The Boy and the Sea Dragon
“It’s time to go again. It will be faster if we took to the air,” Xianjeng said.
“Now, where are we going? I’ve been wanting to know for some time,” Zuangeng finally asked.
“I’m taking you to an island with people, I know of,” Xianjeng said.
Zuangeng prepare for the flight. Xianjeng got a running start. Soon, they were airborne Xianjeng gained altitude. They flew until it became too late to fly.
Xianjeng landed in the water so Zuangeng could sleep in relative comfort. The sun had gone below the horizon. Zuangeng freed himself. He rolled over onto his back. He gazed up into the night sky. There were some clouds, the half moon and thousands of stars. There was a band of white light across the sky. They called that band the ‘Milky Way’. It looked like somebody had spilled milk across the heavens. He looked for patterns on the stars. He found the big and little dippers in the north. He found the constellation known as ‘Draco the dragon’. He recognized a few more constellations. He fell asleep.
Xianjeng took to the air early in the morning. He flew for about half a day. He encountered a strong headwind. He fought against it. The sky became overcast with dark clouds. Zuangeng took notice and looked. They saw flashes of lightning. A storm was heading their way. Xianjeng looked for a way around it. There was none. He could not go over it. He looked down. There were huge waves. There was no way to avoid it.
Xianjeng descended. He looked for a good place to land. He landed in a trough between two big waves. He held his head up. Zuangeng got a stronger hold on two fins. He crammed his ankles further between two more pairs.
Zuangeng got soaked in the pouring rain. He struggled to remain on Xianjeng’s back. Xianjeng started to tilt to the left. He turned to face an oncoming wave. He tilted with his front up. He rode the wave up and over. A bolt of lightning flashed. There was a loud crack of thunder.
Xianjeng topped the next wave. There was something he did not like. There was a wide, spinning wall of clouds that went all the way to the water. It was thrashing the water.
Xianjeng turned his head to look at Zuangeng. The boy looked up to see the dragon. Xianjeng yelled so he could be heard, “We will need to go under to get past this. It will be calmer underwater.”
Zuangeng silently nodded. He took a real deep breath. He held it. Xianjeng turned his head back. He dove under.
He flew underwater until Zuangeng needed air. He reached the surface. Zuangeng freed himself. He sat up. Xianjeng raised his head. The air was calm, no wind. They looked down at the water. It was as smooth as a mirror. They looked up at the clear sky. They saw the top edge of a cloud wall. They looked around them. The wall of clouds swirled around them. Xianjeng said, “We’re in the eye of the storm.”
“I’ve never been in the center of one of these storms before. We’ve always stayed as far from them as possible. We call them hurricanes,” Zuangeng said.
“We need to go back under to clear this storm,” Xianjeng said.
Zuangeng made his usual preparations. Xianjeng submerged. They were near the far edge of the storm when they resurfaced. Rain was still pouring down. They still had to contend with big waves. The main part of the storm was behind them. They saw more lightning. They heard more thunder. The storm’s edge was approaching. Xianjeng yelled, “We’ll ride out the rest of the storm on the surface.”
“Too bad, you don’t have a sail,” Zuangeng commented.
“I think, I can come up with something like one,” Xianjeng said. He raised both wings to a seventy five degree angle. He adjusted them and the way he was facing until his wings caught the wind. As they took off across the water, he said, “Whee!”
They passed the edge. He lowered his wings. The sun shone on them. The water rippled. He said, “Time for us to take off.”
Zuangeng prepared himself. Xianjeng took a running start. He flapped his wings. Soon, they were airborne, again. They gained altitude. Zuangeng felt the air brushing against his wet skin. It chilled him. He was thankful that they were out of the storm. His skin dried. The sun warmed him. His hair took a little longer to dry.