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The Dragon Gulch

Predators and Prey

By Lamar WigginsPublished 3 years ago Updated about a year ago 10 min read
The Dragon Gulch
Photo by aisvri on Unsplash

"Hey Mom, Mom come quick, look at this!" She slowly made her way to the only window we had to see the outside world. She peered at the anomaly in the sky which made her smile. She quickly turned around and spoke,

"This is good, this is a good thing. It's a sign of good times."

"What is it?" I said, with curious intent.

She went back to the window and looked again. Her smile went away.

"A long time ago, way before you and I were born it was normal to see this if you lived in the northern hemisphere. I think they are called the Northern Lights. My own grandmother used to tell us stories of the glorious wonders of a time forgot. This planet has been hurting for a long time. This is a sign of healing... World War 5 almost completely wiped us out. It saw the extinction of countless species of animals. Great cities were decimated, Oceans became polluted, and we had to find a different way of life if we were to survive. It was nothing like it is now, a hundred years ago. They used to send kids to a place called school where you learn how to read and write. Now there is no time or need for any of that. It's all about survival. The northern lights were a myth to me until I see them now, before me. You must go and tell the senator what you have found. He will know what our next move is. We can't stay here much longer. Here, take this necklace, it will keep you safe."

My mom was the wisest person I know. It was just me, her and my younger sister. Our father was taken by the Dragons; an underground cult of pirate-like fiends that shows no mercy to anything. It’s all about what you have that they can take, and if you have nothing, they might just take you to enslave instead. I'm not scared of them, I'm worried about my mom and sis, they are all I have. M y father taught me how to fight and I'm good at outsmarting opponents. He also taught me how to be a good thief, which comes in handy, cause you just never know who and what you will encounter.

The Senator is not an easy man to find. Last time I found him at an old, abandoned aquarium. A place where people use to go to watch fish swim. We are not allowed to go swimming. Ma says that you will drown a horrible death or get eaten alive by the Bari-Bari monsters. It doesn't matter though, how can you c are about doing something that is forbidden.

I spent half a day looking for the Senator, but the bastard was nowhere to be found. I had to take a break. I looked for a spot away from sight and found a huge field of bushes I could hide in. Below them you can look around to see if anyone else is already there, I saw no one. So laid on my back and pulled out the necklace my mom gave me. She said it would protect me. How can something so small protect me? It was a Heart-Shaped Lockett and It looked expensive. I opened it and inside was sketch of my father, it immediately took my breath away. I have not seen that man in 3 cycles. Seeing him also made me angry. I no longer wanted to find the senator, I wanted to find my dad instead... Sorry mom but I have to do this for us. My new mission was to go to the Dragon Gulch, a place where the dragons hang out. It would be dangerous, but I didn't care. The gulch was a half a day in a different direction. I left as soon as I could so I could be there the next day right when the sun goes down.

By Jonathan Kemper on Unsplash

I made it to the gulch ahead of schedule. I skipped dinner and just kept moving but now it was time to eat something. I stole a loaf of Chirack bread from a commoner a few miles back. I felt bad about it, but I’m sure if he had one loaf he had more.

Now, I needed to find my father. If he was still alive, he would be there somewhere, living amongst those vile, disgusting animals who would murder their own if given the chance. I perched myself on top of a cliff, a half mile from the entrance to the gulch. I used my magnaglasses to see what was going on. I studied the area for two days before I was ready for my next move. I learned that everyday a horde of cult members would leave the grounds and wouldn't return for four or five hours. They would always bring back sacks of stuff with them. O ne can only guess it was stolen items from somewhere.

The gulch itself was situated in a valley. I couldn't see what was on the other side because of all the trees and the housing huts that blocked the view. From my vantage point there was only one way in. I had to find a different way. Suddenly, I heard someone running toward me from behind. It was a cult member wielding an ax. He took a swing, then another. He missed both times. He was slow and didn't know how to use his weapon. On the third time he swung I dodged it, got behind him and kicked him in the back using his forward momentum to send him sailing into the ground. I grabbed the axe and used the handle to strangle him u ntil his face turned blue. This turned out to be a good thing, since I could use his clothing and badges to gain access inside.

I wasted no time gearing up. This was an all or nothing situation I put myself in. My poor mother, I thought about what would become of her and my sister if I got myself killed trying to save a man that might already have been dead. I couldn't care about any of that, I was ready for pandemonium.

T his clan was filled with filthy, conniving, deceitful, pieces of evil trash and I planned to shake things up around there. Once inside, I had to find their water supply and poison it. They used a hand-cranked pump attached to a well to fill a vat of water to drink from. I just hoped I had enough poison to take out as many as possible, or at least create a diversion so I can find where they kept their prisoners. The poison was delivered, I watched as they drank and drank and drank more. It was time for the waiting game...

Right on schedule, some of them started keeling over and foaming at the mouth, others had fallen asleep never to awaken again. Step one on this revenge-filled rescue mission was a success, no one knew what was going on, but the idiots were still drinking the water thinking that would help their situation. It was time to go underground. I found a handmaid cowering near the entrance of one of the housing huts. I approached her. She was terrified since she didn't know what I wanted from her. I got on my knees, grabbed her on the shoulder and spoke,

"Listen to me, I'm not here to hurt you, I'm here to save you. Just tell me where they keep the prisoners!"

She didn't say anything or couldn't talk. I asked her again. She just kept sobbing into her arm. I shook her a little and told her that this was serious. I needed to know where they were. All she did was point in the direction of one of the bigger huts. I grabbed her by the arm and told her to show me. On our way there the chaos continued. The Dragons were still getting sick and vomiting everywhere. One of them finished the job on himself and slit his own throat. I rejoiced every moment of watching them suffer. We made it to the hut. She pointed to a stairway that led underground, then she yanked herself away from me and took off. Whatever was down there she wanted no part of it. As I made my way to the steps to begin my descent, every time I saw a Dragon, I would pretend to be sick like they were.

Horrible sounds of agony were coming from below, but I had to go, my father might be down there. Once my decent was completed, I saw a dragon that wasn't sick, he was a guard. I pretended to need help and waddled my way toward him. When I got close enough, I stabbed him right in the neck with a wooden stake. He succumbed to death instantly. I squatted down with blood dripping from my face like a crazed savage, looking in every direction, expecting to see dragons coming after me for what I did but there were none. I searched my victim’s corpse for keys or anything valuable. Then I heard a voice say,

"It's in the black satchel on the ground, who are you?"

It was a prisoner who saw the whole thing. I ran over to him,

"I come for my father, where is he?"

The prisoner laughed and answered,

"I'm going to need a little more info than that, get me out of here and I will help you find him, what's his name?"

I was panting with adrenaline still coursing through my veins and said his name. "Dante Forager" the prisoner's eyes came wide open and in a loud whisper he said,

"Dante the warrior? He is a dragon, your wearing dragon clothes, and you just killed a dragon, what kind of sick joke is this." I shouted

"MY FATHER IS NO DRAGON! I am Erick Forager, a 19 yr old commoner looking for my father, he was stolen by the dragons 3 cycles ago, will you help me find him? I'm here to free everyone too, where are the keys?" The prisoner pointed,

"In the black satchel on the ground over there."

"You are coming with me until I find him!"

By Scot Goodhart on Unsplash

One by one I opened the cages and told them all to run for their lives and not to drink the water until they are far from here. It was a literal stampede of over 100 prisoners making their way out of there. All that was left was me and Prisoner#1. I told him that I poisoned the dragons and don't know what we will find when we went back up top. He said he would take me to Dante and if he really was my father maybe he would spare my life. Once back in the gulch it was a sad scene, they were all sick and trying to help each other. Prisoner#1 pointed to another one of the big huts. He said if my dad was on the compound he would be in there. We walked into the entrance of the hut and there he was slouched over a wooden table with drool coming out of his mouth. It was My father, now deceased because somehow, he turned into one of them. I couldn't believe this sequence of events. I got so close to being with him again. But instead, his confusing choices cost him his life. I killed him but did he deserve it? Prisoner#1 said that they may have abducted my dad, but saw something valuable in him, they probably gave him a choice to become a part of the brood or die. Even if that was true why didn't he escape and come and find his family? I may never know the answer...

I left the gulch and returned to my family as a man... I now care for and survive with my mom and my sister. This is not the end of the cult, there are many more out there whether they call themselves Dragons or not. I will build my own following to take them down one by one. My mom was right, this planet has been hurting for a long time, but now it’s time for healing and the civilized man must reign again.

By Gioele Fazzeri on Unsplash


About the Creator

Lamar Wiggins

Creative writer in the Northeast US who loves the paranormal, mystery, true crime, horror, humor, fantasy and poetry. Take a chance, you'll be thoroughly entertained.

"Life is Love Experienced" -LW


Reader insights

Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

Top insights

  1. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  2. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  3. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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Comments (2)

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  • Gina C.about a year ago

    I loved your original approach to this challenge, so unlike any I have read so far. I love the world you created; like a fantasy-apocalyspe. I enjoyed the descriptive style of your writing and was able to envision everything! Are you going to write another part to this?

  • Sara Jane Triglia about a year ago

    I love when I read a story with good dialogue. You really bring the characters personalities out with their spoken words. I enjoyed the story. Thank you for sharing. Would love to hear your thoughts on my dragon tale. Have a good day.

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