The Dragon in Hidden Man Wilderness
by Caroline Alderson
The dragon dragged himself over the ground, his shiny scales blending in with the colors surrounding him. He could sense the fear and the ones who were like him, just up ahead. Forging for food, he moved ahead, his heavy tail sweeping back and forth with a thump as it slid over and hit the ground. There they were...
Georgia climbed up on top of the car with the can of beer in her hand. She was drunk and tipsy and she stumbled, almost falling off the car. Laughing in her drunken state, she sloshed her beer, as she tried to right herself. Then she stopped. What was that she was seeing up ahead and to the right? Rubbing her eyes, she thought they were playing tricks on her. Was that scales she saw? Nahhh... Can't be... She took another slug of her beer, and then plopped down on the hood of the car to watch the other party goers around the campfire.
They were dancing and hopping around, listening to loud music, and getting more drunk by the hour. Their hearts tried to tell them to ease off the beer, but their lust for entertainment and following what they wanted, won out. One fell into the other, and then giggled at the both of them falling. When you're drunk, everything seems funny.
The dragon watched the chaos in glee, knowing dinner was about to happen. Blending in more with the trees, he made his approach. Closer.... closer... closer.... Then he heard a scream... Had he already been spotted?? Can't have that. Because then they all would try to run away. Run as well as they could... drunk.
From a top the car the girl saw the dragon coming to the camp. "Hey, you guys. Look!!" No one paid any attention to her. "LOOK!!" She yelled. Pointing right at the dragon, she screamed, "DRAGON!"
Everyone turned to look for the dragon. Not seeing anything, some of them broke into fits of giggles and then said, "You're seeing things again, Georgia. Ther' isn't anything there." Staggering around, they continued to drink.
Georgie saw IT... She tossed down her beer, and climbed down off the car on the other side. She wasn't going to be eaten by no dragon. They didn't have to believe her. She was going home.
"Where you going, Georgie??? Come back and have fun with us!"
"You stay and be eaten by the dragon. Not me! I'm going home." Running off, she left in the opposite direction of where she saw the dragon.
"Dragon!!" The others laughed and continued the festivities, not seeing the evil that was making its way closer and closer to them....
Suddenly, someone screamed, and a loud crunch could be heard. The partygoers stopped drinking. Someone turned off the music. They all looked to see who had screamed. A large tail smashed through the lot of them. Though they didn't see the dragon, they heard the crunching, and they saw that tail. It was blurry, and almost wasn't there at all. One of their friends was dead, and they would be next if they didn't leave. Taking off running, they fell down, and got back up again, trying to stumble away from that thing that was after them.
The next morning, the town of Dragon's Cove was all a buzz with activity. The sheriff was at the crime scene at the campfire of the partygoers from the night before. His deputies were sweeping the place looking for evidence of what had happened to three of their town folk. There had been eight people present when something happened that killed three of them. The Sheriff shook his head in disbelief at what the witnesses were saying.
"Ma'am, let me get this straight... You saw a "dragon"... With scales that weren't quite there? Is that right, ma'am?"
"That's right, Sheriff. I'm telling you the truth! I wouldn't make something like this up. I saw it coming. It was BIG! I tried to warn everyone, but they just laughed at me." Her eyes were puffy from crying. She had lost one of her friends last night.
"Georgie... you were drunk. You were seeing things. A big partly invisible dragon?? Come on! You don't expect me to believe this!?" Shaking his head, he moved on to the others witnesses.
"Alright, tell me what you saw."
"It was big! The large shiny tail with scales, it came in and knocked me down!"
Sheriff Renner stood with his hands on his hips, not believing this morning. 'Did we all wake up in the Twilight Zone, or something? What is going on with these people?' He thought to himself.
"It's true, Sheriff! I saw it too. And this horrible crunching, as the thing ate poor Rodney." Mary Lou had a hanky and was blowing her nose. Her head was killing her from the hangover she had.
Pointing the side of his hand at them, Sheriff Renner said, "You people were falling down drunk last night. Witnesses saw you all stumbling through town drunk. You were all seeing things! Now tell me what really happened to these people. Who killed them? Was it a bear? What?!" He was getting mightily frustrated with the yarns they were all coming up with.
"We're telling the truth, Sheriff! It was a dragon! An invisible dragon!"
"Yeah, that's what it was, Sheriff!" Another one said.
Sighing, the Sheriff knew he wasn't going to get anywhere with this group. He and his deputies would just have to find evidence of what happened last night. There either was a killer loose in his town, or a bear. What else could it be?
One if Rennerís deputies walked over to him. Renner moved away so he could talk to her. "Find anything?"
"Lot's of blood, Sheriff. There are huge bite marks on the victims. And... there are limbs missing on two of them. One was carried off, but not before one of his arms were tore off and tossed to the side. I would say we have a large possibly rabid animal doing this, Sheriff."
"But... not a dragon..." Renner said, incredulously.
"There are no such things as dragons, Sheriff, so I would say no... But, something big did grab these people. Maybe we have a rogue grizzly." The deputy countered.
"We haven't had any grizzlies seen this close to camps in years, though. All of this is very strange. I need to call in a large animal expert and find out what did this, and have it caught and killed." Sheriff Renner walked back to his car to use his radio.
Grizzly Bear Expert
Jeremy Albright, a Wildlife Biologist, working mainly with bears, had come back from a jaunt in Africa. He was looking for some off time at a wilderness coastal cabin. Taking the packed bag to the jeep, he tossed it in. It had been some time since he had had a vacation. Running his fingers through his flowing black hair, with slight silver streaks running throughout, he walked back into the house. He'd rented a cabin in Dragon's Cove. The cabin was snuggled in a coastal wilderness area, rich in wildlife, and over a hundred miles from the nearest main road. Dragon Cove's small wilderness town is three miles away. What roads they have are bumpy and narrow, and require a four-wheel drive to access it. Dragon's Cove only has supplies flown in once a month.
Finished with packing, he grabbed his cell phone and hopped into his jeep. He had his jeep filled up, and carried a tank of gas in the back for backup.
Entering the wilderness, he began the long journey away from civilization to Dragon's Cove. He would be gone for a month on this vacation. It was his intention while there to study the rich wildlife the area held. He had his digital camera and all the equipment he needed to document anything he found interesting. He also brought his mp3 player to listen to preaching while he traveled. It would be a long journey and being full of the word of God would not only pass the time, but help him to be alert and clear headed when the time came.
After hours of traveling over rough terrain, he finally arrived at his cabin. He found the key to the place in a flowerpot he had been instructed to look.
The phone rang at the Wildlife Reserve in Alaska. Harry picked up the phone. "Yeah?"
"Hello? I'm Sheriff Myles Renner. I am looking for a wildlife biologist, a grizzly bear expert. We've had a mauling, and I need someone to come check it out."
"A mauling, you say? Grizzlies donít usually bother people... Why do you think it's a grizzly?" Harry questioned the sheriff.
"Because something large, looks like almost a thousand lbs, mauled three people and hauled one of them off, leaving only his arm behind." Renner was in a hurry... he did not have time for all this man's questions.
"Euww. That sounds scary. That doesn't mean it was a grizzly," Harry argued.
"Well, what else could it have been?? What else is that big? Huh?"
"I don't know... but..."
"Look, do you have a bear expert I can talk to...?" Renner was losing his patience.
"We do... but he's on vacation, off to some wilderness or somewhere."
"Don't you have anyone else? This is a life and death situation, mister!"
"I'm sorry. I don't know who else to recommend. Albright is the best we've got."
Renner blew air out his mouth. He needed help, and now!
"Where are you located, Sheriff Renner?"
"Dragon's Cove in the Hidden Man Coastal Wilderness."
"Woah, that's a long way from any main road. We would have to helicopter someone inÖ that is if I can find you someone. Why not use one of your own local wildlife biologists? You should have several for that area."
"I don't want to use a local... I have my reasons. Where is this Albright fellow vacationing?" Sheriff Renner was determined to get someone out here before anyone else was mauled beyond recognition.
"Let me look."
"It says here he's in Hidden Man Coastal Wilderness."
"He is?? Well, that is great! Where exactly??" Renner was overjoyed to find the biologist was in the area.
"It doesn't say exactly. Some cabin in the wilderness. It says he doesn't want to be disturbed unless somebody important died..."
"Anyone important die?"
"Only if drunk young adults count... But, I need this grizzly caught before someone else gets killed!"
"I'm sorry... I can't contact him for you."
"Great... thanks for your help." Sheriff Renner hung up the phone. Now, what was he going to do? He did not want to use a local. He did not trust them. Something strange was going on, and he needed an outsider to help him sort it out.
was nestled in Hidden Man Wilderness, three miles from the little village of Dragon's Cove. Instructors and cadets alike had to be flown in by helicopter since it was over a hundred miles from any main road. Fresh crews of first year cadets were arriving and had disembarked from four helicopters.
"Are you believing this place??" Ariana Knightly asked, as she hefted her duffel bag over her shoulder and walked along with Selena Jerabek to the academy. She had presently met Selena on the ride in the helicopter on the way over. It had been a long flight, but an extremely scenic one. They had seen waterfalls, loads of trees, gorgeous plants, wildlife of all kinds, and cabins scattered here and there. There were streams, and a lake as well.
"It's a beautiful place, Ariana," Selena declared. Selena was six-teen and full of life and mischief. She glanced at the black haired girl next to her, who was seven-teen years old. The year was 2106, in the beginning of the summer.
They with the other cadets walked up the steps into the lobby of the Academy.
Once inside, the girls looked to see where to go. There were signs and tables set up for each major. Ariana and Selena saw the sign that said Pilot Cadets and walked over to that table. Selena grinned at Ariana. Ariana grinned back.
A Lieutenant was standing behind the table. "Pilot Cadets?"
Handing the group their schedules, the lieutenant said, "I'm Lieutenant Jake Montgomery. I am your flight instructor for your time as a cadet. I expect you to follow exactly everything that I say while you are in my pilot training. This is your daily course schedule, and your dorm rooms."
Turning toward the stairs, Selena looked up. "We're on the six floor. Where is the turbo lift in this place?? They expect us to climb six flights of stairs carrying all this??"
"I guess..." Ariana did not want to think about it, and began the climb up.
As they climbed, they noticed a turbo life, and stopped in front of it.
"What's it say?" Selena read the sign on the lift.
First Year Cadets will not be given a pass for the turbo lifts for the first seven days.
Selena gasped. "What?? Now, that's just wrong... We have to climb stairs all over the academy for a week, while the upper class folks get to take the turbo lift!? That's torture!"
Ariana laughed. "It must be how they greet new cadets. I'm sure we'll survive, Selena."
"Maybe you will. Me. I should get to fly up them stairs!" Then Selena giggled thinking about that one.
"It would take a mighty small hovercraft to fly in here." Ariana huffed and panted as they made it up to the 6th floor.
Selena laughed. "Let's see... Room 314.... 311... there it is! 314! We have arrived!"
Late that night...
The dragon shuffled around outside Garden of Eden Academy, sniffing the air for any cadets who were like him.... The air tasted good with their scent. Soon... one would come outside, ignoring the curfew.... and then he would see if he was one of his.
Fighter Pilot Class
The next day, Ariana and Selena walked into the fighter pilots hanger bay. The third year fighter pilot cadets looked to see who was coming in. They began whispering amongst themselves. "Hey aren't those first year cadets? What are they doing in a third year class??"
Ignoring the looks and whisperings of the third year cadets, the girls took their seats.
Lieutenant Jake Montgomery standing at the front of the class, placed his hands on the podium and said, "Cadet's Ariana Knightly, and Selena Jerabek, who have come into our class, have had two years fighter pilot training prior to coming to this academy. They have been tested, and passed with scores that match third year cadets. So, although they are ranked first year cadets; in pilot school they will be studying third year training. Do any third year cadets here have a issue with that?"
Mumblings were heard in the class. "No Sir... no problems here."
"Good..." Lieutenant Montgomery said with satisfaction. As Jake was about to continue, a security officer came up to the front and whispered to him.
As the security officer was leaving, Lieutenant Montgomery said to the class of student pilots, "I have been called to an urgent security meeting. Your assignment today is to study offense and defense maneuvers in the simulators. Grey, I want you to show Cadet's Ariana and Selena the simulators and get them started."
"Yes Sir," The female third year Cadet said.
"If I don't return before your training for the day is over, your squad leader will dismiss the class." Jake took his leave to go see what was going on.
Walking into the academy meeting room, Jake saw Sheriff Myles Renner, Commander Sebastian Winthrop-Commandant of the Academy, the head of the security department, and all the other instructors of Garden of Eden AgapeFleet Academy. Jake couldn't imagine what was so urgent that they were all called here. Taking a seat at the long table, he waited to see what was up.
At the head of table, the Sheriff spoke. "We've had a wild animal attack right outside Dragon's Cove. Three people were mutilated; one of them was carried off. I've contacted Fish and Wildlife, and I should be getting someone soon out here to help find out what happened, and to capture the animal. I suspect it was a large bear, possibly a grizzly."
Murmurs went through the crowd.
"For your cadet's safety as well as everyone else, I believe a curfew should be erected to keep any others from being attacked. Attacks will more likely occur at night. Commandant Winthrop has agreed."
Commandant Winthrop nodded his head, and said, "Until this bear is caught, I am setting the curfew at sundown. All cadets will have to observe this curfew, for their own safety. I suggest the instructors observe it as well, but that I can't enforce."
All the instructors agreed the cadets should be inside by sundown, and said they would strictly enforce the curfew.
The meeting ended, and everyone dispersed back to their classes.
Copyright 2006 (c) NoFearHereMinistries by Caroline Alderson