Charlie stopped lowering himself when he found the marked brick with his flashlight. He sprayed a green ‘X’ at the spot before the crossover, to help him keep his lunch. The early 30s man shined his flashlight down at the darkness. Instead of illuminating the depths of the well, he saw the now familiar black hole. He took a deep breath, closed his eyes, and dipped into the threshold.
Charlie felt nauseous. His stomach flipped when he crossed over as his body tried to re-orient itself. Charlie lowered himself feet first, however the new world felt different to him. Once his head cleared the portal he needed to climb upward again to get out of the hole. When he first discovered the portal he realized that he could “climb down” indefinitely; if he felt the urge. Each time he crossed the portal it appeared below him.
After taking a moment to get his bearings Charlie pulled himself upward. He looked up during the climb and noticed the sky was darker than usual with a deep red hue.
“It’s too early for sunset,” he ran down possible reasons but kept climbing. He rushed to get out of the well and ended up winded. He fell to his knees on the small hill as he panted for his breath and took in the sight. Black smoke hovered in the red skin above his favorite town. He spotted a few small fires, but most of the damage had been done already. Animated skeletons wandered around the smoldering buildings.
“Scales!” A sudden realization struck Charlie. He did not see the dragon’s corpse anywhere, which meant it didn’t know about the trouble. He patted his pockets till he found the dragon whistle and pulled it out. He blew into the neck of the small, golden dragon head and a small spark came out of its mouth. The spark crackled and disappeared.
“How are you still alive?” Charlie heard a feminine voice behind him and jumped. The scare startled him forward, and he rolled down the hill for a couple of feet before he managed to stop himself. He stood up and eyed the source of the voice. “I’ve killed everyone else, where’d you come from?” A tall, pale woman said. Two bone-white, curling ram horns protruded from the top of her head. Long, straight black hair flowed down her back.
“You’d better leave!” Charlie tried to sound brave. He held up the whistle. “Scales is coming and he’s going to be really mad that you hurt his friends. He’s a dragon!” he yelled. A roar resounded through the sky as if to prove Charlie’s point. He smiled to himself and stood on his feet. “See?”
“A dragon?” the woman sighed. “Boring. I’m done here.” She lifted her right hand and waved different gestures at the air. A tall black portal, like the one in the well, opened next to her. Charlie hoped it meant she was leaving.
“Yeah, that’s right! Leave and don’t come back!” he yelled. The woman smirked and shook her head. She did not step into it as he expected. Instead, someone else stepped out. A giant woman, taller than the first woman’s horns, with fiery red hair stood next to the horned woman and stared at Charlie.
“Flutter…,” the first woman turned to the giant one. “…there’s a dragon coming. Deal with it.” Then she stepped through the black hole and disappeared. The portal closed behind her.
“If you’re smart, you won’t be here when it’s over,” Flutter advised Charlie, then she looked up to the sky. Charlie stood his ground and shook his head.
“No way! I’m going to enjoy watching Scales tear you apart for what you did!” Flutter shrugged. Her alabaster skin hardened. It became coarse, jagged, and layered as she covered her body with golden scales.
“Sorry to say it…,” Flutter said as she scanned the sky. She smiled when she saw a large silver dragon flying towards her. “…but, scales is out of his league.” Two sets of translucent dragonfly wings popped out of Flutter’s back. They began flapping as she leaped to the sky.