Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Commute

(There is a story behind this and I was going to tell it before I started writing, but I think Ill leave it out because the person that this post is for already knows it.)

I was driving home from work on my pre-determined course thanks to my official route chooser. Tonight it was to be 65 north through downtown. In order for me to get to the ramp to get on 65 I have to go down a few back streets and through a few neighborhoods which tend to get a little shady after dark (no pun intended). I drive through said neighborhood and am sitting at a stop light at a T intersection, I have the option to either go left or right, left being the best choice as its the choice that gets me where I want to go. Regardless, Im sitting at the stoplight and all of a sudden I notice everything start to shake. At first I didnt think anything of it. "Oh, its just the truck" I thought, because the engine tends to get a little shaky from time to time. That idea quickly left my mind as the shaking started to get more and more intense. I didnt know if it was an earthquake or a tidal wave or what it could be. It was about that time, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted something I wasnt expecting. Running down the street at full speed was a herd of stampeding elephants. Needless to say I was a little surprised. They got to me and continued through the intersection in front of me, destroying everything as they went. Ripping off the stop lights, toppling telephone poles, taking out peoples front porches and lawn ornaments. Ive never seen anything like it. This lasted for about 30 seconds, during which time I seriously thought about putting it in reverse and getting out of there, but I was to enthralled by what I was seeing. I couldnt believe it.

After the stampede had run its course (again...not intended) I was sitting there, still at the stoplight, in shock. After a minute or two I began to regain both consciousness and a clear thought process. "If there were stampeding elephants running through shady neighborhoods downtown, then something had to cause it" I thought "but what could it be?" Then I saw it. Well, not it per say, but the fire it produced. A faint glow was getting brighter and brighter behind the houses down the street. The glow was orange and seemed to flicker. "Fire?" No it couldnt be, there would be firetrucks everywhere. The glow grew brighter and brighter by the second, then I heard the roar. It was unlike anything I have ever heard in my life, which is fitting, because moments later I saw the beast that produced it which was, also, unlike anything I have ever seen in my life.

A dragon. Yes, a dragon. A large winged lizard-like creature which breathes fire and sleeps on a pile of gold! THAT kind of dragon! I wasnt exactly sure what I should do at that particular moment, so I opted for the Jurassic Park T-Rex approach: if you stay perfectly still, it cant see you. The plan worked, if only for a moment. As the dragon flew closer it spotted me. It was only then I decided it would be a good idea to get out of there. I threw the transmission into reverse and stomped on the pedal. Im not sure how fast I managed to get going backward, but it didnt matter. The dragon kept pace. I could see the glow in his open mouth. I could almost feel the heat of what was about to come. I yanked the steering wheel, slid into a j-turn, popped it in drive and peeled out. I looked in my rear-view mirror only to see the dragon gaining on me. I started to get a bit worried at this point, I had nowhere to go, nothing I could use to get me out of harms way. I made a hard right onto one of the main roads and saw a train bridge mere yards ahead of me. I had a plan. In order for my plan to work, however, I had to lure the dragon closer. ("Youre gonna do what?!") I let off the gas only for a moment, the dragon was right behind me now, taking a deep breath, his attention fully on me. I passed under the bridge and hit the gas. The dragon didnt see the bridge coming and ran into it headlong. He fell to the ground in a heap. I hit the breaks and slid to a stop, uncertain of the dragons fate.

I got out of the truck and walked toward the creature. His red scales were shimmering in the street lights, smoke rising from his nostrils. I could hear him breathing as I got closer, I could feel his breath heating the surrounding air. He wasnt dead. Closer and closer I crept, for what reason I do not know. I should have left him there while I could, but I didnt. I was almost within arms reach when it happened.

He must have heard me coming or smelled my fear (dragons can do that right?). Like a flash he leapt into the air and began to take another deep breath. I had only seconds to react. I found the nearest car an dove behind it. The dragon let out a blast of flame, engulfing the entire area (except for the car I was behind of course, that would just be ridiculous). The heat was incredible, it was unlike anything Ive ever experienced, but I had to stay calm, I had to think. As soon as the inferno stopped I made a break for the truck. He spotted me but not soon enough. I reached into the bed and pulled out a spear (it was there the whole time, just go with me here). The dragon landed and began to charge. I was unsure of what to do next since I have, in fact, never fought a dragon before. He got closer and I dove out of the way, grabbing his tail as he passed. Using the spear and my own brute strength (again...just go with me here) I began to climb up his body. When I reached his shoulders he had had enough. He pushed off from the ground and took flight. I didnt have time to enjoy the fact that I was flying because I was busy battling a freaking dragon. I thought I was safe. I was between his shoulders where he couldnt reach me. I raised my spear to plunge it into his back when he whipped his head around and grabbed me by the leg. I was dangling from his mouth hundreds of feet in the air. I had only seconds before I would be devoured. I again raised my spear and stabbed him in the neck. His mouth opened and my leg came free. The spear was in deep and held my weight. The dragon began to spin and turn, desperately trying to throw me off, but I held on. He turned upside down and I saw my opportunity. I gained my footing on his neck and pulled the spear free, my next strike would be the final one. We were falling toward the earth but I had to make it count. I raised my spear a third and final time and plunged it into a crack between the beasts scales.

The red dragon let out a mighty howl and I held on for dear life. We met the earth at tremendous speed and I was thrown from him as a cowboy is thrown from a bucking bull. I came to and found the dragon lying several yards away, people had begun to gather around. "Are you ok?" they asked "What happened?!" "Is that a dragon?" I didnt have anything to say. I walked to my truck (we landed really close to it, it was convenient) and wiped the blood from my face. As I drove away I could see the people moving toward my deceased foe, then they slowly faded into the darkness. I found my ramp after again passing through the shady neighborhood. I thought about what happened as I drove and I came to this conclusion: no more listening to Tabitha when she chooses which way youll go home. Youll either run into traffic or stampedes of elephants and raging dragons.



Tabitha said...

First of all, why has no one commented on this epic-childrens book like story!?
Did i say story? I meant real life telling.
Needless to say the best was stunned. And you should have gone south...

Leah said...

I haven't commented because it took me two days to read it!
Now that I'm finished...I love happy endings. :-)