Our Time is Now

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Chapter 10

Rocco

I jolted awake from a dreamless sleep to find the baby dragon asleep on my chest curled up in a ball. The monkey is nowhere to be seen squinting in the early morning sun. Bright and early the sun is once again plastered high in the sky burning and sizzling at the floor. Waves lapped at the sand in a slow repetitive motion calming my nerves as I blinked out the slide the baby dragon off my chest and into my arms. Observing my surroundings, a short time after stretching out my tried, achy muscles. Accordingly, the sky has no clouds to be seen for miles up to the edge of the still raging storm far out into the ocean. Strong smells of the beach in front of me and the forest behind mixed in together drawn up nostrils in a big mighty whiff in the early hours of the morning. Birds chirping in the trees of the forest and the crashing waves floated towards my ears. Under my feet the san crunches away as in my mouth I have a bitter taste lingering.

Twirling around I finally notice that the little 4ft monkey is hanging in a branch asleep. A little bit like a sloth, the monkey has its arms and legs wrapped around the branch and its letting itself dangle in the asleep. Sleepily the dragon lifts its head off my shoulder and lazily looked around its surroundings before dropping off again back to sleep dreaming about god knows what. Shaking my head, I put the dragon on the forest floor in a pile of damp orange leaves and then proceeded to untangle the monkey off the fairly low branch into my arms. After all the shifting the monkey only stirred enough to wrap its arms around my neck and its legs around my waist. Unable to untangle myself from the bundle of fur I continued to put the satchel over my neck and the man-made bag is thrown over my shoulder. Crouching down I picked up the sleeping baby dragon out of the pile of trees and trotted down to the beach.

In the far distance an extremely loud noise echoed through the trees and in the process scared a dozen or so of birds out the tops of the trees. Strangely one set of birds went left and the other set of birds went right. Yet each set of birds are slightly different. Almost as if they are entirely different kind of species of bird. Standing down here on the bench I watched each set of birds fly away in a slightly different manner. The birds on the left flew away as if a wing is broken and they cannot get away quick enough from something that scares them. On the other hand, the set of birds flying away on the right have slight reflective surface on their wings blinding one another. They are flying all over the place almost as if they are being shot out of the sky by bullets. Neither sets of birds have anything else remotely wrong with them to the naked eye but my gut is telling something is not right here at all.

Eventually I turned away from watching the sets of birds and continued my way towards where I left the dead body by a half sunken ship wreck. Without so much of a thought I immediately stopped and searched up and down the beach. Half of the ship wrecks that I saw yesterday has all of a sudden just upped and disappeared into thin air. Something isn`t right this beach yesterday was completely littered with ship wrecks and garbage that washed up with it. Now along the beach there must be seven maybe eight out of the possible twenty that I counted when I collected bits and pieces yesterday to help survive for the time being. Confused and almost petrified to the bone I turned off auto-pilot and began to walk over to where the dead body should have been left out last night in the rain.

This particular part of the ship wreck is slowly slipping into the sand buying the majority of the blood stained wood. Careful not to step too close to the sinking ship wreck I vigilantly watch around the ship wreck for the dead body. However, unfortunately I have come up short; the dead body is nowhere to be seen where I had previously left it the night before in the pouring rain. Bile rose up in my throat at what time fear crept its way in along with the worry that something is going to kill me and drag me away to its den ripping the flesh off my dead lifeless body. A shiver ran down the back of my neck and down my spine. Out of the corner of my eye something shinny is reflecting in the sun on a broken piece of wood a small round object is dangling on a leather chain to the right of me in an arm’s length away. Unable to use my arms to grab it I walk away and put down the sleeping animals and my bags far enough away that they won`t get caught in the sinking ship wreck. Making my way to the dangling chain the piece of wood it is on has increasingly moved.

In the split second before it was going to disappear altogether I made the quick thinking decision and lunched forwards and grab hold of the necklace before it is take deep into the sand. I Shuffled backwards on my front as I watched the rest of the ship wreck sink into the sand. Not making a move to get up I study the object resting in my hands. It has turned out to be a necklace with a round black pendent with a silver tree branched out in the middle along with tow sliver wolf heads on each side of the tree. A scally head popped up in my vision the more that I layed here and studied the pendent. In the same manner a fluffy head also darted up in my peripheral vision.

Both of them is curious to what I have in my head and try to take a closer look at it. Yet on the contrary the two to them bashed heads to beat one another to the pendent in my hand. Laughing at them quibbling with each other I got up and dusted myself off in advance before I run over to my bags. The baby dragon, the monkey and I trekked through the forest while I paid more attention to studying the pendent than where I was actually going. For some time, I couldn`t put my finger on it as to where I have previously seen it before. My attention did eventually turn to my stomach in which reared its ugly head and started loudly growling. Along the way I am able to identify some berries from the leather bound book that is safe to eat. Picking a handful to eat now I saved a can full of them and shoved the can back in the bag with the rest of the canned food to eat in the next meals to come.

Eating the last of the red berries I wiped my red stained hands down my brown linin trousers. All around the air is slowly and increasing growing heavy from the developing heat pouring down from the sun high in the sky. By the hot heat settling her in forest I might as well try to find the beach to keep neat the water. At least that way I can have somewhat of a water supply at my beck and call during the day id and when I need it. The majority of the trees are a decent far apart to be able to watch the movement of the sun during the day. In doing so for a little while I watch the small movement of the sun across the sky. In addition to that I noticed some smoke floating about in the baby blue clear sky. First thoughts that straight popped into my head was of Romulus and has her got on to the island safe and unharmed. Draping the necklace over my neck I quickly picked up the pace to get to the smoke as fast as possible. Over time I thought I was close to the smoke than I originally was but unfortunately I had to stop and have a break to catch my breath back and have a large drink.

Luckily the baby dragon wrapped itself around my body and the monkey either swung through the trees or ran beside me. Leaning on the base on one tree the baby dragon climbed up my body and curled up on a branch just over head and decided to take a nap. Taking this break I rummaged through the satchel and got my hands on the leather bound book at the bottom. Reflecting back on the first few pages on the leather brown book there are words etched on some of the pages that may have been form when someone has lent on the pages with another piece of paper and written really hand on it. Stepping out into the sun I couldn`t make out the letters but I can tell that there are an even amount of letters and numbers etched into the pages.

Leaving that mystery for another day I flicked over the next few pages. In which they consist of some scattered pictures of what may be different aspects of the island. On one page I recognise the group of man-eating mermaids huddled together on a rock out to sea. Seconds and minutes may have gone by the more that I have sat here and stared at the collection of pictures drawn into the book perfectly capturing the beauty and the horror that comes with the island. Packing up the satchel I quickly move on walking towards the smoke over the line of trees. Soon enough the three of us have matched a steady pace through the forest inching out way toward the line of smoke. Even though the scenery hasn`t changed much, as I had hoped, the trees thinned out opening up more of a clearing almost. Smells of pine, wet leaves, and burnt wood etched into my senses as the sound of cracking wood and flapping fabric floats in the wind.

I didn`t want to believe it but in the close distance are tall building hanging on their last legs. Blistering under the dessert island sun I dragged my tired aching feet towards the building in hopes that they may help to provide some shade and protection for the rest of the day. With the sun now dead set in the middle of the sky I knew that it is midday. Another eight or nine hours then maybe I can start moving again in the cooler heat of the late evening. Each step I drag out I momentarily paused for a second and reached my arm out in some lounging. Adding onto the extra weight of the overheating monkey wrapped around my back I have some negative feeling if I am actually going to make it. However, dehydration and tiredness beat me to it and I automatically continue to drag my feet across the forest floor towards the building. Such a sob story I know but I don`t know what to think of this island from what I have seen so far. Reflecting on my time here already to ease my mind I didn`t realise that the buildings are not very far away now that I could touch them and they won`t just disappear into thin air.

I couldn`t believe my eyes at what I saw in front of me. An entire village is standing in front of me torn apart and some half burnt down. In some realisation this two did in fact look very familiar. I scrambled to get out the leather bound book and flick over to one certain drawing. The second drawing in is a landscape of the village exactly as it is standing now. Sheer amount of detail has definitely gone into the piece of work just like the rest of them. An unwanted feeling settled in the pit of my stomach. Something is wrong here that does connect itself to the leather bound book, the dead stranger, and the island itself to begin with.

“I really don`t want to get caught in what prank is going on here.” I said to myself.

In response the baby dragon snorted while the monkey just rubbed its head up and down the side of my next. Leaving the book in my hands I continue to investigate the first abandoned house to my left. All the windows have been broken in leaving the glass to crunch under my books as I pock my head in through the window. Walking into the house the first thing I smell is the mould and the rot all up the walls and also around the window sills. Darting around the room I have walked into the living room that is sitting in many untouched layers of dust, dirt and rubble. Wall paper have over a large amount of time peeled off the walls. Different broken furniture is distributed across what is left of the living room. The fire place holds a large amount of bricks and rubble. While scattered around the room is piles of brick, wood and plasterboard.

Not being able to step foot into the living room I looked up at the ceiling to find a massive hole right smack bang in the middle. Tacking a quick peak through the hole I can see just about some bookcases and a large mahogany desk. Again both are covered in layer of untouched dirt and dust. The monkey and the baby dragon took off together in the direction of the back of the house in which I assume they are going to explore their new surroundings. Left on my own I skim through all the floor room in hopes to scavenge anything that may be useable in the future to come fingers crossed. A set of stars have been placed at the back of the kitchen and thankfully they are all still in tack when I make my way up them to the first floor. Much to my demise the first floor is similar to how the ground floor looks. Very dusty, dirty and broken I slowly made my way down the hallway to the first room on the left. By the looks of things this room is the study with the massive hole in the floor over the living room.

Careful not to get near the hole in the floor and any of the loose planks of wood I head straight to the bookcase to my right. Throughout the house so far the majority of things have been left untouched. Only damaged by the weather and anybody else who may have ransacked it beforehand in the past. In the bookcase on the middle self an old looking camera is covered in dust. Putting down the leather bound book I carefully picked up the old camera to properly examine it. Opening the back of it up a roll of brand new film is still there intact. Checking around the bookcase a camera case is sat not too far down with a stack of black and white pictures. Putting the camera down back on the bookcase I flicked through the pictures. Some of them are of a family that may have previously lived here. While other are of the village thriving with people bustling about their daily lives. The camera case has a strap on and I automatically collected the camera and the black and white pictures into the case. Taking that and the leather bound book I swiftly pocked my head around a few other doors consisting of just some plain bedrooms and a large bedroom sized family bathroom.

Unconsciously something led me to the last door on the right. Turning the knob, the door swung open wide exposing the stillness of the room inside. A chill and goose bumps ran dawn my arms and the whole length of my back. Nothing is in the room apart from a floor to ceiling wardrobe sitting against the far wall next to a bay window. Another weird thing is that the room is clean, tidy, and also is intact completely on the other end of the scale compared to the rest of the house. I`m fairly sure almost as if someone has come here on purpose just to keep this very room spotless from dust and dirt. Taking each step as it comes I now stand in front of the wardrobe grasping the beautiful curved handle. In preparation to open the wardrobe I tried to mentally prepare myself to do it. In the meantime, out of nowhere the wardrobe began to violently rattle. Scared out of my mind I tripped out my own feet and fell flat face first onto the floor trying to get away. My heartbeat pounding in my ears and my breath is laboured as I layed on the floor in panic mode.

With a click of a finger the wardrobe doors flew open to reveal it is full of clean clothes that seeming must have been left untouched. Shaking my head, I muttered under my breath about dehydration and some delusions, I pulled myself off of the floor. Searching through the wardrobe at the back past all of the hanging clothes I found a very much used military outdoor large knapsack. It may have been camouflaged but it would work perfectly to carry all of the stuff I am collecting to survive my may through the island. I do shortly become confused and excited that all the clothes in the wardrobe are all my size or slightly bit bigger. Clearing out the satchel and my bag of canned food I organised the spare clothes (from the satchel and the wardrobe), the canned food and anything else I can fit into the top of the knapsack. Into the satchel I put in the camera case, the leather bound book and my such a lost cause bunch of weapons.

With all of that packed one last time I rummaged through the wardrobe. At the bottom of the wardrobe my hands come into contact with a small square black box. Pulling it out of the wardrobe I unclasp the locks and open it slowly. Surprisingly inside the box there is a small nine centimetre calabour hand gun. A bit warily of what to do with the hand gun I closed the box and put it next to my bags. Nothing else in the wardrobe is not worth anything to me so I got off my knees and closed the doors of the wardrobe behind me. Gathering up all of my full bags I make my way down stairs towards the front door of the house. By the size of this house from the outside it does in fact have a second floor and a decent sized attack. However, spending enough time in here already I don`t really have a lot of time to spend searching through it all. I need to find some shelter for the remainder of the day out of the desert island sun.

A small idea popped into my head before I left on my way. Standing as far away as possible I was able to get the old camera out of the case and take a picture of this side of the village. The picture came out perfectly through the bottom of the camera and everything. Smiling at the picture I put the camera and picture back in the case and back in the satchel for safe keeping. Making my way through the small village to the other side where the forest is starting to build up again in clusters. Next time I thought, I can come here again and have a better search through all of this to revisit the past. The monkey and the baby dragon found me at the edge of the village waiting for them. Together the three of us camped by a heavy clustered area of trees waiting out the rest of the heat of the day.

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