Jonathan’s Return (An Adventure Novel)
(Copyright 1984, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)
Book Two, Chapter Five, Part Three
There was no time to think, only to act, as Jonathan drew his Light Sword in the middle of the deluge and slashed down on the dragon’s tail as the raft collided with it. The Light Sword shone brightly in the presence of the evil beast, and its light was bright enough for Jonathan to see it slice straight through the tail about five feet from the tip. Immediately the dragon bellowed and flailed its tail like a whip in anger, and thrashed about in the trees and underbrush along the east side of the River Myuthall. Jonathan quickly sheathed his sword plunging the raft into darkness again, and hoped the current would carry them far away from the threat of retaliation by the wounded creature.
Even Jonathan was surprised at having struck the dragon, because he hadn’t taken the time to pause and think about it before acting. There was no analysis of options, nor consideration of potential outcomes in the matter, simply the instinctual decision to act in the moment the opportunity presented itself to him. It was a different situation now, though, as the raft floated downstream in the dark away from the sounds of the dragon angrily thrashing in the undergrowth and splashing in the river, for the outcome was uncertain at best.
The fact the dragon hadn’t pounced on them yet was due to the darkness, the driving rain storm, and the enchantments of the raft cloaking their scents – but the sounds of the creature sloshing through the river were still too close for comfort for Jonathan. Sammy did his best to stay clear and not fall off the raft during the peak of the action, but was now facing upstream at the edge of the raft ready to defend his master. Jonathan reached out and quietly pulled Sammy back to him, holding him close so they wouldn’t get separated in the aftermath of dealing with the dragon.
As the moments ticked away, it was clear to Jonathan that the beast couldn’t find them on the raft, and probably didn’t have an idea of what struck it. As the sounds of the dragon’s fury quieted down in the distance, he knew not to count it out, for the beast was likely to come back to find them with a vengeance. The only question now was if the rainstorm would continue, and if so, would it obscure the sunrise enough for them to put a good distance between the raft and the creature, and let them float on towards the Sea of Tollvar in relative safety.
Jonathan realized there was no safety to be found when dealing with a dragon, but at the same time he understood that his best security was found in putting miles between them and the beast. All he could do was hope to remain undetected, as their first encounter with the beast had been totally unexpected, and he didn’t want to be surprised like that again. Next time he wanted to be the one calling the shots – if there was to be another time – for he didn’t know how many opportunities he had left, and wanted the next one to be the one that took down the dragon…