The Dark Dragon Accounts
The Dark Dragon
By Jamie Burns
My father told me stories of the Dark Dragon my whole life. It was tradition, of course I told them to my Children. My wife Rose and our two girls would curl up under a blanket while I repeated and added to the stories. When the stories got to scary our girls would bury their faces against Rose’s shoulders wait for the moment to pass then join back in the adventure. Those were my favorite memories of my wife.
Rose passed away shortly after giving birth to our son Isaac. For years I thought I would never tell those stories again. The memory of my girls all huddled together under a blanket listening were so perfect it hurt to think about. Until one day when Isaac was 7, he had been sick for several days, and I sat by his bed trying to comfort him. When one of my girls pointed out Isaac had never been told the tales of the Dark Dragon. Both girls agreed that mom would never have stood for that. They made themselves comfortable, Rachel at the foot of the bed and Mary along side Isaac, pulling a blanket over them both. Once again I told the tales of the Dark Dragon. Isaac loved the stories, the girls cared more for the nostalgia of the it, less about the stories themselves, but I suppose that’s part of growing up.
After the second tremor the merchant I worked for let us all go for the day. People were gathering in the square and it was clear no one was getting any more work done that day. I just wanted to get home to my kids. I though the tremors would be small, nothing to get worked up over and maybe we could have a nice family dinner for once.
That hope for a nice night was dashed by the fact that I got home to find no one. They were smart kids, even if they had been out they knew to come home when they felt the tremors. I double checked the rooms but it’s not like our home is big enough to have missed anyone. I paced and with every pace the room felt smaller and smaller. I couldn’t just wait here and hope they were on their way back. I left and headed toward the square.
“Rachel!” I called out when I spotted her.
“Dad!” She ran over and greeted me with a hug. “Do you know what's going on?” she asked.
“I’m sure it’s just earthquakes. But where are your brother and sister?” I tried not to sound irritated, not sure it was working. She looked at the ground.
“I saw Isaac on the path, the one that leads toward the cave.”
“On the cliff side?”
“I was going to go get him dad I swear. But it’s ok because Lucas is getting him.”
“Lucas? Who’s Lucas?”
“Um, he’s a boy I know.”
It was just getting better and better. I decided to handle one problem at a time. Find my kids first, punish them later.
“So where are Isaac and Lucas now?”
“I don’t know they haven’t come back yet.” Rachel bit her bottom lip. Something her mother use to do when she was worried as well.
“And Mary?” I asked
She shrugged her shoulders. “She wasn't with Isaac when I saw him.”
“Ok, come on. We’re sticking together.” I pulled her by the hand out of the crowd and toward the mountain. Then another tremor shook the ground.
Rachel and I were halfway to the mountain when it emerged. Every story my father had told, every story I had told and there it was. The Dark Dragon had come out of it’s cave after over 100 years.
The mountain was still a ways off but it sat like a dark shadow looking down over the village. Even from where we were it was easy to see the torrent of fire that was now pouring from the creature that stood at the cave's mouth. I ran toward the mountain, praying Isaac had l left that cave long before.
When I realized Rachel was running behind me I turned to her. “No, go home. Run home and take cover. If your sister is there don’t let her leave.” I wished I could soothe the frightened look on her face but I was pretty sure I had the same look.
I ran at a sprint toward the mountain, and I heard it. It was a sound I had described many times over while telling the stories but never really heard till that moment. I’ll be the first to tell you that the description in the stories did not do justice to the roar of a Dragon.
It was said in the stories that the Dark Dragon’s roar was like thunder from on high. Now having heard it I would say it was a thunder that enveloped you so completely the thunder might have come from your very own bones. A sound that instantly drained the warmth from your body leaving you cold and frightened.
I ran faster half watching my path half watching the Dragon. The as the light from it’s fire dimmed the black Dragon took the the sky. It seemed to take little to no effort for the massive creature to lift off the ground. The flap of its great wings disturbing the trees and land around it with a powerful flurry of wind. The dragon shot straight into the sky. It made it’s way up out of the shadow of the mountain and what was left of the sun light hit it. I had never imagined it properly. I had been far from it and the Dragon still seemed to massive to comprehend. The Dark Dragon was indeed a black dragon just as the stories said. What the stories never got right was well the color. Yes it was a black dragon, but once the light hit it the black had a incredible undertone that glinted in the sun light. Like when lamp oil is mixed with water. A rainbow effect that mesmerizes any on looker.
I reached the start of the cliffs path and the dragon was still soaring upwards. It must have been terribly high because it was finally starting to look smaller. I thought I could see it turning slightly toward the village. I told myself again one problem at a time, first find your family. The crash of relief came with a crash of Isaac and Mary’s hugs. They had made their way back down the path and seemed to be unscathered.
“Thank God you’re alright!” I said as I looked them over to be certain.
“We’re ok Dad.” Said Marry.
“Ok we need to get back home and get Rachel.” I turn back down the path, but a hand pulled my arm stopping me. I turned to Isaac. “What is it?”
“I...I think there was another boy… in the cave.” He said.
What had Rachel called him? Lucas?
“Ok, I want you to stay right here! Do you understand me? Only move if that Dragon comes back and you need to take cover. You got that?” I instructed Mary.
They both nodded their heads in a compliant yes. I headed up the path, once I was almost to the cave opening I could see over the village and I spotted the Dark Dragon high in the air and it looked like it was flying in high wide circles around the village. I thought for Rachel in our house, I wanted to go to her right away but I hoped it wouldn’t be with bad news about her “Friend”.
Copyright 2016 JAMIE BURNS ALL RIGHTS RESERVED