Short Story – Lonely Souls on a Lonely Sky

This is a short story I wrote based on the music video “Eye of the Storm” by Lovett.  I think I wrote it for a contest and it was supposed to be no longer than 600 words.  It’s a sort of steampunk fantasy sort of thing.  Also this is a rather old story so it might not be very good, but I’m posting it anyway.

Orange skies and gold clouds. That’s all there is in these forsaken skies. I almost have to believe that the lens of my spyglass was painted with that image. No, wait, there it is. The green flair in the distance. The Vortex.

I went out to the fore deck of the airship and turned it to head toward the Vortex. A beautiful and terrible thing this Vortex. A green glow in the heavens, as the land dwellers know it. I’ve been there many times before, myself. I know what it truly is. Death.

I turned and walked back to the cabin, patting the little dragon’s head as I passed it. I could tell it was only a yearling, not fully grown yet. Friendly little thing, it is. Came right up to me and let me bring it on board without a fuss. Didn’t even have to sedate it.

The bottle of dragon blood sits on my desk. Glowing green. Flammable. I threw it into the engine and the fire flared blue-green, roaring loudly and burning hotter than before. I picked up my logbook from my desk and threw it in as well. I considered for a moment and then threw my lute in too. Might as well get there as fast as I can.

I examined the contents of a small metal box on my desk. A dragon scale, claw, and tooth from each one I had ever captured. Next to that a large stack of cash and documents with details on all the dragons I had captured. Under all that was a map that led to dragon country. It was one of only three in existence.

I closed the box and walked out to the edge of the deck, staring out at the infinite space ahead of me. The box was given to me by my father, engraved by him. He was a dragon hunter, too. My hands released the box and it plummeted down into the beyond, most likely never to be seen again.

I turned my face up and a drop of rain hit my goggles. Dark clouds were forming overhead. Lightning flashed close to the deck, followed by a roar of thunder. This could be a problem. As long as the balloons on the ship didn’t get struck, though, I would be fine.

A few hours later the storm got brutal. I had a hard time keeping control of the ship, the wheel putting up heavy resistance. Ten minutes of struggling, I regained control and it all went smoothly from there. I turned and began to walk back to the cabin when my foot hit something on the deck. I bent down to grab it and saw it was a key. The key to the dragon’s manacle. It must have fallen out of my pocket.

I came into the cabin and looked at the dragon sitting there. It was alone when I found it. Its parents were probably taken to the Vortex. This job is getting tiresome. I can’t keep doing this. For all I know this could be the last dragon alive.

When the storm cleared I let the dragon go. It stepped out onto the deck and unfurled its wings and took off into the heavens. A beautiful creature that has no right to be taken away from the sky.

I turned and walked back into the cabin, having done my good deed. I sat down in the captain’s chair and waited for the airship to fly into the heart of the Vortex. I was ready for my last adventure. I’m coming, Father.

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