Week Two: Another Literary Judges’ Honorable Mention!

The story I submitted for week 2 of Signum University’s “Almost an Inkling” short story contest has also received an honorable mention from the literary judges!

This week’s story had to feature a story about dragons or dragon fighters. Here’s my submission:

“Secret Weapon”

Jake flew his spy plane high above the secret military base. It was rumored that the Chinese air force had developed a new weapon, something so powerful its very existence posed a threat to the free world. He scanned his radar, looking for any sign of enemy aircraft. So far, he appeared to have escaped detection.

The pilot circled lower. His government needed good reconnaissance photos in order to assess this potential threat. His instrument readings were very strange. The facility below didn’t have any of the marks of a conventional air base. There were no runways, no sign of a control tower. Several low structures, which looked like normal barracks, were clustered tightly together. Natural-looking rock formations that might conceal entrances to an underground tunnel system surrounded the compound.

Whatever the Chinese were up to, it didn’t look like it involved any kind of conventional aircraft. He circled for another pass. Then the sirens began.

The enemy had spotted his plane. If he didn’t get out fast, he risked being shot down and captured. A burst of flame rose from the mouth of a cavern far below. A massive, black form shot skyward, pursuing him.

The figure didn’t move like any plane or missile Jake had ever seen. It flew more like a great bird of prey, rising with each dynamic stroke of its massive, bat-like wings. Soon the creature had matched his altitude.

A rider seated astride its neck, in a saddle-like harness, appeared to direct the creature’s flight. It was close enough now for Jake to gauge its size. That thing was every bit as long as his spy plane. Whiskers as thick as tentacles drooped down on either side of its long muzzle and dangled from its chin. Iridescent scales glinted in the moonlight. It had great, clawed feet and a mighty, slashing tail.

The creature turned its snout toward Jake. Its luminous eyes regarded him for the fraction of a second. The rider on its back barked a command in Chinese. Flames poured forth from creature’s throat, enveloping Jake’s plane.

Jake banked left, trying to evade the creature. With two quick down strokes of its wings the dragon had changed its course and caught up with him again. It unleashed another flaming barrage in his direction.

The heat in the cockpit was unbearable. Jake knew he couldn’t outrun this creature, and he couldn’t withstand another blast like the last one. He pressed the eject button. The cockpit canopy flew off and his seat shot skyward, out of the burning hulk of his spy plane. The seat jerked backward as the emergency chute opened. He drifted gently toward the ground.

**********

Jake was stolid in the face of interrogation. After several days, his captors determined he would give them no information.

“Holding him is pointless. We cannot risk his escaping or being rescued. With what he’s seen, he could jeopardize our entire program.”

“Yes, sir. What should we do with him?”

“Feed him to the dragon.”

Copyright © 2015 Rebecca D. Bruner

 

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