Captain Rasmussen and His Ferocious Dragon
Updated: May 19, 2021
"Trust me, this will win that war of yours." His breath was sour and I tried not to wince from the stench. That would be impolite.
"Wonderful," I nodded and turned back to the entrance of the cave before us.
We stood and watched as his men waited by the chains just outside of the cave. Laying in big heavy coils, their anchors somewhere beneath the sand, the other end of the chain disappeared into the inky blackness of the cave. My palms began to sweat and I could taste the bile at the back of my throat. I was terrified to see whatever monster was waiting inside, angry and powerful, held captive by Captain Rasmussen and his men. But I had no choice, this was for my people.
"Alright, bring the beast to me, men!" The Captain bellowed and I watched as his men obediently bent down and retrieved the chain in their grips. Six men staggered on either side, one arm flying over the other as they pulled, muscles gleaming in sweat and filth. My stomach flipped as I watched the chain become taut and heard the grunts of the men as they applied more strength. Whatever was on the other end of the chain wasn't coming out easily.
"Put yer backs into it!" The Captain took one step forward, fists clenched.
A roar emerged from deep within the cave, rattling both my nerves and bones. I looked towards the Captain, but he showed no sign of being afraid. I wasn't sure I could swallow down this fear once more while I watched the men continue to pull on the chain with all their might.
Another deafening roar. I dropped to the sand, fear sweeping me off my feet. The Captain turned to me and laughed. "His bark is meaner than his bite, lad. You've nothing to worry about!" He extended one calloused and dirty hand. I apprehensively took it, my shoulder popped as he pulled me to my feet with shocking strength.
The Captain and I turned just in time to see the chain drop to the sand and the men's eyes grow wide. The sound of heavy footsteps and scales scraping on rock filled the air around us, and the men quickly dropped the chain and retreated to the safety of the shores where the Captain and I stood.
Two reflective green eyes were the first things I saw. Bodiless in the dark, we were caught in their sharp gaze. As the dragon continued forward, a long scaly snout came into view. I held my breath, looking up as the beast slowly stepped into the light. Blue and purple scales that glittered in the sun, his body was enormous. I'd guess he was nearly as big as Captain Rasmussen's ship which was safely anchored just off shore behind us. I suddenly wished I were still aboard and not standing here looking up into this murderous beast's face.
The dragon spread its black wings out and gave another roar, revealing a mouth full of razor sharp teeth. The back of its throat glowing from the fire that resided in its belly, waiting for the chance to escape and destroy everything in its wake. I reached forward and held onto the Captain's coat for support, he didn't even seem to notice.
"How are ya, Eustice?" the Captain said calmly with hands on his hips.
"Can we work on how you summon me? This chain is giving me a rash, and it digs into my skin when you guys pull me like that," the dragon reached up with sharp claws and fiddled with the thick iron collar, his voice high pitched and nasally. My mouth hung open as my knees seemed to regain their strength.
"Not again, Eustice," I watched the Captain's shoulders sag as he shook his head.
"I think I'm developing an allergy to iron. Perhaps, sterling silver? Or gold?"
The Captain gave a heavy sigh, he stole a glance at me before turning back to Eustice.
"Eustice, this is young King Thaspian and he's commissioned us for a little bit of help back home. His people are being terrorized and enslaved by an evil wizard."
"An evil wizard, huh? I don't really like magic." Eustice stared back at us, his mouth turned down at the corners as he squinted into the sun.
"Eustice, you're immune to magic!" The Captain threw his hands up.
"I know that. Still don't like it though. Unnatural. Where is home, King Thaspian?"
"C-Caidora," I stammered.
"Caidora? This time of year? Rasmussen, my allergies!" The dragon pleaded.
"Dammit, Eustice! I don't want to hear anymore about yer damn allergies!" The Captain yelled, pointing one thick finger up at the dragon. "Now this lad paid good money for our help, and we're not going to let him down now, are we Eustice?"
Eustice turned his nose up and away from the Captain as he mumbled something inaudible. The Captain must have heard though, I turned as he exhaled loudly and rolled his eyes.
"I'm sorry fer yellin' at ya, Eustice. Will you please help King Thaspian?"
We both turned our gaze to Eustice, who sat upright in the sand still avoiding eye contact. This was not the beast I had thought I was commissioning, though Rasmussen had warned me that he wasn't a typical dragon. He looked the part though, and I remembered the sheer terror that just the sight of Eustice had caused. As long as he didn't speak, I believed we had a shot at defeating Jürgen and reclaiming Caidora.