Our Time is Now

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Chapter 8

Rocco

Groggily I woke up lying on my back roasting in the sun sweltering down onto my bear skin. Hissing out in pain I keep my eyes firmly closed and ever so slowly pulled my sore battered body into the sitting position. Numerous smells of the beach swept through my nostrils as my fingers grasped at the hundreds of thousands of grains of sand. The grains of sand turned to be outstandingly hot the more that I gripped them in the palms of my hands. Pouring it all out of my hands, I pealed my eyes and allowed them to adjust before I examined the palms of my hands. Nothing major occurred on them but on the surface of my skin there is a small burning sensation tingling through it almost as if bun burn is resting there without the show of red skin and pealing dead skin.

Taking my focus away from my hands, I wiggled my toes and began to move my sore limbs from there to see if they are all working properly. Everything is still working perfectly and is in tacked despite the feeling of being run over by a truck. As I lifted my eyes to search the beautiful crystal clear beach surrounding me stretched out for miles before it curled inwards like a croissant. Although on the long wind of beach it is littered with bits and pieces of old ships that have been caught up in the wash of what had been left of the storm. Something in the back of my brain forced me to rear my focus away from the ship wrecks and in doing so I see in the far distance that the storm is still waging war in the ocean braking the sense of calm and tranquillity that washed over me.

Thunder and lightning raged on overseeing the rapid movement of the untameable ocean waves almost acting as a pair of gods with some uncontrolled havoc on anyone and anything that gets in its way. Dangerous and distraught I eventually pulled my eyes away from the storm miles away and landed on a man-eating mermaid sitting on a large boulder poking out of the ocean half a mile out into the water. I didn`t want to wonder what she was doing but I couldn`t help myself in doing so.

“Come to me my dear boy I can make it all better if you just come this way towards me. Anything your little heart desires I can give it to you no matter how big or small that wish will be. Your biological parent is what you want the most to ask them the questions you having swirling inside that little brain of yours. I can see it all in your eyes what you most desire out of life and my power from the gods can gods can give you just that.” The man-eating mermaid coaxes.

Her voice is smooth like butter and her purple hair is floating in the breeze showing off the different features of her face. My brain is screaming at me that this is all just some trick so she can get me into the water and hopefully drown me and eat the flesh off my bones. Meanwhile my body is on auto pilot and gets upon its own accord towards the water`s edge. Knee deep in the water the man-eating mermaid continues to bribe me into the water further with promises of my biological parents and how I can have a family where I feel like I actually belong. The more that I am walking – or swimming – through the water the man-eating mermaid, the boulder, and the false promises jut seem to be. Movement of my body are growing rapid and losing the energy and the will to live as the water is neck deep.

“That`s it my boy your nearly there I can already taste it on the tip of my tongue and the tip of my fingers. The last extra push is all you need to be in my reach at last.”

Subsequently an invisible barrier is forced up against me in which has flown me backwards full force into the air and flat into the water. A thundering book shook me, the salty water, and the ocean bed. Being under water I have now full control of my own limbs and I tiredly drag myself through the water to the surface. Accordingly, all the same I raggedly heaved big deep breaths to dull the aching burn within my lungs. In the end, I lie on my back to drift to the beach against the waves and in the process the skim of my vison over to the boulder where the man-eating mermaid is no longer sitting there.

Confused as to where the man-eating mermaid went I closed my eyes and filtered the salt water of the ocean through my fingers listening to the waves move soundlessly against one another. On another occasion I most likely would have panicked about drowning but my body is tired as it is and on over drive. In so floating with the best idea to help clean my mind and not gravitate towards the bottom of the ocean in a blind panic scared shitless. Nevertheless, as I do make ashore I collapse down to the sand halfway up the beach. A groan left my lips the further the sun is burning my back sticking my we sopping clothes to my blistered skin.

A few hours later my clothes are mostly dry and I have collected enough energy to be able to stumble to my feet in search of somewhere to rest for the remainder of the stay out of the sun and the night in the wrecks of the numerous piles of broken ships littered up and the beach in sections. The wreck nearest me I started at first which held shattered boxes of canned food. In a swift movement I piled the cans up high that weren`t broken and continued through the wreck to find a bag or something to hold all the food in.

Unfortunately, I couldn`t find anything that resembled a bag but I was able to tie together some old pieces of fabric that held together the majority of the canned food and a few other pieces of weapons I was able to recover within the wreckage of the ships I ventured into. As I moved onto the other ships I didn`t always have so much luck however some clothes I found that are too big are now lying on a branch of a tree to dry in the burning heat of the sun. I did have a few scares at the angle in which multiple skeletons were positioned. In the same way, looking for odd bits and pieces a strange groan caught my attention. Whirling around in a circle a few times I stilled at what direction it may have come from.

“Down here boy.” A sharp voice rasped.

A piece of wood, out of the corner of my eye, moved slightly enough that in a sudden movement I rushed over to the man lying underneath over the wood to help him up. Straightaway he pushed me away with one hand while clasping his side with the other. Under my breath I silently swore at the amount of blood that is seeping through his shirt onto his hands. I turned to run and get some fabric to put some pressure on the large open wound; yet a hand shot out and wrapped around my ankle in a sign to stop.

“Don`t bother kid I’m bleeding out too much for you to even bother to try and save my pathetic life.”

Kneeling down by the side of him I took my time in dragging the large number of wood lying across him. Once I had done that I raked my gaze up his body to search for any other severe injuries. In the bottom of his left leg a large shard of wood is sticking out of an open wound.

“Are you sure there isn`t anything that I can do to help you at least be comfortable? You haven`t got very long to live and I can`t leave you here to die on your own, now can I?”

“Well you a little bit late for that mate I`ve been here longer than you have bleeding out under all of that wood. I only caught your attention now is because I need you to protect something for me boy.”

“I can`t take anything from you man your dying, it would just be wrong and unethical for me to do such a thing.”

“It would be neither of those things Rocco. Think of it as a welcome to the island of hell if you`d like. Now go into my satual there should be a really large egg in there.”

Doing as the stranger told me to do I dig through the bag sitting several metres away from his legs. The egg I pulled out of the bag is roughly the size of my head cupped in my hands and about the weight of 4 bags of sugar.

“What the hell is this man? A dragon egg?” I yelled out dumping the egg back into the dying man`s satchel.

“Ding, ding, ding! Ladies and gentleman we have our winner.” He said sarcasm dripping through his tone.

“Oi, there is no need to be sarcastic about it there shouldn`t even be a dragon`s egg. They are myth creatures nothing more and I will safely wake up in my hospital bed with my brother and foster family.”

I closed my eyes and chanted inside my head how badly I wished just to go home away from this island and out from all of this danger. A deep chuckle echoed through the air followed through with some chest rattling cough. My eyes shot open at the ungodly cough and turned to the dying man. Blood is dripping down the side of his mouth ad out of his nose. Shooting my way over to him I layed his head on my lap and wiped away the excesses blood.

“Don`t start trying to help me boy I am dying there is no need to sugar coast it. So I need you to take that dragon egg and take care of it for me. Some people will try and get their hands on it now I that I am out the picture and the egg is left in the open vulnerable for the taking.”

“But I don`t know how to take care of a dragon egg and -.”

“Stop Rocco the dragon will tell you what to do. Now for the love of god take care of the dragon; it has a bright future ahead of itself with you and it will take care of you and the island.”

With a last shaky breath, the dying man died in my lap. The light in his eyes dulled as his soul drained from his body. All of a sudden the world just stopped with the chick of a finger. My mind went into overdrive as I began to panic and hyperventilate. Having someone – a complete stranger at that – die like the way he had done child me to the bone deep. It felt like hours passed around me however it may have only been mere minutes as I sat with a dead body still in my lap going stir crazy at the thought of it. Howling wind broke my concentration of worry and self-pity party.

When the wind hustled at the trees bring up gusts of sand I knew I could no longer sit here waiting for something it happens and Romulus to come and rescue me. He may be dead for all I know. Burning of the sun changed as the time wondered by and the positioning of the sun changed hiding behind the tress of the forest. I personally didn`t want to move but logic over ruled my non-existent desire to stay where I am and swallow in my own self-shame and pity that I couldn`t help save the pour man even for just a few minutes longer.

Before I could have the will power to get up, I turned my attention towards the satchel in concern and just about enough curiousness to slide from under the dead body and lent over to get put the massive dragon egg. Something inside the shell of this egg is drawing it to me like I am meant to have found it here with the dying man to be its rightful guardian and fill in a missing piece. Resting the egg in front of me on the warm sand I flicked through the content of the satchel in which it contained an A5 leather bound book, a pair of reading glasses, two cans of dried out of date food, extra spare clothes, and a small ink bottle with a pure white feather quill. The A5 leather bound book intrigued me the most therefore I picked it up out of the satchel first and carefully opened it up to the first page.

Almost exactly like a novel back home on the middle of the first page it read ’Many thanks and granitite to my brother through all of the greatest inferno abyss we went through on the island of hell. He stuck beside me even after our last falling out in which it leads to never getting back into contact with each other.’ Nothing else was written on the page however on the other hand nonetheless the handwriting screamed out at my face. It wasn`t so much the words that made much sense but the handwriting stared at me is my very own handwriting scruffy and rushed. Many now unanswered questions shuffled, swirled, and scattered around my mind. How did my handwriting get into this book? Why did the stranger know my name before I even told him? What happened to the stranger to land him under a pile of wood bleeding out to death?

Carrying on I continued to slowly turn the pages in the book. In the first ten or so pages on top of each page is four liens saying all different types of stuff that makes absolutely no sense to me. Further down the pages look like a list of herbs and other ingredients to make some sort of potion drink thing. Closing the book there I packed everything, apart from the egg, back in the bag and slung it over my shoulder. Standing back onto my feet I dusted off my trousers and took one last glance at the stranger’s dead body. Pale looking and blood pooled everywhere I left it behind unsure what to do with it.

Collecting my own bag of canned food, other material and few weapons and the massive dragon`s egg I dragged my battered body up the beach towards the tree line of the forest. Although I didn`t get that far because a bundle of chocolate brown darted across my vison and clung itself to my legs. Startled and off balance I trip over my own feet landing in a bundled heap on the sand. The blob of chocolate brown climbs its way up my left leg and sits itself upon my stomach in waiting. Rubbing the grains of sand out of my eyes I untangle myself and stare at the fully looking object. Finally, it clicked inside my head the object in front of me is a 4ft cubby checked looking monkey. With light toned chocolate brown fur with patches of white around its right eye and left ear and grass green coloured eyes; the monkey cocked its head at me before leaping off my stomach and started to roll the dragon egg through the sand in the opposite direction towards the water.

“What the hell is happening to me? I must be dreaming to make all of this stuff up.” I muttered to myself.

Picking myself up off the sand I tugged the dragon`s egg out of the monkey`s grasp. Alternatively, the 4ft monkey had a different idea about what is going to be done about the dragon’s egg. It ran around my legs in circles before taking it upon itself to run up my leg and sit on my shoulders meanwhile slapping at my face. The monkey soon eventually stopped slapping me in the face but put its unwanted attention on the dragon egg cupped in my hands. As I trudged up to the tree line of the forest the dragon egg rocked back of forth in my hands. Slightly scared I carefully layed the egg down on the sand, took a step back, and watched it cautiously wiggling in the sand.

Crakes appeared along the shell rapidly from whatever s inside trying to get out. For about five minutes I watched the egg brake away into small and large chunks. In the end a small scally head popped out of the hole in the top of the egg shell. It surveyed the surrounding area and all of a sudden snorted at the monkey who had waddled its way closer. Baby dragoon proceeded to brake the rest of the shell to get and planted its two feet in the sands. To begin with the baby dragon seemed okay with the grains of sand under its feet though on the other hand after all the baby dragon decided that the sand wasn`t exactly and option to be walking on. Just being hatched the baby dragon didn`t know exactly how to use its wings and in so wobbled its way over to me and curled its body around my neck.

Unaware of that nightfall has gracefully made its presence known in the sky I tried to interact with the baby dragon and the monkey to see if the two of them understand me but that didn`t work out so well with some new fresh cuts on my forearm. Groaning in pain I gave up and huddled under a large based tree for a bit of protection from the whistling wind in the trees. Staring out to sea and up to the beautiful dark blue clear sky the moon is full and out on display for the world to see perfectly. Over the course of I would say about the next hour or so black clouds stopped overhead ad opened up dropping a large mass of rain through the trees. I think trying to help put to keep me warm the newly born baby dragon snorted out some smoke from its nostrils intending to blow some fire. Again the baby dragon tried once more but failed miserably to say the least. Laughing behind my hand the baby dragon huffed smoke in my face.

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