The Plot Sickens
For a moment, we made eye contact. Wait until the Cobras heard about this- I made eye contact with a dragon. The Shazem was like some ancient god of my childhood, who had been suddenly and violently resurrected and was now angry, and hungry. When I was a child reading stories about powerful knight-slaying creatures, I had hoped dragons had not all died out, and here he was, this figment of my imagination. He was a large dragon, fierce in his untamable nature. I couldn't imagine killing such a regal creature as he, but I suppose if he ate too many people, a death sentence might be justifiable. Still, he was so majestic in his simplicity and aura. He exposed his large pointy teeth to me, still stained from eating meat ( from what, I had no wish to guess, but I didn't want to be next).
"Who do you think you are?" a hostile voice behind me started. I screamed. It was a girly scream, but I think it can be excused, given the circumstances. It was him, old Walker dude. Okay, time to run, I told myself. But, once again, my oatmeal feet were flooding over the floor and refused to be disturbed. For a split second, I thought of unleashing the force behind me, that several ton force that eats meat, regardless of where it's from. Then, I decided against opening the cage. My goal was still to live through this day. The man softened, "He will die soon." I turned around to face him, astounded by the resignation in his voice. "The weather is getting colder, and Fuzzy isn't getting enough food." Whoa, not only does this creature eat people, it has the same name as people! It has my name! And the name doesn't match either of us, I thought, shocked.
What had the old geezer jus t said? The dragon was going to die? Suddenly, I felt a great pain gnawing away at me, and the dragon was still in its cage. The poor creature was going to die, and he's probably the last of his kind to roam the earth. It was like going extinct all over again, and this abrupt realization made me feel sympathetic toward the big blueish green hulk staring at me with its maw wide open. I mean, there was no way I was going to pet this thing to make it feel better, but I would respect him for what he was now, the last of his kind. "Can you save him?" I asked, timidly raising my eyes off the floor.
"I want to have him shipped somewhere warmer, near the equator, preferably a remote island so that he can be alone and hunt animals instead of people," the old Walker said miserably. Why was he telling me this? He seemed as helpless as the dinosaur stuck in the cage, I realized. But then again, he was also in a cage, this horrible house of a cage. I saw that he was pale, a mere skeleton of a man.
"Is he the only one?" I asked, not willing to believe that such a rare creature, once dead, would end its line here, in Shiloh.
There was an immediate reaction of surprise in the old man's face. "Heavens, no! They're all over the place, have you never heard about them, child?" No, I thought. I had heard of attacks happening all over, but I had never thought that they were caused by real living fire-breathing dragons. Maybe this was something the scientists just confirmed and it was being broadcast all over the world as I stood in this ancient house talking to a skeleton and staring cautiously at a dragon. But that was not probable. This scene was something out of a cheap one dollar movie. It wasn't possible. This whole incident was impossible, the dragon, my conversation with a madman who lives in the Walker house, my being here was impossible! It's a dream, I hoped fearfully. A horrible dream, and when I wake up, the dragon will be gone. It will not be staring at me with mouth open and eyes glittering menacingly. But nothing went away and I was forced to realize the fact that old Walker wanted something from me; he needed help. "In this climate zone, Pyro's bound to freeze this winter. I thought last year was bad, but this year, Shiloh's going to be snowed in, if what I hear is right." Wow, this guy must be addicted to the weather channel or something. He's talking about winter in the middle of the most glorious season, summer! What did he say the dragon's name was? Pyro? I didn't want to know how that came about.
The dragon looked at me, head cocked, eyes begging. I swear, if a dragons have a puppy face, he was making it one hundred percent. Right then, I resolved that whatever needed to be done to insure the dragon's safety, whether it be from Shiloh's cops, the weather, or a lack of food, the Cobras would help it on its journey south. "Me and my friends'll help." I had interrupted his rambling about air conditioners and ozone layers, and he looked taken aback by my quick answer. Then, his expression turned grateful, and I was suddenly sure that Man, 'En, and Gon would support this monstrously large cause. Maybe once we got the dragon somewhere safe, this man might come out of his cage, too.
"Thank you, thank you," he groveled. I don't know what he thought a group of twelve and thirteen-year-olds could do, apparently a great deal. I could tell this guy had gone half crazy because of his isolation, and maybe that's what made him so happy.
"What's in the boxes you get?" I asked, trying to fulfill my dare.
"Meat." Meat, my mind repeated. Suddenly, I felt sick. Those enormous packages arrived at least three times a week. How much did this thing eat? Then, I came to a realization that sickened and horrified me.
Phrasing the question carefully, I asked as slowly as I could, "Do you know what happened to Man's parrot and Mrs. Johansen?"
"Where's the bathroom?" I inquired, suddenly very anxious to get out of this house.
"Upstairs, I'll show you. But you will come back, right?" he said hopefully, as if addicted to company. As I followed, I grasped that I had made a vow to help deliver "Pyro" to his new home, whatever that meant. I was bound to this promise and I had to come back.
"Yes," I promised.
I managed to puke in the bathroom thinking of the little chickadee who used to peck at my hair and Mrs. Johansen with her delicious bread and cinnamon rolls. Poor fragile Mrs. Johansen…
What had I just gotten the Cobras into? Thunder crackled ominously in the distance. "Yea, I know they're not going to like this," I muttered.