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The Return of the Dragon

Their origin uncovered

By Amy HallPublished 7 months ago 16 min read
The Return of the Dragon
Photo by Daniel Eliashevskyi on Unsplash

I feel the warmth of his fiery breath as he kneels in front of me looking down, like a human to an ant. At least I think it is a male. It’s very difficult to tell the sex of a dragon. The smell of burnt, human flesh surrounds me as I run underneath the beast with pure terror in my heart. As panic turns to a strange calm, I recall a trick my grandfather taught me.

“They won’t torch ya if you’re underneath them; they’ll burn their little feet!” He used to laugh while walking to the creek to fish for food. “Then, while they are getting enough momentum to turn around and blast, you scram, boy!” His voice from the grave serves me well today.

“We must find my child!” Sam bellows down the pathway of the forest to me as I try to reach the monster’s heels and strike.

Where there once was beautiful, plentiful and green acres of trees, now has a fire-kissed opening that resembles a crop circle. He took down all these trees in mere moments, some of my family and comrades with them.

“I want revenge on this dinosaur and I want it now!” I roar from deep within my being.

“I’ll light it up. You grab the kid.” I yell. “My bullets are not even penetrating its thick skin! No wonder these things survived down there for so long!”

As a scientist, this intrigues me. As a warrior, this makes me infuriated. Sam’s son is lost and we need to find him. However, this beast needs to pay for its indiscretions. My father, my brother, and my best friend; were gone in a flash as I watched them perish. So hot, they were reduced to ashes and I am unable to collect. I will bring my son to this field and we will mourn their death. I must be able to tell the boy that I conquered this monster.

“Jared! I need you! I see him in a tree! If you boost me, I can grab him! Another Dragon is approaching! Hurry!” Sam looks up and gasps loudly. As the adrenaline courses through my body at the sight of our new friend, I hesitate.

“It’s double the size!” I scream at her as we run to save the boy.

She tries to cut Ambrose from the string on his parachute, which is wrapped tightly around his ankle. As seconds feel like years, blood drips from the deep cut the cord has caused on the boy’s leg. While balancing Sam on my thick shoulders, I cry out to her a bold warning.

“It’s coming! Sam! We have to go now!”

“I am not leaving without my son!”

She kicks violently as I run with her sitting on my frame, unable to move. I can hear the tree branches cutting her face as I run, but if I stop we are as good as my father.

“You didn’t see what that thing did to my dad! My brother and fifty others. I am sorry!”

She kicks free as I fall to the ground. We both see a miraculous sight. Ambrose is on the back of the beast. Gliding through the sky as though he was riding an elephant at the fair. His ankle is showing, and it seems the cords have been cut down. I look closer and the ends of the parachute are smoking.

The beast saved him? The same monster that killed my team and family. I am deep in thought as we watch him gain altitude from the dragon-made clearing at the forest’s edge. Past the large, deep river and into the mouth of a cave, high on the mountain range, the beast lands with the child.

“How could you do that!” Sam screams at me before violently tackling me to the ground.

Her blue eyes meet mine and I remember a time when there was love behind them. No longer the lust, but hatred. She did not want to come on this mission knowing I would be present. I know this. The opportunity to study these ancient visitors is a once-in-a-lifetime. A job selected only for the elite soldiers. My thoughts are interrupted by the feelings of suffocation as she punches my chest with all her might and screams.

“Why didn’t you let me save him? You know what I went through!” She collapses onto my chest from shock and I guide her body to the ground gently.

I look around for more dragons. However, the valley and the forest are silent. A strange calm comes over my body as I too succumb to sleep due to stress. Upon waking, I realize I am next to a fire with a blanket. I notice the drag mark that brought my body to be in such comfort and Sam eating an apple with a knife beside me. Thinking she might try to plunge that knife into my chest, I wait silently with my eyes closed.

“How will I get there?” She asks herself.

“Samantha! I am so sorry. We were all fried if I didn’t do that.”

She looks at me with great sadness, bleeding out into her words. “I know Jared. I know.” She said as she sat on the log eating. “How will we collect the boy?” She asks, with tears and hope in her eyes. I have no solution for her and it breaks my fragile heart. I can’t believe they are all gone; perished in the wind.

“We will get him, Sam. I know it in my heart.”

“What good is your heart these days, anyway? Jared!” I look at her and she calms down when she sees my remorse beading off my brow and soul.

“Fighting me won’t save him! We need to find the others. They couldn’t have landed far away.”

Knowing she is right about me, I break contact and run through the thick trees, then through the opening to the valley. We make a plan to stick to the trees. Even with how massive these creatures are, they can come up to you by surprise. Suddenly, a Blue-Speckled Dwarf-Dragon approaches us from above as we sit next to the river bathing. It soars to the west and circles the waterfall, taking gulps of water at each return.

“I am going to ride it!” Sam states as a matter of fact. She takes off running in her undergarments and soars through the air.

I quickly get dressed and place her clothing in my pouch before following her with gusto. Sam dives off the waterfall and there is a moment when I can’t see her. I fear she has perished, too. Just when I think all hope is lost, the dragon carries Sam on its florescent green and blue back, straight over my head.

I gasp deeply as they disappear into the mountainside of the valley, opposite the forest’s edge. I can’t believe my own eyes. This is intense! As day turns into night, my survival instincts are at a loss on what to do for the night. I need warmth, yet will a fire introduce the creatures of the night? These beasts came out of thin air. Who knows what else might follow?

Alone, I wonder what has become of Sam and her sweet child. I realize I have to rest before making that journey to the top of this mountain, a beast itself. As my body softens and I let go, drifting into a deep sleep that would end in the most intense dream I have ever encountered.

The sun beads on my face as I wake with a jolt. These trees protect me, in a visual sense, anyway. We think of Dragons as mythical creatures and that they are! It is said that somehow these primal animals can cause sleep disruption in humans. Various reports suggest they can even manipulate our dreams. For thousands of years, these beasts have been thought to be stupid and slow-minded. However, since their return one year ago to the day, we have learned much about them to the contrary.

My thoughts are interrupted by the gorgeous sight of a man-made path along the mountainside. It seems to lead up to the opening in the mountain. It is almost certain Sam and Ambrose have met their demise. I must continue on for them. Feeling guilty on this mountain alone because I have yet to do that. I will if it means my life.

I am not sure if my intentions are pure or if I solely want to slay the dragon that took my comrades and family. I call that monster ‘Tanda; the seer of death.’ To be written in my memoirs as I grow old, but the thought of how old would I become haunts me as I walk up this rocky path. So close to the mountain’s edge, I nearly slip to my certain death. The rocks clang off of the jagged terrain and I picture what my fall would feel like.

About halfway up the mountain, I nestled into an opening in the mountain. There were five keyholes, one of which was much smaller than the other. Only two I could walk through. I think aloud, “I wonder if I could reach the top through these passages. Seems too risky.”

It’s severely pleasurable to take my weight off of my bloody, callus, and blistered feet. My right foot burned from the brute force of Tanda’s blaze. I reach into my pack for more gauze and first aid supplies when I realize how weak I have become. I have one can of tuna and a can of boiled beans.

“Thank you.” I proclaim while bowing my head. If it were not for this substance, I too would not see another day. I have a plan for food upon my arrival at the Dragon’s den; “Dragon meat!” I laugh to myself. As I rest for the evening at this entrance to–where?

The Tunnels and What They Yield

I hear voices as I awake from my slumber. Familiar voices. “Jared? Is that you?!” says an excited explorer, one from my original landing team.

“Mikey?” I inquire.

“You bet your sweet ass it is!” Our pilot and engineer speaks as I realize we are not alone.

“Sarah! Zach! Where’s Jeremy?” I pressure for an immediate reply, but there isn’t one.

“He was lost in the landing, Sir.” Zach finally reports to me. “We sought shelter here and have been maintaining searches throughout the day. He is nowhere to be found. “He is mighty like his Father was–keep the faith.”

“Was?” Questioned Sarah. She has lost her Father in the forest of ashes and possibly, her Brother too.

I was about to kneel and cry, mourning another, who has fallen victim to this mission. Although, maybe he is not lost after all. This is not the time nor the place. I mustn’t show weakness. This group needs to know their commander is steadfast and ready to fight. Exploring the cave proves to be fruitful. The boy!

“Ambrose!” I scream as he falls out of one of the smaller tunnels. I wonder what he has seen in there. I realize something is very different about him, but I just can’t pinpoint what that is.

He runs and hugs me with his dirty clothes and knotted blond hair. “Where is Mom?” He points to the small opening. Surely she can’t fit through there, I thought to myself.

I nodded and hugged him tighter. That is the moment I accepted Ambrose as my son. A question crossed my mind. Why have I not done that sooner? My regrets are interrupted by my comrades yelling at me with caution.

“The beast emerges!”

“Take the boy!” I yell at my team, and they obey without hesitation. Luckily, it is only a baby Dragon, likely only 45 years old, one-quarter the size of Tanda. Everyone scatters for safety, leaving me to stand in the clearing alone as it sizes me up.

“I will slay any creature like you that crosses my path until I meet my demise! Show me what you have, little one!” I scream as I plunge my sword into its chest and fire pours out of the wound.

This small monster will surely succumb to its injuries, so I leave him and my weapon behind. The beast and I have a humbling moment as we make eye contact. He looks at me as if to say, “you got me.” I say to him under my breath, “I got you, indeed.”

We light the path with flashlights deep into the tunnels. We hide, for now. Resting at a stream of water falling from above into a small, clear pond, it trickles slowly. A sight for sore eyes. As I wash my face, I am warned about a figure emerging from behind me, from the darkness of the cave. I jump back and peer at the body, sizing it up.

Panic turns to relief when a near-dead Sam falls into my arms. She is still only wearing her undergarments and I quickly cover her with a blanket. The same blanket she covered me with.

“Doctor!?” I yell for my comrade to provide her aid. “Her breath is shallow,” I say as a matter of fact. I try to hide my tears, but they get ahead of me and everyone watches with dismay as a grown, burly military man cries like a hungry infant. My wailing allows Sam to regain conscience ness, and she looks at me as I cradle her face in my bear-paw hands.

The Doctor stabilizes Sam, and she is breathing deeply, still unconscious. When she finally awakens from her slumber after what seemed like days. As the group ventures off, out of the mountain, I ask for everyone to attend a meeting with me. I tell them I am staying behind to slay a Dragon, the one that took my family; Tanda.

Sam just looks at me with a weak, blank gaze and I can tell she doesn’t have the strength to argue. The doctor warns against my certain death and the severity of my injuries from my previous battle with that devil, Tanda, ‘the seer of life and death.’

“Sir, with all due respect, it is a suicide mission. I will follow you to our demise, old friend, but I would rather come here to complete the mission. That is to study behavior and collect samples of tranquilized Dragons.”

I tip my head in acknowledgment and replied with a full report on our plan. “Who says we won’t tranquilize them? Do you have any?” He bows his head, “Sir, no, we will have to explore the crash site to see if any are intact, Sir.”

“Go with the boy. Sam needs to stay here and rest! Sarah, find her some clothing and report back to me and the Doctor. As her nurse, her life is in your hands.” She nods and replies, “Yes, Sir!” and salutes me.

“Mikey, you split the rations between teams. Great job everyone. Looks for supplies and survivors in your travels. No human is left behind.”

My regrets cross my mind as we execute the plan. Sam was right. I should have tried to save the boy. Would I have hesitated and abandoned that boy if he had my blood coursing through him? After all Sam and I went through to have a baby, it finally happen. We were ecstatic for the first year until the clinic called again. There was an accident, and the boy was not mine. My sample went to another couple and their procedure had failed. Sam never forgave me for leaving as I did.

Sam sleeps immediately when placed on the makeshift beds in a clearing down tunnel number one. I can’t help but wonder what is down these man-made tunnels. I turn to the Doctor and ask him to watch over Sam while I explore further.

“Be careful he says. Here, take this.” The old man throws me a large stick of chalk. “To mark your path, son.”

An hour passes before I agree with myself to turn back and return when something ahead catches my eye. A glimmer of something. A feeling rushes through my body as I grow closer to the magnificent light. An orb floating above a shallow pond and its vibration pulsates the water below. It’s a wonder, in its glory; what is it? I reach in to touch it, like a moth to a flame, when I hear an unfamiliar voice.

“Stop, who goes there?!” He screams at me like a teacher to his student. “You mustn’t touch it!” He gives a caution with his tone.

“What is it? What does it do?” I ponder aloud.

“You must go! You are too early!” says the white-haired man.

He looks like a wizard I used to see in fairy tales. A serious demeanor with a wise delivery.

“Not until you tell me what this is,” I demand, and he obeys.

“This is the keeper of souls, my lad. Here is where you go when you die until you are reborn. You mustn’t touch it!” He claims. I am skeptical as he continues. “The Dragons protect this very place. That’s why they have a gorgeous home on the top floor!” He chuckles. As though he knows my feelings and thoughts, he adds, “you don’t believe me, do you, son?” I shake my head to confirm.

“They can manipulate your dreams because they spend their slumber near the mighty grail of Atma; the keeper of souls.” He continues on as though he is aware of my questions before I am.

“We don’t know what will happen if the orb is touched, but for generations, my family has guarded its well-being. If it did not exist, we would perish and no life would return. No baby would be born and we would die off. My family, Jared, is your family. Your Father was coming to relieve me of my duties before he perished by the Dragon’s tongue.”

I look at him wide-eyed, with wonder and dismay as he continues without a beat.

“There is much to be learned, my grandson. I will teach you in our sleep. You must go now and return to Samantha. She will yield you two boys of your own blood and she is your twin flame. You have found one another, again,” He says with excitement. Like a child on Christmas morning.

I start to cry. “But Grandpa, you died when I was a boy! It can’t be.”

“You must go now. I will tell you when the time has come. In your dreams, I will come.” He blows sand into my face. It stings as I fall fast asleep, dropping to my knees then nothingness.

I wake up in my bed, but not just in any bed. The bed I shared with my twin flame, my soulmate; Sam. I look around the room in shock, wondering when this is. Is this a dream? A cruel dream? She comes into the room singing and greets me with a kiss. No dream has ever felt this way. She is real.

I walk out into the living room and realize this was our first Christmas together. Only days before I would selfishly leave them behind. A second chance. Throughout the following years, my grandfather kept his word and visited me in my sleep. Explaining what is expected of me and handing down the knowledge of the past, present and future for many years to come.


About the Creator

Amy Hall

I have written since a little girl. With love for story telling, I was eager to learn how to write, so I could piolet my own adventures! I finally am pursuing as a career but have no idea where to start! Consider subscribing! Enjoy!

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