The Fiction of Wolf Moisan

The Boy and the Sea Dragon

Chapter Thirty Seven

Shokura’s Trial and Escape.

The next day, Shokura had a visitor. He remained in his cell. The visitor was one of his dealers. He talked to Shokura through the bars. Shokura said, “There’s a six year old blond damn Cingala boy. He is to testify at my trial. There will be a reward for anyone who stops the fucker from testifying. Use any means necessary. There’s a damn fire dragon, too. Kill it!”

The visitor said, “I will spread the word.

Word spread throughout the underworld. They sought for Zuangeng with no success. They came close; but, Zuangeng managed to slip by them.

Three days later, they held Shokura’s trial. Since Shinella was too big to fit in the courthouse, the trial was held in the square. The ashes from the fire had been cleaned up. A low stage had been built for the trial. Judge Morlan was not the judge. Shulngeniu did not defend Shokura. A male Jalapean defense attorney defended him.

Xianjeng was there to watch the trial. So, was Shulngeniu. She was there mainly to support Zuangeng. She remained his lawyer. Zuangeng wore a neew outfit. Again, Jabid was the prosecutor.

Zuangeng’s testimony was pretty much the same as at his own trial. This time, he mentioned noticing a shadow passing over the scene. Shokura’s testimony, also, was much the same. He insisted that Zuangeng was the killer, not himself. Shequyle’s testimony was much the same, too.

It was Shinella’s turn to testify. He stood beside the witness stand. He was too big to sit in it. Jabid questioned him first. He said, “Where were you on the day of the murder?”

Shinella replied, “I was flying over the city.”

Jabid said, “Where were you at the time of the murder?”

Shinella said, “I was over the alley where the murder took place.”

Jabid said, “How many people were in the alley?”

Shinella said, “There were two adults and one child.”

Jabid said, “Who were they?”

Shinella said, “There were Shokura, Zuangeng and an unknown man.”

Jabid said, “How do you know Shokura and Zuangeng?”

Shinella said, “I have heard of Shokura for years. He has a bad reputation of various crimes. Zuangeng, I have only known recently through another dragon.”

Jabid said, “What happened when you flew over?”

Shinella said, “Shokura shot the man once.”

Jabid said, “The man was shot twice. You said that he was shot once?”

Shinella said, “That was all I saw. I was past them before I heard the second shot.”

Jabid said, “Dragons are known to tell nothing but the truth. Is that correct?”

Shinella said, “That is correct.”

Jabid showed Shinella the gun. He said, “Have you seen this gun before?”

Shinella said, “Yes, I have.”

Jabid said, “Where did you see this gun?”

Shinella said, “It was in Shokura’s hand.”

Jabid said, “No further questions.”

It was Shokura’s attorney’s turn to ask him some questions.

The attorney said, “Are you sure it was Shokura, not Zuangeng?”

Shinella said, “I am positive.”

The attorney said, “Sometimes, it is difficult to tell similar people apart, especially from a distance.”

Shinella said, “I have an acute sense of vision. You might say, I have the eyes of a hawk. Shokura and Zuangeng are too different in appearance to be confused.”

The attorney said, “It’s been over a week, almost two weeks, since the crime. Sometimes memories get jumbled up in that time.”

Shinella said, “That may be true of humans. I am not a human. I am a dragon. Dragons have excellent memories. We do not jumble our memories. I am no exception.”

The attorney asked him a few more questions.

The two attorneys gave their closing arguments to the jury. The jury left for deliberation. They came back with a guilty verdict. The judge said, “Shokura, you will hang in seven days.”

Two officers took Shokura into custody. Shokura, before he was led away, said, “Zuangeng, you are a damn walking dead boy! I will fuckin’ kill you! The same goes for fuckin’ you, Rozyrvon!”

The officers led Shokura away.

Shulngeniu, Shequyle, Shinella and Xianjeng said, “We’ll protect you, Zuangeng.”

Shinella added, “It will be extremely hard for anyone to kill me.”

Zuangeng and Shulngeniu rode to her house The two dragons flew to Shinella’s home in the mountains. They got as far as a nearby lake. Shequyle walked to the police station.

The two officers took Shokura to prison. They never made it. They were ambushed by some of Shokura’s men. The officers were killed.

 

The Fiction of Wolf Moisan

The Boy and the Sea Dragon

Chapter Thirty Six

The Hanging

The fleet of five ships approached the harbor of Kulathra. Captain Esiada stood by the bow. He watched the city approach. He spied two ships approaching them. They were under full sail. He brought the spyglass to his right eye. One ship flew a Cinga flag. This was no Cinga ship. He knew a Cinga ship when he saw it. The other ship flew the Jalapea flag. He watched the men on the ships. They loaded some cannons. They pushed them to the gun ports. He knew what was afoot. He ordered some sails furled to slow the ship.

Captain Sanjeng stood on the bow of the Kantendua. He watched the city approach as well. He spied the two ships approaching. He looked through his spyglass. He saw the same thing. He knew the two ships were not for the countries they pretended to be. He turned around. He ordered more sails and the bow cannons readied.

The Katendua and the other gunship pulled ahead of the fleet. They headed for the oncoming ships. They came close. Captain Sanjeng ordered a warning shot across the bows. Both ships fired their bow cannons. The shots hit the water close to the bows of the oncoming ships. The shots came so close, they almost threatened to hit the ships. Geysers of water flew into the air. The oncoming ships veered off from their intended course. They continued on their new course. Apparently, they had no stomach for a fight. The fleet pulled into harbor with no further incident.

Xianjeng searched for nearly six days before he located the dragon. The dragon was in the mountains. He laid just outside a cave. He was a magnificent dragon. He was mostly brown with red streaks on the head. His red horns curved back. Xianjeng had no horns. All sea dragons sported no horns. Only the fire dragons did. Xianjeng said, “Greetings, Shinella.”

Shinella said, “Greetings, Kilethang. What brings you here?”

Xianjeng said, “Trouble! There’s a six year old boy about to hang tomorrow for a murder he did not commit. I need your help to save him.”

Shinella said nonchalantly, “That is none of my concern. It should not be any of your concern, either.”

Xianjeng said, “It is my concern. I have been taking care of him for many a day. I am trying to get him back to his people.”

Shinella said, “Human affairs do not concern me in the least, Kilethang. Who is this boy you are so concerned about anyway?”

Xianjeng said, “He is a Cingala boy.”

Shinella said, his interest now piqued, “Cingala?! Is he blond? Was he in the alley where the murder took place?”

Xianjeng said excitedly, “I don’t know where he was. Yes, he is blond. Have you seen him?”

Shinella admitted, “I do believe so. I was flying over the alley when the crime was committed.”

Xianjeng excitedly said, “You saw what happened? You know who actually commited it?”

Shinella said, “Well, yes, I did see what happened. The boy is innocent. But, I am not concerned about his fate.”

Xianjeng said, “I am concerned about the boy’s fate! You must help me! I’m sworn to protect the boy. I was ordered to make sure he returned to his people. I can’t do it without your help!”

Shinella said, “Who ordered you to protect him? Why were you so ordered?”

Xianjeng said, “My Lord Ziolanzik ordered me to. The boy is a warlock. He may be destined to greatness, I don’t know.”

Shinellasaid, “Ziolanzik? He is the lord of the dragons, now?”

Xianjeng said, “He is the lord of the sea dragons, my lord and ruler.”

Shinella said, “I am in debt to your lord. He helped me in my time of great need. This will pay some of that debt. I must help you then. I will follow you.”

The two dragons took off. They flew to the city. They arrived the next day.

On the day Zuangeng was due to die, after his last meal, Shequyle and Shulngeniu came to his cell. They let him out. Shequyle spoke Jalapean, “Normally, we shackle those who are about to hang. However, we have nothing that will fit you. We trust you to do the right thing. Frankly, we have never hung anybody your size and age before.”

Shulngeniu said, “Sorry, I have been unable to prevent this.”

Zuangeng said, “I appreciate all both of you have done for me. Yes, sir, I will come quietly even though this is wrong. I will bravely die knowing I am innocent.”

They marched out of the station. They walked to the square. They arrived at the square. A crowd had assembled to witness the hanging. They had never seen a six year old hung before. The gallows stood in front of the crowd. The hangman stood next to the lever.

Zuangeng, Shulngeniu and Shequyle marched up the ladder together. Zuangeng stood before the noose. He looked out over the crowd. Shokura stood in the middle, a vantage point to witness the boy’s death. He had a smug smile on his face. He seemed well pleased with Zuangeng’s hanging. Judge Morlan stood in the first row.

They went through the usual ritual. Afterward. Shequyle said, “Zuangeng, before we hang you, do you have anything you wish to say?”

Zuangeng looked at him, the hangman and then faced the crowd one last time. Then, he succinctly said, “Yes, I do! You are about to commit a murder yourselves! You are about to kill an innocent person! I have yet to live life to the fullest! Now, I do not have that chance! The person who should be here stands among you! He is a dangerous man! What you are about to do is not justice, it is murder!”

Zuangeng pointed at Shokura. He continued, “You should be hanging Shokura, not me! May my blood be on all your hands!”

They tied his hands behind his back. They put a black hood over his head. They put the noose around his neck.

Captain Esiada had finished conducting his business when he heard about the hanging. He had to deal with some people who tried to cheat him. He knew merchandise. He knew the value of his cargo and any commodities he needed. He was in the business for too long not to. Nobody could outsmart him in such dealings. He got what he needed at the price he expected.

He decided to go watch the hanging. He arrived in time to see them put the noose on a small hooded figure on the gallows. The figure appeared to be the same height as his beloved Zuangeng. He stayed to witness what ensued next.

Two large shadows crossed over the scene. Everybody, including the hangman, looked up. The hooded figure was the only one not to look up. He could not see what was happening.

Two dragons flew over and circled around. The people recognized that one dragon was a sea dragon. The other one was the fire dragon they knew lived on the island. The fire dragon made a dive toward the gallows. The hangman grabbed the lever.

Shinella shot a stream of fire at the noose. The fire hit it about half way up the rope. The fire rapidly consumed the fibers. The fire had burned enough of the rope that when the hangman pulled the lever and the hooded figure fell through the trap door and the rope became taught, the last few strands of rope snapped under the weight of the figure.

Zuangeng fell on his back and hands when he hit the ground. His hands became painful. Shinella flew over the gallows. He circled back around. He, once again, made a dive toward the gallows. Everybody on the gallows ran off as fast as they could. Shinella shot another stream engulfing the gallows in fire.

Zuangeng found himself on the ground. He was still alive. He was still blind from the hood. He felt the noose hanging from around his neck. His hands were still tied. They were hurting from the fall. He said the spell. He turned into Ciyonaung. He felt the rope around his wrists grow taught, snap and fall off. He felt the hood, clothes and even his shoes become too tight and tear apart. He was finally able to see. The clothes fell off his changing body. He felt heat above him. He looked around and up. He found himself under a burning, creaking gallows. He ran form under the gallows, leaving the remains of his clothes and shoes behind, before it collapsed.

Xianjeng landed on one side of the burning gallows. He saw Ciyonaung emerge from under it. The people saw a small dragon emerge from under the burning gallows. Ciyonaung found Xianjeng. He walked over to him. Xianjeng removed the remains of the noose and hood. Ciyonaung turned to look at the crowd. The people had a startled look on their faces.

Shinella flew over the burning gallows. He circled around. He saw a small dragon appear from under it. He gleefully watched the gallows collapse into a pile of burning rubble. He watched the small dragon crawl toward Xianjeng. He hoped that was the boy he tried to rescue.

Ciyonaung watched as a fire dragon landed in front of the crowd. That dragon angrily spoke Jalapean, “That’s what happens when you try to hang an innocent person, a child at that!”

The dragon walked up to Shokura. He came close, too close for Shokura’s comfort. The dragon lowered his head to Shokura’s level. Shokura felt the dragon’s hot breath in his face. He smelled the smokey aroma of it. The dragon continued, “Here is your true murderer! He is the one you should be hanging!”

Everybody looked at the dragon and then at Shokura. Shokura looked a little nervous and was fidgeting.

Shokura looked at the dragon. He stared into its eyes. He said, “Do you have any fuckin’ proof to back up your damn allegations?”

Shinella said, ” Yes. I am that proof! I saw you murder that man! Everybody knows that a dragon never lies!”

Shokura said, “However, it is also known that they’ll bend that damn truth to suit their fuckin’ purposes!”

Shinella said, “I’m not! I’m trying to protect an innocent little boy child from people like you!”

Shequyle had gotten close to the two antagonists. Shinella saw him. He recognized Shequyle to be a member of the police. He said, “This is the one you want! Arrest him!”

Shequyle got his handcuffs out. He said, “I have always suspected Shokura in the murder. Until now, I had no way of determining who was guilty. It was up to the district attorney. Now, Shokura, you are under arrest for the murder!”

Shokura bolted. He did not get far before someone tripped him. He fell on his stomach on the ground. Shequyle, with his gun drawn, was on top of him. Shequyle had his gun pointing at Shokura’s head. He had his left knee on the man’s back. Shequyle said, “Put your hands behind your back!”

Shokura did. Shequyle handcuffed him. He stood up. He pulled Shokura to his feet.

Once things had settled down, Captain Esiada turned around. He left the scene for the Serikua. He just missed finding Zuangeng. He ran into Captain Sanjeng. He told him, “As soon as all my crew return, I will be setting sail for home.”

Shortly, after Captain Esiada had left, Shequyle looked around. The crowd was dispersing. There were three dragons, now. One was rather small compared to the other two. It seemed small even for a baby, he thought. There was no Zuangeng. It was as though the boy disappeared in the fire. He said, hopefully, “Where’s Zuangeng? Do any of you dragons know him? Do you know what happened to him?”

The small dragon started to walk around the sea dragon. The sea dragon laid on his belly, head still up. The small dragon disappeared behind the sea dragon. a naked Zuangeng emerged from behind it. He said, “I’m here.”

Shequyle said, “Oh, there you are! I’ll need you to testify at his trial.”

He turned to Shinella. He said, “Rozyrvon, you, too, may need to testify. We’ll find a way for you to.”

Shulngeniu walked up to Zuangeng. She said to Shequyle, “Zuangeng can stay with me if he wants.”

Zuangeng said, “I will stay with her. But, after the trial, I need to leave. I want to go home. I’m eager to be home!”

“Where is home,” Shequyle and Shulngeniu asked in unison.

Zuangeng said, “My home is somewhere on the ocean. It is a sailing ship known as the Serikua.”

Shokura glared at Zuangeng. Shequyle had his left arm through Shokura’s right arm. Shokura said, “Zuangeng! If you fuckin’ testify against me, You’re a damn dead boy!”

Shequyle said, “Don’t worry, Zuangeng. He will be in custody till he’s dead.”

Zuangeng said, “I’ll testify.”

Shinella said, I’ll help Xianjeng protect you in any case.”

Shulngeniu said, “I, too, shall protect you.  When it comes to guns, I’m a sharpshooter. I don’t miss.”

Shequyle took Shokura to the police station. He locked him in a cell. Shulngeniu and Zuangeng rode to her house. Xianjeng and Shinella flew to a field outside of the city.

 

The Fiction of Wolf Moisan

The Sea Gypsies of Ngoguyon

Kiribourey put the game system away. An-Toan Kim and Boupha-Kannitha put their clothes on their beds. The four of them took showers. They washed and brushed their hair. Kiribourey dressed. The children stayed naked.

Sopheary and Jonathon climbed the ladder to the porch. They entered the house.

Kiribourey had the children go to their computer terminals to learn more English. He helped Jonathon acquire an account with the computer system. Jonathon used it to learn Sarginese.

After supper, Jonathon walked to his room. He did some studying. He wrote some notes on what he had learned so far.

Later, he wondered into the den. The floor was brown carpet surrounding multicolored patterns. Three walls were rock. The fourth wall was plaster made to look like rock. The ceiling was glowing.

Curled up in a chair, still naked, was Quenan. He was reading a blue book. Jonathon walked up to him. He stood beside Quenan. He peered at the book again. The screen was black on white. The black formed rows of bent lines and dots. He rarely saw such writing. He recognized the script as lontara. The script was slightly different than any he had seen before.

Quenan turned his head from the book to Jonathon. Jonathon asked in Sarginese and English mixed, “What is that you’re reading? I’ve only seen such writing a few times. Is that lontara?”

“I don’t know what you mean by ‘lontara’. This is Sarginese. This is how we write,” Quenan said in English and Sarginese mixed, as well.

“What is it about,” Jonathon asked.

“It is a fictional story of the early days of the colony,” Quenan said.

Jonathon looked up from the book. He looked around the room. The walls were lined with shelves. Books, models of boats, ships and other vehicles occupied most of the shelves.

Jonathon spied three sets of trophies. He said, “Who’s trophies are those?”

Quenan laid his book down on the right arm of his chair. He stood up. He said, “I’ll show you.”

They walked over to one set of trophies. The plaque on each one had Sarginese writing on them. Quenan said, “These trophies are mine. I like racing boats. I’ve been doing so since I was eight. I race two types of boats, outrigger and canoe. I plan to race a third, the kayak.”

They walked over to another, smaller set of trophies. Quenan said, “These belong to Boupha. She races an outrigger so far. This is her first year racing. The racing age limit is eight years of age.”

They walked over to the third and largest set. Quenan said, “These are Dad’s. He’s been racing since he was a child. He races motor boats now. Only adults can race them.  There’s a national race coming. Boupha, Dad and I are registered as representatives of our island.”

Jonathon said, “I’d like to watch the races. What about An-Toan Kim?”

Quenan said, “He is too young to race. However, he has an interest in racing. So, we have been training him. He has a talent for it, too.”

Jonathon said, “What does your mother think about this?”

Quenan said, “Her only interest in the sport is watching us. She’s proud of our achievements. She does fret about Dad’s racing. Motor boats are dangerous.”

Kiribourey sat at his red wood desk in his home office early in the morning. He was on his computer terminal. He was going over some environmental impact study reports he had received the night before. Occasionally, he would stop to type in his own notes or recommendations.

The weather report gave him pause. He intently studied it. He sent the environmental impact reports to his government office. He shut the terminal down. He exited the office. He hunted for his family and Jonathon.

He found Jonathon first. Jonathon was in his room, on his computer, doing some studying. Beside the computer were other electronic items. Some had writing on their screens. He said, “Jon.”

Jonathon turned his head toward the doorway. He said, “Come in, Kiri.”

Kiribourey walked to Jonathon. He said, “I need your help. A storm is coming. We need to prepare for it.”

“When is it suppose to be here,” Jonathon asked.

“About mid-afternoon,” Kiribourey said.

“Ok,” Jonathon said. He shut down the computer. He turned the devices off. He disconnected the computer. He put it in its case. He put the devices in the case, too. He exited the room with Kiribourey.

They found everybody else in the den. Sopheary sat in a chair. She was reading. She wore a white short sleeve shirt, black pants and point toed shoes.

The children were on their feet. They were playing a holographic game in the middle of the room. They used their voices and body movements to control their avatars. They wore shirts, pants , socks and shoes.

“Sophie, analin,” Kiribourey said. Sopheary looked up from her book. The children paused the game.

Kiribourey continued, “Nia marlositiru angkombat!”

“An, ikaumonenga segang anginake,” Sopheary told An-Toan Kim.

Sopheary put her book away. Quenan saved and shut the game down.

An-Toan Kim and Sopheary got to preparing the house and family6 boat.

Everybody else went outside. The sky was overcast with grey clouds. The wind was blowing from the east. It blew Boupha-Kannitha’s and Quenan’s hair across their faces.

Kiribourey said, “Jon, you’re with me. We will do the sailboat.”

He switched to Sarginese, “Que, Boupha. You two will do the outrigger.”

Kiribourey led Jonathon through the hole with the sailboat. Kiribourey climbed down first.

Quenan and Boupha-Kannitha walked to the west edge. Quenan climbed down first.

Kiribourey and Jonathon came to the sailboat. Jonathon looked down at Kiribourey. Kiribourey looked up. He said, “I’m going to lower a platform. It goes under the boat. There is a post with a clasp on it. When the bow is against the post, I want you to clasp the bow. Then, untie the boat from the piers. You will need to come up after untying it.”

Jonathon nodded. Kiribourey stepped off the ladder onto a walkway. He walked on it to the rocks. He walked up to a control box embedded in the rocks. The box was metal with one button above another. Two feet from it was the platform.

The Fiction of Wolf Moisan

The Boy and the Sea Dragon

Chapter Thirty Five

Zuangeng’s Trial

Five days later, they were in the courtroom waiting on the judge. Shulngeniu and Zuangeng sat at the table on the left of the judge’s bench. Jabid sat at the table on the right. All were facing the vacant bench. Shokura sat on the irst bench behind Jabid. Shequyle sat on the first bench behind Shulngeniu.

The bailiff walked out the door on the bench’s left. He stood beside the bench. He announced in Jalapean, “All rise!”

Everybody stood up. The judge walked out of the same door. The bailiff announced, “The Honorable Judge Morlan!”

Judge Morlan walked behind the bench and sat. He said, “All may be seated.”

Everybody sat. Judge Morlan looked toward Shulngeniu and Zuangeng. They looked at him. They recognized him as the one who had released Zuangeng earlier. Judge Morlan recognized them, too. He waved them to the bench. Both walked up to him. Judge Morlan looked at them, down at Zuangeng. He spoke Jalapean, “You again! So, you are Zuangeng?”

“Yes, your honor,” Zuangeng replied in Jalapean.

“So, you are prepared for trial,” Judge Morlan asked.

“Yes, your honor,” Shulngeniu said.

“Let’s start the trial, now,” Judge Morlan said.

Shulngeniu and Zuangeng returned to their seats. Judge Morlan signaled the bailiff. The bailiff announced, “Court is in session! The case of Zuangeng versus the State of Jalapea! Judge Morlan presiding!”

The trial got under way. It was conducted all in Jalapean. The jury was selected. To Shulngeniu’s dismay, they all turned out to be Jalapeans.

The first to take the stand to testify was Shequyle. Jabid was the first to question him. Jabid said, “On the day of the murder, where did you find the body?”

Shequyle said, “We found the body in an alley.”

Jabid said, “Was there someone with the body?”

Shequyle said, “A boy was kneeling beside the body.”

Jabid said, “Is this boy here today?”

Shequyle said, “He is here today.”

Jabid said, “Please, for the court, point him out.”

Shequyle pointed at Zuangeng. He said, “He is the defendant.”

Jabid said, “How was the victim killed?”

Shequyle said, “Two shots, one in the chest and one in the head.”

“Did you find the murder weapon,” Jabid asked.

Shequyle said, “Yes, I did. It was…”

Jabid interrupted, “Just answer the question!”

He walked to his table. He picked up the gun that was lying there. He walked back to the witness stand. He showed the gun to Shequyle, He said, “Is this the gun you found at the scene?”

Shequyle answered, “Yes.”

Jabid said, “Is this the gun that was used?”

Shequyle said, “Yes, it is.”

Jabid said, “I submit this gun as exhibit A. No further questions.”

He walked back to his table and sat.

Judge Morlan said, “Your witness now, Shulngeniu.”

Shulmgeniu stood up. She approached the witness stand. She said, “You said that the gun was used to kill the victim. What makes you to believe this?”

Shequyle said, “The gun holds six bullets. Two were missing. The slugs found in the victim are of the same caliber as what the gun uses.”

Shulngeniu said, “You said that my client was found at the scene. Was he holding the gun when you found him?”

Shequyle said, “No, he was not.”

Shulngeniu said, “Where was the gun found?”

Shequyle said, “It was on the ground beside the body.”

Shulngeniu said, “Can a six year old child pull the trigger on such a gun?”

Shequyle said, “Yes, I an afraid so.”

Shulngeniu said, “Was there anybody else found at the scene?”

Shequyle said, “No.”

Shulngeniu said, “No further questions.”

The next person to take the stand was Shokura. Once again, Jabid was the first to question him. He said, “Where were you on the day of the murder?”

Shokura said, “I was in the alley with the victim.”

Jabid said, “What were you two doing in the alley?”

Shokura said, “We were talking, just talking.”

Jabid said, “What were you talking about?”

Shokura said, “The guy owed me some money. We were talking about how he was to pay me.”

Jabid said, “How did it end?”

Shokura said, “It went well. We reached an agreement.”

Jabid said, “How was the victim when you left?”

Shokura said, “He was alive and still standing.”

Jabid said, “Were you alone with the victim?”

Shokura said, “No. There was a boy who walked into the alley.”

Jabid said, “”Is he here today?”

Shokura said, “Yes, he is.”

Jabid said, “Please, point him out.”

Shokura said, pointing to Zuangeng, “He is there.”

Jabid said, “Please, note that the witness pointed to the defendant. How long was he in the alley?”

Shokur said, “He was still there when I left.”

Jabid said, “Do you own a gun?”

Shokura said, “No, I do not!”

“No further questions,” Jabid said. He walked back to his table.

Shulngeniu stood up. She got the gun. She walked to the stand. She showed the gun to Shokura. She said, “Did the boy have this gun in his hand when you saw him?”

Shokura said, “No.”

Shulngeniu said, “Did you see it anywhere on him?”

Shokura said, “No.”

Shulngeniu said, “Have you seen this gun before?”

Shokura said, “No.”

Shulngeniu said, “What was the boy doing when you saw him?”

Shokura said, “He was walking.”

Shulngeniu said, “You said that you have never seen the gun before, not on him nor you.”

Shokura said, “That is correct.”

Shulngeniu said, “Where do you suppose the gun was then?”

Shokura suggested, “He may have had it hiding somewhere in the alley.”

Shulngeniu said, “Who is this ‘he’ you are referring to?”

Shokura pointed to Zuangeng. He said, with a sneer, “That boy! Zuangeng!”

Shulngeniu said, “Have you seen the boy before that day?”

Shokura said, “No, I have not!”

Shulngeniu said, “You suggested that he may have had the gun hiding in the alley. How do you think he knew to have hidden the gun in that particular alley at that particular time?”

Shokura said, “Maybe, he knew the victim before. They may have plotted my death, together.”

Shulngeniu said, “Then, why are you here today, not the victim?”

Shokura said, “Maybe, Zuangeng had other ideas.”

Shulngeniu said, “How do you know my client and his name?”

Shokura said, “I learned his name from Shequyle. I never saw the boy before the day he killed the victim.”

Shulngeniu said, “No further questions.”

Jabid approached the stand, again. He said, “How else, he could he have known to have the gun, there?”

Shokura said, “He may have hid it before we knew he was there.”

Jabid said, “No further questions.”

Next on the witness stand was Zuangeng. Shulngeniu was the first to question him. She said, “How long have you been in this city?”

Zuangeng said, “Days uncounted.”

Shulngeniu said, “What have you been doing all this time?”

Zuangeng said, “Wondering the streets.”

Shulngeniu said, “What made you go into the alley?”

Zuangeng said, “I heard some noise, so I went in to find out.”

Shulngeniu said, “So, what did you find?”

Zuangeng said, “I found Shokura and another man fighting.”

Shulngeniu said, “Do you know what they were fighting over?”

Zuangeng said, “No, they were speaking in a way I could not understand what they were saying.”

Shulngeniu said, “Was the victim still alive when Shokura left?”

Zuangeng said, “No, he was dead!”

Shulngeniu said, “How did he die?”

Zuangeng said, “He was shot twice!”

Shulngeniu said, “Is the killer here today?”

Zuangeng said, “Yes, he is!”

Shulngeniu said, “Please, point him out.”

Zuangeng said, pointing at Shokura, “It was Shokura himself!”

“No further questions,” Shulngeniu said.

It was Jabid’s turn to question Zuangeng. He stood up. He walked to the witness stand. Jabid said, “You said Shokurra shot the man. What happened next?”

Zuangeng said, “He saw me. He tried to kill me, too>”

Jabid said, “Why did he fail to do so?”

Zuangeng said, “I hid where he could not get to me.”

Jabid said, “Earlier, you said you could not understand what they were saying. Why was that?”

Zuangeng said, “I did not know the language they were speaking in. I only knew enough words and phrases to get by in the streets.”

Jabid said, “Why was that? You live in this city and you hardly know the language?”

Zuangeng said, “I do not live here. I have not been here for very long. Just a matter ogf days.”

Jabid said, “Do you have any parents?”

Zuangeng said, “I only have one parent I call my father.”

Jabid said, “Is he here, today?”

Zuangeng said, “No, he is out to sea.”

Jabid said, “Do you have any relatives here?”

Zuangeng said, “No.”

Jabid said, “So, where have you been living?”

Zuangeng said, “In the streets.”

Jabid said, “Where had you been living before you came to the city?”

Zuangeng said, “On the sailing ship, Serikua.”

Jabid said, “Why aren’t you still on it?”

Zuangeng said, “I got swept off during a storm.”

Jabid said, “How did you get here?”

Zuangeng said, “A dragon brought me here.”

Jabid walked to his table. He got the gun. He walked back to the stand. He showed the gun to Zuangeng. He said, “Have you seen this gun before?”

Zuangeng said, “Yes, I have.”

Jabid said, “Where have you seen it?”

Zuangeng said, “In Shokura’s hand.”

Jabid said, “You never seen it before then?”

Zuangeng said, “No.”

Jabid said, “When did you see Shokura with the gun?”

Zuangeng said, “When he killed the man.”

Jabid said, “Have you seen of knew the victim before?”

Zuangeng said, “I never saw the two before that time.”

Jabid said, “No further questions.”

Jabid and Shulngeniu gave their closing arguments. The jury left to deliberate. They came back with a guilty verdict.

Jabid, Shulngeniu and Zuangeng stood before the judge to hear the sentence Judge Morlan said to Zuangeng, “You have been convicted of murder. I do not like this; but, the law is the law. I have the unpleasant duty to sentence you to death. In seven days, you will hang until you are dead.”

Zuangeng stood there, listening to the sentence. When the judge mentioned hanging, tears swelled up in his eyes. They ran down his cheeks. He held his head up throughout the sentencing.

Zuangeng said, “But, I want to go home to the Serikua.”

Judge Morlan said, “I’m sorry, Zuangeng. I cannot allow it.”

The judge exited the courtroom.

Jabid, Shulngeniu and Zuangeng turned around. Zuangeng looked at Shokura. Shokura had a big grin of satisfaction. He ran his hand across his throat, again.

Shequyle, Shulngeniu and Zuangeng exited the courthouse. They walked to the police station. They walked to the cells. Shequyle said, “Sorry, Zuangeng; but, I need to put you in a cell. I’ll make it as comfortable as I can. I’m sorry, you lost the case. Some of these people around here are prejudiced where Cingala are concerned.”

Shequyle locked Zuangeng in a cell. Zuangeng looked at them through the bars. He said, “I didn’t do it.”

Shequyle said, “I believe you. However, it is out of my hands.”

Shulngeniu said, “I’ll do what I can to help you.”

Zuangeng said, “I appreciate you, both.”

Shequyle turned to the other prisoners. He said, “Leave the boy alone! If you don’t, there will be repercussions! Do I make myself clear?”

The other prisoners said, “Yes, sir.”

Shequyle and Shulngeniu walked to his office. They sat down to talk. Shequyle said, “Anything you can do to help me make the cell more comfortable?”

Shulngeniu suggested, “I could bring some sheets, a blanket and a pillow. I can, also, bring him meals from home.”

Shequyle said, “That will work. I’ll see about the mattress.”

Shulngeniu exited the station. She rode home. She had the butler fix something for Zuangeng to eat. She gathered a couple of sheets, a blanket and a pillow with a case.

Shequyle gathered two mattresses. He carried them to Zuangeng’s cell. Another officer assisted him. They put one mattress on top of the one already there. Zuangeng tried it. He showed disapproval in his face. The second mattress was placed on top. He tried it again. He was satisfied with the comfort. Shequyle reiterated his warning to the other prisoners.

Shulngeniu and the butler rode to the station. Shequyle led them to the cell. They prepared his bed while Zuangeng sat on the floor and ate.

Every day Zuangeng spent in the jail, Shulngeniu brought him food. They would sit and talk while he ate. She did what she could about his case.

Xianjeng flew over the city on the last day of the trial. He flew over the courthouse as the trio exited it. He recognized Zuangeng. He followed them to the station. He landed on the flat roof of the station. He watched them enter the station. He waited. He only saw the woman leave the station. He remained there. Later, he sw the same woman and a man return. He watched them leave. He waited until it grew dark.

That night, the stars shown brightly. There was no moon. The street lamps shown. Xianjeng took off from the roof. He landed in the alley behind it. It was dark with the only lights coming form the alley ends. The windows were dark. He looked into each window, his eyes glowing. He looked for the cell that Zuangeng might be in. He found the window half way below ground.

Zuangeng sat on the cot. He was wide awake. He hadhis elbows on his legs. His hands cradled his head. Tears streaked his cheeks. He found it difficult to sleep, thinking about his pending doom. He thought about never seeing the Serikua, crew and especially Captain Esiada again.

Zuangeng thought he heard a noise from above and behind him. It sounded like, “Psst.” He heard it several times. He looked up. Light was shining on the floor. He turned around on the third time. He looked up at the window. He thought he saw Xianjeng. He said, “Xianjeng?”

Xianjeng said, “It is I, Zuangeng. What happened? Why are you in jail?”

Zuangeng sat there looking at the dragon awhile. He finally and sadly said, “I’m due to hang in seven days.”

Xianjeng said, “For what?”

Zuangeng said, “For murder. I’m innocent!”

Tears continued to run down his cheeks. He continued. “Please, help me! I don’t want to die. I didn’t do anything wrong!”

Xianjeng said, “I’ll try to get you out of this mess, someway. I believe, I know someone who can help.”

Zuangeng said, “Who?”

Xianjeng said, “He is a fire dragon I know. He lives on this island.”

Xianjeng took off in search of the dragon. The next day, he flew over the island. He asked the local people in their native language about the where about of the dragon.

 

The Fiction of Wolf Moisan

The Boy and the Sea Dragon

Chapter Thirty Four

Zuangeng’s Arrest

Shequyle walked back into the interrogation room. He sat down at the table opposite of Shokura. He plooped a folder in front of him and opened it. He perused the papers within it. He studied Shokura for a while. Eventually, he said, “You certainly have a history, here. Petty larceny, drug possession with intent to distribute, distribution of drugs. Now, I might add murder to the list.”

“I have killed nobody in my entire fuckin’ life!” Shokura said adamantly.

“I have a witness that puts you in the alley at the time of the murder,” Shequyle said.

“A six year old kid! Damn Cingala at that!” Shokura said, disdainfully.

“Agte and nationality doesn’t matter! He saw you in the alley with the victim,” Shequyle said.

“Yea, I was fuckin’ there. I was talking with the victim,” Shokura admitted.

“The boy said you were arguing. What was that about?” Shequyle said.

“We were not fuckin’ arguing. The guy owed me some money! We were negotiating the damn payment,” Shokura said.

“Did you succeed,” Shequyle asked.

“He promised to pay it in seven fuckin’ days,” Shokura said.

“The boy said that you fought and killed the man. How do you expect him to pay the debt?” Shequyle said.

Shokura said, vehemently, “I fuckin’ did not! When I left, the man was alive. That damn boy must be the one that killed him. He is pinning his crime on me!”

“He’s just six,” Shequyle retorted.

Shokura retorted back, “He’s fuckin’ Cingala! Never trust nor believe a damn Cingala irregardless of age. They are nothing but damn worthless liars! Like you said, age does not matter.”

“The way I see it, is that you killed the man and are blaming the boy,” Shokura said.

“You have no damn evidence, just his fuckin’ worthless word!” Shokura said.

“All we have is the gun and his word, yes. However, until now, we have no record on the boy. You, however, have a lengthy record with us. Don’t go anywhere,” Shequyle said. He released Shokura.

The next day, Shequyle walked to the district attorney’s office. He came to a door with ‘Jabid, District Attorney’ on it. He walked in. He sat in a chair in front of Jabid’s desk. Jabid sat behind the desk. He was Jalapean. His hair was fringed with grey. Shequyle had brought a folder with him. He placed it on his lap. He said, “Jabid, I have a particular case on my hands. I have a murder case with two suspects. I have no particular evidence or witness as to which did the crime. One suspect is a six year old Cingala boy by the name of Zuangeng. We have next to nothing on him. The other suspect is Shokura. We have an extensive record on file for him. My inclination is that Shokura did it.”

“Did you bring a file on this case,” Jabid asked.

“Oh, yes, I did,” Shequyle said. He handed the folder to Jabid. Jabid took it. He opened it. He glanced at the papers.

Jabid looked at Shequyle. He said, “Were both suspects at the scene when you arrived?”

Shequyle said, “No, Zuangeng was the only one we found. He was leaning over the body.”

Jabid said, “Alright. I’ll study the case. I’ll get back with you when I’ve made my decision.”

A few days later, Jabid was in Shequyle’s office. He said, “I have reached a decision, Shequyle. We know Shokura pretty well. We have an extensive record on him. So far, we have no record of any violence. However, this kid, Zuangeng, is an unknown. We have nothing on him. He was found at the scene, not Shokura. I intend to prosecute Zuangeng. Make the arrest.”

“But, he is only six,” Shequyle protested.

Jabid said, “Makes no fuckin’ difference. Unless you have ony evidence or a witness to the contrary, my decision stands. If you don’t, I’ll find someone else. You’ll be reduced in rank!”

Shequyle said, disgustedly, “Alright. I’ll make the arrest; but, under protest!”

“Your protest is duly noted,” Jabid said. They exited the office. They went their separate ways.

Shequyle walked to Shulngeniu’s office. He walked in. He found her with a client. She looked up. She saw him and nodded. He waited in the waiting room. The client eventually left. Shequyle walked back in. He said, “Where is Zuangeng?”

Shulngeniu said, “He should be home. What’s up?”

Shequyle said, “I have an aggravating, unpleasant duty to arrest him.”

Shulngeniu exclaimed, “Oh, no! Not without my presence!”

Shequyle said, “I don’t like it any more than you do. My hands are tied!”

Shulngeniu said, “I’m going with you.”

“I expect no less from you. Let’s go,” Shequyle said.

They exited the office. Shulngeniu locked up. They arrived at her house. They walked in.

The butler greeted them. Shulngeniu spoke Cingalia, “Get Zuangeng.”

The butler walked off. He returned with Zuangeng. She said, “We need to be alone with him.”

The butler left. Shequyle said, “I hate doing this. You are under arrest for murder.”

Zuangeng’s mouth opened. He started to shake visibly. He protested, “But, I didn’t do it.”

Shequyle said, “I believe you; however, I have a duty to perform.”

Shulngeniu said, “Don’t worry. I’ll help you through this. I will be defending you.”

All three rode to the station. Shequyle booked Zuangeng in. On the way, a large shadow crossed their path. The shadow followed them. They looked up. They saw a greenish blue dragon flying over them.

After booking, Shequyle said, “Now, we need to see a judge. He will tell us what to do with Zuangeng until his trial.”

“Why don’t you just let him stay with me,” Shulngeniu asked.

“It doesn’t work that way here,” Shequyle said.

They exited the station. They walked to the courthouse. They found a judge that was in his office. They entered the office. They sat before the judge. The judge spoke Jalapean, “What can I do for you, Shequyle?”

“I arrested this boy for murder. I want to know what to do with him before the trial, your honor,” Shequyle said.

The judge said, “And you, Shulngeniu. Are you representing this boy?”

“Yes, your honor,” she replied.

“What is your take on this,” the judge asked.

“Jail is no place for a person his age. He knows nothing of your language,” she said.

“I take it you speak his language” the judge asked.

She said, “Yes. He is Cingala. I’m Cingala. Release him into my custody. I will take care of him. I will make sure he is ready for the trial. It will give me an opportunity to work with him on his testimony. I can teach him some of your language. He’ll be able to better understand the questions and answer in like.”

“Sounds good to me. What do you think, Shequyle?” the judge said.

“I agree with her,” Shequyle said.

“Then, release him into her custody,” the judge ordered. Zuangeng remained silent. He was not sure what was said.

Shequyle, Shulngeniu and Zuangeng exited the courthouse. Shequyle walked back to the station. Shulngeniu flagged down a taxi. Zuangeng and she rode home. They started preparation for the trial.

A few days passed as Shulngeniu went over Zuangeng’s responses to questions. The butler taught Zuangeng some Jalapean when Shulngeniu could not.

On the third day, they were in the back yard with Shulngeniu when a shadow passed over them. They looked up to see the same dragon as the previous day fly over them. Zuangeng turned to Shulngeniu and the butler. He spoke Cingalia, “There’s someone I need to see alone. Don’t worry, I’ll be back. I want to be cleared of this charge.”

Shulngeniu said, “Alright. Hurry back. We still have a lot of work to do. Do you want me to call a taxi?”

Zuangeng said, “Yes, ma’am to coming back. No to a taxi. Now, can I be alone?”

“Okay,” Shulngeniu said. The butler and she entered the house. Zuangeng stayed outside.

When they were gone, he went to the far end of the backyard. He went around behind a hedge. He took his clothes off. He laid them on the ground.

He knelt down. He turned into Ciyonaung. He spread his wings out. He crouched and jumped into the air. He flew in pursuit of the dragon. He finally caught up with it at a grass field outside the city. He landed in front of the dragon. Xianjeng said, “Hello, Ciyonaung. What’s going on?”

Xianjeng raised his head. He looked around. There was no one else there. He continued, “I saw Zuangeng going into a police station a few days ago.”

Ciyonaung said, “Zuangeng is being charged with murder. But, he’s innocent.”

Xianjeng said, “So, what’s going to happen to him?”

Ciyonaung said, “He goes to trial. He has someone representing him. She’s from his country. She’s teaching him some of the local language. They are sure of an acquittal due to lack of evidence.”

Xianjeng warned, “Don’t be too sure of it. People can be unpredictable.”

“He’ll be careful. I need to get back, now. They have a lot of work to do,” Ciyonaung said. He took off as Xianjeng watched. He arrived at the house. He circled it once before landing behind the hedge in the back yard. Nobody was out. He landed and returned to Zuangeng. He got dressed and entered the house.

 

The Fiction of Wolf Moisan

The Sea Gypsies of Ngoguyon

Jonathon walked to the table. It was stained sky blue. Each side had two brown chairs. Each end had one chair.

Kiribourey came in. He carried a bowl of salad. The salad consisted of leaves from three local plants and two varieties of seaweed. He set the bowl on the table. He pointed at the chair furthest from the kitchen door. He said, “Jon, that is my chair.”

He put his hand on the chair near him and his chair. He said, “You will sit here.”

He switched to Sarginese, “Que, you sit next to him. Boupha and An, you two sit on the other side.”

Jonathon and Quenan sat in their assigned chairs. An-Toan Kim sat next to his father’s chair. Boupha-Kannitha sat next to her mother’s chair. The robot and Kiribourey walked into the kitchen.

Kiribourey, Sopheary and the robot entered with trays of food. They set the dishes on the table. Kiribourey and Sopheary sat in their chairs. The robot took the trays back to the kitchen. It came back with a pitcher of a red liquid. It poured the liquid into the glasses.

“This is a tea we like to drink. It is made from the leaves of a herb that grows on an island west of here. It will taste like nothing you’ve had yet.” Sopheary said.

Jonathon tried it when his glass was full. He said, “That is good. It is like nothing I have had before.”

The robot set the pitcher on the table and exited.

They ate their supper. Afterwards, Kiribourey disappeared. He came back with a blue bottle and three glasses. He said, “Jon, I hope you drink alcohol. This is a wine brewed from a berry grown on this island. This particular vintage is dry.”

Jonathon said, “I do drink alcohol.”

The adults picked up the glasses. Kiribourey kept the bottle. All six walked out on the porch. The robot cleared the table. It put up the left overs. It put dirty dishes in the dishwasher.

The children sat on the porch deck, legs crossed. They played a game. The adults sat in lounge chairs. Kiribourey set the bottle on the porch deck next to his chair. They drank the wine. A gentle cool breeze blew.

Jonathon looked to the east. The red sun was low to the horizon. He turned to look west. A full moon was peeping over the horizon. It grew dark. The porch lights came on. Jonathon looked east again. The sun was half way down under the horizon. Jonathon said, “On Earth, the sun rises in the east, not set. It sets in the west.”

“On Ngoguyon, the sun sets in the east and rises in the west. This planet spins in the opposite direction than Earth. That is what I read somewhere,” Kiribourey said.

The sun disappeared below  the horizon. Jonathon and Kiribourey got up. They walked out to the southern porch edge. Jonathon looked down. He saw glints of light from the porch in the water. He looked west at the water. A rippled reflection of the moon was in the water. He looked up at the night sky over the ocean. He said, “This is amazing! Where I come from, there is so much light that you can see only the brightest stars. Here, you hardly have that problem. You can really see thousands of stars.”

“Can you see your sun from here,” Kiribourey asked.

“I can’t show you where it is. There are so many stars that it gets lost among them. I’m not even sure you can see it from here,” Jonathon replied.

“We’re miles from any major light sources. We’re off any sea lanes as well. I love it here,” Kiribourey said.

Jonathon returned to his seat. Kiribourey picked up the bottle from the porch where he had set it. He refilled their glasses. He set the bottle back down. He sat down.

The adults talked. Jonathon talked about his life on Earth. The children played on.

Late that night, Kiribourey spoke Sarginese, “Analin, I have let you stay up past your usual bedtime for Jonathon’s first night with us. Now, it is time for bed. Go in. Brsuh your teeth. Get ready. I’ll be in to check later.”

“Yes, Dad,” the children chorused in Sarginese. They stopped playing. They stood up. They entered the house. They walked into the bathroom. They grabbed their toothbrushes. They put their brushes under the toothpaste dispenser. It dispensed  the paste on the brushes. They brushed their teeth. They went to bed.

Sopheary entered the house. Kiribourey and Jonathon stayed outside, talking. She walked to the children’s bedrooms and peered in. The ceilings glowed dimly, giving the ambience of nighttime. All three were in their own beds. They appeared to be asleep. She walked back outside. She rejoined the two men.

They finished the bottle of wine. Jonathon walked inside. He walked to his room. He prepared for bed. He went to bed and asleep.

Kiribourey and Sopheary took the bottle and glasses to the kitchen. They put them on the counter. They checked the kids together. They went to bed themselves.

Next morning, Kiribourey and Sopheary walked into the kitchen to cook breakfast. The bottle and glasses were gone.

After breakfast, Kiribourey continued the lessons on languages. He broke off for lunch. He gave them the afternoon off.

Quenan entered his bedroom. He walked to his desk. He sat in the chair before it. In front of him on the desk was a computer terminal. He spoke Sarginese, “Monitor on.”

The screen lit up. He gave commands vocally in Sarginese until he reached the game he wanted to play. He played the game with voice commands and hand movements.

The rest were out on the porch. An-Toan Kim and Boupha-Kannitha sat facing each other on the porch deck. Between them was a game console. They were playing a holographic game. Like Quenan, they used voice and hands to control the game. They spoke Sarginese.

It was a nice clear day. The yellow sun shined. A gentle breeze blew.

Jonathon and their parents sat in lounge chairs. They watched the children play.

Quenan finished his game. He said, “Monitor off.”

The screen became black.

He got up. He walked to his bed. He took his clothes off, laying them on the bed, until he was naked. He ran through the house. He burst out of the door. He said, “Nigai nalange?”

“Ianake!” the other two children said, one at a time, as they stripped naked. Boupha-Kannitha saved the game. An-Toan Kim turned the system off.

“I’ll be a moment. Go ahead. I’ll join you,” Kiribourey spoke Sarginese. He entered the house.

Jonathon looked quizzically at Sopheary. She said, “Que just asked who wanted to swim.”

“Naked,” Jonathon asked.

“Does it bother you,” she asked.

“Where I come from, it is frowned on,” he said.

“Well, we aren’t there. We are different here. We are in the middle of nowhere, any way. Are there any cultures that do the same on Earth?” she said.

The three naked children walked over to the hole without a boat. Quenan disappeared through the hole. He was followed by Boupha-Kannitha then An-Toan Kim.

Sopheary said, “Jon, there is a platform under the porch by that hole. We can jgo down to that platform, sit and watch them swim.”

“I’d like to do that very much,” Jonathon said.

They got up. They walked to the hole. Sopheary climbed down through the hole, followed by Jonathon. Jonathon looked down past Sopheary. The children were about ten steps below her. He looked left of the ladder. The clear platform was below Quenan, about six feet below the porch. Six chairs were on the platform. Quenan was the first to reach it. He stepped off onto it. Boupha-Kannitha and An-Toan Kim followed suit in that order. Sopheary reached it. She stepped off onto it. Jonathon followed. Sopheary sat in one of the chairs.

Jonathon stood, watching the children. They stood side by side on the southern edge. Jonathon walked toward them. He watched them dive off the platform one at a time. He reached the edge. He looked down. The children disappeared head first with a splash into the water. Their heads reappeared. They shook their heads, spraying each other, laughing. They went to swimming. Jonathon joined Sopheary and sat.

Kiribourey came down the ladder. He wore a pair of red swimming trunks and sandals. He walked to the southern edge. The children looked up, treading water, and saw him. They swam to a bare metal ladder going up to the platform. They grabbed it. They remained in the water and waited. They turned to watch their father. He took his sandals off. He dove head first into the water. He resurfaced. He shook his head spraying water. His children swam to him. The four of them swam together. They splashed each other, laughing. They played another version of Marco Polo.

“I did a dissertation on different Earth cultures. I found some cultures where nudity among children is normal. My master’s thesis was on some Southeastern Asians with a similar culture. Their children did the same thing. However, there is little literature on societies on this planet. So, I’m doing my thesis for my phd on yours,” Jonathon said.

“Our original ancestors came from Sulawesi of Earth. Every native to these islands are Sargis like us. Our children are fifteenth generation descendants. Based on what I know of our history, we are not much different than our ancestors. So, I have no idea why anyone would be interested in us.” Sopheary said.

“Little is known about your society. Each society is different from others. That’s true even if they’re similar. I am interested in what is different about yours.” Jonathon said.

“From what I’ve heard, we’re hardly any different than people in Southeast Asia.” she said.

“If so, my thesis will bear that out. You call yourselves Sargis and your language Sarginese. Where does that come from?” he said.

Our original ancestors were two different but similar people from Sulawesi. They were the Makassar and Bugis people. They spoke two different but similar languages. They migrated together on the same ship. They interbred and merged the languages. They became the Sargis by the time they colonized these islands.” she said.

“You call your archipelago Makassarbugis. Why wasn’t it shortened?” he said.

“I heard it is to remind us of our heritage, ancestry,” she said.

After about two hours of swimming, Kiribourey and the children climbed the ladder to the platform. Water ran off them as they exited the sea. Kiribourey got his sandals back on. They walked, dripping water, to the ladder going to the porch. An-Toan Kim was the first on the ladder. He was followed by Quenan and then Boupha-Kannitha. Kiribourey took the tail. They had stopped dripping. They climbed the ladder.

They reached the porch. Once they were on the porch, An-Toan Kim and Boupha-Kannitha picked up their clothes. Kiribourey picked up the game system. They entered the house.

Kiribourey put the game system away. An-Toan Kim and Boupha-Kannitha put their clothes on their beds. The four of them took showers. They washed and brushed their hair. Kiribourey dressed. The children stayed naked.

Sopheary and Jonathon climbed the ladder to the porch. They entered the house.

 

The Fiction of Wolf Moisan

The Boy and the Sea Dragon

Chapter Thirty Three

Formation of a Fleet

The Serikua had been sailing for days with no land or ships in sight. One day, Captain Esiada stood at the stern railing. The day was a nice sunny one. There was a steady breeze. The crew were on deck doing their daily chores. Captain Esiada looked over the ocean behind the ship. He spied a black object on the horizon. He put the spyglass to his right eye. He closed his left eye. He trained it on the object. He focused the spyglass. The object appeared to be a sailing ship coming up fast behind them.

Captain Esiada ordered the top two square sails of each mast furled. The crew jumped on the ratlines. They furled the sails. The Serikua slowed, allowing the coming ship to catch up faster. Two days later, the two ships were even.

 

The new ship was a four mast clipper. Each mast carried five square sails. Between each pair of masts were three triangular staysails. There were four jibs. A large square sail was behind the last mast. Above that sail was a triangular sail. The hull was painted red. A black stripe ran along the side where the main deck would be. The ship’s name was embossed in gold above the anchor. The ship flew a flag from an archipelago south of Cinga.

The ship came along the starboard side of the Serikua. Men were furling some sails on the masts. It matched speed with the Serikua. The first mate stood on the deck at the stern. He cupped his hands around his mouth. He loudly hailed Captain Esiada. He spoke Dragonese, “Ahoy there! My captain requests permission to board for a meeting.”

“Permission is granted,” Captain Esiada said. All the sails on both ships were furled. The ships drifted together.

A dinghy pulled up along side of the Serikua. A man handled the oars at the stern. Another man sat at the bow. A woman sat in the middle of the dinghy.

Iyoseching opened a gate in the starboard rail. He threw a rope ladder over the side. It unrolled down the ship’s side until the bottom rungs hit the water. The bow man grabbed the ladder.

The woman stood up. She walked to the dinghy’s bow. She grabbed a ladder rung. She climbed the ladder. Captain Esiada helped her onto the deck.

She stood in front of him. She was about his height. Her flowing blond hair hung just below her shoulder blades. She wore black pants and a white shirt with gold bars on the sleeves. Her brown leather boots had tops half way up her calves. The toes were somewhat pointed. She greeted him in Dragonese, “I’m Captain Kessendra of the Shenadoa.”

“Welcome aboard. I’m Captain Esiada of the Serikua. Come with me, please,” he said in kind. He led her to his office. They entered. He walked around the desk. He stood and waited. Captain Kessendra sat in a chair in front of the desk. He sat in his chair.

He turned around to a small cabinet behind him. He pulled out two whiskey glasses and a bottle of whiskey. He turned back around. He set the glasses on the desk. He held the bottle up. He said, “Want a drink?”

She nodded. He poured whiskey in both glasses. He handed one to her. They drank some whiskey together. He said, “Where are you heading to?”

Captain Kessendra said, “We’re heading to Kulathra. Are you?”

Captain Esiada said, “Yes. We should sail together since we’re headed the same way.”

Captain Kessendra said, “I agree. We won’t put on all our sails so you can keep up with us.”

“That works for me,” Captain Esiada said. They talked for a while longer. They drank some more whiskey.

They stood up and shook hands. They exited to the deck. They walked to the ladder. He helped her onto the ladder. She climbed down to the dinghy. Soon, both ships were under sail.

A few days later, they joined up with two barks and one barquentine. Captain Esiada once again stood on the deck. The barks were bristling with cannons. One bark flew the Cinga naval flag.

A man stood on the deck, facing him. The man yelled in Cingalia, “Ahoy there. Need to come aboard your ship.”

“Come over,” Captain Esiada spoke Cingalia.

The man came over to the Serikua. He stood facing Captain Esiada. He wore the Cinga naval captain’s uniform. He was Cingala. He said, “I’m Captain Sanjeng of the Cinga navy, captain of the gunship Katendua.”

“I’m Captain Esiada of the Serikua. Shall we retire to my office?” he said.

They walked to the office. He offered Captain Sanjeng a drink. Captain Sanjeng said, “Sorry, I’m on duty. I must refuse your offer. I’m here on naval business.”

Captain Esiada said, “What can I do for you?”

“We’re escorting the barquentine Aminvelle to Kulathra. By your heading, I assume you are going there, too.” Captain Sanjeng said.

“Yes, that is correct,” Captain Esiada said.

“There have been reports of piracy in the area. I suggest you join us so we can protect you,” Captain Sanjeng advised.

“Thank you for the warning. We’ll go with you as our escort,” Captain Esiada said. They stood up and shook hands. They exited the office. Captain Sanjeng returned to the Katendua. The fleet of five ships got under way.

Days later, a large and small shadow crossed over the fleet. Captain Esiada looked up in the sky. He saw two dragons. One was large. The other one looked like a toy beside it. He watched them fly over the fleet and disappear.