‘I hate volcanoes’, the words of our captain. I always thought they were beautiful, although he hated them for a different reason. I looked out of my cabin window and saw only black ash. Volcanoes made navigation more of a pain then it already was, and dangerous too. If we hit one of them, it would be the end. “All hands on deck!” shouted a voice upstairs. A few other crew members and I rushed outside to receive orders. Upon reaching the deck we were greeted by the rest of the crew and the captain. We joined the group and listed. “We have a bit of a situation here gentlemen!” yelled the captain. He pointed to a section of clouds in front of us. The clouds were pitch black and thunder was cracking out of them. “Can’t we navigate around them sir?” a crewman yelled. “This is an airship, not an oxcart.” The captain said, the seriousness of the situation ringing in his voice. “We go where the wind goes, and right now that means we’re in for a bumpy ride.” “You heard him! All crew to stations!” yelled the Lieutenant.
All of the crewmen scrambled to their respective stations and started working immediately. I grabbed the main sail rope and started tying it so we would get out of this mess as soon as possible. That storm ahead looked fierce, and I thought I actually felt a ting of fear in my gut. I waved it off as I tied the rest of the ropes. The airship shook suddenly and I stumbled, running into the railing. I couldn’t help but look down and my eyes widened in fear. All of the volcanoes were erupting with such intensity that they looked like they had been angered. I knew that this storm wasn’t natural. This merchant ship didn’t stand a chance.
“Captain! We have to get away from this storm!” I yelled. “Don’t be a coward now boy! We will make it!” The captain yelled, with a tone that made me almost believe him.
As we entered the storm, the ship shook violently. I heard wood cracking but I stayed at my station. My crewmates were doing the same, although most of them looked like I did, scared, wondering if we were really going to survive this storm. “Hold her together boys! We’re almost through!” The captain yelled. For once I was actually starting to feel relieved. Maybe we were actually going to- The ship shook violently, as if we had been hit. “Men! Damage control, we’ve been hit!” The captain yelled, pointing to the flaming balloon.
I looked up to see our balloon in flames. It looked as if it had been hit by lightning. My crewmates and I scrambled for buckets of water before the fire hit the third air pocket. If that happened, this ship would go down. I looked around me for the water reservoir and saw it near the crew cabin. My crewmates were desperately filling up the buckets and throwing the water at the flames. I grabbed my bucket and filled it with water. I looked at the fire and threw the water with all my might. It hit its mark, calming the flames, but not dowsing them. The ship shook again, but this time it felt as if it had come from below. “Did we hit a mountain?” a frantic crewmate yelled. “No! It was something else!” the captain yelled.
I looked over the railing to see the damage. Our starboard hull was in shambles, however it wasn’t on fire. I looked in disbelief; that was ice on our hull. How the hell did ice get on our hull? We were in bloody volcano country. Just then something flew by under our ship. “There is something out there!” I yelled. “What do you mean?” the captain said.
Right at that moment, a piercing roar filled the air. The entire crew dropped to their knees and covered their ears. The ship shook violently, sending a crewmate over the rail screaming into the darkness. “Dammit!” the captain yelled, “Everyone to battle stations NOW!” Another roar, as a shard of ice came flying into the belly of our ship. “What in god’s name is that?” a crewmate yelled. “Whatever it is, we have to fight it or we are going to die!” the captain yelled. I ran to the port side and loaded one of the ship's four ballistas with two large bolts found under them. The dual ballista has taken down numerous wyverns that have attacked this ship before. But this wyvern, or whatever it was, felt different. Another roar, but this one was accompanied by a dark, lightning clad figure. It swooped by our ship and grazed the starboard side. The crewmen were doomed from the start, as the dragon took the entire railing along with the crewmen to the shadows below.
“We have to get out of here! Men, port now!” the captain yelled, fear gripping his voice. The ship was in panic but the crew responded, or what was left of the crew, and shifted the sails to a hard left. We entered a clearing where we could fully see the damage. Our ship was in shambles, with half of the hull missing and either on fire or frozen solid.
“What could have done this?” I said.
“A legend, boy…” the captain said, kneeling, looking at the damage as if he was in a dream. “Only a legend could have done this.” “What?” I said. The captain couldn’t be serious. “What did this captain?” “ALATREON!” he yelled pointing behind me.
I turned around to meet a face more fearsome than the devil’s own. It had two horns that were glowing white and teeth that were not of anything I’ve ever seen. But worst of all were the eyes, eyes that pierced your very soul, eyes that looked like the depths of hell, eyes that struck a fear inside you so great you couldn’t even hope of moving.
The great black dragon raised its head and let out a roar of pure darkness, and then struck the ship with red lightning that split it in two. The ship exploded sending me, my captain, and my remaining crewmates into the darkness. I looked up in my final moments to see this great dragon flying away into the shadow clouds and I knew, I knew that this storm was the dragons doing. I looked around me to see crates, wooden planks, bodies, and my captain, falling with me into the eternal slumber. Then, the shadows came up to greet me.
This is one of many works I have written and am just starting to get out there. Please tell me what you think.