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.





The Dragon Hunter Part 2

Dragon, Statue, Sculpture, China, Asian, Culture


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.



Key Discovery

Photo by NEOSiAM 2020 on

“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”




Photo Challenge #320





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.


Photo Challenge #318

Keep’n Watch


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)




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.




Crimson’s Creative Challenge #73




Phillip Wyant 2020 Nebulosity

The initial excitement at the discovery of new nebulae quickly became more subdued at NASA as more data flowed in.  For now, officials were not going to interfere with the media’s coverage of what might be a “new star” being born, in cosmological terms – “next door” to us.

What was not being said, and in fact what was classified as TOP SECRET was that the energy signatures within these clouds suggested that they were in some way portals to a more distant point within the galaxy.   There had been periodic blips in the readings which were becoming more frequent.

Similar analysis in Moscow and Beijing had the key world leaders “on speed dial” as it seemed only a matter of time before gateways would permanently open.  Only then would we know if we could expect a visitation.

(143 words)


Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: 2020: Week #10


Number Six


Google images

It was another drizzly grey morning in London.  To make matters worse Detective Inspector Manning was still suffering the effects of a hangover.

As he approached the police tape which cordoned off the alleyway, he was met by his sergeant, Tina Long.

“What do we have, Long?” he asked as she lifted the tape for him.

“It’s a female, and it’s the same m.o., her arms have been removed at the shoulders.  Morning shift at the cafe found her in the skip.”

“Have the techies found anything?”

“Not yet, Sir. They’re just getting started,” Sergeant Long replied.

Manning looked-on as the forensic team in their protective suits investigated the alley.  If this was the same perpetrator that would make six.  This was the first victim to be found south of the river, however, and he was hoping he didn’t have a copycat on his hands.

All of the victims were nearly identical.  They were tall – at just about six feet in height, and the first five all measured 34- 24- 34.  This perp definitely had a type.

“Inspector Manning,” one of the Forensics Squad called.

Manning made his way to the masked investigator.

“It’s just like the others,” the technician reported.  “Both arms and the cranial micro chips have been removed.”

“Damn,” said the DI.

He longed for the days when being on the cyber crime squad meant dealing with computer fraud.  Nothing had prepared him for some sicko murdering Androids.




Photo Challenge #305

Picture Perfect

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Phillip Wyant 2020 Mabry Mill

Henry stood beside the mill pond and pondered looking-glass reflections.  This was utter and absolute tranquility.  The deep red hues of early autumn leaves lit the still water with their radiance.  A kaleidoscope of colour suddenly formed as the reds and greens were mixed by the leap of a fish.  As the waters settled, Henry froze at the reflection of the knife-man behind him.




Weekend Writing Prompt #142 – Looking-glass in 64 words



Neighbourhood Watch

Binoculars, Researchers, Young People

Image by Frank Wittkowski from Pixabay

Danny Walsh leveled the binoculars that he had gotten for his twelfth birthday.  It was certainly the same nefarious looking couple that he had seen over the past several days.  Today, however they were in a silver coloured sedan , and not in the blue SUV he had noticed them in since Monday.

Danny had first grown suspicious of them when they arrived the preceding Saturday and parked, but didn’t get out.  Unfamiliar cars were a rarity in his quiet suburban street, so the men caught his attention.  What made it even more intriguing was that they had parked as he came in from scouts at about nine p.m. and they were still there in the same place when he went to walk his dog, Groot the next morning.

When they returned the next evening, he decided that the watchers needed watching.  He soon worked out that the ne’er-do-well’s were casing that nice Mister Benedetti’s house.

Danny became more vigilant as they shady pair made further arrivals, and Danny began to take notes on their comings and goings.  He hoped to get enough evidence of their foul motives that he could turn them over to the police.  His only problem was that the school holidays were going to be over soon.  It was because of the time restriction that he decided to act.

He lowered his binoculars and placed them in his rucksack.  He then slowly approached the car from behind.  As he came alongside the rear bumper of the vehicle he stooped down as if to tie his shoe.  He then proceeded to take an air horn from his pack and blasted it until it ran out of pressure.  The entire neighbourhood looked out of windows and doors to see what the commotion was about.  FBI agents Taylor and Kolinsky, not knowing what else to do – their cover being blown (literally as well as figuratively) drove off never to return.


Daily Writing Prompt #23: Amateur Sleuth