“Tyler, you keep staring at that picture expecting it to come to life. What about it do you find so interesting?”
“Outside of the fantasy element of dragons overall, it is the fact they seem so docile.”
“Docile? What an odd concept for dragons.”
“Ernesto, my point exactly. Dragons are legendary creatures included in cultures around the world. For example, these dragons do not fit into the European folk traditions. They do not have the wings common to the six-limbed varieties found from the Balkans and Western Asian myths. As a matter of belief, those reptilian creatures were thought to possess only animal-level intelligence.
“This picture is clearly what is thought of as the Chinese variety of dragon, with counterparts in Japan, Korea, East and South Asian countries, what I collectively think of as the Asian variety. The deep-seated myths of these serpentine creatures is that they are four-legged and wingless with above-average intelligence. Even though the two traditional varieties evolved in very separate ways they have influenced each other through modern times and storytelling, to a degree.
“The movies have depicted dragons for the most part as fierce, fire-breathing, and huge. The scales are often colored and shimmer in the sky or water. It is the fantasy elements of the beast that has kept the folklore alive for centuries.
“Look at this picture, Ernesto. The beasts depicted seem to almost touch one another with no fierceness. Almost as if they were thinking about something. I guess that is why the word docile came to mind.”
Ernesto studied the picture for a while and replied, “I see what you’re saying, but I don’t understand why they are positioned as they are. What seems to be highlighted in this light are fine lines making it appear more as a drawing of dragons. Look at the care in the lines and how they are drawn, almost like they were traced.
“But, we do have more important things to take care of first, like following Penny and Jenny. Let’s put this drawing aside until we get the evidence off the camera. For now, since it is so very different from the rest of the shots, I am going with the random shot of a photo or drawing. Interesting, but not likely related.”
Ty shrugged and agreed, “You’re right. This is likely just a whim by the camera owner.
“Look at the board, the first flight is landing. You’re on first with Penny, old man.”
Ernesto laughed and got up to move into position before the passengers began to deplane. He watched the doors open and the travel-weary passengers exiting customs and making their way toward the baggage claim area. A herd of people passed until the flow became a trickle of people looking at the signage for the proper exit. These long flights made people a little slower in their movements, so he hoped he had not missed his target.
He nonchalantly spoke into his phone, alerting Tyler he had not yet picked up Penny. Then he spotted her, just coming through the doors, dragging her suitcase like one would a reluctant puppy. He noticed she walked slowly with her sweater buttoned up as if she was cold. She looked around like she hunted something specific, until her sights landed on the bar across from the deli and moved toward it.
Ernesto watched her without moving. She was young, good looking, comfortably dressed in slacks and at least two tops, but not dressed to reveal. She did not appear to be overweight and moved easily in her sandals. Her dark hair, obviously wavy and thick, was caught up in a giant clasp of some sort to keep it off her neck and out of her face. From a distance she did not appear to be wearing a lot of makeup. She stopped at the bar’s hostess stand and with ample gestures made it known she wanted a seat. The hostess escorted her to a table one row back from the front on the edge of the restaurant nearest the main walkway. Ernesto shook his head, disconnected the call with Tyler, and decided to wander back toward the deli, picking up a magazine at the newsstand.
Tyler asked, “Why do you think she isn’t gone?”
“She’s either very thirsty, since they just brought her a white wine, or waiting for someone. I think we can just stay here and watch, unless you think we should separate.
“She didn’t appear to give me even a glance, nor look around other than for that bar. From my view, it looked like she had an ’ah-hah’ moment when she saw it. My gut feeling says we stay. The travelers from the next flight have to pass this way.”
Tyler nodded and agreed, “We look like travelers so why not stay here. Lots of people around to watch. It’s a shame we’re on duty because a glass of wine sounds nice about now.”
“That, my young friend, is why we are in the deli and she is seated at the bar.”
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