Dragon in Hidden Man Wilderness
By Caroline Alderson
The Dragon and the Anointing
Tanix Kashington lived out in the wilderness hiding out from the law. He was a pirate by trade. Why work when you can take what you want, was his motto. Strange things often occurred in Hidden Man Coastal Wilderness, but nothing much scared Tanix. He was more afraid of the two-footed kind that carried law enforcement weapons, and threatened to take his way of living from him. That to him would be the worse crime. He had heard about the curfew. He had seen a lot of strange things, but grizzlies eating campers and carrying them off? Not likely. He wasn't worried. He had his weapons arsenal. He would be prepared if some ugly ole grizzly tried to sneak up on ole Tanix. He pulled his blond hair into a ponytail, and then stoked the fire. There would be some good cooking tonight. He had a steak he had "borrowed" from one of the cabins. Someone had just left it on the barbecue just waiting to be taken. Yep, there would be some good eatin tonight, Tanix thought to himself.
Unknown to Tanix was something across the way watching him. Its long thick tail was pulled softly behind it as it paced back and forth studying his prey to see if he could take him. It's scales glistened in the soft moonlight. Camouflaged it was by the night and the greenery around it. The dragon could almost cloak itself with whatever colors and darkness there were. Darkness was it's favorite thing to cloak with. Most people even in the darkness still could not see him when he was right in front of them. He enjoyed giving them glimpses of himself; it made him feel good having so much control over these man creatures. This one had darkness surrounding him. He was one of "his". As long as he did not cry out to God for help, he would have a nice dinner. Then he would chew on his bones after. Ummmm ummm good.
It wouldn't be long now...
Hearing something in the dark, Tanix, startled, grabbed his rifle. Pointing it at the darkness, he said, "Who's there??"
"Don't make me shoot you! Identify yourself!" Tanix was getting nervous but he kept it under control, keeping his finger on the trigger in case something leaped out at him from the dark. Where was the moon tonight? He did not dare look up at the sky.
"I'm Jeremy Albright. I saw your camp fire." A man came out of the shadows carrying a phasor rifle. "I see you "found" my steak."
"What steak?" Tanix began.
"The one you're cooking," The man countered.
"I found that!"
"Yeah, on my grill!"
"It was sitting there all by itself, with not a person in sight."
It was then something blocked the large oak tree nearby. Turning, Jeremy pointed his phasor rifle, straining his eyes to see what was blocking the moonlight from the tree. "What is that??" He asked softly so as not to alarm whatever it was.
"It's not a grizzly, that's for sure...." Tanix said slowly.
"Grizzly? That's no grizzly. But, what it is, I don't know, yet," Jeremy said, thoughtfully.
"Yet?? I'm getting out of here before whatever it is shows itself!” Tanix looked down at the steak, and thought, forget it, and began to turn to run.
Jeremy felt, more than saw, a darkish green scaly, large tail sweep the fleeing man off his feet. Then he saw IT. It was a large camouflaged dragon. But, that's not possible, his quick mind told him! There's no such thing! He did not have time to sort through his thoughts that was trying to reason if that thing existed or not. He had to stop it from grabbing the steak thief.
Tanix screamed as the tail swept him off his feet.
Jeremy ran between the downed man and the dragon. Looking up at it, Jeremy pointed his finger at the thing and said, "God has given me all authority over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means harm me!"
The dragon repelled by those words, stopped going after Tanix. Hesitating, he seemed to be pondering on what to do... and then the dragon flapped it's wings and flew up into the air. The tops of the trees were momentarily blocked by his camouflage, and then the trees could be seen again, as it disappeared into the sky, deciding to return at a more opportune time.
Inside the Cavern
The dragon almost had his prey, and then that "light" came after him. Who was he?? A light surrounded him all the way around the outside of him to his core, on the inside of him. The light from that man pierced him through and through. He had to get away. He couldn't stand that light emanating from that man. The dragon shuddered remembering, and landed at the back entrance to his cavern near the ocean. Slithering inside, he settled down for a while to think on his next move.
Laying down on the bones that lay all around the cavern, the Dragon thought about things. He needed to focus his attention on the ones filled with wrong thinking, the ones he knew didn't have that Light in them. He could always sense them; they were filled with selfishness, and wonderful worry and depression. And there was usually some kind of sickness going on the inside of their bodies. Those were the ones he was drawn to.
He sent his imp dragons to scout out the ones he was interested in. The imps would whisper thoughts in his prey's ears, but let them think the thoughts were all their own thoughts and ideas. He didn't want them thinking they came from some other force. The dragon couldn't have them believing there was anything other than themselves. They might find out they can fight back. I can't have that, he thought.
Now, for a nice rest, the dragon thought. Laying his large head down over his paws, he fell asleep. Snoring could be heard, if there were anyone around.
Hiking up Midnight Pass
Saturday morning bright and early, found Ariana Knightly and Selena Jerabek gathering hiking gear for mountain climbing, for the day. They wanted to camp out for the night, but with the bear scare causing a curfew to be set, so that was out of the question they had been told by the Academy.
Ariana stuffed rope, a small axe, her dagger, a flashlight and batteries-in case they found a cave to explore, and other amenities into her backpack.
Selena pulled on her hiking boots, getting ready for a day of adventure.
"Don't forget your GPS Receiver, Selena."
"Oh yeah!" Selena put her watch on with the Global Positioning System. "Don't want to get lost."
"Our watches also have a scanner for detecting all life forms. I programmed mine high on detecting bears. If we know there is a bear in the area, we can go around it. I do not want to come against some man eating, tearing limbs off bear!" Ariana sat down on her twin bed to get her hiking boots on.
"Good idea. I'd like to make it back alive." Selena wasn't too worried about bears. Who’s afraid of a big bad bear, she thought to herself with a little giggle.
Jumping up, Ariana said, "Ready?"
"Let's get going before some instructor decides they want us to have extra credit on their class time."
Selena headed to the door and toward the stairs. "Thankfully, this will be the only weekend we have to climb stairs going and coming. Come Monday, we get to use the turbo-lift just like everyone else."
"I'll be glad of that," Ariana agreed.
Three hours later, the girls were hiking up Midnight Pass Mountain. Climbing over a large boulder, Ariana then stopped for a drink from her oblong canteen. Gazing around, she took in the scenery around her. Green trees, hills, and plants of all kind met her dark brown eyes. A lazy trail of steam could be seen coming out of the mountain they were on near the top. "What is that?" Ariana asked.
"What?" Shielding her eyes with her hand, Selena glance up to see what Ariana had seen.
Pointing at the steam, Ariana said, "That! Let's go check it out."
Finally, Selena's eyes settled on the trail of steam Ariana saw. "I don't know what that is. Sure, we can go climb over there and see."
Slowly, they made their way around the mountain until they came to a mouth of a cave. There the girls saw a hole in a stack of rocks. On her hands and knees, Ariana looked inside. "I can't see anything. I need my flashlight." Taking her backpack off, she opened it and grasped her flashlight pulling it out. Shining it around, she stared inside. "It's hard to see in there." Waving the light back and forth, she watched for the steam. "There it is! It's coming from down there somewhere. See if there is a way to climb in." Sitting back on her heels, Ariana picked up the backpack, slipping it back over her shoulders onto her back.
The girls searched all over for an opening.
"Maybe there is one on the other side toward the beach area."
"Could be." Ariana said.
Running around the other way, they climbed down, and around trying to find an opening to get into the cave.
"I found it, Ariana!" Selena ran to the entrance, waiting for Ariana. The cave was almost unnoticed. There were plants all around, and the entrance was dark and could barely be seen. If Selena hadn't come so close to it she might not have seen it at all.
"It is dark back there," Ariana said, turning on her flashlight. "Let's explore and see what's in here."
Walking towards the back, the girls heard an odd sound.
"Did you hear that?" Selena stood still to listen.
Shining her flashlight, Ariana strained her eyes to see what could be up ahead.
"There it is again. What is that sound?"
"I don't know", Ariana said, "It sounds like snoring. But, it can't be that!"
Unknown Species in Cave
The girls locked eyes with one another. Tiptoeing toward the sound, with her flashlight gripped tightly in her hand, Ariana quietly rounded the bend intent on discovering the sound. Taking her scanner off her belt with the other hand, she watched to see if any bears were detected in the area. It showed no bears in the area. "That's strange," Ariana whispered to Selena, as she stopped to examine her scanner.
"What's it picking up?" Selena asked curiously.
"I'm not sure... First it shows a reptile, then it shows nothing is there, and then it shows unknown species life form. I don't know what to think of these readings. Maybe the thing is broke." Shaking it, Ariana stared at the scanner again. "Unknown species! How can that be??"
Her eyes straying back the way they came, Selena suggested, "We should go back. If it is an unknown species, it could be dangerous, Ariana."
Shaking her head, Ariana said, "The scanner is wrong, Selena. There isn't any unknown species in this cave. There can't be. Let's get a little closer. I just want a peek... and then we'll go back."
"O...kay..." Unsure of herself and of Ariana, Selena added, "I hope you know what you're doing..."
Up ahead, Ariana could make out an outline. Squinting her eyes, she could make out something shiny, but what? Something big began looming in front of her. Grizzly! Her mind screamed attempting to terrify her. Gulping, Ariana halted, and began slowly inching back away from whatever that looming thing is. She ran right into Selena as she was retreating.
"Watch it, Ariana! Don't run me over!" Selena pushed her in the lower back.
"Shhhhhh.... There is something really big in there!" Ariana whispered. "Go back, but don't run. We don't want anything that big chasing us."
Trying to see, Selena said, "I don't see anything. What did you see?"
"Lower your voice; it's going to hear you."
Lowering her voice, Selena said again, "I don't see anything."
Quickly, Ariana walked back the way she came. It seemed to her the entrance was a lot farther than when they had come in. Suddenly, she heard a deafening flapping of wings, and the looming thing was blocking the way out of the cave.
"Oh no!" Ariana exclaimed softly, not wanting to alarm whatever that is. "It's blocking our only way out!"
"I don't see anything! There is nothing there, Ariana!" Selena marched toward the entrance, and then fell back onto her bum hitting the cave floor, as she hit a large wall. "Where did that invisible wall come from? Is this the way we came?"
"There is something alive in here with us!" Ariana checked her scanner again, and as before - unknown species - showed up.
Then it roared. The roar so scared Selena she screamed and covered her ears.
"You heard that!! Do you see it now??" How could Selena hear it, yet not see it? This is uncanny! Ariana thought.
Selena spun around at the sound, and saw it. It was a-a-a..."It's a dragon!!!!!"
"A what??" Ariana's gaze targeted the sound. "I only see a outline of something large. It's not a dragon. There's no such thing!"
"It's a dragon I'm telling you! LOOK!"
"Well... whatever it is, we have to get out of here!" Ariana began scanning for another way out with both her GPS and her eyes. “I'm not getting anything!"
Terrified, she would be eaten, Selena seeing the dragon open it's mouth, ducked down on the ground with her arms over her head to protect herself.
Kneeling down on the cavern floor, next to Selena, Ariana loped her right arm around Selena, and prayed in a low voice, "Oh God, protect us in Jesus name. I don't know what's going on; I can't see what Selena sees. Please, show me how to get out of here, Lord."
Opening it's mouth, fire came out of the dragon, shooting flames to the left side of Selena. Feeling the heat from the flames, Selena screamed and ran backwards away from the dragon fearing she would be burned to death.
Ariana twirled around, searching for Selena in the darkness. "What happened??"
Pointing her finger, Selena screamed, "That dragon is trying to kill me!! I have to get out of here! I have to get out of here!" Selena sobbed in panic. Running toward the back of the cave, she stumbled and fell, and then got back up, and began running in the dark. Feeling her ways along the wall she searched for a way out, her mind numb with fear.
Ariana had no idea what was going on; she still could only see the looming dark outline blocking the entrance, but apparently something it did-that she never saw, scared Selena. Shining her flashlight along the floor bottom and walls she followed Selena, praying they would find a route out of the cavern.
The looming thing as far as Ariana could tell wasn't following them. Selena was only whimpering now, not screaming. If something was happening, she would tell her. She wondered if Selena was having a nervous breakdown and seeing things. She could make out Selena up ahead feeling along the walls. Trying to keep the flashlight up above so Selena could see where she was going and not fall and hurt herself, she herself kept looking for an opening out of their nightmare.
Suddenly, Ariana felt a light breeze. "Selena, stop. I feel outside air. Wait... There may be an opening somewhere over there." She saw Selena stop and turn to look at her. Climbing up the rock, she could feel the air coming up above her. She couldn't climb with the flashlight so she locked it onto her belt, and pointed it slanted up. Feeling for a place to put her hands and feet, she carefully climbed up, her target being the breeze.
Making it up to the opening, Ariana looked through it.
"Is it big enough to crawl out??" Selena hollered up at Ariana.
"That's what I'm about to find out," Ariana responded.
Pulling herself up farther, Ariana placed her arms through the opening, and then fell on her belly, slithering through. Slightly turning her head, as that was all she could do in the tight opening of the cave, she yelled out at Selena. "Climb up here, Selena; there is an opening. We'll barely fit, but I can see outside and it should get us out of here. Come on up."
"Alright, I'm coming up."
Pulling herself through the tight opening, Ariana grabbed the tree limbs on the sides of the walls, tugging them and crawling at the same time. She could hear Selena beginning her climb. "Use your flashlight, Selena, so you don't fall. Lock it onto your belt, like I did."
Ariana hoped Selena was feeling better, now they were escaping from the cave. "Thank You, Jesus for making a way of escape. Thank You so much for protecting Selena's mind and not letting her go bonkers. Let her be okay, Lord, in Jesus name."
Soon, she could see the hill outside, and she stuck her head out of the opening and looked down. Carefully, she lifted her left leg out, and then slowly turned around, grasping hand holds, and then lifted her other leg out, finding a place to put her foot. Then, she looked inside to see where Selena was. She could see her slowly inching her way toward the opening. Moving out of the way, she began climbing down the wall. There was a outcropping below, so she made her way to it, and then jumped down landing safely on the grass.
Selena not being far behind jumped, landing beside her.