Off the coast of Nova Scotia, there is a small fishing town. I’ve only visited it once during my youth when a couple of my friends decided to travel cross-country by car.
A trip that took more time than I would’ve liked, but it was due to this trip that we stumbled upon that little town. Now years later, I write this in hopes that it is documented and stored for future reference under the label of the ‘Dragon Hunter.’
Though no human has ever seen a dragon in the twenty-first century, the majestic beast has been neatly squirrelled away into fiction. I speak as a witness of such a divine beast and the hunter Kabiri the Frenzy.
Now the fishing town was called Cragle Stone and resided around the port town of Lunenburg, which was on the province’s south shore. Cragle Stone was less of a town and more of a small community.
So, when I returned twenty years later at the brutal age of thirty-two under the circumstance of wanting to leave behind the harsh cold life of the city. Everyone at Cragle Stone immediately recognized me as one of the travelling boys from the west coast.
Since the little town was so out of the way from Halifax, the town folks only assumed that it was fate that my travelling party from twenty-some years ago landed in their neck of the province. So, we were deemed the Travel Boys.
The town shacked me up in a blue and white house on an outcrop of rocks less than five minutes from the mayor’s home and ten minutes away from the fishing pier.
Which was where I spent most of my time helping out the local fishermen coming back from a day’s work on the ocean. The port was the prize of the town, along with the multicoloured houses that sat between the hills and grey crags that protruded from the ground.
The port was built of cement with a brick wall separating it from the town. Though the blue sky was uncommon, it was a breath of fresh air from the dark, moody clouds that veiled the town till nightfall.
The light posts surrounding the port were designed from the Victorian era, and every day at six in the evening, they would turn on no matter whether the sun was still in the sky.
The smell of fish was potent during my time at the port, and no matter how much one showered, the smell would cling to your skin and follow you around for days.
Dating the locals was a complicated process, one that I had no interest in, but I did receive a few invites in which I did partake.
The method of preparing for a date revolved around when the smell of fish was least prominent on the body, which was a mixture of showering two to four times a day. Finding which day of the week the date would occur and prioritizing when the smell wasn’t as potent.
I learned most of this during my first month in the town from my dear friend and co-worker, KABIRI(30). Which he warned me not to get involved romantically with any of the women.
KABIRI: They’re all related one way or another. You date one, and you might as well be dating the whole town.
He would tell me.
Kabiri was from a long line of fishermen with generations that preceded the founding of Cragle Stone. It was well known that Kabiri’s family were the ones who established the town but refused to run it because they believed that their calling was out at sea.
To hunt the great wyrm, Linslain the Ever Devouring. I found them quite intriguing since they reminded me of the constant battle of Moby Dick. Here’s a family on the hunt for a dragon, or wyrm in their words, that no one had ever seen or even heard of.
Training and preparing for the day when one of them would fight the majestic beast. It was also because of this obsession that Kabiri outcasted himself from social events.
This didn’t deter my friend at all, and so he adopted the title, Kabiri the Obsessive. However, no one called him such to his face.
Kabiri was a unique fellow. He didn’t bother putting his time into anything other than how to find and slay Linslain. As a result, women didn’t see him as a potential suitor and treated him as an older brother.
Their only complaint was that it was a pity that his handsome looks and braided black hair were wasted on him.
Out of everyone in the town, Kabiri was the only one that I could tell was well built. However, compared to those who showed up at the small gym downtown, Kabiri worked several times harder.
Not to mention that his father would train him in all sorts of weaponry at home, from swords to spears and even firearms. His dedication was something I found inspiring.
It was a trait that I could only dream of obtaining.
Kabiri was an easygoing fellow who laughed at everyone’s jokes and had a way of bringing the fishermen together.
Even though no one believed in Linslain or Kabiri’s dream, they knew that he loved fishing just as much as they did.
Kabiri never forced his dream on anyone, and they respected him for it. He was just like everyone else, except for the weapons training and intense workouts.
Now I could tell you of the time I was dragged around by Kabiri searching for traces of Linslain. From smelling old feces scat or examining dead birds on the coastline.
I wasn’t forced to do anything I didn’t want to do, and a part of me was hoping that Kabiri wasn’t crazy. Though at times, I found our expeditions monotonous.
But at some point, I wanted to find Linslain as much as he did. So, when we found a cave on the other side of town about a kilometre south, it changed Kabiri’s life, my own, and the town forever.
Finally, we had a concrete clue that Linslain could be real.
It was in this cave that we found an old catacomb leading deep into the Earth. The catacomb was relatively hidden away, and we got lucky in finding it, just like in all unfortunate tales.
We stumbled upon it.
The catacombs were uncanny, with statues and busts of creatures and men sculpted with extreme detail. Unfortunately, time was not kind to the catacombs, as the white stone had turned a misty brown and grey with moss pushing through the cracks.
Spiderwebs were everywhere, and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about being bit by a poisonous bug.
Kabiri, on the other hand, showed no fear. He was rarely scared of anything and proved it by his reckless bravery. The man has no real sense of danger, and I’ve asked him more times than I wished if he thought he would live forever. He told me,
KABIRI: Norman. Nothing in this world is allowed to take my soul. Only when I fight Linslain will my life truly be placed on the chopping block. Only Linslain can kill me.
NORMAN: You’re crazy.
Is what I told him, and he would laugh my response away. He was indeed a dear friend to me, and I wouldn’t trade him for anything or anyone. But, alas, nothing lasts forever in this world, including friendships.
The catacombs held no danger, with the most harm we would get would be from tripping over the uneven ground. I remember Kabiri being ecstatic over the discovery. For on the walls were murals of the great serpent Linslain.
Depicting the tale of how the beast left its mother Gaia’s side to venture forth throughout the cosmos before landing on Earth. It was here that Linslain decided to lay its brood and thus bring Dragons to Earth.
I found it quite hilarious that dragons would be from space. Seeing how everyone else believed they originated here on Earth or that aliens would be grey people with large black eyes. Like a safe-for-work version of a Lovecraftian tale.
Either way, Kebiri was engrossed in memorizing the murals. He studied every inch of that wall at least ten times. Even after finding the pair of katanas left by another individual who had chased Linslain all over the world.
I reckon he landed in Nova Scotia before Nova Scotia was even on the British or the French radar. Kabiri theorized that the individual might have travelled over the Arctic Bridge before the First Nations.
I would be lying if I said that I didn’t find all of this fascinating. We uncovered a hidden part of history wiped away by time and age. All we had to do was prove it, but time wasn’t on my side.
About three months prior to the incident, I received a call that my mother had passed away. Due to the Covid Pandemic, I couldn’t travel for the funeral. This shattered my heart, and I grew very bitter over my superficial obsession that had grown from my friend.
Soon I engrossed myself in the fishing business, and Kabiri respected my decision. Our talks ended, and I didn’t see much of Kabiri after that. He disappeared from the town almost completely.
I would hear of people sighting him coming out of certain grocery stores. Before long, it became almost a game of hide and seek for the townspeople.
Trying to find where Kabiri could have gone. I didn’t play such games. Instead, I found a type of inner peace with the sea and fishing.
One day while I was watching the sunset by myself. My friend finally decided to appear before me. I hadn’t even noticed Kabiri approaching from behind.
His footsteps were light, almost like he was walking on air. He was much larger than he was three months ago, and it showed in his attire.
KABIRI: Centuries ago. The owner of these blades harmed Linslain, and the great beast hid at the bottoms of this pier.
NORMAN: I was wondering where you were.
I said to him, but I could care less. His obsession with the beast became my own, and when my mother passed on, she freed me of it.
NORMAN(CONT’D): Isn’t it about time you let it die? We have no proof that Linslain is even here. An old tomb doesn’t really hold much truth. The beast could have left the pier.
KABIRI: Ah, but there was.
He dropped a large scale next to me. It shone of silver, and when the sunlight hit it, it shone with the colours of the rainbow.
KABIRI: The warrior that harmed Linslain was able to retrieve one of his scales and hide it in the catacombs. The catacombs were built in his honour, and his body was laid to rest. He died not fighting the beast but trying to reach it here in these waters. Drowned. The natives of the land retrieved him and sealed off the catacombs. We shouldn’t have found it that day, but it was open. It could have been from the weather or from how the Earth’s plates have shifted. I have spent the last three months preparing myself for this day. I would have you take that scale and step back.
I looked up to my friend. His hair and beard were long and matted from repeated baths from nearby creeks. He wore the armour of a Japanese samurai but perhaps before, they were known as samurais.
Either way, it was old, and it didn’t look like it could hold up against a fight with the wyrm.
NORMAN: What are you planning on doing?
KABIRI: To finish what my family set out to do.
I grabbed the scale, which was as light as a child and carried it back to the brick wall of the port. Kabiri seemed to stand there for a minute.
I think he was nervous.
It would only make sense to me. He was about to fulfill his family’s dream, and I could only assume he would finish what that samurai started all those centuries ago.
He roared, his voice catching the town’s attention. It boomed like thunder.
KABIRI(CONT’D): You have rested for too long. You do not belong on this planet. You hold no right to this prison.
The townsfolk started to crowd around. It wasn’t long before they began to mock him. Telling him to go home, get some rest and leave all this nonsense behind.
KABIRI: By these blades-
He unsheathed the swords as lightning sparked from them, reaching upwards to the sky, clouding the beautiful sunset. This only riled the people, who added a mad man to their taunts.
KABIRI(CONT’D): Let the thunder and rain! Come! By these blades, you shall meet your end wyrm by the hands of Kabiri the Frenzy. Come, and meet your death!
After his speech, nothing happened. Nothing other than the rain. At first, it was soft, only a drizzle before it turned into a full-on downpour. The droplets were thick and quick. It felt like being pelted by pebbles.
Then the lightning struck, swirling above in the clouds, with each thunderclap getting louder. The ocean started to roil as it rose upwards to the sky, almost as if whatever was underneath could not break the ocean’s seal, but then it did burst to reveal the great wyrm Linslain.
Its silver scales reflected the light for the lighting. A massive beast the length of two giant tankers and the girth of the oldest oak tree. It unfurled its wings which were twice the size of its length.
The gust of wind knocked me from my feet, sending me back meters into a bakery. The others town folks were more fortunate, only skidding against the ground, barely avoiding the light posts and other stores.
Our eardrums shattered from the roar of the mighty wyrm, but the pain didn’t deter my eyes from my friend, who stood there unmoved.
At first, I thought he was dead, but then he lowered his blades, readying himself for an attack. I wondered how he would reach the beast, but my worrying was short-lived.
Just as Kabiri was about to move, a massive hand shot down from the cloud snatching Linslain. The wyrm looked like a worm compared to the size of the hand. Linslain wriggled around but couldn’t be freed. The hand’s grip restrained the wyrm’s wings.
My eyes followed the forearm of the hand till I saw the owner beyond the clouds and into the vast cosmos. He stared down at us with its eyes of pure blackness with stars and galaxies infinitely dying and being reborn within them.
Lives were lost and birthed all at the same time — an endless big bang. I could feel my mind tearing at the seams as I glimpsed into a land I had no right to see, behind the veil of our reality.
A voice pulled my gaze from the being, releasing the trance and my mind. The voice was warm and caring, comforting as it rebuilt the tears in my psyche.
The townsfolk weren’t as blessed, as they screamed in pain from their minds being ripped apart, and the roars from Linslain didn’t help. The wyrm sounded like a child crying for its mother.
A sharp scream cut through all of it, and I gazed up to find Kabiri on his knees. His swords by his sides.
He pulled at his flesh as he was the closest to the being. I don’t know what he saw or what he could comprehend. I slowly approached him through the wind and rain.
Being careful not to cast my eyes upward at the great being. Through the townsfolk as they fainted and jolted back to consciousness only to repeat the same horrors.
No one was spared. Women, men, young and old.
Once at Kabiri’s side, I could see that a sort of metamorphosis was starting to occur. Kabiri’s eyes began to mirror what swirled in the beings.
Galaxies of life and death. Kabiri’s voice was hoarse from the screaming, and only a gurgling noise came from his throat.
I watched as he dug his fingers into his skull, pulling down on his eye sockets till I heard a snap. He gripped his eyes and ripped them from his head.
Severing the optic nerve connection and then squashed them in his hands. Clear liquid seeped from his hands.
I could only imagine the amount of pain.
I don’t know how I escaped or when I did. But I write this to you from afar. No one else on Earth saw such a creature that day, and I can only guess that Linslain is no longer with us.
Slurped up into that being’s stomach. Yet I have not come from this unharmed. Even now, I see the tears of our reality, and it terrifies me.
Limbs and tentacles wrapped around people, pulling them into the ocean feed. Every year people go missing.
My nights are no longer peaceful as I could feel something watching me from beyond.
Peering down at me, hoping to commune once again.
Kabiri, on the other hand. Like I told you before. I left Cragle Stone and moved back out west. But every once in a while, I hear people talk about an abandoned fishing town.
Where you can find a wandering samurai repeating the words Linslain. Linslain. Linslain.