Fredrick sat in his chair and sat back and looked at his computer. Things are going quite smoothly, he thought. He a dragon lived on Mt. Celso and he was planning on killing it before anyone else could get to it. He knew he was the only one who has seen a live dragon and had lived to tell the tale. He even had a stuffed dragon in his living room. His plan had been going on for twenty years and it was quite simple: to wipe out the existence of dragons so everyone would go to him for the answers. He would become insanely rich just by selling the stuffed dragon sitting next to his bookshelf. Of course, he couldn’t take all of the credit. Many dragons have died from lost of habitat and food thanks to global warming and the need for more land. He could sell all the dead dragons to museums and other places. There was no one standing in his way. No one could stop him. Nobody.
“Come on pretty boy, only a few more feet,” I have begun to call Trystan that due to how much he complained. He complained when he got leaves in his hair, he complained when he tripped over a rock, and especially when he learned how much farther we had to travel up the mountain.
“I think my feet are going to fall off. How can ‘dragons’ live here?” He threw air quotes around the word “dragon” every time he said it as well.
“They have wings remember. They don’t walk up, they fly up,” With that I spread my arms out, spun around, and closed my eyes. I love the outdoors. The forest was no longer quiet due to Trystan’s complaining. I stopped spinning and opened my eyes and looked at him, “If you believe so firmly that dragons don’t exist, then why did you give us the photo in the first place?”
He rolled his eyes, “I told you already I merely did it to wind all of you up. I’ve heard about you from my father and I knew your headquarters were in the area so I did it to get a laugh.”
“If you did it to get a laugh then why are you still here?”
“Because you dragged me remember?”
“Eh I don’t think dragged was the proper word, more like pushed into the right direction. I think you want dragons to exist personally.”
“You would think that naturally. Of course,” He paused for a moment, “So wait, where are we going to camp?”
I laughed, “Not up here certainly. Too high. We’ll be walking down a bit of the hill before we set up.”
“You have got to be kidding me right now. More moving?”
“Oh hush. Here we are though,” I proclaimed and carefully set my suitcases on the ground. I heard Trystan drop his with a thump on the ground. I cringed; there was some pretty expensive stuff in those that I bought with my paycheck, “Now what?” Trystan asked.
“Now we are going to set up the camera inside that cave. Explore the cave a bit, then leave. Can you do that?” I asked.
“We climbed all this way just to look in a cave?”
“Yep, and we are going to be doing that for the next…oh…three days.”
“What?! Three days?! I really did not agree to give up three days of my precious time for this bullshit.”
“That isn’t too bad is it pretty boy? I could have always stayed longer, but I pitied you,” I took the suitcase that Trystan dropped and started walking into the cave, “Come on!” Trystan reluctantly followed, “Now where is that flashlight?” I said to myself. I dug through my jacket until I found my penlight. Trystan gaffed, “You call that a flashlight?”
“No, I’m using it to find the flashlight.”
“Oh,” I ignored him and opened the suitcase. I rummaged through it until I found a big halogen flashlight. I turned it on and started setting up the camera, ignoring Trystan’s complaints about the light being too bright, “How is the camera going to see anything?” Trystan asked.
“It’s called infrared. Certainly you must have heard of it before,” I mocked him and put the camera beside a rock and begun to look around. I gave Trystan another flashlight, “Try to look for things like scales, feathers, bones, and the ever so popular, poop.”
“You want me to look for poop?”
“I said try.”
“Whatever,” He actually started to look around. I was very proud of him. I turned my flashlight towards the ground and started to look around. I found a couple of bones and placed them in a bag, “Hey, what’s this over here?” I heard Trystan yell. I walked over to him. I looked where the flashlight was pointing. It was emerald and shining in the flashlight’s light. I picked it up, “So what is it?” Trystan sounded excited.
“Well, if you would believe in dragons, then it would be a scale from the side of a…I’d guess a young adult English Dragon.”
“How can you tell that?”
“I can’t, but the lab can, and we are in England,” I put it in a bag carefully. The bones and the scale went in the suitcase and I started leaving the cave, “Wait we’re leaving already? We just got here,” Trystan sounded exasperated.
“Yes pretty boy.”
“But we walked so far.”
“And we don’t have to walk so far. Besides, we are going down hill,” The trek down was enjoyably quiet, until we hit camp. I started unpacking the camp stuff to find only one tent, “Huh?” I checked again. One tent. There was a mistake. I called Carlo. “Hey Carlo?”
“Why are you calling me? Don’t you know I’m busy.”
“We only have one tent. We need two.”
“Why? Two people can fit in the tent.”
“Yes, but…I don’t want to sleep anywhere near him.”
“I see someone is a little shy,” Carlo teased me but I was really in no mood. I rubbed my temples, “You expect me to sleep with…him?” I looked over to see Trystan scratching his butt. He saw that I saw and…amazedly…blushed, “I’m going to the bathroom,” He mumbled.
Carlo continued the phone call, “Well, we aren’t the richest in the world, so you are going to have to put up with it for three days.”
“Three days seem a lot longer now.”
“Yeah whatever,” I hung up and saw Trystan back from his bathroom break, “So what’s the deal with the tents?” He asked.
“We’re going to have to share a tent.”
“Fredrick, we have located a group on the mountain, are they a threat?”
“Put them on screen,” His computer showed a young man and woman putting up a tent, “Naw, looks like a couple on vacation. Wouldn’t want to ruin it for them.”
“What if they find the dragon?”
“I highly doubt that.”
I don’t think Trystan has ever been outdoors before. He is freaking out over every little sound. What’s that Aggie? What was that now Aggie? I can’t sleep. Then it got worse. It started pouring down rain. And Trystan couldn’t put up with that sound. We ended up both being awake all night. I found out that Trystan’s parents are divorced and he was on a vacation that his rich father paid for, “Some vacation this turned out to be.” He grumbled at the end of his tale, “What about your family though?”
I locked my jaw for a split second then shrugged, “Oh you know. Parents. They’re all the same, right?”
He nodded to himself and began to finally nod off into sleep. I eventually fell asleep, only to be awakened by my cell phone ringing along with the light of day, “Hello?”
“Hey, you seem awake, how was last night?” Carlo asked.
“Horrible. Trystan has never camped out in his life. He kept me up almost all night.”
“Lovely, so what did you find?”
“I found a couple bones and Trystan found a scale. He probably also thought most of the noises last night were dragons.”
He laughed, “Oh Aggie how your humor is always on key no matter how tired you are. Are you going to send them?”
“Bring a limo up. I’ll give them to the driver.”
“Bye,” I closed my phone and looked over at Trystan. His hair was stuck up at all ends and I noticed his hair got redder towards the roots. He probably dyes it, but a man dyeing their hair? Strange, but he probably had some strange reason for it as well. I decided not to wake him up just to walk down the hill more. I know he doesn’t like it. I quietly snuck out of the tent and started towards the road. I waited until a limo pulled up. It was my limo driver from yesterday, “Good morning madam! You are looking as beautiful as ever,” I knew he was joking. My hair was probably as bad as Trystan’s,“I have the suitcase,” I held it up.
“Ah, yes the suitcase. Should this go directly to Carlo or the lab?”
“Show Carlo, then take it to the lab.”
“Yeah Yeah Cheerio,” I was pretty grumpy after all. I watched the limo pull away and then started to head up towards our camp. When I got there I saw that Trystan was still asleep. I got dressed and decided to check the camera. I jogged up to the cave and I quickly retrieved the tape. Now that I was alone, the forest freaked me out again. Maybe Carlo was right about the partner thing. I ran back to the camp to find Trystan up and attempting to make a fire, “What time is it?” He asked. I looked at my phone. It was 9 o’clock, “Nine, why are you up?”
He shrugged, “I’m hungry. My stomach forced me to rise. Is that the tape?”
“Yes, do you want to watch it with me?”
“Sure, I’m not getting anywhere with this fire thing,” I set up the TV and plugged the VCR in. Trystan put the tape in and we started to watch. We saw a couple bats and bugs. Then the camera went blank, “What happened?” Trystan asked.
“I don’t know. I had enough batteries in the camera, maybe something got in the way, or something got on the screen.”
“Maybe the dragon fell asleep in front of it. Did you see anything that looked dragonish?”
“You really think that?”
“It is a possibility. We would have to check.”
Why does everything bad happen to me? My parents are divorced, but that’s not the worst of it. You see, my dad lives on a 50 acre estate in Ireland, with a mansion, his own golf course, a lake with a boat (more like yacht), and a swimming pool. The divorce came, and I ended up with my mom in a cramped apartment in Manhattan. The one good thing is that my dad pays for vacations for me to go on. Too bad he’ll only pay for boring sight-seeing instead of beach trips, like bird-watching in England. Too bad while I’m bird-watching I find a picture with a mysterious thing in it. My father told me about the crazy dragon people that lived within the borders of England, so I thought it would bring me some personal amusement to see all of the geeky people freak out over something that is probably merely a really quick hawk.
When I walked in the doors the people quickly walked me into a lab where many people were in labcoats digging through mountains of poop. How enjoyable. A short stocky Hispanic man walked up to me, “Hello I am Carlo, the leader of the establishment,” he threw his hand out for me to shake it. I accepted the handshake, “I’m Trystan. So,” I stuck my hands in my pockets, “Tell me Carlo, are those people digging through shit over there? Because that is certainly what I’m seeing.”
“Never mind them good sir. Now where is this picture you are speaking of?”
I pulled the picture out of my back pocket, “There it is. I was out bird-watching on Mt. Celso. Took this picture and that’s what I found. That’s a weird place up there. Nothing is living up-“
“Yeah yeah okay kid. Look I don’t really have time to hear your chatter right now. Did you tamper at all with this photo?” He walked up to me and looked me dead in the eye the best he could but it was difficult seeing as I stood at a solid 6’3” and this man certainly was barely 5’9”, “Are you trying to waste our time? We come across a lot of time wasters around here,” I wasn’t able to answer because his cellphone rang and he quickly answered it, “Hello?...What?!...What do you mean She doesn’t want…No no she needs to come here now. Did you tell her that we have a guest? Plus I don’t know if she should be left alone on the mountain…She can go on about how tough she is all she wants but you need to get Agatha over here now!” Carlo hung up and held his face in his hand, “Of course she has to be causing trouble as usual,” He turned his attention back to me, “Agatha Mosley. That’s who you will be meeting and assisting. Sometimes it seems like she runs this place instead of me. She’s strong and very passionate about what we do here but boy does she enjoy not listening to my directions and commands.”
“Look, Carlo, she sounds like a blast but I’m just here to give you guys the picture so if you don’t mind I’d like to be on my way.”
“No no no Trystan you’re not going anywhere. You have to stay around to help Aggie out any way she needs it. Plus as I said, I don’t want her going up there alone.”
I chuckled, “From what you just told me sir, I’m pretty sure she can handle herself on a mountain just fine.”
His phone rang again and he quickly picked it up, “Hello? Hello?...Agatha what are you doing don’t you know we have a guest? You need to make your way back here now!” He hung up and turned back to me, “Now you stay in here while I go get Agatha,” he turned around and headed out but stopped at the doorway and turned back to me, “Seriously don’t leave this room. I don’t need another person who doesn’t listen to commands on my team,” and he was gone.
Eventually two men came into the room and told me to follow them. They led me to a room where Carlo and a young woman were leaning closely to study something. Carlo turned around, “Ah here he is. Aggie, this is Trystan,” the woman turned to look at me and narrowed her bright blue eyes with mistrust. She flicked her straight hair out of her eyes as I stuck my hand out for a handshake, “It is a pleasure,” she accepted the handshake but quickly jumped to business and began asking me about the picture. I quickly told my story and then Agatha and Carlo talked to each other and I didn’t feel the need to jump in until they started talking about me going with them, “Oh no no I am not going there is no way,” while I did really want to just get back to my cramped apartment in Manhattan, there was a small small part of me that wanted to join on the quest to find a dragon. It sounded fantastical and exciting and after all the stupid trips my father made me go on, fantastical sounded like it was just what I needed. I continued to refuse them though but somehow found my way to the limo anyway.
“What am I looking for?” Trystan asked.
“Um…claw marks…see if the ground is warm anywhere. Things like that.”
“Alright,” We started looking everywhere. I found big claw marks around where the camera was, and I guessed that was our dragon. I looked closer, “Hmmm…The configuration of these claw marks determines they can only be that of a dragon, a European English Dragon!” I started dancing around.
“Aggie…Aggie…AGGIE!!” It was Trystan, “What does this configuration shit mean?”
“What do you think it means? Dragons do exist. That is a pretty damn good reason to celebrate,” I don’t know what came over me, but I started dancing all around with excitement. I even danced with Trystan. Once I got past my dancing craze I said, “Quick let’s move the camera over so we a catch a glimpse of this dragon,” I moved the camera to the other side of the cave, “I have to call Carlo,” I ran off toward the camp, practically clicking my heels, leaving Trystan still in shock. After all, it’s not everyday you see a girl dance because of a dragon.
“I’m so stupid not to notice it before,” Fredrick dug the heel of his hand into his forehead.
“What is it?”
“Look, on their tent, it’s a dragon.”
“So, maybe it’s a brand of tents.”
“No you idiot. They’re part of a dragon organization.”
“You mean like us?”
“No. We know dragons exist. They don’t.”
“What should we do with them?”
“They can’t find the dragon. Send in my gunmen.”