Yay, It’s finished! Thanks for waiting, everyone! 🙂 If you need a review on what happened in the last installment, look here:
“Whoa. What happened to Hiccup?” Tuffnut squinted at the Nightfury and Thunderdrum just coming down to land in the village. The others were wondering that too. Hiccup was covered in sticky brown goo from head to toe. The two dragons landed on the brushy green grass and Hiccup and Stoick slid to the ground.
“Hiccup!” Astrid ran up, “Did the Snaptrapper go back to Dragon Island?” Hiccup shook his head,
“No. He flew off to another coast. Do you guys have any ideas for what we can . . .?”
“Hiccup, what is on you?” Snotlout interrupted, stepping nearer. Ruffnut sniffed,
“Whatever it is, it smells good.” Tuffnut wiped his hand on Hiccup’s shoulder and looked at the blob of slime on his hand,
“Cool!” he said, “Can I keep it?”
“Or eat it?” said Ruffnut.
“Or both?” they chorused. Hiccup shoved Tuffnut away,
“You can keep what you have on your hand. The rest, I’m washing off.” He started walking towards his house, “I’ll be back it a little bit.”
* * *
When Hiccup came back a few minutes later, Tuffnut had the goo in a jar and almost everyone was looking at it. He raised an eyebrow and came closer, peering over Astrid’s shoulder.
“Really, guys?” he asked. Astrid reddened a little.
“Hiccup, where did this come from?” asked Fishlegs, still staring at the jar.
“The Snaptrapper spat it at me when I was on Toothless and it knocked me off the saddle. I was guessing that was the goop that it makes to attract prey and it was just using it as a less lethal weapon. You know, just as a warning.” Hiccup bent over and looked at the jar, “Didn’t really think much of the it.”
“Well,” said Fishlegs, “According to the book of dragons, this is also what the Snaptrapper babies are coated in when they are first born. How interesting that it would shoot that at a human . . .” A smile slowly spread across Hiccup’s face,
“Okay, gang,” he said, “I think I know how to get the Snaptrapper back to dragon island.”
* * *
“I can’t believe a thought this stuff smelled good at first!” gagged Snotlout as Hiccup held out the jar to him.
“Come on, we all have to put up with it,” coaxed Hiccup, trying to ignore his own headache from the smell of the sweet goo painted in four stripes on his cheeks. Snotlout wrinkled his nose and took a step backwards.
“Grow up, Snotlout!” snapped Astrid, “We don’t have all day!” Snotlout scowled, but dipped his fingers in and spread the slime on his cheeks.
“Now,” said Hiccup, stepping back and putting his hand on Toothless’ back, “We will only be taking two dragons so we don’t frighten the Snaptrapper more than necessary. Those two dragons will have to be the biggest ones, which are Toothless and Hookfang. Astrid, Tuffnut and I will take Toothless. Fishlegs, Ruffnut and Snotlout will take Hookfang. We will land a good distance away and I can run over the plan one more time so we know what we’re doing.”
Everyone nodded and headed to their assigned dragons. Astrid let out a long whoosh of breath and silently thanked Hiccup for not putting her with Snotlout. She started towards Toothless, but a sudden grip on her hand stopped her in her tracks. Astrid turned around and saw it was Snotlout. He smiled in a way Astrid guessed he thought was suave.
“It’s okay, Astrid. It’s okay to feel sad about being away from me for so long,” he said, coming closer. Astrid gave a disgusted snort and ripped her hand away from Snotlout, running towards Toothless. Hiccup was already on and she climbed up behind him, wrapping her arms around his middle.
“I can’t thank you enough for putting Snotlout on a different dragon,” she whispered. Hiccup grinned,
Tuffnut climbed up behind them and both dragons took off, struggling only a little under the extra weight. They soared over the green blanket of trees below, Toothless in the lead and Hiccup scanning for the Snaptrapper somewhere below. Finally, he spotted a glint of something large and green on the coastline not far away.
“Land here!” he called back to Snotlout. The two boys steered their dragons gently onto the ground and all the riders slid off.
“Now,” said Hiccup quietly, “Quick review. Snotlout, Ruff, Tuff and I will each ride a head of the Snaptrapper and hopefully bring it to Dragon Island. Fishlegs and Astrid will go in front so we have a better sense of where we are going: Astrid on Toothless, Fishlegs on Hookfang. Got it?”
Fishlegs looked terrified, “Me on Hookfang?” Hiccup nodded,
“I’ve taught Astrid how to work his tail fin, and we are a little short on time for me to run you through that right now.” Fishlegs glanced nervously over at Hookfang. Hiccup put a hand on his shoulder,
“You’ll be fine, Fishlegs.” Fishlegs nodded, still not looking all that sure. Hiccup patted him on the back, turned and gestured for the twins and Snotlout to follow him. Astrid stood by Toothless and looked over at Hiccup, ready to jump at a moment’s notice when he gave the signal. Hiccup waved at her, then he and the three others pushed their way through the underbrush towards the beach.
The Snaptrapper stood at the edge of the beach, trying to drink the seawater. It slurped up some and then quickly spat it out. It turned towards the woods. Hiccup froze and hoped that his friends would too. The Snaptrapper didn’t seem to see them and started walking a little bit further down the beach. Hiccup let out his breath and the group resumed moving along the tree line. Finally, when they were right behind the Snaptrapper, Hiccup nodded and the group stepped out onto the sand, quietly coming up behind the Snaptrapper. The Snaptrapper splashed into the water a few feet and Hiccup motioned for everyone to stay where they were.
He advanced a few steps on the wet sand and stood beside the Snaptrapper’s tail. Still, the giant dragon did not turn around. Hiccup took a deep breath and went forward a few more steps. The last step landed on a shell.
All four heads of the dragon whipped around to stare at Hiccup. Hiccup didn’t move and stared back. The Snaptrapper tipped its heads and came a few steps closer to Hiccup. The nostrils on the head furthest to the right flared and the neck stretched out until it was just a foot away from Hiccup’s face.
Hiccup backed up a step and tripped on a rock, falling flat on the sand. The dragon advanced until it was almost standing over him and then the head on the right came close to his face again and sniffed. It let out a high-pitched shriek, wrapped its tail around Hiccup and tossed him high into the air. Hiccup spun wildly as he soared high above the forest,
“ASTRID!!!” he called, hoping she would get there in time to catch him before he fell to his death. Astrid didn’t even have to tell Toothless to go. Toothless leaped into the air and flew as fast as he could towards Hiccup. But the Snaptrapper got there first. Hiccup smacked its back so hard that he got the wind knocked out of him. Toothless let out an agonized roar as the Snaptrapper swooped to the ground with Hiccup. Groaning, Hiccup held his stomach and waited to be eaten.
Why did I think putting that goop on my face was a good idea? He thought. I’m dead. I’m so dead . . . A snout bumped his shoulder and Hiccup closed his eyes. Suddenly, all four of the Snaptrapper’s heads came in and started nuzzling Hiccup all over, making a low purring noise.
Astrid and Toothless stared with equal shock, “What on earth . . .?” Astrid gasped.
“It worked!” Hiccup laughed, “I can’t believe it worked!” He patted one of the heads of the Snaptrapper,
“Come on, gang! Let’s take him back home.”
* * *
Hiccup, Astrid and Fishlegs stayed up late that night filling in the rest of the dragon book entry on the Snaptrapper and the sky was lightening by the time Hiccup stumbled up the stairs into his room.
He took off his vest and hung it on the corner of his bed, but he didn’t lie down. Not just yet. Hiccup dug around in the pockets of his vest and finally came up with the things he was looking for.
Toothless had gone to bed long ago, but Hiccup’s tired, clumsy footsteps over to his desk made him perk his ears. Hiccup was putting something on the shelf . . . two things actually. Tipping his head, Toothless watched. Straightening the trinkets on the shelf one last time, Hiccup yawned and made his way back to the bed.
Leaning forward a little, Toothless saw what was on that shelf. Most was familiar. His helmet. A stuffed dragon toy from his mother. One of Toothless’s toenails from when he’d first found him. A tail spike from Stormfly and a few other things. The two new ones were a Snaptrapper scale and the jar of its goo. Hiccup saw Toothless looking at the jar and rubbed his face.
“Yeah, bud. You won’t see me putting that on again anytime soon. I just hope it washes off.” Toothless looked over at Hiccup, made his purring noise and settled back down to sleep.
It didn’t take long for Hiccup to fall asleep, but just before he did, he couldn’t help smiling at the last line Fishlegs had insisted on putting in the book entry.
Warning: If you believe that someone is baking cake in the woods, please report to The Berk Dragon Academy immediately.
Please comment with what you thought!
(hey look at that! a picture!)