Here Be Dragons: Chapter 10

“Run! You need to run!” Raz yelled. He was frantic, thrashing in the dragon’s claw while the beast bore down on her. It didn’t matter as Riley stood her ground. The dragon was focused on her. She was focused on the dragon. She had a plan, and needed to time this..just..right.

Sure enough, it lowered it’s head, bringing it in just like she’d seen raptors do in those jurassic films. Those movies were really good training with how to deal with monstrous beasts the size of barns. Though she also couldn’t get the mental image out of her head a jeep and a large head with bared teeth moving fast towards her. It made her think of a freight train with large incisors and it was getting ready to make her lunch.

And then it was stopped. The world around them was suddenly changed. They were no longer on the black rocked plain surrounded by a lava river. In a heartbeat they were in a canyon and the rock walls appeared around the dragon locking it in. The dragon had stopped because it was held by the rock prison perfectly crafted to fit the body of the beast.

Riley smiled up at the monster as its head thrashed back and forth, the only part of the creature that was still able to move. As it thrashed around and struggled to move its claws, they opened. Thankfully the dragon had been leaning forward as now it allowed Raz to fall from the beasts grip without much of a drop before he hit the canyon floor.

Raz looked to the bright sky overhead. It was what looked like a nice day. The sky was blue and the sun was bright. Other than the large black scaled beast, it seemed like a peaceful day.

Raz’s eyes were wide when he looked back to Riley.

“How did you do this?” he asked after running over to where Riley stood.

“Like she said,” Riley said as she nodded up towards one of the cliffs above the canyon. They could both see the girl standing there, also looking at the world around them. “its a dream.”

“Yeah, but its my dream. The only person who can change the environment should have been me, but I couldn’t. I tried.”

“You know more about this stuff than me.”

“Okay, and what were you going to do if it didn’t work?”

“Become lunch.”

Raz lowered his head, shaking it slowly.

The dragon roared, and they both felt the ground shaking. They turned to face it, the fear obvious on both their faces. They were both caught by surprise when they saw that the the dragon was using its long snout to slam back and forth, hitting the walls on both sides. Chunks were breaking off and rocks slid down the walls.

“Um-“ Raz said, taking a step back.

“Yeah, I got this.”

Two large robotic arms burst from either side of the canyon and grabbed the muzzle of the beast. Their own metallic claws dug in, taking a firm grasp.

The creature was immobilized. It was unable to open its large mouth or able to shift and move its body. Unable to open its mouth, it also seemed unable to create its fire breath. They had it. It was stopped and they were safe.

“Now what do we do?” Riley asked, looking at Raz who stood looking up in awe at the nullified creature.

“I don’t know.”

“We kill it,” yelled the girl. They both turned up to where she stood.

“And how do we do that?”

“We pierce the brain. Haven’t you ever watched any zombie movies?”

“That’s a dragon, not a zombie.” Riley said.

“Its not a dragon.” She said as she pulled a large canister looking object out from behind her back. Riley had no idea where she could have gotten it from. She pointed it down towards them. Then with a puff of air, an arrow flew out of the canister and dug deep into the rock near their feet. A rope was attached to it, and they watched as she slid down, her hands holding on as she gracefully descended.

She jumped off the rope when she was over them, which she really didn’t need to do as it would have brought her down nearby, and rolled to stand in front of them. It was impressive, and Riley felt her mouth hang a little, amazed at what she had just done.

“So you did this?” She asked Riley as she pointed to the rock walls around them. Riley nodded, still not sure what she made of this other girl. She wasn’t sure if she was going to like her yet, or absolutely hate her. The jury was still out.

“Impressive. Impossible, but impressive.” The girl turned to Raz, “How is that possible. It’s not. You know it’s not. Did you do it for him? This shouldn’t be able to do this.”

“You were saying it isn’t a dragon?” Riley asked, sensing how uncomfortable the other girl made Bruce..

“Of course it isn’t a dragon.” Raz said, deciding to pay Riley more attention than the domineering amazon of a girl who had been dressing him down.

“Yeah, dragon’s don’t exist.” The girl said, breaking off and glaring at Riley.

“What? Wait, no,” Riley pointed the large beast above them, “then what else is a large, black scaled, large-snout-filled-with-larger-teeth-mouth, wings, breathes-fire thing is that?”

“It’s a dream wraith.” Raz said matter-of-factly. Glasses materialized on him, and even though he was still in his batman costume, he suddenly looked more intelligent and less super-hero like.

Riley looked back and forth from both of them, her frustration of how they both knew more than she did irritated her. Especially as neither of them seemed willing to completely fill her in on what was going on. Come on, she just caught the dang thing, they needed to give her at least some answers. This just wasn’t fair.

“Okay, so what’s a dream-“ He didn’t get to finish as the wraith above them gave out a loud shriek much higher pitched than it had before.

“Crap, its getting ready to change shape.” The girl said.

“Change shape?” Riley asked.

“Yeah, they shape shift, taking on whatever their targets worst fears are.” Raz said as the girl ran past them, suddenly pulling out a different cylinder than the one she had earlier. This one, Riley recognized and her jaw dropped as the beam of light shot out from the object that solidified into a sword.

“Is that a light saber?” Riley asked, astonished.

“Yeah, its why we call her Saber. She kinda has an obsession with them.”

“Give me a boost.” She yelled over her shoulder back to them. She didn’t wait for them to respond as she dashed forward. Riley watched her, and strained in thought as Saber ran towards the dragon as the walls around them shook.

The ground beneath her quickly rose up like a platform, lifting her up in a rush. She was still running and when she reached the edge of it, she leaped off in the longest jump Riley had ever seen. Saber brought the sword up, raising it in line with her as she aimed herself directly for the open mouth of the dragon, wraith, whatever it was they wanted to call it.

“What is she doing?”

“Something stupid. That would be her nickname, but call that to her face at your own risk.”

Riley looked at Bruce, astonished and refusing to watch the girl, she guessed her name was Saber, die in the mouth of the thing. “Who are you people?”

“We’re dream chasers. Which begs the question, how did you get in here without a rig or training?” Raz said. He had that intelligent nerd bored tone in his voice but as he looked away from watching Saber, his eyes eyebrows were raised in a questioning look that reminded Riley of Spock from Star Trek.

They heard the loud crash and then a louder sound of the electronic sizzle that sounded like a bug getting caught one of those zapper things. Her uncle had one of them on his porch and whenever they visited during the summertime, they would all hear that ‘zap, zap zap’ during the night.

The shrieking ended and contorted into a monstrous roar that sounded somehow even larger than before. They turned in time to watch as Saber fly over their heads. She slammed into the canyon wall before falling into a heap of teenage girl on the rock floor.

The dragon roared behind them. Riley was already running towards Saber while Raz looked at the beast.

“It’s bigger.”

“Will she be okay?”

“Yeah, we just need to get away. Give her a chance to catch her breath. If it was anything serious, the rig would have pulled her from the dreamscape.” Raz explained as he rushed to catch up to Riley who was already leaning do to scoop her up.

“But we don’t have to worry about any broken bones or anything?”
“Its a dream, of course not.”

“Good. We need to get out of here.”

The beast now shook the canyon with each step. The canyon wall made it so that it was tight for the creature to move. It couldn’t run in the cramped space, but each step peeled away more of the rock cliff over head, causing rocks to fall to the floor around them.

The rocks were getting closer and one of them alone could crush all three of them.

“Maybe this canyon wasn’t a good idea.” Riley said as she looked around. There wasn’t anywhere to go. She tried to change it, rearrange it like she had done before, but every time she tried there was a stinging pain in her head behind her eyes.

“Can’t you change it.”
“No, I tried.”

Raz looked at her. He must have seen her wince as he looked concerned, but was quick to wave it off with a nod.

Both of them reached to lift Saber. The dragon roared again and this time the sound of it along caused smaller rocks to fall. A shower of them came down around them, and they had to stop their lifting motion to lean over Saber as the rocks fell.

“Okay, on the count of three we run.” Raz said as the rocks stopped coming down.

“One.” Raz said.

“Two.” Riley followed. She waited for Raz to say three, her grip on Saber tight and ready to help him lift her up. Three never came. She looked over to where he was, but Raz was gone.

Then the world around her faded white, and she too left. As she disappeared, she heard the dragon. It’s frustrated cry was enough to tear through the void after her as the rest of the sounds around her descended to nothing. Then too the dragon was gone, and everything was silent until she heard a voice she didn’t recognize calling out her name.

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