The Way of the Rider

The Way of the Rider

A Chapter by TabaD
"

Patrick will soon have to face his deepest fears; luckily he won't be alone, he'll have Furia by his side.

"

The Way of the Rider


Furia was lying under a tree and I was next to her, lying on the ground as well.


Let's go to the highest spot... Suddenly popped Furia.


Why all of a sudden?


We've been lying here for too long, even during the week I take a walk during the day.


Well then... I said, standing up. We'll have to do it quickly, in less than an hour I'll be gone.


At human pace it might be a big deal; hop onto me, I'll show you dragon pace!


Ok, let's do this!


I climbed onto Furia and took seat behind the base of her neck. My legs met her shoulders. I saw where her now-closed wings born; not many inches behind her shoulders, they could move comfortably without meeting any of my body. I held tight with both my legs and arms to prevent falling as Furia started walking. I could feel every of her strong muscles working, taking us forward like an unstoppable force. I was having the time of my life, ducking when passing under a low tree, leaning with her movements and laughing of joy. She wasn't very fast, but she was strong, much more than an off-road vehicle.


We finally made it to the highest spot of my father's lands.


-Yeah! -I exclaimed, ending with an ear to ear smile.


Furia let out a roar as she opened her wings with one flowed move. I felt her pride and joy as we both stared at the view: the city was for us to admire, like a kingdom for its king. In a moment I imagined our pose. It looked awesome, me on Furia's back, her wings opened, with the whole world underneath us like… And I wanted to punch myself in the face.


How long was I planning to wait until this popped in my mind!? I couldn't believe that what I always imagined dragons were for slipped from my mind exactly at the moment I had one for real!


We should totally do it. Furia said with a determined voice.


We will.


We talked the matter out and came to a plan of action on how to get me to spend a night in the lands and, most important of all, ride her. Also, we made an agreement: Until that day arrives, we would be preparing for this, physically. Furia would push further her limits, such as top speed and flying time, during her night flights and I would get rid of my dead weight; I wasn't exactly fat, but anything I could take off myself would mean a great difference in the air.


That same day, back home, I told dad about the issue. At first he wasn't very sure about this, due to its dangerous implications. I made use of every argument I could think of to win his support.


-Dad, I have experience on horse riding…


-You are afraid of horse riding, Patrick…


-That's why I want to do it; unlike horses, Furia cares for me, if I dare to fall she will catch me. And also, the ground will be hundreds of feet below, so she would have a lot of time to do so. Besides, I don't plan to do it bareback, I was hoping you and Mr. Flynn could help me make some kind of saddle or something I can get grip from.


I made it in the end. During that week, dad bought a lot of saddle-making leather and told Mr. Flynn about the project, for he was the one with the most experience on saddle-making. That weekend, we met Mr. Flynn and Furia at the porch. As I greeted him, he said…


-Patrick, you are surely one crazy fella! Scared of horses and look at what you come with now.


-You know me, Mr. Flynn. Not a single thought was given.


-Hell it wasn't, kid, let me see your dad.


I went to Furia, she lowered her head and my forehead met the tip of her mouth. We stayed in contact for a few moments. Dad called for me, suddenly.


-Come on Patrick, let's unload the truck, the sooner we start the sooner we finish.


I passed a thought to Furia in the moment.


Alright, let's do this!


The whole morning went off while taking measures on Furia's back and chest, where the elements of the saddle would take most part on. I showed them how I seated on Furia's back, then we took that position as a starting point. We used the measures to make a sketch of the saddle. Once it had form and looked how it would do when finished, we had lunch. We had a little rest afterwards, then proceeded to the next step of the project: making it real. Cut by cut, knot by knot… it began to look like a saddle sooner than we thought, or was it our excitement? Our desires of seeing it done? Anyway, we continued working for as long as we could. That took us even the whole evening; Mr. Flynn brought all the lamps and light sources from the house and we kept working even in the night. When it was too late, we got everything into the house; dad and I bid farewell to Mr. Flynn and Furia, thanked him for his help, then left.


During the week dad and I planned something. We could arrive to the lands on Saturday, work the whole day and test the saddle that same night and then spend the night there; there wasn't a lot left to do. Also, on Thursday night I was at the gym working out. When I finished my routine and went to the showers; with my towel around my waist, I took a look at how my body was developing strength and didn't look the same as before. I had a burst of pride as I saw my fat gone. I could use some more muscles and be stronger, but at the time, my new me on the mirror reflected more evidence of the changes finding Furia made in me. In what other way will you improve my being, Furia? I wondered, smiling.


-Looks like someone is proud of himself…


Said one of the guys I knew at the gym, right before leaving the showers. I changed up and leaved as well. Only bad thing was that it wasn't me the only one noticing the changes I was going through. That friend of mine that was too into my "acid accident" also was too into my improved grades, improved physic aspect. Still, I was able to send him away. Although he seemed to be like… suspecting something… ridiculous, he is a good friend; he's just intrigued because it's actually true; I'm going through a lot of changes…


When Saturday arrived, we put into the saddle right when we arrived to the house. During the afternoon, Furia was wearing the saddle. We adjusted the belts and straps so they wouldn't be too loose nor too tight; we asked Furia every time we made an adjustment and she answered through me. That was of a lot of help.


At early evening, the saddle was finally done. I did a pre-test by getting on, then Furia moved her wings in every direction, also her other limbs. Nothing seemed to be wrong placed, nothing seemed to be bothersome.


The zone of the seat had a layer of sponge material to reduce impact on my behind and Furia's back. On the front part of the saddle, was a strap for me to grab and hold with my hands and get grip. The stirrups were slightly angled, so my knees would be a little flexed, that way I would have grip on my feet in the counter direction of the wind; preventing me to slip. And as safety measure, it featured a pair of straps for my legs, one for each leg. They embraced the birth area of the leg, right under the waist, like a harness.


We brought beverages, food and camping chairs to the highest spot of the lands and waited for the night to fall. We talked a lot, zapping from topic to topic randomly.


When the last sunray went off and the sky was darker than Furia, I climbed onto her and strapped myself as dad walked towards us and Mr. Flynn yelled "The time has come!". Dad got near and grabbed my right foot as he handed me a small box.


-Once you take off… I won't be able to watch you… I'm leaving to you the responsibility of what happens up there.


I opened the box and saw aviation goggles. As I put them on, I answered.


-I won't be reckless, thanks, dad.


He then patted Furia's right arm and said.


-Have a nice flight.


-Have in mind not to scream! -Added Mr. Flynn. "I don't want people asking what the f**k's going on here!


-I won't. -I said grabbing the front strap with both hands.


Right before heading to his seat, dad told me one last thing.


-And remember, Patrick, to push yourself forward with your legs, the harness straps are just for safety.


-Roger that.


Dad backed off and went to his seat, he yelled "Once you are ready, son!" .


Furia slowly opened her wings a bit, twisted her head and looked at me, her yellow eye shining with moonlight.


Are you ready?


I was shaking, scared as hell. I knew this was different than riding a horse, still, the sensation was the same. I began to visualize my horse riding accident from the beginning over and over again until Furia's voice broke the chain with its appearance.


We can come back later once you…


I interrupted her, abruptly.


No, we cannot wait more; else the idea of not doing this will become a good one, just take o… Fuuuck!


At the moment Furia heard the order, she fast paced a few steps, prepared her wings and jumped to the sky, movement followed by strong strokes of her wings. As for my swear, it began strong but died in the end, at least I remembered not to scream.


I could feel the wind's force on my whole body, still, the strength I was putting on my legs was doing good, I managed to support myself instead of just resting on the safety straps. I looked back and saw the lands becoming smaller and smaller; which made me hold harder on the front strap.


In a moment, Furia got balanced, we were just going forward. I looked down by my side and saw the city's lights like tiny points. Then I looked up and saw the sky, it didn't look very different, but the idea of being this close to it, without being in a plane, changed the whole story. I was completely euphoric, I felt that weird sensation behind the eyes; I felt like I was going to blow up.


You can scream here! We are too far and going too fast for sound to reach land!


My right hand let go of the front strap and raised my fist up to the sky.


-"Woooooooohooo! Yeeeaaah!"


Feel any better?


A lot! I answered ending with a joyful laugh.


I felt her joy as she roared and laughed.


This is amazing!


Fear? I knew nothing about it. My blood turned to raging fire as I felt I could take on anything. I may have been afraid of horse riding my entire life; but I knew one thing for sure: I was born for Dragon Riding.


Let's go higher! Faster! I yelled in my mind.


As you order!


Her head tilted up, followed by her neck and body. We climbed the wind until Furia did a loop. Hoooly s**t! While looking up, I was looking at the ground; weirdest sensation ever. I have gone to amusement parks, but even the top attractions were children games compared to this. Then Furia did a twist and got us to our original vertical orientation. I felt the wind strength growing up as I leaned forward to be more aerodynamic. Furia closed her wings a little and the wind's strength growing rate increased much further as we dived to the ground. I felt my face like it was going to be ripped off from my skull like it was just a mask. Then, when the top of the trees got to be identified in the darkness, Furia angled up and curved right before touching them.


How do you like speed!?


It's awesome!


We did twists, loops, dive drilled… Everything that popped in our minds.


After making what appeared to be an acrobatic presentation, we flew still, just going forward like flying towards skies of happiness, if we weren't there already. We didn't talked for a while; we enjoyed the landscapes, our company, the whole experience. Minutes later the silence was broken.


I'm going to head back; soon I'll need to rest…


Hear ya…


Furia banked in a wide curve to our right and headed back to the lands. Once I recognized the lands I looked for dad and Mr. Flynn. We didn't brought up any kind of light source, just some flashlights. I guess they are in complete darkness right now… Though moonlight was amazingly clear once you get used to it, still it was impossible for me to find the highest spot.


There it is.


Like a reflex, I looked to a direction and stared, it was the highest spot.


Found it. I stated.


What? Are humans that keen eyed?


I don't know, just a reflex.


Lucky shot.


I felt our speed decreasing as we got closer to our selected landing zone. Furia glided down and hit the ground, softening the impact by flexing her legs and pacing until the energy we carried went to zero. Dad and Mr. Flynn walked towards us while applauding to our successful landing.


-Nice, son!


-How was it? Come and tell us the whole thing!


I unstrapped my legs and jumped down by Furia's left side, then headed towards them while running my right hand on her neck, finishing my travel with the underside of her jaw. I approached them and uttered…


-This is the most unbelievable experience I have ever been part of in my whole life!


They took seat while I stood, telling them every last detail of the twenty minutes I spend in the air, Furia curling up behind me. I was like a little kid, drawing with my hands every maneuver Furia and I did; she was paying attention to me, she seemed to like my narration style. When I finished, as I had some kind of dinner I started a new topic. I put on the table the idea of doing this weekly. Dad was reluctant at first, but due to Mr. Flynn's support and my insistent arguments, he gave up in the end.


We all walked to the house. Dad, Mr. Flynn and I carried the stuff in while Furia waited outside, still with the saddle on. Dad and Mr. Flynn prepared their beds while I walked outside and went for another ride with Furia. We talked a lot during the flight and repeated just a few of the earlier maneuvers. One of the topics we treated was how I managed to locate the highest spot back then. After proposing some theories we came up to experimentation. I cleaned my mind and concentrated. If I involuntarily sensed Furia's sight, then there had to be a way of doing it voluntarily. It was until I truly cleaned my mind and shut myself from the world by closing my eyes that I managed to feel her senses. With my eyes closed, I forced my brain to look for visual senses somewhere else, outside of my mind; and the only place to find visual senses was through my connection with Furia. The first time I accomplished my objective scared me; everything was different, the tones of the colors, the detail; it was like Furia's vision had super high definition… and the night vision… that was amazing! Her night vision was exponentially better than mine. Then I learned how to trigger this new ability… try after try… and made our bond even stronger.


As this flight wasn't as tiresome as the first one, we flew for around thirty minutes. Afterwards we went to her favorite resting spot; I unsaddled Furia and climbed back onto her to ultimately sleep there, then she curled up putting end to the day.


This makes me remember that night you born.


Really? Why?


I was so scared that night… and in the end I let you sleep on my bed. You were making so much noise; you just wouldn't sleep elsewhere…


Furia chuckled as she commented… I can barely remember…


I won't forget that combination of fear and joy…


Then it was a good day…


Yup… it was an amazingly good day…


We then proceeded to sleep.


Next morning, after breakfast, dad and I departed towards our home in the city. We decided it would be safer to leave the saddle in the country house. As for the week, it went at carousel speed the whole way like it was a bad joke.


I went to the lands at early afternoon on Saturday. I met Furia at the porch. Mr. Flynn wasn't around here at this hour; so I just took the saddle out and headed to the highest spot. After a light chat about our weeks, her next words had a serious tone.


With a piercing glance to the horizon, Furia spoke…


Do you think there's more for us out there?


We were both standing; I stood aligned to her eyes, her head diagonally above me, and stared to the horizon as well.


What do you mean?


I mean, this is it? We will spend our existences just flying weekly at night? Won't we go further than your father's lands' confines? I hope you aren't getting me wrong…


I know the feeling…


I hope our lives aren't like… written or something… like forcing us to stay this way until the end…


I chucked while answering… It's called destiny…


Destiny?


Yeah, the story of your life, the decisions you make, everything is written and will happen no matter what. Some people believe in it, some others don't.


Do you?


Not since I found your egg.


Why did you stop believing?


Well, to be frank, I wasn't a lot of a believer, at first I just hoped for my destiny to be an awesome one; else from that, I just didn't give a f**k.


Soooo?


Oh right… well, when I found you, your egg, I had some kind of catharsis. I swore to myself that I wouldn't wait for my destiny anymore. Whether it was good or bad; I decided not to care in a whole new level and write my own story. I decided to just be myself the best I could. I think that decision would get me to my true place… Going back; why this suddenly bothers you?


Just thinking of that "beach" place… it sounds awesome.


Yeah, the beach is the kind of places that cannot be missed. We'll have to think something up.


We will… but until then, let's enjoy today.


And that we did. The rest of the evening we talked and walked around, skipping from topic to topic; then went back to the highest spot at night's birth. Once we got ready, right before takeoff, I remembered a song which starts with the line "Here we go again m**********r!" Furia knew the reference in my mind; not long ago I showed her some of my favorite songs. We ended up with the same music taste… we ended up with a lot of aspects in common.


In the middle of the flight, Furia told me…


Take off the safety straps…


I felt a weird sensation on the back of my neck; maybe it was the wind… no, I was already used to it; or maybe it was the confusion Furia's command provoked in me.


What?


Just let yourself fall, I'll catch you.


Why do you want to do this?


Consider this a saddle failure simulation…


Well, if you insist…


At first I was reluctant, but… as time kept passing, this wouldn't let us enjoy the flight any further… after all, what could go wrong?


Let's get higher…


We ascended. Once Furia leveled, I took off the safety straps, each with its respected hand. I felt so vulnerable without them, as in the same time… free. Furia flipped upside down; I gripped myself hardly with my hands to the front strap and with my feet to the stirrups.


Now you won't hit my tail! Let go!


I looked up, which was actually down, and saw the ground. Regarding of the situation, the ground was really intimidating.


Don't waste more time! Just let go!


I closed my eyes and… at the instant I loosened my muscles, the wind ripped me off from Furia's back. I opened my eyes while frantically looking for something to grab, but the only thing I found was out of my reach; I saw Furia flipping back and flying away.


Oh s**t, oh s**t, oh s**t, oh s**t, oh s**t, oh s**t, oh s**t, oh s**t, oh s**t…


I couldn't find balance to my body; I was looking at the ground, at the sky, at the ground, at the sky… with every snapshot of the ground disturbingly closer than the last one.


And I felt like a Football player tackled me. I closed my eyes with the impact. I felt something in my mind; it was like when Furia laughed. I opened my eyes and saw Furia's claws around me. I realized my position and looked up, to Furia's chest.


Get ready to climb up!


Furia brought me closer to her chest. I stretched my arms and grabbed the saddle. She reduced the speed so I could climb back on easily… well, "easier" it's more appropriated, for climbing to the saddle of a flying dragon was far from being accomplished easily.


How was it?


That was crazy!


We landed while I was talking of nothing other than the free fall. Furia chuckled from one moment to another as I was finding something so mundane to her so fascinating. I skydived for the first time in my life. Furia rested up while we listened to some music.


We went for another flight, but with a new objective… dinner. I had a small backpack in which I carried my food, but Furia still had to locate then hunt hers. I couldn't help much with my mediocre human night vision and using hers would be of no help as well. Still, I used it; it was awesome and fun to see what Furia was seeing.


Once Furia located her game, a fully grown cow, I got ready for some first-dragon-view action. Her killing method was brutal: land front claws on prey, apply pressure and body-weight on prey's legs until they are all broken. Then keep pressure on prey's chest, preventing it from making any sound. Quickly snap broken prey's neck with jaw and completely rip the head off from the body. It all happened in less than five seconds. Furia felt my impression towards the scene.


Haven't you seen a bit of blood?


From a killer to another killer, I've shed it as well, just in more subtle ways.


From a killer to another killer, I hope you aren´t expecting any manners.


Furia said while swallowing the cow's head, entirely. To which I replied in my best exaggerated fancy talking style as I got my food out of the backpack.


Why would I, my dear oversized reptile like companion, for your company is of most pleasant.


Your observation is of my rejoicing, my respected easily portable pal.


We kept joking on each other in fancy talk while eating our food; Furia dismembering the corpse into pieces, eating even the bones, and I biting my sandwich until I was done. Again my pet is having a manlier meal than me… unbelievable. We both laughed at that.



© 2015 TabaD


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Added on April 6, 2014
Last Updated on January 3, 2015
Tags: ride, dragon, fear, airborne, saddle, fun


Author

TabaD
TabaD

Santiago, Dominican Republic



About
My main characteristic as an individual is that I enjoy strong emotions. I like horse riding, off-road driving and gun shooting. I enjoy Metal music mainly, my favorite band is Corroded. I like writin.. more..

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