The Sea's Gift
Chapter 1

Copyright© 2009 by Dual Writer

These are strange times. The economy sucks to the point that it's almost a depression but in reality it's only a deep recession. We, the U.S. has a black or at least a half black president that is strutting around acting like he knows what he's doing. Too bad he wants to nationalize industry, especially the fuel companies and now he's declared that everyone must be some kind of union member.

Seventy percent of the Earth's population wants to make glass out of the entire Middle East and the religious zealots that live there. The next twenty percent want to find a place where they can hide and the last ten percent are the zealots who wish to kill the other ninety percent.

The idiots that were preaching global warming are now hunting for a way to get warm as the global temperature is now a whole two degrees colder than ever before. The glaciers are getting larger in some areas but still melting in others. The funny thing though is the ice shelf at the North Pole is now much larger on the side away from Alaska.

Good ole' Alaska. The governor there, a crazy lady with bigger balls than almost the entire congress put together, decided to drill for oil on federal land whether they allowed it or not. Well duh, Scary Sarah struck oil all right. The wells up there are gushing out so much oil, even the two new pipelines can't keep up with it. They keep trying to cap off the well but can't. Now instead of a big valley, they have a huge lake of oil. It'll take even the U.S. to use up all the oil.

As all this craziness was happening something really strange happened. A guy from Corpus Christi, Texas was diving around one of the older oil platforms and found some unique creatures. They were pink, glowed in the dark and seemed to be friendly. They followed him a little ways up as he slowly went up from the two hundred feet that he had been at. They only came up about a hundred feet then they all swam away from him.

Well he went back down two days later and encountered the little pink critters again. This time he brought a powerful light so he could see them better than the dull illumination of their glow. When he switched on the light, all of them scattered immediately. He left the light on and they began coming closer to it until they were in the light, near him.

Surprise, they looked like miniature dragons. You know, the dragons that cartoon artist draw all the time. The difference was, these little ones didn't have the pointed ridges down their back and tail. They did have the sharp features of the dragon head and face though. The diver had brought an underwater camera with him and took several pictures, knowing that he would need proof of what he was seeing.

This time as he began ascending again, going up very slowly to keep from getting the bends, the little guys kept following him all the way to the surface. When his head came out of the water, eight little dragon heads appeared around him. They were looking all around quickly. Spinning in circles then "pop" they all disappeared back into the water.

Wow, pink glow-in-the-dark miniature dragons. Now, how do you tell the world what you have discovered? If people believe him will they hurry to dive down there and disrupt the creatures? Would they harm the little guys?

It was a dilemma that the guy from Corpus Christi, Texas had to figure out before he went public with his find.

The man's name was Charles Johnson. Some people called him Chuck. His occupation was a diver for oil companies. He wasn't employed by any one of them but sub-contracted to all of them. Chuck was one of the best when it came to underwater welding. Platforms were always needing someone to go down to ridiculous depths to replace a large piece of steel on a structure. Most of the time Chuck could do it by himself but sometimes he had to have help. He usually used a lady who was an expert diver but was also big and strong. Even though moving a two-ton piece of steel around under water is fairly easy when it is suspended, Chuck often needed a hand to get the piece in place so he could weld it.

Chuck's helper was Susan Francis Unice (please note the lack of an E as in Eunice) with a last name of Nardelli. Or as Chuck would commonly and fondly called her, "Fun." If Chuck called her Francis she was usually pissed off at him for a week. He could call her Susan or Sue or Fran or Franny but never Francis. She would answer to Unice or a "Hey Nardelli" but never Francis. That's how she became "Fun" to Chuck.

Anyway, Chuck decided to tell Fun about the little pink dragons and see if she might want to go see them.

"Hey Fun, want to go diving. I want to show you something way down deep. Here, look at these pictures that I took, you won't believe it." Chuck handed the small storage device to Fun so she could plug it into her PC.

The first picture was the surprised looking face of a pink dragon. "Where did you take this, Toys-R-Us?"

"Keep looking lady. And then you tell me where I took them."

Fun began flipping through the pictures until she had looked at all fifty of them. The location had to be some where near the old platform base the two had worked on several times so it was easy to know where the pictures were taken. The bright light Chuck had used was able to light an area out to about twenty feet.

"What in the hell are those things? Are you playing a joke on me? Did you take some toys down there to take these pictures?"

"I know you don't believe me but you have to come down with me to see these things. They're not aggressive and seem to be curious about me too. If you're over that runny nose you had, let's go down this afternoon, Okay?"

"I'm fine; I've had two little jobs inspecting yacht bottoms. I haven't been down deep for a couple of weeks so we'll have to get some nitrox tanks (enriched oxygen) if we're going to stay down long. Let me get my equipment and my camera. I'll bring my light too. Do you still have your really bright lamp that fit on your head gear?"

"Thanks for coming with me Fun, you're not going to believe it until you see them. So far I haven't touched them but they keep getting closer to me. I hope they're still there when we go down."

The two friends loaded up Fun's gear then went to the dive supply for the special deep dive air. Chuck said he was stocking up as he filled four more bottles with the mixture needed to go deep.

Chuck had an old thirty-five foot cabin cruiser that he had converted to a dive boat. He also used it as his office and home. It was nice below deck but not very big. It didn't matter because Chuck was just Chuck. He didn't socialize that much and his best friend and sort of girlfriend, Fun, had a small cottage on one of the Padre Islands older communities far from the tourists that flock there.

The friends took the boat out to the dormant oil platform. The oil company had shut these this one down for a while. They had shut it down for a hurricane that was supposed to hit and decided to keep the wells shut down for a while. Since the Alaskan oil was so plentiful, it was too expensive to reopen the platform right now. It was anticipated though that the U.S. would begin selling oil to China and India soon so the platform would probably reopen before long.

They tied off on two platform trusses so the boat would stay stable and not float into the steel beam. As the two put on their suits and gear Chuck said, "Let's take the extra tanks down to about a hundred feet or so and put them in a net. That way if we stay down too long we can get them on the way up. When you see these things, you're going to want to do more that look and surface, trust me."

They loaded up with their lights, cameras and a net with two more tanks then eased into the water from the platform off the rear of the boat. They slowly descended until Chuck motioned that he was going to tie the net to the truss they were using as a guide to go down.

They both had the small high intensity head lamps on as they went down. All of a sudden at about a hundred and forty feet, little pink dragons came swimming by. They darted around the two drivers until a large group of them were behind Chuck. They were peaking out from behind him at Fun.

Susan Francis Unice Nardelli almost drowned right there. She was so surprised she blew her mouthpiece out of her mouth and began swallowing seawater. Fun was experienced enough to quickly recover, forcing the seawater out of her mouth then reinserting her mouthpiece. It took her several breaths to become stable again then she reached out to Chuck.

"Bam!" Four of the little critters swam out from behind Chuck and butted their heads into Fun's stomach forcing her away from him.

Chuck began waving his arms and reached for Fun. He brought her to him in an embrace. He was hugging her to him as she recovered from being struck so hard.

The little pink critters began swimming in circles around the two until they all clustered near the two divers heads, staring at them. One of the pink dragons kept darting down then coming back to the group. Finally after doing that for over ten times, Chuck and Fun descended too, going all the way to the bottom.

All of the little pink dragons were swimming back and forth while the two divers arranged their big lights so they could take pictures. First Fun took several pictures of the little fellows when they would stop. Chuck however had his digital video camera taking pictures of the dragons swimming around.

Just as he was panning toward one of the platform anchors, a larger shape flashed by. It appeared to be yellow and about twice the size of the pink things. Chuck held his camera still and kept it pointed in the same direction.

A group of little pink dragons darted out of the light beam then came back into view slowly. They looked as if they were herding three of the larger yellow,,,,,,,,, dragons? Yep, they were a bright yellow dragon that were about three foot tall or long. These had rounded bumps on their back and tail. As the group came closer to the divers, you could see that the yellow dragons were afraid. They were cautious and hesitant as they came nearer and nearer to the divers.

Almost as if to show the yellow dragon there was nothing to fear, one of the little pink dragons swam up and sat on Chucks shoulder. Another one swam a little slower up to Fun and sat on her shoulder. Then about a dozen of the little pink critters clustered around the two divers as the yellow ones tried to define what Chuck and Fun were.

Chuck's wrist band began buzzing. It was time for the two divers to begin to surface. The depth would require over thirty minutes to reach the surface so they turned off the big lights and began to slowly ascend, stopping every twenty to twenty-five feet to equalize. By the time they reached the net with the fresh tanks, Fun's wristband had a flashing red light indicating she was on reserve on her tank.

They pulled out the first tank and hooked it up for Fun then they repeated the process with a tank for Chuck. The little pink dragons were still clustered around them and swam in and out of the net opening and now rubbing on the two divers continuously. The larger yellow dragons were still following but were about five to ten feet away. Thirty minutes later the two divers slowly surfaced and put their gear up on the big platform on the aft of the boat. When they had done this the little pink dragons were doing their spinning around routine again, looking everywhere.

The yellow dragons stuck their heads above water and began looking around frantically. They were still afraid of the divers but were following the pink ones. Fun took off her flippers and flopped them onto the platform then pulled the ladder down and began climbing up onto the platform. As soon as she turned and sat on the platform, a little pink dragon seemingly flew from the water and sat next to Fun. Several other pink dragons then burst from the water and landed on several places on the boat. A yellow dragon flew from the water and landed on the boat about ten feet from the stern then slowly walked toward the group at the rear.

Now that you could see the dragons in daylight, you could see small wings on their backs. The yellow guys had bigger wings. Fun now had a small pink dragon sitting on her lap. It was staring at Fun as if trying to talk to her. The dragon used its tail to balance itself and leaned back on the tail and rear legs so it would sit up. The little critter had front paws that only had four claws that resembled fingers. One of the claws was like a thumb and the other three were like fingers. As if to prove what the divers were thinking, the little dragon began touching the gear still hanging from Fun's neck.

Chuck jumped from being goosed in the rear. Since he was still in the water watching what was happening with Fun, one of the yellow dragons had come up behind him and butted him in the butt. When Chuck spun around, the bigger yellow dragon almost looked like he had a smile on his face. Thinking that perhaps the dragon wanted to play, Chuck pulled his flippers off and tossed them into the back of the boat. Once he had climbed up on the platform, he took off his tanks and weight belt and stowed them in the back of the boat. He took Fun's equipment and put them there as well.

Chuck dug around in his big equipment locker and came out with a big ball that was about eight inches around. It actually was a float but it looked like a ball. Chuck held it out so the yellow dragon could see the ball then threw it about thirty feet out from the boat.

Instantly the yellow dragon skimmed across the water to intercept the ball. Once it reached the ball, it didn't know what to do with it. Chuck began calling, "Bring it here, bring it back to me," gesturing to the yellow dragon. While the bigger dragon was trying to figure out what to do, a little pink dragon darted out to the ball, scooped it up and brought it to Chuck, hovering in front of him holding the ball.

Chuck gently took the ball noticing that the yellow dragon was up near the boat again. He tossed the ball out a little ways again but this time the yellow dragon came out of the water, intercepted the ball and instantly flew back in front of Chuck with it. When Chuck took the ball the dragon flew around Chuck two or three times then gently settled on his shoulder.

Chuck staggered from the weight. This may have been a little dragon, only three feet tall but damn, he was heavy.

Fun said, "What are we going to do with them. They seem to like being with us."

"I don't know but look out there, Isn't that a larger bright orange dragon head sticking out of the water?"

"Holy smokes Chuck look at all of the yellow dragons sitting in the water now. There must be hundreds of them."

"I know Fun; there must be several hundred pink ones too. Wow! Would you look at that?" Chuck pointed where several more orange heads were appearing above the water.

A couple of pink dragons flew out to the orange ones and it looked like they were having a conversation then they slowly led the bigger orange dragons toward the boat. One of the Orange dragons popped from the water and soared into the air a hundred or so feet up in the air then swooped down near Fun and Chuck to land on the water. It was very disconcerting as they could sit on top of the water as if they were on a platform. Actually their wings were keeping them at exactly that level.

Fun got up, pulled the ladder up then climbed into the boat. "What are we going to do with our new friends? Who's going to believe us? What will the scientist do? Will they want to dissect one of them?"

"I don't know Franny, this is more than I can handle," Chuck said as he sat on the gunwale of the boat.

The large orange dragon flew up and settled on the side of the boat near Chuck. You could see that it was about five feet tall. The ridges on its back and tale were sharper than the yellow dragons. The eyes on the orange dragon near Chuck appeared to be a beautiful brown and looked at him very expressively.

A pink dragon was now on the gunwale next to Chuck sitting up on its back legs with its tail balancing him. The critter leaned forward and flicked his tongue at Chuck's hand.

Fun said, "Careful there, he's tasting you I think."

After the tongue had touched my hand a couple of times, it stuck his nose onto my skin then bounced his nose up the neoprene arm of my suit. The big orange dragon was edging closer so I thought he wanted to smell me and taste me too. When I stuck my hand out to him, his eyes got real big and he opened his mouth, making a low screech. The part that got my attention was the flame that came from his mouth. My hand wasn't burned but I did feel the heat.

About a dozen pink dragons buzzed the big orange one that belched fire at me. They buzzed and bumped him until they made him jump into the water. Once the orange dragon was in the water or rather sitting on top of it, the little pink guys were hovering in front of me as if in a protective mode.

"You have some buddies Chuck. how about that, a genuine fire breathing dragon."

"I don't think he was being mean, I think I startled him and scared the fire out of him."

Fun said, "I didn't see what you did, I was too interested in that giant thing sticking its head out of the water over there." She was pointing out now over a sea of pink, yellow and orange dragons that appeared to be sitting on the water.

"Oh shit, I wonder if that's big brother or Momma." I asked looking at the huge head looking at us."

The head slowly came out of the water revealing a big bright lime green neck then a bright lime green body with big wings and a long, long tail. The dragon must be fifty foot from nose to the tip of its tale and probably was about twenty-five feet tall. As it rose from the water, there was a large purple dragon sitting on the tale of the big one. It looked to be about nine or ten foot tall.

Once up on the water in what again looked like a sitting position, several more purple heads popped up around where the green dragon was. A bunch of small pink dragons flew around the huge green dragon and some flew around some of the bright purple dragons. Until it looked like they were convinced to come closer. All of them edged closer and closer until the boat was surrounded by pink, yellow, orange, and purple dragons with a giant green one leaning down to stare at Fun and I.

"Don't make any rapid moves. If the five foot orange one can shoot flames out of its mouth when it's startled, I don't want to know what the green one can do."

Fun, who never, ever said a cuss word, said, "No shit!"

I went to one of the storage lockers and brought out a couple of lawn chairs. I opened both of them and Fun sat in one while I went below to grab a couple of cold beers. When I brought them up, a very large, very bright purple dragon was trying to sit in the other chair.

"Umm, hey Barney, that's my chair. You can fly and land where ever you want so how about hovering over there," pointing at the rear of the boat.

The purple dragon actually acted like he could understand me and settled on the rear railing.

Fun and I popped the tops of our beers and took a drink. We both exclaimed a satisfying ahhh feeling the cold brew go down. Several little pink dragons came flying up to us flicking their tongues out to see what we had. As soon as their noses or tongues got a scent of the beer, they wrinkled their noses and flew away.

Fun said, "At least the beer is safe for right now."

All of them were just staring at us. The different sizes were strange but were definitely distinguishable. Fun and I carried on a conversation for at least a half hour until she said, "I'm hungry. How about a sandwich? Do you think these guys will understand eating?"

"I don't know Franny, but I'm hungry too. Let's have a sandwich and another beer. We'll go in soon and go out for dinner."

While Fun was in the tiny galley on the boat, I noticed that the various dragons would dive into the water, be gone a while then pop back up to stare at the boat. The purple guys made a bigger splash than the others but I noticed they did the disappearing act then reappeared a little later. The more you looked at them the more you realized that they were all just enough different to tell them apart.

Fun said from behind me, "Turn around and look toward the front of the boat."

When I turned around to look, I was so startled I fell out of the chair. A dozen little pink dragons and a couple of yellow ones pulled me up and held me up standing as I gawked at about six more huge bright green dragons. They were all right in front of the boat, sitting on the water, leaning over to get a look at Fun and me.

Fun was laughing at me for having been so startled. "I would think that you would be used to these guys by now. What are six more big ones when there are probably a thousand pink, yellow, orange and purple ones around us right now?"

One of the yellow dragons who had been holding me held my arm up and flew beneath it so my arm was actually over its back. Fun said, "I think that one likes you. I think my best friend is the Barney looking guy here."

Fun ended the conversation by saying, "Here, take your sandwich and beer. I'm starved."

When I took my sandwich I instinctively took a big bite. A large tongue shot out of the big green dragons mouth and smacked my hand. I didn't drop the sandwich or spit out the bite but began chewing. The big green one in front of me appeared to understand and grunted a few times. Several pink, yellow, orange and purple dragons dove into the water. As I was taking my second bite, about two dozen dragons of different colors burst from the water. They were all carrying various types of seaweed. They appeared to be sharing it with the others and all of them that had a bite of seaweed in the mouth, chewed it up and swallowed.

Then the most startling thing of the day happened. The big green dragon nearest us behind the boat made a grunting noise. It wasn't very loud but the more the dragon worked its mouth, the louder it became. Finally it sounded like, "We eat too." A purple Barney dragon swooped up to Fun and I and repeated it, "We eat too." Very understandable. Fun and I both looked at the Orange dragons and they just grunted. The Yellow ones had a low pitched squeak and the pink ones had a chattering squeak that sounded sometimes excited and sometimes like laughter.

Fun asked, "Now what do we do with these guys?"

Our bright green monster leaned toward us and said, "We learn from you, teach us. Tell me about you. Let us learn from you."

"Tell you what. We didn't plan on staying out here tonight so we have to go back to shore. We'll pack up some food so we can stay out here with you a day or so then come back. We'll come right here. Do we have to come down to get you or will you know when we are here."

"Little one will go with you. When you come back, he'll come down and get us. You do not live under water well and go up and down to slow for us."

Fun said, "You've got us pegged but what do we do with one of you. Do you live in water? What do I feed it? Can I put it in a cage so it'll be safe?"

The big bright lime green dragon looked as if it smiled, "We live everywhere and anywhere. We need water like you need that smelly stuff you drank. We eat food from the sea or food from land. We don't usually eat things. Like I don't eat these little ones and they don't eat me. We eat other things that swim but we like grass from the sea or land best."

I was confused, "Where did learn to speak?" I asked this gesturing with my hands.

"You teach me with your hands and mouth. Other places speak too but have different sounds for different things."

Fun said, "He means different words, different languages."

A little pink dragon was now perched on Fun's shoulder with its head lying on top of her head. When another landed on my shoulder, the big green dragon said, "Only one will go this time. Come back tomorrow and more will go with you next time."

The big green dragon made a series whistling noises and every one of the dragons except the one on Fun's shoulder disappeared into the water.

Fun and I looked at each other and shrugged our shoulders. I looked at the little guy on her shoulder and said, "I wonder if he will talk too?"

The little guy made a high pitched sound. When I acted like I didn't understand him he squeaked louder, "Will soon, must learn."

Fun and I cleaned up and stowed the equipment on the boat and went into the Padre Island dock so Fun could get some clothes. I needed a shower too so when we got to the dock, Fun said, "let me run get my neighbors little dog carrier so we can put this critter in it. No one will see it while we go to the house."

As she said that, the little pink dragon went poof. It was gone. Fun and I looked at each other for a full minute. Fun asked me, "Was this all a dream? Was there really a little pink dragon?"

I felt a weight on my shoulder then Fun stepped back startled. "It just appeared on your shoulder. Can dragons become invisible?"

A squeaky voice from my shoulder said "Yes" as the dragon's head bobbed up and down.

"That takes care of that. Come on Fran, let's go get cleaned up. I'm going to take you out for a nice supper tonight. We'll get a big salad for our little buddy here. Okay Pinky, become invisible we're on our way home."

We walked from the dock across the beach up to the little cottage that Fun lived in. As soon as we were inside, the weight on my shoulder disappeared but a little pink dragon appeared darting around the little house. The little dragon was looking here and there, perching on the kitchen counter, then through the living room into the bedroom and perching in there then back through the hall into the bathroom.

I said to Fun, "Get your shower first then I'll take one before we go eat."

She looked at me kind of funny, "Get naked. We'll shower together. There's enough room for both of us."

"Umm, you know how I get. I'll embarrass you or me or Pinky here."

"Just shuck 'em and get in the shower," Fun was saying as she dropped her shorts and T-shirt to stand nude in front of me.

Sure enough, it was a struggle to get my shorts off. I was embarrassing myself even if she wasn't.

When we shower it's always fun to wash each other's hair. So far in our relationship we had been naked with each other dozens and dozens of times. We showered together often and even slept in the bed on the boat together a few times but we had never been intimate with each other. I didn't ever try anything with Fun because she was my best friend and I wanted to keep it that way. She didn't act like I should do anything else so I didn't.

While we showered and washed each other's hair, the dragon sat on the shower curtain rod watching us. Occasionally it would fly into the water make a laughing noise then fly back to the rod. Today was somehow different. As I washed Fun's hair from behind her she backed into me and wiggled her bottom on me. It was a good thing she quit or I would have had to wash her some more.

When we got out of the shower to dry off, the dragon was puzzled by the towels. Fran said, "These are towels. We humans like to be dry after we are clean."

The dragon sat on the sink looking at us then he flew at Fun and looked at her face, then settled lower and looked at her average sized chest then lower still to check out her lower regions. Next it did the same with me looking at my face, passing my chest and looking at my obvious male protrusion. In a squeaky voice it came up to Fran's face and said, "You woman". It then flew up to my face and said, "You man."

Fun and I looked at each other and began laughing. The little critter squeaked with us realizing that we were laughing at its discovery and the way it had put it together.

As they left the bathroom to get dressed the critter flew in front of them and settled on the bed. While Chuck and Fun were getting dressed, the little pink dragon squeaked, "Me girl, a woman, female."

Fun said, "You're learning fast."

I asked the pink dragon, "Are you going to come with us invisible or are you going to stay here."

She looked puzzled for a second then asked, "If stay here, what can learn?"

"Hmmm," Fun thought. "How about I turn the television on and you can learn our words while we are out. We'll only be gone an hour or so. I'll put the news on so you can learn what is going on in the world."

I instantly said, "I don't think that's a great idea. How about some comedy re-runs. I'll bet she will enjoy those more."

"Okay, comedy it is, how about I Love Lucy?" Fun turned on her TV and adjusted the volume. The little pink dragon sat on a footstool in front of the set watching and listening intently.

While we were eating, Fun asked, "Do you think she stayed home or do you think she's with us?"

"I'd bet she stayed home. So far the little critters have been pretty nice. If she doesn't show herself to anyone then it really doesn't matter. If she does, then we have a world to explain too."

As we walked back to Fun's cottage both of us felt as if we were being watched. Once we felt the air stir around us but you can't tell when you're walking along a beach.

When we entered the house the little pink dragon was still sitting in the same place watching television. As I was sitting down she flew off the footstool and slammed into the back of my knees causing me to fall back sitting down. As soon as I was sitting the dragon began laughing in her squeaky way.

Fran had gone to the sink and drew a paper cup of water. As she began to take a sip the dragon flew up and tilted the water cup up so it all went down her front. Again the little girl dragon began laughing with a squeak.

"Hey!" Yelled Fun, "Why'd you do that?"

The little dragon was still laughing and said, "It was like that on the TV, why you no laugh?"

I put my hand on my forehead and said, "Oh no, she's been watching slap stick comedy for an hour. How many times do Lucy and Ethel do something to each other, Ricky, and Fred? We may be in trouble."

Fun went to the dragon and while shaking a finger in its face said in a very harsh tone, "Don't do things that hurt people." Then she yelled, "Now stop it."

The startled little dragon blinked, jumped back and a small flame came out of his mouth. She immediately covered her mouth with her front paw/hand whatever and said in a surprised voice, "Oh."

With that, the dragon disappeared. I said, "Please don't leave, we're not mad. We need to teach you what the difference is between comedy and real things."

Fun and I knew the dragon didn't leave because we could hear it sniveling a little, choking from crying. Fran sat down on the couch and patted the cushion next to her saying, "Come sit with me and we can talk, please?"

I could see a small indentation on the cushion next to Fun but still no dragon. Fun put her hand out to touch the dragon but couldn't feel anything. She laid her hand onto the cushion next to the indentation and just sat there smiling. Pretty soon, a little pink dragon appeared next to her.

We talked for a while then Fun said to me, "Stay here tonight. You can sleep with me. I'm sure our mini-dragon is going to sleep with us too so you should be safe."

We went to bed and slept well. When we woke up I looked around for the dragon but didn't see her. I slipped on my shorts and T-shirt then went into the living room. There it was, watching TV again. This time it was watching cartoons. I told the dragon to get invisible and come with me while I walked to the seven eleven for a cup of coffee. Instantly the little one vanished but I could faintly hear its wings buzzing as I walked the block to the little store.

I took two giant cups out of the dispenser and began filling both. While I was pouring coffee, a large rude man that was obviously not from around here jostled me to the side so he could get some coffee. I saw a small flame shoot out at the man's hand causing him to drop the carafe back onto the warmer.

"Hey what'd you do that for?" He yelled at me.

"I didn't do anything; I was over here still trying to pour my coffee."

He held up his hand and said, "You burned me. Look, you can see the hair on the back of my hand is burnt. You did that to me."

The clerk from the store walked up and said, "I was watching and Chuck was two feet away from you. Don't try anything funny or I'll have to call the Sheriff. Get your coffee and leave."

When I finished getting my coffee I went up to the counter to pay. Sheryl, the clerk, said, "I should give these to you for free for having to put up with those Yankees that come down here. Staying with Sue huh?"

When I looked at her funny she said, "You know Fun, Fran, Franny."

"Oh, yeah, I stayed last night because we're going out early this morning. I always forget that the name her Mom calls her by is Sue. I've heard her yell out Susan Francis Unice Nardelli, come in here right now. That's probably why I call her either Fun or Fran."

As I left she called out, "See you later Chuck."

When I came into the house Fun was up and dressed. As I handed Franny the big cup of coffee she asked, "Did you take the dragon with you?"

"Yeah I did and the little squirt flamed a guy that pushed me out of the way to get some coffee. When the guy accused me of burning his hand, Sheryl said she saw that I wasn't close to him. She must not have seen the flame."

The dragon reappeared and sat on the footstool in front of Fun who said, "You have to watch out with people. You can't be shooting flames at everyone that disturbs you. No more flames okay? I'll tell you when you need to flame someone."

After we drank our coffee and had a bowl of cereal I asked the dragon if she wanted something to eat. She smiled so Fun took some lettuce from her fridge and tore off some leaves. The dragon ate it down quickly so Fun gave her some more. It ate another four leaves then indicated it was full.

We walked down to the boat then motored to the dive shop for some deep dive refills. With four tanks each we felt like we would be fine if we had to go back down a couple of times. We don't like to go deep two days in a row but we are both in good shape and can do it without harming ourselves.

It took an hour to go back out to the platform. As soon as we began tying up, the water began teaming with pink, orange, yellow and purple dragons. There were hundreds if not thousands of them. The big lime green dragon just appeared on the water and said, "You've treated your new friend well and looked out for her. Thank you. Both of you are welcome to be our friend and visit with us anytime."

I went to the edge of the boat and looked the big dragon in the eye, "Okay. I have to ask. How can there be so many of you in these different bright colors and I've never seen you before. Plus other people anywhere haven't seen you either, how come?"

The big green dragon said, "Watch and learn."

It made a high pitched noise and every last dragon disappeared except the one I was talking to. It looked right at me and said, "Now you see me." Poof it was gone, disappeared, evaporated but I heard, "Now you don't."

Fun asked, "Do you mean you've always been here but were invisible?"

Poof the big green dragon was back in the same place. It made a noise and Wow, the gulf was full of dragons again including about a dozen of the huge big green ones.

"Why did you show yourselves to us?" I asked.

The big dragon said, "We want to become more visible. The earth is in need of us right now. There are too many people who are being mean to each other. We've seen people killing and hurting others and we don't like it. We want to become people's pets so we can help control what's going on."

"Okay," I said. "So how are you going to use Fun and I to help you do this."

"I want you to help us become pets. We will not talk but be like regular dogs and cats, people's pets. We don't eat a lot but we can be funny. People will like us because we can fly and do silly things. We'll learn what makes people laugh and we'll do those things. Once we are in lots of homes and all over the world as pets, we can begin influencing the activities of mean people."

"You know, you're kind of big to be a pet. Those purple guys are too big too. The orange ones may be acceptable for some people but the ones that will become pets are the pink ones and the yellow ones. They are small like pets."

The big dragon looked thoughtful, "How about using what you call the orange ones and the purple ones to do work. Dragons love to be busy and do menial tasks. We work fast and cheap. You have to feed us similar to how you fed your new friend this morning."

I thought for a while and said, "How about I introduce a bunch of pink and yellow ones as possibly pets to people. You're going to have to teach them not to breathe fire on people, even if their masters are being hurt unless they can do it without anyone seeing them. You have to teach them to stay quiet and not talk. And finally you have to teach them not to disappear. Humans don't understand invisibility."

"We can do all that. Come back next week and we will be ready. Do you want to keep your pet with you? How about taking a yellow one with you too so you can introduce them to the public. Tell them you found us on a small secret island in South America and you will bring more into the U.S. for pets. Your authorities will want to test us for disease so we have to go along with that but we might be able to alter their minds when they try to do that to us in the future. What do you say; will you help us and begin showing us around to your news people?"

Fun and I looked at each other and shrugged. Fun said, "Sure, we'll do this and work with you. The earth needs a little help right now. So are you big guys going to hang out with us too?"

"Yes we will," said our huge dragon friend. "We can do a lot to help sometimes so we will stay invisible but all of us will be around to protect our little friends."

I asked, "Do you guys have names or do we name you?"

"We have names but they won't make sense to you. Name us. What name would you call me by?"

Fun and I both said at the same time, "Mom."

"Why mom?"

"You're like a mother. You're directing and watching everyone around you."

"Okay," the giant lime green dragon said, "I'll be Mom to you two. Now go and introduce your new pets."

"If I need you, how do I get in touch with you?" I asked.

"Easy, just call out for me. Call for Mom, I'll talk to you to find out what you need. Remember, we don't want people to see me yet."

An almost four foot high bright yellow dragon was standing next to Fun. Fun looked at the dragon and asked it, "Are you a male or female?"

Our little pink dragon flew in front of the yellow dragon and jabbered to it for a minute. Then the yellow dragon said very distinctly, "Female."

The little pink one was flying in front of my face asking me, "What will you call me, what is my name, huh? Huh?"

"I'll have to think about that for a while. You deserve a good name that's for sure."

Fun looked at her yellow dragon and said, "Your name will be Flower." Sue leaned over to me and whispered into my ear.

When she rose up I smiled and said to the little pink dragon sitting in a lawn chair, "We're going to call you Pink. I'll bet a lot of the pet dragons will be called pink."

A bunch of yellow and pink dragons came flying from the water carrying a bunch of seaweed. Mom said, "Here is some extra food for your pets before you get some for them."

Fun and I waved at them and said, "See you guys around. We'll see you next week for sure."

The pink and yellow dragons were hopping around the boat like rabbits. They were happy to be going with us.

As we were motoring back in Fun said, "You know, our lives will never be the same again."

"I know but we still have to work to make a living."

Fun said, "Perhaps these little guys or girls that is, can help figure out a way we can make money. You also know that you and I are going to have to be together all the time."

"Huh, how come?"

"You and I will have to be together because we both have pet dragons. Come on, I'm not that hard to be around am I? We like each other a lot. We've been friends for over five years doing things with each other. I loaned you the money to get your boat so you could get your business started. You loaned me the money for the down payment to buy my house. You and me Chuck, we're meant to be together."

I cut the power to the boat and let it drift. "So you're suggesting that we live together. Do we live on the boat or in your place?"

Fun answered, "Mine's bigger and we do have to take care of a couple of dragons now. I think we'll have to stay at the house. Can you do that?"

"Sure, I can live there. But I keep poking you all the time. Won't you get mad if that keeps happening?"

"Look Chuck, don't be so dense. We both know what you're supposed to do with that thing so why don't we use it for what it was intended?"

I must have looked really sick and pitiful as both dragons came to me and snuggled against me. Fun talked some more, "Oh come on. I know you want to do more with me than wash me and wash my hair. I want to do more with you too. Neither one of us really has any experience but I'll bet we can figure it out. If we need advice, we'll call Mom."

"That's even more embarrassing. I'm a twenty-seven year old man. I'm supposed to know all about that stuff and be experienced."

Fun looked a little shy, "I'm a twenty-seven year old woman that grew up with two sisters that were the dirty legs of Texas. I bet they took on half the county when they were in high school. I had a couple brothers that were pure whore dogs. They chased every girl they could. I know they caught a lot of them too because there were several claims by several girls who claimed my brothers knocked them up. I just never found anyone that I wanted to do that with. Not till now. I want to do that with you."

"You do, really?"

Fun went up to Chuck and hugged him. She gave him a gentle kiss filled with tons of promise and said, "Really."

Chucks mouth was open, working as if he were saying something but nothing was coming out.

Fun said, "You know how we're going to do it the first time too don't you?"

A huge smile began appearing on Chucks face. He went to the cockpit and turned on his depth finder then walked over to the anchor on the bow and pitched it over board. On the way back to the rear of the boat he was pulling his T-shirt off.

Fun was doing the same and was completely bare in just a minute. The two helped rig a single tank each then slipped the straps and weight belts on. Together they stepped onto the diving platform, turned on the air and tested their mouthpieces and slipped on their fins. While holding hands, the two stepped into the water to sink to their watery introduction to each other.

Pink and Flower were about to dive into the water. They wanted to watch. To see what humans did. But they looked at each other and went into the boat and waited for their new humans to come back up.

A huge dragon appeared by the boat with a couple of purple and orange dragons. "Good decision. Let your humans have some privacy when they need it. You will make them happy. If you must, you can always see them and what they are doing in your vision, in your head. But you should let them have their privacy."

Pink and Flower nodded as the small group of large dragons vanished.

It was at least a half hour before the couple surfaced. They pulled their face masks and mouthpieces off and clinched in a long and meaningful kiss. When they separated they both had grins that were from ear to ear.

While Fun put their gear away, Chuck pulled the anchor, started the engines then began motoring for their home. When Fun joined Chuck at the helm, Pink and Flower joined them hugging the couple's legs.

The acts of the two dragons hugging them made them bust out laughing. Fun said, "We better put on some clothes or we'll be arrested by the water patrol."

They slipped on their shorts and T-shirts while continuing home.

By the time they reached shore it was getting dark so they walked from the boat dock to the cottage without really being seen. No one saw a young couple with an almost four-foot high yellow dragon and about a twenty-two inch high pink dragon that glowed in the dark.

Instead of going out to eat, the couple left their pets in the house and went to the Piggly Wiggly for groceries. They bought a couple of steaks, some potatoes and some asparagus. That was for them. They bought a bunch of collared greens and some lettuce for their pets

They all ate their fill then while the pets slept curled up on the couch together, the couple figured out how to repeat their afternoon discovery in a bed.

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