I'm doing a bit of a reboot on a story I wrote when I was younger. Trying to make it more mature plotwise and written wise. I loved the idea so I decided to come back to it and hopefully complete this time. This is a story about a time when dragons ask for our help and get it from Agatha, a young dragonologist, and Trystan, the young man dragged into all this when all he wanted was to go home.
“Flight 5926, London, now boarding,” The intercom was heard throughout the empty airport. No families with little kids whining, no people on cell phones who you think are talking to you, no nothing. Apparently not many people get red-eye flights, especially not to London, at least not in Vinton, Iowa. I was almost the only person on the plane, not counting the attendants or pilots. There was one man three rows ahead who looked to be visiting family in London, specifically to say goodbye to someone. There was also an unusually sized woman in the way back that just picked her nose, how delightful.
I’m going to England for reasons many people believe is a bunch of crazy talk. I am someone who studies dragons, or a dragonologist in a more professional form. I study the creatures that most people in the world believe to be a myth or at least definitely extinct.
An attendant with far too much make-up on approached me with the cart, “Any refreshments ma’am?”
“Uh perhaps a cup of hot tea would be nice.”
She smirked, “Someone is following their stereotype blindly. You know people in London don’t drink tea all the time.”
This attendant’s attitude was terrible and I rolled my eyes, “I’m not following any sort of stereotypes, I just would rather have some hot tea right now if you don’t mind. For the record, I’ve visited England enough to know that no, not everyone drinks tea and they don’t drink it all the time. Now move along and get my tea before I file a very thorough complaint,” I gave her a smirk of my own and relaxed into my chair. She scowled and pushed the cart down the aisle without another glance.
The rest of the plane ride was rather silent. The attendant seemed to have forgotten to get me my hot tea, but she never seemed to forget to bump her cart into my leg every time she came by me. I tried to sleep but the unusually large woman’s snoring made sleeping entirely impossible.
Eventually we landed in London and I walked out into the airport. I found a limo driver holding a sign with my name on it. Agatha it said in big letters. I walked up and said, “Umm that’s me sir.”
“Really? You don’t look like an Agatha,” and quite honestly, I didn’t. With my dark brown hair, blue eyes, and just hitting the age of twenty-three, the name honestly was too old for me. It was what my parents picked out though so I just went along with it, “I didn’t know I was going to get a limo. Does Carlo care about me that much?”
“I think he just has a firm belief in enjoying the luxuries of life. But shall we be off?” I had to get used to the British accents. I put my large suitcases in the trunk of the limo. It was a pretty nice limo, or at least nicer than the ones I had ever been in, “Where are we heading to?”
“To the headquarters miss. You have a new…um…”
“Not quite like that, more like a partner.”
“Does she know absolutely anything about dragons?”
“It’s a he, and no I’m don’t think so.”
“Then don’t take me to see him, just drive to the mountains.”
“No, if he won’t be able to help me then I find it pointless to meet him now. Take me to the mountains.”
“As you wish miss,” I had to look out the window just to check that he was obeying my orders and going the way I wanted.We started going up, higher and higher until the driver said, “The car cannot go any farther. You must walk the rest of the way.”
“Alright. I need the exercise anyway,” I grabbed one of my suitcases and started to walk. It took me forever to get up on steep hill, but then I had to mountain-climb up one side because it was so steep. Eventually, I got to the top of the mountain and looked out to the horizon. “It’s beautiful.” I let escape from my mouth. But now it was time to get down to business. I took out my tracker and other dragon things. I set that all up then I started to look for signs of a dragon. I was coming up short except for a cave that I guessed a bear lived in; it wasn’t big enough for a dragon. I sat behind a rock close to the cave and started to eat a sandwich. I found the forest around where I sat to be quite quiet and lifeless. I didn’t think much of it though. There was a crack of snapping branches behind me and I whirled around, “Hello? Anyone out there? Limo driver? Boss? Anyone?” I called out. Now it was deathly quiet. I looked towards the cave and saw nothing. I looked over at my other side and saw nothing. I then looked up at the clear blue sky and except for a couple clouds there was nothing in the sky. No birds or anything. “Something is strange here...” I said quietly. I flipped my cell out and speed dialed the boss, “Hello,” I whispered.
“Hello? Hello? Anyone there? Hello?”
“It’s me boss, Agatha.”
“Where have you been?! We have your partner here and he isn’t a very patient fellow.”
“I’m up at Mt. Celso”
“What the heck are you doing up there. You belong down in headquarters, meeting your partner.”
“For the last time, I don’t need a partner!!” I heard my voice echo through the forest.
“I’m sending a limo back up. You will get in it and you will meet this partner.”
“But sir-“ The line went dead and I groaned in frustration. I wonder why he wants me to have a partner so badly. What bad things could possibly happen? Then I remembered the deathly quiet forest, and thought that it was for the best. The boss probably doesn’t want me to get hurt. After all, many have died in this profession. I sighed and packed up my things and headed back down the trail towards the waiting limo, “I see you came up dragon less,” The driver stated rather matter-of-factly.
“Yes, but that forest gives me the creeps. There weren’t any sounds at all. No birds, wind, or anything.”
“Well, there was a dragon sighting here.”
“What? Why didn’t anyone tell me that before?” I asked as I got in the limo.
“In fact, your partner was the one who spotted it.
“Really? So he is just my partner because he saw a dragon?”
“He also took a picture. He was sight-seeing and saw something unusual in among the trees. Our experts are seeing if it’s a fake or not.”
“He probably is a college kid who felt like ruining our reputation.”
“You just got out of college didn’t you?”
“Yeah, that was not what I call a bowlful of cherries,” I grumbled. Everyone thought I was a freak because of the dragon thing. The rest of the ride was as silent as the forest. I thought of what the driver said. Then I thought of the boss. He is going to kill me. Soon we were driving into a parking lot surrounding a simple white building. The plainness was meant as a way to ward off curious teenagers. On the door though was our insignia: a dragon with its body curled into the circle that bordered its head. As soon as I walked in, I was greeted by my purple-faced boss, “You are such an idiot. Didn’t you know we had a guest?”
“No one really informed me he supposedly has a picture of a dragon.”
“Watch your sarcasm, or you will be moved to the lab,” The lab was the greatest form of punishment you could be given. All you do there is dig through supposed dragon dung for any clues of it being dragon for sure and any information about the diets they have. Most of it ends up being piles of bear dung or something like that. Dragons are really picky about where their toilet is, and usually it is high in the mountains. We’d go any day if we had the money, “It isn’t sarcasm, by the way, no one told me about the picture except for your driver over there. Soooo…where is this ‘picture’?”
“Oh, right over here.” He opened a door where two people had their faces practically touching the picture before them, “Move you two so Aggie can see the picture,” he is calling me by my nickname, which means he has cooled off. Our boss, named Carlo, is a pretty good guy unless you get him mad. Carlo gave me the picture to look at. There was the mountain I was on a little while ago, with the trees and the small opening where the cave was, “So…what am I looking for here?”
“Right…there,” Carlo pointed to what appeared to be a tree, but when looked at closer was found to sparkle in the sun, “Does it look real?”
“There is a possibility. Where did he take it?”
“Why don’t you ask him yourself?” Carlo snapped his fingers and the two people that were looking at the picture left and shortly returned with a man not much younger than me. I wish I could have that kind of service but when you’re the boss, you get treated like the boss, “Aggie, this is Trystan,” Trystan stuck his hand out for me to shake. “It is a pleasure,” He said stupidly. I looked at him. He had green eyes and reddish brown hair. I was guessing he’s Irish, “So, where did you take this picture?” I asked.
“This one?” He pointed to the picture I was holding, “I was in the valley beside the mountain. I wanted to take pictures of birds, but I got this thing instead. It looked so shiny that I thought it wasn’t real, but I brought it over anyway.”
“Well, he didn’t tamper with the picture, so it’s real,” I said to Carlo, “I’m just not sure if this is real. We’ll have to go back and take more pictures and-“
“Wait, we? You want me to go with you?” Trystan said, sounding very confused and surprised.
“Why wouldn’t you? You were our witness. Things need witnesses to get done. I mean look at trials.”
“No, I am not going back up there. It was so quiet, and I didn’t find a single bird. Besides, you don’t really need a witness for this. I mean you guys witness plenty of this stuff as it is your job.”
“Look, we need you to join the force temporarily, for research reasons,” Carlo explained.
“You want me to join you crazies? Look I only brought the picture over here because it looked shiny and I thought it might wind you all up. And it worked. But this is not what I signed up for at all. I think it’s best if I just go on my way now if you don’t mind,” Trystan started walking towards the door but I locked my elbow with his and went, “To the limo then?” and I cheerfully directed him towards the limo waiting for us.