Crocodiles in the sky

crocodiles with wings

There was a horde of crocodiles in the sky, cawing ferociously, swishing their tails, wriggling and snapping, ready to attack any moment. Tattered clouds gathered around them, gone from pure whiteness they had when just leaving the sea to dirty grey at the arrival. The uncanny darkness marred them all as they approached.

The defenders of the fortress panicked, exposed and helpless before the airborne horde. All the defences their fortress had - from thick walls to steel grates - were useless now. Cowards hid or fell to their knees crying while the brave ones prepared to fight as fiercely as cornered rats, until the end.

The archers raised their bows to the sky and met the enemy horde with a storm of arrows. Some found their targets and proved that the mysterious monsters can be killed. Dead crocodiles didn’t fall to the ground. Curled up like dead caterpillars they rose up instead, disappearing in the clouds, feeding the darkening sky. A glint of hope died in the warriors’ hearts soon: for every monster they killed a new one arrived from the evil darkness. How could anyone win against such an army?

The monsters swooped down, tearing apart everything in their path. Every wall in the fortress turned red with blood.

Crocodiles may seem clumsy on land but in water they’re perfect death machines, fast and powerful. These creatures were their exact match in the air.

So by the time when the evil cloud had been torn apart by the wind and the first rays of the sun had touched the earth, all men in the fortress were dead, brave and cowardly ones alike. The crocodiles, like ghosts, faded away with the sunlight.

One day’s journey from the fortress the invaders were celebrating their victory, won without a single warrior lost, far away from the fortress itself. Their leader knew what he was doing, very well aware of how powerful his new weapon was. Nerai the Great he will be called when his time comes!

Nerai left his people to celebrate and retired to his tent. A little boy was sleeping there among the silken pillows. A beggar’s son: shaggy, scrawny, and miserably thin kid. He looked better after a few days under his benefactor’s care which included lots of food, a warm bed, and a daily bath, but still had a long way to go. He curled up in his silks like a kitten, fretful in his sleep. Even the sound of Nerai’s soft footsteps startled him.

“What have you dreamed of today?” Asked Nerai gently stroking his hair.
“Crocodiles,” the boy grinned, recalling. “Crocodiles in the sky!”

(November, 14, 2003)

Jump to another story: