The Dragon Hunter Part 4

Dragon, Zodiac, Chinese, Culture, East, China, Oriental

Pixabay

As Wilfred entered the flickering glow, he discovered that the passage was lined with an assortment of high quality, state of the art armour.  There was no coherent pattern as far as he could detect.  There seemed to be Nordlanic, Ralulee, and Kingdom styles, yet each bore the rearing dragon sigel of Hanon.  As he slowly passed these, there was an  occasional roar, as if a great burst of breath was being released.  These bursts echoed through the cavern.  Each of them was accompanied by a momentary increase in the brightness of the passage.  At the last of these, he noted a bunk wedged in among the racks of armour and weapons.  On the bunk rested the other sentry, a blindfold of sorts shielding his eyes from the periodic flashes of scarlet light, as he slumbered.

Wilfred wasted no time, but quickly repeated the procedure whereby he had captured the other guard.  The man thus incapacitated, Wilfred rounded a bend in the tunnel towards the sound of the incessant metallic pounding.

What he discovered was a group of Dwarves working a huge set of bellows and working anvils on which they were affixing dragon crests to armour, or replicating weapons in the styles of those Wilfred had seen in racks.

“Who are you, Boy?” one burly Dwarf snapped, “and where are the guards?”

“Guards?” Wilfred repeated.  It was only then that he noticed that the Dwarves were shackled.  “I – I um – tied them up.”

“Well then what are you wait’n for?” the lead Dwarf challenged.  “Come and unlock us.”

“But, I don’t have a key,” Wilfred replied.  “Why don’t you just use your tools to break out?”

“Why don’t you just use your tools?” the Dwarf mocked.  “Why didn’t we think a-that? Becuz the chains is bleed’n magic ain’t they?” the Dwarf spat.  “Why don’t you go and fetch the bloody key?” the Dwarf said coldly.

Wilfred hurried back to the bunk, and there on a hook was a key with mysterious runes on it.  He went back to the Dwarves, and held it up.

“Yes -yes.  That’s it,” the lead Dwarf said, “So get on with it.”

“First, tell me where the dragon is,” Wilfred insisted.

“There ain’t no bleed’n dragon, you dunce,” the Dwarf responded.  “It’s all a ruze. A ploy.  Them Hannies made up the bloom’n dragon caper so they could steal the armour and weapons to equip their army.  This place ain’t got no iron to speak of, and no good smitties that’s for certain. So they lure heroes ‘ere and ambush ’em.  That’s how they got me and the lads as well.  But they kept us alive to do their dirty work.  The rest they strip, then toss in the furnace – just long enough to char them – mind.  Then they take the bodies back to the border to build up their dragon yarn.  Now, about the bloom’n key.”

“I will let you go, but I need you to do something for me first,” Wilfred said.

“And what might that be?” the lead Dwarf asked with a huff.

“I want you to make me a dragon’s head.”

 

Padre

 

Rewriting History

CCC #88

It had long been believed that the extinction of the dinosaurs had been the direct result of a meteor strike in the Caribbean.  Though no one at NASA or NOAA had ever acknowledged the fact, a deep ocean scan in the 1960s had discovered that rather than a large meteor, the object that struck was in fact a large spacecraft which hit at a much lower velocity that originally believed.  This craft had been examined by a joint American and French team with recovery operations led by Jacque Cousteau.  Much had been learned, but the cause of the crash had never been adequately explained until an amateur photographer in the English county of Norfolk happened onto a huge nut, of an unidentified alloy, along the coastline.  The mystery had been solved.  Official explanations for her discovery, however, have been covered up under the Official Secrets Act, and buried within a series of photo-prompted sketches on a popular blogging site.

 

 

CCC #88

 

Padre

Daylight

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Tatyana-Sanina at DeviantArt.com

Miranda awoke in a dark corner of the subway passage.  She knew she had drank too much last night, but that wasn’t unusual for a Friday night.  But she had never not managed to get home before, or at least to her friend Caren’s.

Okay, what could she remember?  Caren went off with that stock-broker type.  And then – and then there was the hot guy with the wavy hair.  Bryan – no Ryan, that was it.  They drank, and danced, and then drank.  Wait, he got that third round from the bar by himself.  Had he drugged her? she wondered.  She instinctively reached down to check her panties. Well that was a relief.  Her neck was a bit sore though.  Was he that juvenile to give her a hickey love bite? Anyway, she would look at it in the mirror when she got home.

As she headed to the stairway, she had a instinctive terror.  She stopped unable to step any closed to the sunlight streaming down the stairs.  What was going on?  Why did she “know” she couldn’t step into the light?

Padre

 

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #73

Battle Of Words

Rap-battle movie surprisingly self-aware - Winnipeg Free Press

image: Wikipedia

I have recently come across a YouTube channel called Epic Rap Battles of History.  I love the use of verbal play and cadence, and how it is employed to teach history and literature on this site.  I cannot personally rap for beans, but I do like the form.  Please check out the links below the poem, there is a lot to explore for those of you unfamiliar with it.

I’m no battler. I lack the flow.

I can’t drop bars; cuz I’m much to slow.

A sonnet or cinquain, their my thing

But I can’t rap – for anything

And it’s like Weird Al, cuz I’m White and nerdy

I am nonetheless a fan of all things wordy

No, it’s more like – a personal thing

Just look at Yahzick, that “nerd” can sing

 

Padre

 

Epic Rap Battle – Literature:

 

Epic Rap Battle – History (A bit rude):

 

Epic Rap Battle – Philosophy  (Warning contains a lot of swearing):

 

Weird Al:

 

Yahzick:

The Dragon Hunter Part 3

White Dragon Statue

Photo by Suraphat Nuea-on from Pexels

Wilfred led the donkey back over the crest of the hill and tethered it.   He then placed the feed bag in place to keep the beast quiet.  This accomplished, he crept back to his vantage point to observe what would unfold before him.

After about an hour, the officer who had met him at the border came out from the cave.  A subordinate greeted him with a salute, and a brief verbal exchange ended with the junior man giving a shrug.  The commander then gave an order and all but two of the would-be ambushers assembled in marching formation on the road and headed back to the frontier, with the officer following them on a white stallion which was fetched from the cave.

As the sun began to set the two remaining soldiers began to relax.  One loosened the chin strap of his helmet, and then settled down on the right hand side of the cave entrance, while his comrade a portly older fellow removed his helmet and went into the cave, loosening his breast plate as he went.

There was not much more moonlight than there had been the night before, but a steady reddish glow came from the cavern.  The wind had changed as well, and Wilfred caught the distinct scent of charcoal on the breeze, and snippets of the sound of rhythmic hammering.

About midnight, the chubby man returned to the cave mouth carrying his spear, but devoid of armour.  The other man removed his own helmet, and entered the red glow of the space within.

Within a half an hour the portly sentinel had fallen asleep, and his rumbling snores punctuated the night.  Though sleepy himself, Wilfred was determined not to pass up this opportunity to investigate the strange happenings at the cavern.

He crept silently towards the mouth of the cave.  Reaching the sleeping guard, Wilfred slipped behind him and covered the man’s mouth before he could react.  The man awoke with a start, but was immediately aware of Wilfred’s dagger that was held to his throat by Wilfred’s other hand.

Wilfred gagged the man and bound him with some cords he had in his pouch, and then threw the man’s spear as deeply into the dark woods as he could.

Although Wilfred was uncertain that the man could understand him, he nonetheless whispered, “My comrade in the woods will be watching you.  Don’t try anything stupid.” To Wilfred’s surprise, the terrified guard nodded his comprehension.

The rusty page then turned and stared into the flickering red unknown.

 

Padre

 

 

The Dragon Hunter Part 2

Dragon, Statue, Sculpture, China, Asian, Culture

Pixabay

Wilfred was no knight in shining armour.  He was in fact a slightly rusty page, but he was also astute. No not mustelid, but a clever and intuitive observer of the things around him.

When the young Wilfred arrived at the border on donkey-back, he was greeted by several raised eyebrows from the Hanonian guards.

“And what exactly are you after?” a overly self-important officer challenged.

“I have come to take care of your lizard problem,” Wilfred announced.

The officer turned and translated the comment, and it was greeted with a chorus of dismissive laughter.

“Very well,” the border official said.  He then directed Wilfred to make his mark in the log book.  Wilfred was then handed a map, and a sheet of paper with a set of directions written in Kingdom-tongue, Ralulee, and Nordlandish.

“And where will I go to collect my reward?” Wilfred asked.

The officer sneered and then said, “Why of course.  An oversight I assure you.”  The official then handed Wilfred another set of directions.

With the formalities accomplished, the rusty page turned his donkey towards the indicated destination.

What struck Wilfred as odd was that the road he was instructed to follow seemed very well travelled, with a marauding dragon at large and all.  But he followed the directions until nightfall and made camp a little way off the road in a pine glade.  He had expended his meagre supply of tinder on the long journey to Hanon.  After several failed attempts to start a fire, he wrapped himself in his cloak and fell asleep.

He was awakened in the small hours by what sounded like a large band of men travelling the road below him, but it being a moonless night he dismissed it as a dream and fell back into a deep slumber.

The next morning, he inadvertently took out the wrong map and began to try to find his way to the dragon’s grotto.  In so doing he became desperately lost.  It was several hours later that he noticed fresh signs of human activity in the wood.  As he crested a small rise, he saw the road that he had lost track of, and a huge cave with smoke emanating from it.  But what caught his attention most of all was the party of two dozen Hanonian soldiers lying in ambush with their eyes focused on the road.

Padre

 

Key Discovery

Photo by NEOSiAM 2020 on Pexels.com

“According to the Research guys, it’s something called a kizit tape, some sort of ancient data retrieval system.”

“And those markings?” the Director asked.

“Old Earth, type J they think, but it could be C2.  Research say, there isn’t enough of it to tell for sure.”

“Do the know how the access the data?”

“No, they have a theory, but don’t know for sure.  There is a magnetic residue on that spooled film, but Research isn’t certain if it purposely there, or if its just environmental contamination.”

Just then a sterile-suited crew member approached.

“Excuse me Director; Sub-Director.  We found one,” the Research technician said.  The crew member then produced a battered hot pink device from a museum pod.

“Excellent, this might be the breakthrough we’ve needed to unlock the secrets of Old Earth culture,” the Sub-Director said.

Taking the device, the Sub-Director, scanned it and then asked, “What do we do with it?”

The technician set the Sony cassette played on a console and pressed a button, and a small panel popped open.  Then taking the “Kizit” from the Director, they placed it into the opening, and then pushed it shut.

“Press on this button when you are ready,” the technician said to the Sub-Director, and then stepped back.

“Well, here it goes,” the Sub-Director announced, pressing the indicated button.

The stillness of the briefing room was shaken by “No future, No future, No future,” from a pirated copy of The Sex Pistol’s God Save The Queen.

“Sorry Director,” the Sub-Director said mournfully.  “It seems to be just environmental contamination after all”

 

Padre

 

Photo Challenge #320

 

 

Hollander

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Mind Core

Jon Hollander lit the oil lamp and stood with his back to the window.  The electricity supply had become erratic a month or so ago, and failed completely three, no make that four days ago.

It had all happened so swiftly.  There was the “incident,” then came the “keep calm” announcements, followed by the run on the banks.  People began to empty grocery shelves, and the mass exodus of the cities began, leading to overcrowded camps in the countryside, and shortages for those who couldn’t flee.

Now Hollander found himself holed up in a tenement block on the north side of the city.  Twenty-three years being an enforcer for the “family” gave him a certain skill set which had helped him so far, but finding fresh water and sufficient food was not among his talents.  He had always seen himself as “honorable” in that he never harmed anyone who had not been contracted, but things were bleaker now.  He might, just might, have to use his talents to prey on the weak.  Well, if the the “situation” didn’t get him first.

Bloody hell, he thought to himself. Who woulda ever thought that Zombies were an actual thing?

Hollander shoved the heavy couch in front of the door and cocked his Glock and laid it across his chest.  Then leveling a shotgun across his lap towards the door, he opened a tin of baked beans and began to eat.

Padre

Photo Challenge #318

Keep’n Watch

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January MorgueFIle a2fcb55ca5db1109b34c023e488b84fc

The sun had set right near a quarter of a candle ago.  Zach, knew it was late, but as far as clock-time, that had been abandoned ’bout a month ago when the the watch Pa had give ’em had done packed in.

Zachariah Greene went and fixed himself another cup of coffee, and wandered the cabin as quietly as he could as not to wake his brother, Obad or Obad’s wife, Persistence, who were asleep in the loft above.

Won’t be long now, Zach reassured himself.  Just another half inch of candle and he could rouse Obadiah and get some sleep himself.  Till then he would keep the rifle close to hand and keep watch .

All of this seemed unreal to him.  He had thought it a grand idea to take up the invite to join his brother to settle in Washington Territory.  Rich timber to fell, and a life doing something other than workin’ in Pa’s dry goods and sundries.

That was all before the mules was spooked in the night, ’bout a week back.  In the morning they had found a fence knocked over, and worst of all was those twenty inch footprints.   Unreal indeed.

(196 words)

Padre

FLASH FICTION FOR THE PURPOSEFUL PRACTITIONER: 2020: WEEK #15

Emergence

CCC #73

It was all over the media.  After, well who knows for sure, the long period of quarantine was over and people could at last emerge from their homes.  Damion hesitantly opened his door to view his neighbourhood.  It was fresh and green, but the “new world” of the post-crisis wasn’t exactly what he had expected.

He now stood on his front porch and mused.  Getting things back to normal just might take a little longer than I thought.

 

Padre

 

Crimson’s Creative Challenge #73