Evading Dragons, Part Six: Reshaping What is Known
Watching and Learning
Jennifer looked out the dirty window to an open field. The sun was out and high in the sky, but there was a harshness to the light. She knew that this was a sign of winter coming. They spent the last three days walking. In that time, she got to watch her travel mates. The woman Lee and Hester argued way too much to be mad at each other. She would see that in the evenings they would stare at each other like children with a crush, but their life training would keep them from doing anything. She thought that until a day ago when she saw them off in the woods together. Helena said very little. Jennifer wasn’t sure if she just saw too much or was keeping a secret that was important. Then there was the boy and girl. She was seventeen, and he was maybe fourteen. It was a relationship that would have been illegal in most villages. Val was a two-time widow, and Lars killed a dragon. Finally, there was Spot. The boy raised by dogs and rescued from evil men. Somedays he was just a boy and others he was more animal.
The Magical Fruit
Hester watched the pot. He was cooking beans for dinner. As he watched, he stared at the books. He wanted some time alone with them, but he also didn’t want to waste the beans. Cooking food was a luxury that didn’t happen that often on the trail. Something like beans took time to soak then time to cook, but they were healthy and filling. They would go days without eating, so when he had the chance to cook he made the meals healthy and satisfying. Their last stop sold him some pork jerky. He used this to cook the beans. The people of that village raised pigs in their homes to protect them from the dragons as well as the people on the trail. The pork cost them three dragon’s teeth, but Hester thought it was worth it. Along the path, they found wild herbs as well as onions and mushrooms. They did their best to dry both but what they couldn’t dry they either traded or ate.
Hardtack and Truth
Hester put his piece of the bread called hardtack in the bowl of beans and sat down with the first book. He had a good light and all night to read and see where the books take him. The first book had the date of March 1st, 2035. Looking back to the first book he saw it was over one hundred and forty-nine years between them meaning that the books weren’t as continuous as Jennifer claimed. It also meant that this book was written during the war. Like the other, it was clear that a child started this book. It spoke about how the famine and unrest was affecting her family. It had been a few years since anyone heard from the federal government and the local government had collapsed into a mob rule. She spoke about the economy ending with wars being fought all over the world for what was left. Then she spoke about seeing one of the dragons, but she wrote how it was a good thing and it was there to protect them. Hester thought about that, a dragon there to protect people. It didn’t make any sense. The little girl writing in the book went back to talking about her doll and her friends. Hester skimmed the pages looking for more information.
He came to a place where the color of the ink changed as did the quality of the writing. The little girl grew up and came back to the book. She wrote, “the dragons that were made to protect the border and act as living weapons have started to turn on us. Maybe it’s what we deserve, allowing a scientist to Frankenstein DNA into something that never existed was a mistake that we may not live to correct. Just maybe the dragons will one day talk about humans like we did about dinosaurs, bees or tigers. The smart dragons are controlling the drones in coordinated attacks on populated areas, but according to some people the drones are killing the smart ones and taking over.” Hester closed the book and put it down. He could see why the people in Jennifer’s village didn’t think the books were worth anything. He was taught that the dragon makers made the dragons to kill off humanity then repopulate it with their own seed, but the dragons killed the makers and the world. This book tells a different story that seems to say that the makers were just men with intentions other than genocide.
Tears and Blood
The book went on talking about her first love and the first of what would be three children. She also talked about how it was almost impossible to go out and get food. Near the end of the book, she wrote about how the dragons were breeding, and their offspring were emptying towns, eating anyone they could find. Hester wondered if this was the war people spoke of. Not some large military battle but people defending what they had until the last of them were gone or in hiding. She spoke about how the larger dragons were killing off the smaller ones, thinning the population. Near the end, she wrote about the death of her firstborn and her partner. They died not from dragons but by the hands of a group of men that wanted the food they were carrying. The final page was about seeing a dragon in her yard. The page was dotted with water stains and what looked like ancient dried blood. Hester put the book down on top of the others then he put them away.
If someone showed you evidence that everything you know is a lie would you believe it?
The well known Secret
That night in what Hester and Lee thought was their secret place they made love. Afterward, he told her what the books said, and she said, “people won’t believe any of it, I am not sure I do.” Hester said, “yes but much of what was in the one book was true. The unguarded root cellar, places along the road and other things. There is just too much information for it not to be true.” Lee tried to change the subject saying, “why are we hiding what we’re doing? We are both adults and free to do what we want. I think we should just say we are together and let that be that.” A day ago, he would have said that it was against everything he was taught, but now that he was questioning everything he couldn’t see why not. He said, “we’ll tell the others in the morning.” Lee smiled and said, “let's enjoy our last night of this just being our secret.”
Time to go
Hester said, “you all knew about us.” Jennifer shook her head then said, “we have only known each other for about a week, but it was obvious to me when I saw you two together that you fought way too much not to care about each other. Also, I saw you two doing the horizontal bounce in the woods.” Helena said, “I really don’t care what you two do as long as it doesn’t slow us down.” Hester looked at Val and Lars. He was sitting on a short bench, and she was sitting on the floor in front of him leaning back into his lap. Lars said, “you didn’t say anything about us, so we decided to do the same.” Val nodded her head then said, “I think it's nice that you two found each other.” Jennifer looked at the window and said, “we need to keep moving. When the snow hits we will be stuck where ever we are.”
Should they keep going or stay and prepare for winter
Note from me
Sorry about how long it took to get back to this. I have been very busy with my site and I just didn't have the time for dragons.