The Fiction of Wolf Moisan

The Boy and the Sea Dragon

Chapter Sixteen

A new Home

Zuangeng, Gunthar and his two sons walked down the street. It was deserted. They exited the business district. They entered the residential district. They walked along numerous streets. Zuangeng looked around. HE saw numerous houses, both wood and red brick. Lights shone in the windows. Some houses had one light on the outside wall by the door. Others had two, one on each side. Some had lit lamps out in the yard. The wood houses were different colors. The street corners had lamp posts with signs.

They came close to the edge of town. It was dark now. The moon and stars were out. He could not see as many stars as he could on the ocean. They came to a two story bricked house. They stopped. Gunthar said, “This is our house, Zuangeng. Welcome to our humble abode.”

They walked up a concrete walkway. A well kept lawn was on each side of the walkway. They came to a cobblestone driveway running across the entrance to the house. They reached a single wood door. Gunthar pulled out his key. He unlocked the door. He opened it.

They walked through the doorway. They entered the living room. It was dimly lit with moonlight. Gunthar pulled the hood off Zuangeng’s head. He removed the cape. Petra and Hans walked to a couple of gas lamps. They lit them. Zuangeng looked around the room. The walls were pine paneling. On the outer wall were several windows. They had greenish patterned curtains on each side. Petra walked to each one. He drew the curtains closed. A couch sat on the wall opposite of the outer wall. Two arm chairs sat at different locations. In front of the couch was a long glass topped table. Magazines laid on top. The floor was covered by a sea bluish patterned carpet. In one corner stood a tall oak cabinet. It had glass doors. Behind the doors were shelves of books. Below the doors, the cabinet stuck out about six inches. Under the ledge was a drawer. A lamp sat on the ledge. An opening was in the wall right of the entry. Gunthar said, “Petra, show Zuangeng to the spare bedroom.”

Petra walked to the cabinet. He opened the drawer. He pulled out a match and lit it. He lit the lamp. He put several matches in his right pants pocket. He picked the lamp up. He carried it to Zuangeng. He signaled him to follow. They walked through the opening into a hallway.

They turned left. Along the walls were more gas lamps. Petra lit them as they went. About a yard from them was a flight of stairs. The floor and the stairs were covered in carpet. A burnished mahogany bannister lined each side of the stairs. The stairs split the hallway in two. They climbed the stairs.

At the top, they turned left. They walked to the far end of the carpeted hall. Petra paused to light more gas lamps. They turned right. Petra opened the door. They entered the room.

The floor was carpeted in greenish blue. In the far wall were windows. They had curtains on both sides. A king sized bed stood on the right wall. It stood in the middle. It was already made up in case of unexpected guests. Two pillows laid at the head. A dresser stood on the left wall. Night stands stood on either side of the bed at the head. Lamps sat on both night stands. Petra lit the lamps.

Petra signaled to Zuangeng that this room was his. Zuangeng pulled his goggles off his head. He put them in the top dresser drawer.

They exited the bedroom. Petra led Zuangeng to the bathroom. He lit a lamp on the wall left of the door. The floor was covered in sea blue tile with colored specks. A bathtub sat on the far wall. A window was above the tub. A cabinet stood on the left wall. A sink was in the cabinet’s top. A water pump was right of the sink. A plug and bar of soap sat left of the sink. A footstool sat in the corner right of the door.

Petra grabbed the footstool. He placed it in front of the cabinet. Zuangeng stood on it. Petra put the plug in the drain. He pumped cool water into the sink. They washed their hands and faces together. A rack with a hand towel hung on the cabinet’s right side. Zuangeng dried his face and hands. Petra drained the sink. Zuangeng replaced the stool. Petra dried his hands and face.

They walked downstairs. Petra led Zuangeng into the kitchen. Gunthar and Hans were preparing the evening meal. They were using a gas stove on the right wall to cook on. Zuangeng said, “Smells good.”

Gunthar said, “Thank you. We’re having veal. Supper will be ready in a few more minutes.”

Petra led Zuangeng into the dining room. They walked through a doorway in the kitchen’s left wall.

The floor was light and medium blue tile. The round birch table sat in the middle. Three chairs surrounded it. Another door was across the room. Petra walked to the door. He opened it. Zuangeng looked into a small room with five chairs. Petra pulled one out. He carried it to the table. He rearranged the three chairs. He set the fourth chair in place.

A tall cabinet stood on the left wall. Glass doors were set at the top portion. Three drawers were below the doors. Zuangeng saw plates, bowls, glasses and cups on shelves. Petra opened the doors. He got four plates, bowls, and glasses. Zuangeng helped him place them around the table. Petra opened the top drawer. He pulled out the silverware. He taught Zuangeng how to set the silverware. Petra pulled out the middle drawer. He picked up four brown cloth napkins. He placed them around the table.

After supper, Gunthar said, “Zuangeng, take a bath. You look like you haven’t had one for a long time. I’ll try to find some clean night clothes for you to wear tonight.”

He switched languages. He said, “Petra, prepare his bath water.”

Petra and Zuangeng entered the kitchen. Petra walked to the wall opposite of the stove. A marble topped cabinet stood on the wall. The top had a sink and a hand pump. Doors were below. Zuangeng watched Petra open a door in the cabinet. Petra pulled a metal bucket out. He put it in the sink under the spigot. He pumped water into the bucket. He placed the bucket on the stove to heat.

Gunthar exited the dining room. He walked into the hallway. He climbed upstairs. He turned right. He walked to a hatch in the ceiling. A cord hung within reach from the hatch. He pulled the cord. The hatch opened downward. A ladder slid to the floor. He climbed the ladder into the attic. He turned right, again. He walked over to a trunk marked ‘jongan klideng’. He opened it. He rummaged through the boys’ old clothes. He looked for a night outfit for Zuangeng.

The water boiled. Petra walked to a counter on his left. He pulled a drawer under the counter. He got a towel. He walked back to the stove. He wrapped the bucket’s handle with the towel. He took the bucket off the stove. He carried the bucket upstairs to the bathroom. He took care to not allow any water to slosh out. Zuangeng followed him.

Petra set the bucket on the floor before the bathtub. He took a plug from a corner of the tub. He put it in the drain. He turned to a door in the right wall. He opened it He pulled a towel out. He used it on the bucket’s bottom. He poured the steamy hot water into the tub. He set the bucket down on the floor. A hand pump stood at the left end of the tub. He pumped cold water into the tub until the bath water was comfortable.

Zuangeneg got undressed. Petra put the handle towel on the floor. He returned to the open door on the right. He pulled a body towel, wash cloth and a bar of soap out. He put the towel on a rack on the left wall before the tub. Zuangeng climbed into the tub. Petra gave him the wash cloth and soap. Zuangeng started the first decent bath he had since being lost at sea.

Petra picked up Zuangeng’s dirty clothes. He exited the bathroom with them. Gunthar entered the bathroom. He carried a set of night clothes and a pair of slippers. He set the clothes on the sink counter by the tub. He set the slippers on the floor in front of the cabinet. He exited the bathroom.

Zuangeng searched for everybody after dressing. He caught up with them in the den. An empty fireplace was in the left wall. A couch sat facing the fireplace. An arm chair sat at each end of the couch. Gunthar and Petra sat at a table on the far wall. They faced each other. Hans sat in a chair before the table.

Zuangeng walked toward Hans. He found Gunthar and Petra were playing chess. Gunthar played the white men. Petra played the black men. Hans was watching.

Zuangeng found a chair at another table. He pulled it next to Hans. He knelt on the chair to watch. He placed his hands on the table. Gunthar saw him. He said, “Feeling any better now?”

Zuangeng said, “Yes. The clothes smell funny.”

Gunthar said, “They have been in storage. They  will smell that way for a while. They’ll air out. They’ll smell better, later.”

Gunthar noticed Zuangeng’s finger nails. He said, “We need to clip those nails. I’ll do it after the game.”

Zuangeng said, “Yes, sir.”

Near the game’s inevitable conclusion, Zuangeng grew sleepy. Hans watched Zuangeng’s mouth open wide in a yawn. He said, “Please excuse us. I’ll take Zuangeng to his room.”

Gunthar said, “We’ll do your nails in the morning.”

Hans and Zuangeng exited the den. They walked upstairs to Zuangeng’s bedroom. Hans pulled the covers back. Zuangeng pulled his slippers off. He crawled into bed. Hans covered him. He put the slippers at the bed’s foot. He blew out the lamps. He exited the room. He stopped in the doorway. He turned and said in his language, “Good night, Zuangeng.”

Zuangeng just fell asleep without a word.

Hans returned to the game. It ended in a stalemate.

The Fiction of Wolf Moisan

The Boy and the Sea Dragon

Chapter Fifteen

The Dragon Lord

Xianjeng left the island, alone. He flew underwater looking for some food. He had not eaten since the day before. He went deeper than he ever did with Zuangeng. He knew that humans could withstand just so much pressure, unaided. It seemed like a long time before he ran into a school of fish. He snatched some fish, eating each one whole. He hardly chewed any. While he was eating one fish, he heard some grunts, whistles, groans and other noises. He knew that was a call for a meeting. He called back telling whoever made the call where to meet him. He was answered with an urgent call to meet.

He swallowed the last fish. He turned up. He flew up fast. Sea dragons never suffered the bends, no matter how deep they were and fast the ascent. He broke surface. He flew directly into the air. Water rose into the air around him. It fell back. Water drained off Xianjeng. Circles of waves emanated from the spot. He flew up high into the air before leveling off. He flew through the air with utmost speed, faster than he dared with Zuangeng.

Soon, he arrived at the meeting island. He landed in the bay. Water flew from his landing. A wake was left as he glided to a stop on the water. The red dragon was there alone. They came face to face. The red dragon spoke, “Kilethang, Ziolanzik, our lord, seeks a meeting with you, post haste.”

Only dragons knew each other’s true names. Xianjeng said, “You know for what?”

The red dragon said, “He will not say. He only told me that it is urgent and very important.”

“I will go then. I’ll leave tomorrow morning for it is late,” Xianjeng said. It was getting dark. The sun was on the western horizon. Both dragons spent the night in the bay.

They woke up as the sun was on the eastern horizon. They ate fish together. Xianjeng flew off into the air, alone. He headed toward the rising sun. The red dragon flew through the water. He flew in a different direction. He was on his own business.

Xianjeng flew for many days. He past many islands. He came to a particularly large island. Large tracts of forests and grassland were on the island. Numerous lakes and rivers were seen. He could not see all of the island even from his great height. Sandy beaches and cliffs lined the edge of the island. It was in pristine condition. Humans had yet to discover this island. The dragon lord had chosen this island for his abode for this reason.

Xianjeng headed for one particular dark grey cliff. He descended as he approached it. He came to the water’s surface.

He dove under water, seeking a cave’s entrance. He swam deep, deeper than unaided humans can go. His eyes glowed in the dimness. He found the entrance. The entrance was large. It was wide enough for his wings to fit fully extended without touching the walls. He entered the entrance into pitch black darkness.

His eyes glowed brighter. They lit up a tunnel going straight through rock. The tunnel was large as the entrance. He flew through the tunnel. Eventually, the tunnel slanted up. His flippers and bottom fins turned into legs. His front feet touched the rocky floor. He pulled himself up the slope until his hind feet touched the floor. He folded his wings. He walked up the slope.

He came to an air chamber. His head came out of the water. He heard a disembodied voice nearby to his right. He stopped moving. His body was still submerged in the water. Only his head and neck were in air. Water dripped from his head. The voice said, “Welcome, dragon.”

He turned his head to see who it was. His eyes dimmed. He faced the source of the voice. It was a cave elf. It had white skin and hair and pointed ears. The skin and hair glistened form moisture. It had large eyes. Cave elves are able to see well in the dimmest lights, even prefer it. They can, also, fond their way in pitch darkness. They used echo location. Their hearing was acute, able to tell directions from the echoes.

 

“I’m here to see my lord,” Xianjeng said.

“He is expecting you. Follow me,” the elf said. He turned around. Xianjeng climbed out of the tunnel and water into the chamber. Water flowed off his body. He followed the elf to another tunnel. They stopped at the entrance. The elf said, “Wait here.”

The elf disappeared into the new tunnel. Xianjeng waited. He turned his body. His eyes grew brighter. He looked around. Multicolored, glistening stalagmites, stalactites and columns decorated the chamber. He felt the thick moisture in the air. Water dripped from the stalactites into puddles of water. Little fountains rose from the contact. Ripples spread out. The floor and some of the stalagmites were coated with green bioluminescent algae.

The elf walked through the tunnel. The floor and a small portion of the walls were coated with green bioluminescent algae as well. The elf, too, felt the heavy moisture of the air. As he progressed, the air started to dry out. He came to a pair of black curtains. He walked to the right wall. He pulled a cord in the wall. A bell tinkled on the curtain’s other side. An elf’s head popped between the curtains. This elf had color. Its skin was fleshy pinkish brown. Its hair was black and long. Its blue eyes were of normal sixe. The curtains framed its neck. The new elf said, “What do you need?”

The cave elf said, “A dragon is here to see the lord.”

The other elf said, “I will inform him. Wait here.”

The elf disappeared. The elf found the dragon lord in his sleeping chamber. The chamber was dimly lit. The dragon laid on the floor, dozing. The elf loudly cleared his throat. The dragon opened his eyes. He stirred. He raised his head. He said, “Who dares to disturb my nap?”

The elf said, “It was I.”

The dragon moved his head to look at the elf. He said, “Oh, it is you. What do you want?”

The elf said, “I was informed that you have a dragon seeking audience with you.”

The dragon said, “Very well. Show it in. I will see what it wants.”

The dragon stood on his legs. They exited the chamber. The elf walked to the curtains. He popped his head between the curtains. He held the curtains around his neck with both hands. He said to the cave elf, “The lord will have audience, now.”

The elf disappeared, again. The cave elf returned to Xianjeng. He said, “The lord will see you.”

The cave elf disappeared leaving Xianjeng to himself.

Xianjeng entered the tunnel. He came to the curtains. He pushed his way through them. He entered a well lit chamber. He looked up and around. Glowing crystalline stalactites hung from the ceiling. A large cylindrical, glowing crystal hung in the middle. Above the crystal was a hole admitting sunlight. A column of sunlight shone from the crystal. The air was drier than the previous chamber. Here, was no algae. Sitting in the beam was a gold colored dragon. This dragon was considered the mightiest and wisest of all the sea dragons.

Xianjeng walked to within a yard of the dragon. He bowed his head in reverence. He said, “My Lord Ziolanzik, what is your desire?”

Ziolanzik said, “Information, Kilethang! Rumor has reached me that you saved a human from drowning!”

Xianjeng said, “Sire, the rumor is true.”

“Why did you rescue this human instead of letting it drown,” Ziolanzik asked, interrupting Xianjeng.

“Sire, it was a human child, a boy, could not have been older than six. He had not even lived yet. I could not let him drown, sire. Surely, you would not have had me let a child drown,” Xianjeng defended himself.

“No, I would not. Where is this boy, now,” Ziolanzik asked.

“I left him on an island, among his own kind,” Xianjeng said.

“I need to see this boy. Get him! Bring him to me!” Ziolanzik commanded.

“Sire,” Xianjeng said bowing his head again. He kept it bowed.

“You are dismissed. You can go now,” Ziolanzik said.

Xianjeng turned around. He raised his head. He walked to the doorway. He pushed through the curtains into the dimly lit tunnel. He walked through it into the dimly lit chamber. His eyes glowed dimly.

He was greeted by the same elf. The elf said, “Finished with your business with the lord?”

Xianjeng said, “Yes, for now.”

The elf said, “Mind if I ask what it was about?”

Xianjeng said, “Yes, I do mind. That is on a need to know basis. You have no need to know.”

The elf said, admonished, “Sorry, just curious. Follow me.”

He led Xianjeng to the tunnel leading out to sea. Xianjeng walked into the tunnel and water. He walked down to where the tunnel leveled out. He spread his wings. He flew out into the sea.

He flew through the water. He headed for the surface. He broke the surface. He flew into the air. He turned right as he gained altitude. He headed for the island where he left Zuangeng.

 

The Fiction of Wolf Moisan

The Boy and the Sea Dragon

Chapter Fourteen

A New Family, Home

Zuangeng came upon a fruit stand. He found some red medium sized fruit he liked. He looked around. It seemed to be nobody around. He held the bottom of his shirt up with his left hand. He picked through the fruit with his right hand. He put some in his shirt. The last one he picked, he kept in his hand. He took a bite out of it. Red juice ran down his chin. He chewed on the piece.

A merchant popped out of nowhere. He yelled, “Hey! Ju vareisun aan bitalon om ganen!”

Zuangeng looked up at the merchant. He turned to the right. He took off running. The merchant took off chasing him. Zuangeng ran down the street. A crowd of people had appeared. He merged into the crowd. He dodged around some people. He became one with the crowd. He slowed down. He walked. He still had the fruit in his shirt and hand. He ate the fruit in his hand.

The merchant watched Zuangeng enter the crowd. He yelled numerous times, “Chief!”

People heard him. They turned to face him. The merchant ran into the crowd. He continued yelling, “Chief!”

Zuangeng turned to see the merchant pursuing him. He turned back around. He ran again. He dodged grasping hands.

He turned left at a corner into a side street. The merchant still chased him. He yelled, “Chief!”

Hans and his father walked along a street. They heard someone yell, “Chief!”

Hans said, “That is someone else yelling. Zuangeng must have gotten into trouble with another merchant.”

“Who is Zuangeng,” the father asked.

“The boy Petra and I were telling you about,” Hans replied.

They came to an alley. They entered it. They walked to the other end. They peered around the corner to the right. Zuangeng just turned the corner. His hair flew to his right. He held the bottom of his shirt up with his left hand. He clutched something with his right. Shortly, a man appeared around the corner.

Hans said, “That’s the boy we were talking about.”

They pulled back into the alley. The father said, “Hans, stay here. Give me that sheet.”

Hans gave him the sheet he was carrying. The father out his own sheet over his head. The sheet draped to the ground. He vanished. Everything he saw appeared hazy. He looked out of the alley. He waited. He unfolded the small sheet.

Zuangeng came to the alley. The father ran out. He threw the small sheet over Zuangeng. The sheet draped over Zuangeng’s head to the ground.

Suddenly, everything Zuangeng saw went hazy. He turned his head left to look. Out of nowhere, a man appeared. The man grabbed him. He caught Zuangeng in his arms.

Zuangeng dropped the fruit in his shirt. He had let go of his shirt. He managed to retain the one in his hand. He yelled, “Ah, ingayala!”

The man pursed his lips. He held a finger to them. He made a soft ‘sh’ sound. Zuangeng continued to yell. The man used his hand to cover his mouth. Zuangeng bit the hand. The man stifled a yelp. He pulled Zuangeng into the alley. Zuangeng moved his legs sideways. He saw Hans. He quieted down. He stopped struggling.

The merchant chased Zuangeng down the street. Zuangeng came to an alley. The merchant watched him vanish. He stopped on the spot. He yelled, “Hey!”

He looked around. He was about to leave when he heard a disembodied voice yell. The merchant ran to where he heard the yelling. The yelling stopped. He turned to look into the alley. He only saw Hans walking off. He looked down. Smashed fruit littered the pavement where he stood.

He turned around. He walked to the police station. He lodged a complaint with the authorities. New, amended fliers went out.

The father touched Hans to signal his presence. Hans and his father, with Zuangeng in tow, walked back to the other end of the alley. Zuangeng finished the fruit. He tossed the remains. The three of them walked through the streets. Zuangeng and Hans’ father still wore the sheets. They reached the back of the shop. They walked through the back door. They entered the storeroom.

The man removed the sheet from Zuangeng. Everything returned to normal. The man removed his own sheet. He appeared. He gave the sheets to Hans. Hans put the sheets in a hamper next to the door in the right wall.

Zuangeng watched. He wondered what was going on. He apprehensively wondered what would happen to himself.

Hans returned. Hans and his father turned their attention to Zuangeng. Hans said to his father, “Fader, dut ben Zuangeng.”

Hans pointed to his father. He simply said, “Gunthar.” (Note: Gunthar is spelled with an umlaut over the u)

Gunthar held his right hand out. He said, “Blaj aan moken kennis mit ju.”

Zuangeng hesitated. He stood there. The fruit juice had dried on his chin. He looked at Gunthar. He was not sure what to make of him. The man looked harmless. Zuangeng knew that looks can be deceiving. The man looked like he could be related to Hans and Petra. Zuangeng made up his mind to trust him for now. He extended his own right hand. They shook hands.

Petra had a break. He had gone into the storeroom. He heard his father speak to Zuangeng. He said, “Fader, haj dounet varstaan ju!”

Zuangeng then spoke, “Dong amia lakea Cingalia?”

Everybody looked at each other. Petra said, “There he goes again with that strange language.”

Zuangeng repeated the question. As he did so, he pointed to each of them. He moved his thumb and fingers together and apart.

They watched him. Gunthar realized what Zuangeng tried to ask. He shook his head. He said, “Noon.”

Zuangeng tried a different language in an effort to communicate. He said, “Do any of you know Dragonese?”

Gunthar said, “I do know Dragonese. None of my sons do though.”

You could hear Zuangeng let out a sigh of relief. Gunthar spoke their language, “Petra, Hans, go out there. Mind the store. I need to talk with Zuangeng.”

Petra and Hans exited the storeroom. They entered the front of the store.

Gunthar led Zuangeng to his office’s door. They entered the office. It was a small room. A window was in the far wall. Light shone through it. Shelves lined the wall to the left of the window. In front of the window was a desk with a nondescript chair behind it. Two chairs sat in front of the desk. Some black and white photos of Gunthar’s family hung on the right wall. A clock hung on the left wall close to the far wall. A filing cabinet  with five drawers sat next to the clock.

Gunthar walked around the desk. He sat in the chair. He said, “Have a seat, Zuangeng. We need to talk.”

Zuangeng sat in the chair to his right. Gunthar said, “What is this I hear? You being called a thief?”

Zuangeng replied, “What do you expect? I have no money. I’m new here. I don’t even know what people are saying around me.”

Gunthar said, “I don’t know about your country; but, here they kill thieves. They do not care about age, either.”

Zuangeng developed an expression of fear on his face. Gunthar said, “Don’t worry! It’s against the law; but, we will protect you. My boys told me, they found you in the ocean. What were you doing there? Where did you come from, anyway? Where are your parents?”

Zuangeng said, “I came from the ship, Serikua. I was told my mother died the day I was born. I was never told about my father. As far as I’m concerned, the captain of the Serikua is my father. They say, I was born on the Serikua, somewhere on the ocean.”

Gunthar said, “What country are you from?”

Zuangeng said, “The captain has told me that my mother was from Cinga Archipelago. He told me that the ship flies the Cinga flag. He, also, said that he and the crew are all from Cinga Archipelago, too. That all of us, including me, are Cingala.”

Gunthar said, “You said that you came from the Serikua? That is a sailing ship?”

Zuangeng said, Yes, a clipper to be more precise. It has three masts. It is the only home I know.”

Gunthar  said, “Does the captain happen to be Esiada?”

“You know him,” Zuangeng asked surprised.

“He is a buddy of mine. So, you have never been on land before?” Gunthar said.

Zuangeng said, “Actually, I have been on land a few times with Esiada as far as I can remember. However, this is the longest I have been on land.”

Gunthar said, “For the time being, you’ll be living with us. You’ll need to lay low until things settle down. If you go out, you need to be with at least one of us.

“Where is the Serikua by the way? Again, how did you end up in the ocean when my boys found you?”

Zuangeng  admitted, “I don’t know. It is somewhere out on the ocean. It is heading this way, though. I was swept off the ship during a storm. A dragon saved me. He brought me here.”

“The boys never mentioned a dragon,” Gunthar said.

“That’s because the dragon dropped me off in the water. He left before I met Petra and Hans. I was swimming to the shore when we met,” Zuangeng explained.

Gunthar turned his head to the right. He looked at the clock. He said, “It’s time to close up shop and go home.”

He stood up. He signaled Zuangeng to do the same. Zuangeng stood up. They exited the office.

Gunthar walked to some shelves that contained some garments. He rummaged through the garments until he found a suitable black hooded cape. He pulled it off the shelf. He said, “Let’s see if this will fit. I’ll need to disguise you so we have no problems.”

Zuangeng stood there while Gunthar put the cape on him. He draped it over Zuangeng’s shoulders. He tied it at the neck base. The cape turned out to be a little big for him. The bottom of the cape laid on the floor. Gunthar said, “It’s a little too big. It’s the smallest I have. Stay here while I get some scissors.”

He entered his office. He found a pair of scissors in a desk drawer. He returned to Zuangeng. He cut the bottom off below Zuangeng’s ankles. He said, “That will have to do.”

He put the hood up over Zuangeng’s head. It drooped to the tip of his nose. It made it impossible to see in any direction but down. He complained, “I can’t see!”

“We want to hide at least part of your face so nobody can recognize you. Let me see what I can do to allow you to see,” Gunthar said. He reached up under the hood, crumpling it. He found Zuangeng’s eyes. He cut holes in the hood so Zuangeng could see.

“How is that,” Gunthar asked.

“That is better! I can see now,” Zuangeng said.

They walked into the front of the shop. They joined Petra and Hans. Petra and Hans looked at the caped figure. Petra said, “Woo, who is this we have here?”

He reached down. He pulled the hood up. He said, “Oh, it’s you, Zuangeng!”

Even though he could not understand what Petra said, Zuangeng smiled at the little joke. All four of them walked out from behind the counter. Hans had his right hand on Zuangeng’s left shoulder. Zuangeng was in front of him. They walked out the front door and stopped. Gunthar turned around. He locked the door.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Fiction of Wolf Moisan

The Boy and the Sea Dragon

Chapter Thirteen

First Trouble

Zuangeng came to a street paved with cobblestone. He walked down the street. He felt the roughness and heat of the pavement on his bare feet. He looked on both sides of the street. People of all ages wore clothes, at least shorts. He became conscious of his nudity. Some people were looking at him. The people walked on raised wood walkways. Lamp posts stood along the street at even intervals. Street signs were on posts at the corners. He could not read. Wood or brick buildings of various sizes lined the streets. Some had vast windows displaying various goods. Writing was painted on the windows or above doors. Some had signs hanging over the sidewalk.

He turned right into a side street. No one was on this street to his relief. This street was similar to the one he just left. A stand stood outside a building on the other side of the street to the left. He walked toward it.

The stand was wood. Legs supported it off the ground. The side facing him slanted down toward the street. He walked to the stand’s front. The front was waist high to him. Fish of different kinds and sizes laid in the stand. Flies buzzed around the stand. He felt hungry looking at the fish His stomach rumbled. It reminded him that he had not eaten since yesterday.

He looked all around. Nobody was in sight. He looked over the fish. He found one that was the right size. It looked fresh. It was the same kind of fish as the first one he ate with Xianjeng. He looked around, again. Still, nobody was in sight. He picked the fish up. He walked off.

He came to an alley. He walked into it. Metal bins stood along it. Trash laid on the ground around them. He sat on the brown dirt ground. He felt the heat of the ground. He cleaned the fish. He threw the guts toward a nearby bin. He missed. The guts landed among the trash on the ground. He ate the meat. He tossed the remains toward the bin. They joined the guts. A cloud of flies rose into the air.

He stood up. He looked down at himself. His thighs, stomach and hands were covered with scales and blood. He looked around the alley. He looked through the trash. He found nothing to clean himself with. He walked out of the alley into the street.

He turned left. He continued to walk up the street. He came across another stand. A man sat next to it. He had light skin and brown hair. Zuangeng walked up to the stand. He looked at the contents of the stand. Clear and brown glass bottles laid on it. Labels were on top of each bottle. The bottles contained different colored liquids. Some had clear liquids.

“Darsteg,” the man asked when he saw Zuangeng. Zuangeng looked at him and shrugged his shoulders. The man stood up. He picked up a clear bottle with a clear liquid. The label said ‘Water’. He offered the bottle to Zuangeng. He figured that the boy had no money, being so young, naked and alone. Zuangeng looked first at the bottle and the man. He made no move to take it. The man smiled. HE held the bottle top close to his mouth. He tipped the bottom up as if to drink. He offered the bottle again. Zuangeng, then, nodded. The man uncorked the bottle. He gave it to Zuangeng. Zuangeng took it. He took a sip. The liquid was water. Zuangeng smiled and bowed his head. He drank from the bottle as he walked off. It was different than drinking from a dragon’s mouth or glass.

He came to another alley to his left. He entered it. He looked at himself and the bottle. Most of the bottle’s content remained. He thought, “This would be a good time for a bath.”

He poured some water over his stomach and thighs. He rubbed them with both hands. until they were clean. He poured some water into his left hand. He cleaned his lips. He drank the rest of the water. He set the empty bottle on the ground.

He walked among trash and bins to the alley’s far end. He came out into another street. He turned left. He walked along the street. This street was similar to the first street. Fully clothed people roamed this street. He heard murmuring among these people. Shops and eateries lined this street. He smelled food being cooked. The aromas smelled delicious.

A few doors down, he came to a clothing store. He stopped. He looked through the window. Rows of clothing hanging were visible. A few people were visible as well.

He looked to his right. The shop door stood open so he went inside. He looked around. People were shopping. A few clerks roamed the store. Some clerks assisted some shoppers.

He wondered through the store. He came across what he took to be children’s clothing. He rummaged through the clothes. He found a white short sleeve shirt and blue shorts that looked like they would fit. He found a fitting room and entered. He put the clothes on. They did fit. He forgot to take the tags off. He walked out of the room, wearing the clothes.

A clerk spotted Zuangeng. He silently followed the boy. Zuangeng was unaware of being followed.

Zuangeng found a pair of socks. He carried them. He found the shoe section. He picked a selection of shoes to try on. He sat on a bench nearby. He put the socks on. He tried some shoes until he found a pair he liked. He tied the laces.

He stood up. He walked toward the door. He was about to leave when the clerk yelled, “Hey! Tir ju gegaan aan bitslon om ganen?”

Zuangeng jumped. His hair bounced. He twirled around with his hair flying out. He just looked at the clerk. His hair settled. The clerk said, “Ju vareisun aan bitalon omganen!”

Zuangeng twirled back around. He walked out the door. He turned right. The clerk took off running after him. The clerk came to the door. He saw Zuangeng walk away. He yelled, “Hey!”

Zuangeng turned around, again. He walked backward. He saw the clerk running after him. He twirled back around and ran. The clerk started yelling, “Chief, chief!”

People turned to see what the ruckus was about. Zuangeng dodged around them. He was nimble on his feet. He snapped into different directions. He got lost into the crowd. The clerk slowed. He breathed hard. He looked around for Zuangeng. He could no longer see him.

He returned to the store. He told his coworkers, “I’m going to the police station. I need to report a theft!”

The clerk exited the shop. He headed for the police station. He talked with an officer. He gave the officer a description of Zuangeng. Soon, fliers were out.

Petra and Hans had come in from their boating trip. They had gone home. They got shirts on. They walked to the business district. They walked along the same street as Zuangeng. They heard the commotion. They ran to the scene in time to see Zuangeng disappear. They heard the clerk yell. They stopped. Petra turned to Hans and said, “We need to help Zuangeng.”

“I agree,” Hans said. They searched for Zuangeng. Like the clerk, they could not find him.

“Zuangeng!” they tried calling. They received no reply.

Hans suggested, “Let’s get Dad to help.”

They walked to the next street to their left. They turned right. They walked up the street to their father’s place of business. They found the shop in a red bricked building. Petra opened a wood door with ‘Von Davildaa’s’ painted on it. They entered the shop. Rows of shelves contained bottles and tins of various sizes. A counter stood near the left wall.

Behind the counter, they found their father. Their father had brown hair like them. Some strands of grey hair were the only signs of age. He was attending to a customer.

Hans and Petra walked to the counter. They walked right around it to the right. They found a gate on that side of the counter. Hans opened the gate. They walked behind the counter. The gate swung closed. They stood and waited until the customer was gone.

Petra said, “Dad, we need to talk with you about something important.”

“What is it,” their father asked.

Hans said, “We met a boy this morning. He is in trouble now He needs our help!”

“That is not any of our concern. Let the authorities handle it. What is he in trouble for?”

“But, Dad. You know how you feel about the law,” Petra pleaded.

“I know! In certain situations, the law is unfair and unjust. How old is this boy, anyway?” their father said.

“I’d say about six years old. They want him for theft,” Hans said.

“Besides, he is not from this island! We found him swimming in the sea, toward shore. He knows none of our laws and customs,” Petra said.

Hans said, “He, even, doesn’t know our language! He speaks in some strange language, we don’t know! Come on, we need to help him!”

The father spoke in exasperation, “Okay, okay! I’ll help. After all, he is too young for execution. Petra, you stay. Mind the store. Hans, you go with me to point him out.”

Petra stayed behind the counter. Hans and their father walked through a doorway behind it. They entered a large room filled with shelves. A closed door was on the left wall. Jars, tins, cloth and articles of outer clothing laid on the shelves.

They walked to a shelf with piles of sheets of cloth on it. The father grabbed a large sheet. Hans reached for one for himself. The father said, “You don’t need one. Find a smaller one for the boy.”

Hans left the sheet. He rummaged through another pile. He found one about the right size. They walked to a locked door. The father opened it. They exited the building into an alley. A metal trash bin was on their right. The alley where they were was clean. The door closed and locked behind them.

Zuangeng wandered the street for a awhile. He crossed the street to the left side. He looked around to see if anybody was following him, nobody was. He walked past an eatery. Delicious smells wafted from it. He stopped at the eatery. It was in a medium sized red bricked building. A large window was in the side. A door of wood framing glass was right of the window. He looked through the window. People sat and ate at tables. Other people walked around carrying dirty dishes, drinks of plates of food. A counter with a woman behind it stood behind the door.

Watching the people eat, seeing the food and the smell of the food made him realize that he was hungry again. All this walking, running and the excitement made the fish he ate earlier not last long. His stomach growled. He licked his lips.

The owner was a heavy set young man. He had short, brown hair. He was personally serving an elderly married couple with grey hair. The couple sat at a table closest to the window. The window was on the wife’s right. They looked out the window. They saw Zuangeng staring through the window. They watched the boy lick his lips. The husband pointed with his right index finger at the window. He said, “Look, there is a child out there. She looks hungry.”

The owner turned his head. He looked at Zuangeng. He said, “I see the kid. I believe that’s a boy. I wonder where he came from.”

“You maybe right, His hair length fooled me. I wonder where his parents are,” the man said.

His wife said, “He looks homeless and hungry. Honey, buy him something to eat, please.”

Her husband said to the owner, “Bring the boy in. He’ll dine with us.”

The owner walked to the door. He stepped outside. He turned to face Zuangeng. He stood with the door on his back. He said, “Hey, kid!”

Zuangeng twirled around to his right. His hair flared out. He looked at the man. He stood there, slightly crouched. He had one foot turned to the right. He was ready to bolt if necessary. The owner waved to him to come over. Zuangeng cocked his head to the right. He put his right hand on his chest. The owner nodded, smiling and said, “Hungerag?”

Zuangeng kept his head cocked. He remained ready to flee. The owner pointed at him. He continued to smile. He moved one hand to his mouth. He opened it. Last, he pointed at his shop. Zuangeng took a chance. He moved toward the owner.

He entered the eatery, followed by the owner. The owner showed him to the table with the couple. He pulled out a chair opposite of the man. Zuangeng sat in the chair.

“Walke daen ju misseen,” the owner asked him.

“Uh,” Zuangeng said. He looked around at the people. He eyed the owner, saying nothing else.

The wife said, “Blikbar haj nodeg varstaan ju. He’s not likely from here.”

Zuangeng suddenly said, “Yes. I don’t live in this country.”

The owner said, “You speak Dragonese. However, you need to learn our language if you plan on living here. What would you like to eat? Not everybody here knows Dragonese nor your language.”

Zuangeng looked around to see what everybody was eating. He looked at what the couple, he was with, had. They were eating lobster, potatoes, corn and other items. He said, licking his lips, “I’ll have what they’re having.”

The owner disappeared. He came back with a plate and silverware. He put them in front of Zuangeng. Zuangeng ate the first cooked whole meal he had since being swept off the ship. The owner watched him for a minute. He looked up. He turned his head. He saw a waiter carrying a tray with a pitcher of water and glasses. He beckoned the waiter over. The waiter came to the table. He set the tray on the table. He filled a glass and set it in front of Zuangeng. The waiter picked up the tray and left the table.

The owner sat in the chair on Zuangeng’s right. They asked him the same basic questions Xianjeng asked him. He calmly gave the same basic answers. After eating, he said, “Thank you. I need to be going.”

He got up. He left before they could say anything more.

Zuangeng went back to roaming the streets. He saw posters on poles, walls and windows. He could not read them. They had sketches of someone that looked vaguely like him. He heard people talking in that strange language. He, even, saw some of them pointing at him. He felt a little uneasy, being among them. He walked through an alley off to his right to escape the crowd. At the other end, he came to a street that seemed deserted. He turned right. He walked down the street.