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Solo III
Demon World
Part 033

Ada is crouching by the huge muddy claw print on the bank. The one that first lead her to the dragon's den. She is tapping it with a stick. It has baked in the sun for days prior and sounds like the mud is made of stone. The dragons have started to heal over the past week. During the day they scout the area. And every morning food has been passed through the stream gate. Bannana's, coconut, mango, nuts, and berries. This afternoon on the southern side of the island a boat is making it's way to shore. It has a small flock of sheep in the front and one man in the back with an oar. Instead of making for the beach it puts in at the mouth of a stream. Where the stream crosses the beach to the ocean it is shallow and the boat runs aground of a sand bar. They guy in back hops out and walks around to the front. He pulls out a length of rope tied to the bow, throws it over his shoulder and wades ahead. When the rope goes taught he pulls the boat of sheep along behind him. "Our pirate." Uncle says. The three of you start walking through the jungle in his direction. Ada and Gail holding their dresses up off the ground. He wades up the stream waist deep till he comes to a clearing. Ties off the boat and begins to lift the sheep one at a time and put them on the bank. Soon the boat is empty and sheep are wandering around the clearing. The three of you still have half a kilometer to walk. He hops back in the boat and drifts down stream. When he gets to the beach he pulls the boat to one side and breaks out his lunch. Two potatos, a beer, and a slice of cheese. He is finishing up when the three of you walk out of the tree line on the other side of the stream. He just stares at you three on the beach. He's sitting on the side of the boat, his feet inside. The tree line to his back. He stays put and pulls out a curved knife. "Oy!" He moves the knife furtively in your direction. Gail drops the hem of her gown from her hands and lets the hem drag in the sand. She walks forward without swinging her hands. She smiles "May I use that knife. I need to cut this dress to the bottom of my knees. So I my legs can see the sunlight, and move freely." It's a nice smile. He licks his lips and flips the knife around in his hand. He pushes it forward hilt first. Gail leans forward and takes it. In a flash she steps on the side of the boat, jumps into him, and knocks him off the other side. He lands on his back in the sand. She puts her knees on his shoulders pinning him and says "You're taking us with you." The shadows of Uncle and Ada close in on him as they walk up. She puts the knife to his throat. "Aye, just let me recover my sheep." Gail sits up from bending over his face and withdraws the knife. "Ok" she says. He rolls and throws Gail off of him. "I don't think so he says." Quick to his feet he turns and kicks sand at Uncle and Ada. Uncle is standing with the sun just behind his head so the pirate can't see his face. The man's expression shows that he thinks Uncle is just a frail old man. But he turns and runs for the ocean. Gail is instantly back on him and tackles him from behind. This time she puts her knees on the back of his shoulders, pinning him face down in the sand. She grabs him by the hair and pulls his head up exposing his throat. She holds the dull back part of the curved knife to his throat. "I said you are taking us with you." "Alright, alright, allll riight." He opens his hands and spreads his fingers. "You can come. I'll take you there." Gail gets up by stepping on his back and walking over him. "I'm cookpot." He uses his hands to stand up out of the sand. Gail is standing and brushing sand off her. Uncle takes the end rope off the boat and wades upstream. "Let me help you pull." He says without looking back. The guy trots over barefoot and catches the rope in the middle just as Uncle had it stretched to its full length. Cookpot pulls the boat dragging it over the sand and into the stream. Gail and Ada hold up their dresses, walk through the ankle deep water and get in the boat. Uncle is pulling by the very end of the rope, so the guy still hasn't gotten a look at his face. As they pull and wade Uncle talks. "Reptile poison in the sheep food for two days. Dragon eats the sheep, leaves a big latrine, and crawls off to its cave to sleep it off. Lotta dukets in that dung. Key ingreediant to gunpowder. Bloodflow of a ship, gunpowder is."

Cookpot stops pulling. "How did you know that." He starts pulling the boat upstream again. Shaking his head. "Who are you?"

    Gail calls out to him.  "You must be very wealthy."
"I wouldn't be saying that. But everyone wants to keep the dung flowing. Most too scared to come to this island anyway. No competition and the bottomless thirst for gunpowder makes this a sweet deal." For the first time he is quiet for a full three strides up the stream. "Never told anyone about the reptile poison in the sheep food. Few other blokes tried it. The sheep I mean, but they didn't know about the poison. The kind of poison that doesn't affect sheep. The dragon ate those blokes when they showed up for the latrine. Found the bones. You see, a few sheep ain't enough to make a dragon sleepy on their own."

David Michael Grouchy II

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