The After The Dragon Chapter 1 part 7
Dinosaur Puncher October 13th, 2021
Just like that chaos was returned to order. Omjerry was picked up and swept away to the shalleys, his wounds no longer life threatening, he was tended to by some benevolent villagers. The Playtypus retrieved the emerald green sword Omjerry had wacked away at the dragon with, and stowed it in his pockets never ending. It was not just some ruff shard torn from a log of magic. It was a completely carved sword. A peculiarity to be investigated later, when the boy was on his feet. The patrons that hadnt been secreted away in the cellar rejoiced and clapped each other on the back, reveling in the fact that they had ‘cheated’ death for one more day. Except for Ted. Ted died the very next day.
Chauncey slimed up onto the bar. It was basically the last thing standing. A grand 300 year old Willow Oak had been carved into one continuous length of bar that snaked around the back and down the side of the tavern. On the side, a few branches had been left for seating of small groups 6-8. A couple hundred more years of shellack and stain had transformed it into a work of art. It had also become denser and heavier as the years passed. A couple of scorch marks from the dragons lava breath was the only damage it had sustained.
“Well Dinosaur Puncher, I require payment, and I do not have much faith in my perfunctory subordinate to optain my money”.
The Platypus narrowed his eyes at Chauncey. He could not decide which he was more insulted by; the loss of faith in his abilities, or being called a subordinate.
“As you can see, we have been rather busy just now!” The Dinosaur Puncher also did not like Chauncey’s tone.
“Rubbish, a Dinosaur from across the border! I would have thought you 4 could handle such a thing, with far less colateral damage!”
Already bored with this conversation, Chauncey, for no other reason than the demands of social decorum, deemed to look down at the head on the ground.
The Colonel had collected himself and began brushing an exorbinate amount of dust and debris from his clothing and cloak. A small cloud was left in his wake as he approached the head. Chauncey had slid off the bar and was now holding the head in-between two suckered tentacles. There was a light popping and repopping as he turned it around and around examining it.
“It looks like a dragon”.
“It is a dragon”.
“Not possible. Much too small”.
Chauncey began making his way to the body. He tossed the head to the colonel and began tearing a wing off. The body was well roasted, and as he pried the wing away the aroma of delicious fresh cooked meat filled the place. Chauncey, always hungry began devouring succulent pieces off of it as he continued to poke and examine the body with a couple of idle tentacles.
Toad jr came up to the dragon and began tearing chunks off and stowing them in his pack. He started to shake violently and his eyes rolled back in his head. He then uttered a single phrase;
“The dragon sleeps at midnight”.
There was a swooshing sound like water funneling down a drain and Toad jr popped right out of existence.
He reappeared a few moments later. He had about a 5 weeks growth of beard and looked to have lost a few stone.
Dinosaur Puncher approached him with pen and notepad out just finishing jotting down his utterances. He had several pages of them as he had known Toad jr and his weird affliction for sometime. Toad jr was often sucked into the past. Or the future. Or the inbetween. No one knew why and no one knew how to fix it. He always reappeared a few moments later. He could be stuck in time anywhere from a few days, to a few weeks or months and sometimes years. A few times it had worked in their favor as Toad jr had been sucked out in the middle of battle only to return and reach into the ground at his feet and pull up weapons and grenades and first aid kits. He had sewn fresh arms and legs on the Colonel and Dinosaur Puncher multiple times. He had healed the immortal wounds of the Platypus by securing a drop of pure magic from the river of magic. They had been lucky Toad jr had not been thrown further back in time than The Great Amalgamation or the Platypus would have been screwed. (See History the Great Amalgamation)
It is also wear the joke of being the Colonels father came from. Many of The Colonels family photo albums included pictures of Toad jr, with his arms around The Colonels Mom. Toad jr never spoke about it but according to the family photos, he had spent years there. The Colonel for his part never met Toad jr til the war, and his mother never spoke about his father.
Toad jr tore into the dragon meat like a man who hadn’t eaten in weeks. His cheeks became packed with dragon meat. He had lost his shirt somehow and there were fresh scars on his chest and back. As he ate he pried up some of the charred boards and pulled a small leather pouch from out of the ground. He checked its contents for his keepsakes, a heart-shaped locket, a pocket knife. An old tin with some coins and fresh blades for his razor knife. He stowed the pouch in a pocket and tied the ends to his belt.
He never knew when he would be zapped back to the present so he had begun quickly hiding his valuables when he was sent back to the past. When he was sent to the future it was too disjointed and incongruous, as if it hadn’t been fully written yet.
“It was the Barren times. I hate the Barren times.” (See Barren Times History)
“Oh so sorry. That had to be ruff mate.” But if my calculations are correct you shouldn’t be popped out for at least 6-9 weeks.”
The Dinosaur Puncher went to get some water and without prompting The Platypus began to knitt Toad jrs. Skin together with some ethereal yarn. Toad jrs Time jumps seem to be some what cyclical, most often aligning with upper middle and lower moons in conjunction. Thats when magic was at its pinnacle. They wouldnt be in complete alighnment for 9 more weeks, but his jumps had sometimes come earlier than complete alignment, so there must be some other force.
The Colonel and Chauncey stared at the body and tried to read the portents. They both looked grave lost in thought. Chauncey idly munched a dragon rib as he gazed at the body.
The place was a wreck. Tables and chairs lay discarded and broken all around the place. Rubble and broken timbers lay strewn around the ground. And then there was the corpse of the Dragon. The twisted body lay were it had fell, the head a few feet away. It smelled delicious, and the village began pulling suculent morseals of dragon meat off its bones.
The luggers cricket team, or whatever you call a band of brothers that fight and fuck in unison strolled into the tavern as if it wasnt in complete devastation.
“1 pint please mum, and will fo for the fellas. “
Mum, having previously been shattered, rebuilt herself at the clarion call of running a busy Pub. She had entered the fight to protect her patrons. She now protected them again, by returning order from chaos.
“Have you payed your tab Daryall?”
Darrall had not and blanched.
“Mum please Im good for it! Honest.”
“Then ill put you and your friends on the tab marked Darryl!
Darryl blanched but then accepted it.
Yes mum! And the deeper bitters please mum thank you.
Mum screamed and Natan appeared from the cellar as if he and Gyillser the three armed bartender hadn’t stowed away half the village from a fucking dragon attack. No big deal.
The village poured out of the cellar.
They were hungry.
“Yes mum please! I can hear you.” Natean had emerged from the cellar carrying some fresh pint glasses. They were the old style with handles and wide mouths on them.
Mum payed it no mind.
“Natan we need to call the Gargoyles. I am not arguing about it.”
With that she began magicking chairs and tables back together and seating the village for sup.
Natan sighed and grabbed a rather large bucket of some fishy smelling paste from under the bar and began dolloping the edges of the building with Gargoyle bait.
Dinosaur Puncher returned with some water.
Toad jr drank like his life depended on it. It did.
The fluid flowed and he came back to life.
The village ate and drank with the gusto of people who had come close to being vanquished, and lived to tell about it.
The sun sank behind some buildings still standing across the street and Mum began patting the drunks and the crowd to attention to start clearing out.
“But Mum its just so emotional, the turmoil leaving and what not.”
“You’ll see each other tomorrow”.
People acted like they would never see each other again and they lamented the loss.
Mum had Guysler grab the bat of hurry on outta here. It took 3 arms to lift and he merely needed to rest it on his shoulder to persuade the crowd to move on out.
As the last patron departed mum sent Guysler home and summoned a long council table and lowered a chandelier some how miraculously still hanging from a support beam near the center of the tavern.
It was time they discussed the events and what they might portend. When everyone was finally seated, a momentary hush fell over them.
Then everyone started talking at once.