The sun was beginning to rise over the horizon of the desert. Any sign of the way they had come into this world was gone. They simply sat in the cold sand. Thomas was happy to have killed the dragon that took his leg, though it did not help their situation. They were trapped and alone.
“Thomas,” Mike started “do you think the girls are alright? I miss Cynthia.”
Thomas nodded. “I’m sure they’re fine. Maybe worried about us but no need to panic…” He took a long pause before speaking again. “I miss Shania too.”
“Do you think we’re ever getting out of here?”
That was unfair; it was a very open-ended question. Thomas believed they would be trapped their until they died. He wasn’t sure how he would die, he could starve or be eaten, but he was convinced they would never go back. He was never lucky to begin with. Everything with Shania was too good to be true. In fact he was sure it was fate that dictated he would never make love to the woman of his dreams. No. Instead fate was there to ensure his leg would be torn off by a dragon waiting on the other end of a portal to another world.
“Yes,” he lied.
As the sun rose up and began to heat up the sand Thomas realized neither of them had gotten any sleep. He was still looking at his stump of a leg. He hated everything about their situation. As the light shined across the vastness of the desert, a twinkle of light caught Thomas’ eye. Light shimmered in the sky where the dragon had been sleeping that night.
Suddenly the Light Morph was back, hovering around Thomas’ head smiling. “I’m so glad you’re alive! You see it, you see? That light is the portal, your way home!” She giggled and flew towards the shimmer of light.
Mike made his way over and helped Thomas to stand. Thomas hung one arm over Mike’s shoulder as he hopped along. They started towards the portal to go home.
“See,” Mike said “We’re almost there. Almost home, let’s go…”
As they approached the wall of light shimmering like a doorway everything happened all at once. The ground in front of them began to move and the jaws of the sand dragon lunged forward. Thomas felt a hand grip his shoulder and suddenly he was being pulled back. A man covered in robes stood above them raising a spear and jabbing at the dragon as Thomas franticly crawled away.
Mike helped Thomas back to his feet and got a safe distance away. The stranger who had saved them approached and sat down in front of them. He extended what looked like a wineskin Thomas quickly discovered was full of water. He began to drink, not realizing just how quenched he was.
“Thank you for that,” Mike said. “I thought we killed that thing…”
“No, you can never kill it.” The man looked to be in his thirties, tall with long dark hair. “As long as the portal is open there will be a dragon to guard it…” He paused to take the wineskin and pass it to Mike. “If you kill the dragon the portal closes, but it always comes back. The only way to get through it to keep that monster busy, letting it feed on something… I see you were already attacked coming here?”
“That’s right…” So there was no way to get back without being eaten, how reassuring. “Thanks for saving us.”
“You’re welcome… I could have let you be eaten and gone through the portal myself. I guess I’m what you call a good person. My name’s Christian by the way.” He took the water from Mike and drank the last himself. “I figure three heads can come up with a way out of here… And for future reference don’t listen to that dammed light morph; it only wants to trick you into getting killed!”
The two of them nodded. “Thanks for the heads up,” Thomas said.
Christian slung the strap on his shoulder around to bring out his satchel. He opened it and pulled out two shirts. He tossed one to each of them. They were white silk threaded, considerably better than nothing. Thomas noticed something else large and bulky in his satchel, he decided not to ask what it was, this man had done enough for them.
“An old man used to live here…” Christian started. “He told me I’d need everything in this bad to get home. There were these two shirts, and a wooden leg.” He looked over to Thomas, “I’m assuming it’s for you.”
Christian took the prosthetic leg out and handed it to Thomas. It fit him perfectly just above his knee. With help from Mike they all rose up and turned their attention to the door of light still shimmering.
They decided to go for it right now. Their plan was simple and thought out in only a few minutes. Thomas hoped to god it would work. They all wanted to go home.
The three of them approached where the dragon was lying in the sand, Christian ready with his spear and Mike holding Thomas’ knife. They really only had one chance. Christian drew the beast’s attention and it started to follow him, right away Thomas started towards the door. Mike threw himself on the back of the dragon and quickly drove his knife into its back leg. Good. Christian threw himself to the side thrusting his spear into its other back leg. The dragon thrashed and screamed as it bit at Mike and missed.
Suddenly Thomas was surrounded by light and through the portal.
He lay on his back looking up into the clear blue sky. Mike and Christian weren’t there, he wasn’t too worried. He ran his fingers through the cool grass and breathed in the morning air. He had never missed home so much. Suddenly Mike appeared and dropped to the ground laughing. Christian was soon to follow in the same way, kissing the ground.
“We did it, we’re home!” Mike cried out.
Thomas got to his feet, wobbling as he got used to the wooden leg. He still hated the concept but it was better than lying on the ground helpless. He was filled with a joy he had never known. Suddenly that joy was gone, replaced with doubt. Looking off into the trees and watching the blue light float through. A light morph danced through the air and was greeted by several others who proceeded to fly into the darkness of the forest. His doubt was assured and fear took over as he looked up into the morning sky.
Mike and Christian also took note and stopped their laughing and cheering. Of course he could not be so lucky to get home that easily. As Thomas looked up at the two moons that filled the sky reality set in as fate assured him he was still far from Earth.