Dragons of the Blood Moon
There weren’t always dragons in the valley, but when the blood moon rises and the sand dunes are at high tide every two hundred years, we prepare for when they swoop down from the sky and extinguish a hot suffering blaze upon the villages. Blacksmiths create fire-resistant metal for villagers to cover their huts but leave us Dune Ryders on the sandy sea to defend for ourselves. We have fire resistant sails, but the wood of our ship doesn’t stand a chance. I look up to the night sky to see the moon beginning to bleed and my crew is looking frightened as they should be. This is my fifth time but for my crew it will be their first as I have had to recruit them all after the last horrifying encounter.
“We must enjoy this cool and starry night for it could be our very last by morning.” I told my crew as they nodded their heads and raised their rum towards me then guzzled it down and as did I.
Later in the night I ordered my crew to end the drinking and head to sleep for I need them to be sober for what is to come in the morning. I stare out the window in my den and slowly watch the moon fill up with red and the sandy sea was rising as it made waves against my ship. I laid my head to rest but not a moment sooner, I’m thrown out of bed from a terrible crash but of what? I must have slept through the night because it is daylight through my window leaving me disoriented. The ship is slanted, and I manage to get out of my den to the sound of screaming men as I see the dragons of the blood moon are out blazing at the villages from afar as some are circling above the ship. My crew is in disarray as they are trying to hit the dragon with the cannons below deck.
“Where is the quartermaster?” I yelled angerly but they were all too preoccupied to hear me. He is supposed to steer the ship when I’m absent, that irritating bloke. I jump up to the helm and see a pile of ashes in front of me. A dragon blazes past me almost turning me into ashes too but only setting my cherished hat on fire. I quickly pat it out and crank the ship sharp to port side as sand splashed up and suffocated the fire on the side of the ship. Suddenly I hear a crew member scream and then vanish into ash as fire lingered in the air. The dragons cried out to each other while hundreds more began to swarm the land ahead and above my ship. I desperately begin to look for sinking sand to take us under before my whole crew is burnt into ash.
“Get ready boys for I am going to dive down the first sinking sand my eyes fall upon.” The crew frantically got in positions to prepare the ship to descend. One of the dragon’s wings pushed against the starboard side that nearly flipped us over, but I jarred the ship against the wing trying to stay afloat. As I hold on to the helm with all my strength I look at the Dragon as it looked back at me, I could have sworn it was smiling. The helm began to shake as the boards beneath it began to crack and break. I let off the helm that spins fast towards the port side. The dragon lifts off as the ship thunderclaps against the sandy dune as a crew member falls out, my best mate. We continue straight onward as I see a giant sinking hole swirling in the sand. The crew pulled on the ropes that shifted the sails to the front as the bow tilts downward sucking us in like a vortex wind as the sand tears through the air like bullets, nearly cutting at our skin. I press the wooden button in the middle of the helm as a sail enwraps around the ship making a dome to protect us. The light of the sky closed in as we dived deeper beneath the wet and mucky sand. It got eerily quiet and dark as if were on the other side of the moon.
We have shallow breaths and shouldn’t stay under for too long. The sounds of the dragons are muffled, and the ship glided through the wet sand with ease, but it was hard to see. I looked to my astrolabe to navigate through the dark and guide us to the nearest of land. Then without warning a dragon burst through the sand above us as the light from the sun blinded us while flames burnt most of my crew and ship. I steer away and look back to my astrolabe but then the dragon’s fiery breath engulfed it and fell through my fingers like dust. I decided to steer the ship upward as fast as I can while the dragon fly’s viscously behind me and the sand rips open the sails, slicing at our skin. I yell in pain but keep steady towards the surface. Fire continues to erupt past me as I duck and swerve the ship but rear it back into place as we ascend. The dragon head butts the stern making me fall but I instantly get back up and hold on to the helm but then the dragon flaps over to the bow and attempts to push it down, but my ship prevails and breaks through and flies high into the air and lands hard on top of the sandy sea. The dragon’s wing has gotten caught beneath the ship and tumbles away beneath the sand. I smile in victory but only for a brief moment for I see the land ahead is flooded with fire. I would be surprised if there were any survivors. Then I look to my crew and noticed there were only five left out of hundred and twenty-five men. This crew survived longer than the last. The dragons have multiplied by the thousands, I have had enough of this terrible act.
“We must fight fire with fire!” I proclaim as my crew cheers with agreement and threw the anchor overboard. We head to the cannons below deck and fill them with bombs and piles of coal and light a match to them. Bombs and coal that was burning with fire shot through the sky passing by the dragons as they dodged them. We tried again and hit one of the dragons with a bomb that exploded in mid air, but the dragon breathed it in making it become stronger and bigger in size. We replace the bombs and coal with swords and daggers. The blades shoot out and hits one of the dragons right through the heart as it falls into the sand and sinks below. We cheer and keep shooting out as many blades we can find. One by one the dragons fall to their death and now thousands became hundreds then became double digits and then it was down to one.
“Captain we have ran out of blades.” A crew member brought to my attention. I blurt out a swear as we run up to the deck. I pull the anchor up and we make our way towards land where there are only a few survivors left. The last dragon is coming straight for us, and I frantically look for a weapon of any kind, even something that isn’t considered as a weapon. I look down and see a rope caster, I quickly pick it up and mount it on around my chest and aim it towards the dragon as it swerves from side to side trying to psych me out. I close one eye and keep my aim on it. I pull the trigger and a rope with an arrowhead shoots out and pierces through the dragon as it lets out it’s last fiery breath and falls to the sand and begins to sink away. My crew members cheer with excitement as well as the survivors on land but I’m not cheering. I'm frantically struggling to get the rope caster off my chest as the dragon’s body is pulling me closer and closer to the edge of the ship. My crew members see and run towards me as I keep trying to unhinge this blasted weapon. They grab a hold of me but the pull is getting stronger, and I could feel the crew slipping. I finally get the first belt undone but the second belt around my chest was stuck. I yell with fright as the rope was now tighter and pulling me over the edge and the crew’s feet were sliding across the floorboards. I keep tugging and yanking and then finally the belt broke off and the rope caster fell below with the dragon as the crew pulled me back and fell on top of each other. We got up and watched the blood drain out of the moon as relief drenched over me that we never have to think of this horrific event for another two hundred years.