it looked like it did. I couldn’t hear after that last thunder clap.
The dragon fell to the ground and after one attempt to raise its head it lay still. I moved closer before backing off again as it moved. A few seconds later it relaxed just before the body started to disappear. Slowly a section at a time it vanished. What was left of the sculpture collapsed to the ground. I stood there staring at it with rain running down my face. From what I could see no part of the dragon remained, hopefully it went back to where ever it came from. Later after a thorough search we decided all of its blood and the torn pieces of flesh had gone back with it.
Penny came along at that moment and I smiled when I saw she was Ok. She looked at me and smiled too.
I think she mouthed the words. “I’m Ok Star. Everyone is Ok. We did it!”
Billy came back up holding the rifle like he wanted to make sure the great beast really was gone.
We walked back to the SUV. Neither of us talked mainly because we still couldn’t hear anything. After a short search we found and collected all the equipment lying around. After we loaded it, we piled in the SUV and drove off. Billy took me home.
The next day when I woke, I could hear a little. I explained to my family that I felt fine, I just stood a little too close to a lightning strike. After they made sure I really was all right I went outside wondering how to get back to Jerry’ place.
Penny rode up on my motorcycle and after getting off she said, “We need to get over to Jerry’s.”
Or I think that is what she said, for as I said my hearing
wasn’t completely normal yet. We got on the bike and rode to Jerry’s.
Once there we met with Billy and decided we couldn’t say anything about the dragon. No one would believe us.
“But what do we tell Jerry about what happened to his dragon sculpture?”
Billy said, “We tell him the truth. It got hit by a train. Some egotistical loon-probably from the city-managed to move it and placed it on the track. Then he or someone else stole the engine, and ran into it. Lightning hit it next,” he shrugged, “who knows how some of those big city people think”.
We agreed to that.
At that point Penny said, “I’m glad we all survived.”
I’m sure that she looked at me when she said it too.
She added, “And thanks for the use of your stuff, Star and for throwing that grenade. I’m glad you did.”
I decided to take another chance and I hugged her. I knew she didn’t mind when she hugged me a tight hug back.
I also shook Billy’s hand and she thanked him for coming along and for shooting like he did.
Billy smiled and said, “I couldn’t have done it without each of you.”
After a moment he explained that besides the bar and tack building, an old unused barn and a trailer had been destroyed by fire. A family lived in the trailer but they were all out for the evening so no one had gotten hurt. Most of the townspeople believed lightning strikes, or the same dang fool who took the train for a joy ride started the fires. The only damage to the engine consisted of easily fixed scratches, even though two ran deep. Four cows came up missing from one ranch while three cows and two horses were missing from another. The authorities thought some outsider with a mobile butcher shop might be responsible for the disappearance of the animals.
At the end of the summer break I went home and back to school. I believe that adventure became a turning point for me. Probably because of the chances I took without thinking, but I no longer felt fear when I wanted to take a chance. I took new classes and reached out to other students making more friends then ever before.
The three of us kept in touch with letters and E-mail. I managed to make it back to visit Penny and Billy a few times in the next years. Billy stayed in town, working with Jerry, where he underwent three similar adventures over the next few years.
Penny and I kept in touch regularly with letters and E-mail with an occasional phone call for the next few years. In the next few months we saw each other as much as possible despite a very busy year of studying for me and working for her. We had another adventure and later I ran into other paranormal events alone and even later with her again. Those were the ones I remember more fondly.