Copyright © John N. King 2017
All Rights Reserved
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First Shakespir Edition
Shakespir Edition, License Notes
This e-book is licensed for personal enjoyment only. It may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, please return to your favorite e-book retailer and purchase your own copy. Thanks for respecting the author’s hard work.
The following is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination and are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
The blue backpack sat on the floor, stuffed with a computer and enough books to form a mini-library. Jackson picked it up and walked towards the parking lot.
“Okay, plan,” he said to himself. “The essay. I know exactly what to write. Maybe I can stop by Leon’s house and help her with her homework. Jeez, the college life. It’s just not for some people, eh?”
Jackson laughed to himself and walked into the parking lot. Aside from a full moon and a single street light burning bright, the lot was bathed in darkness. It didn’t matter, though. With the light of the full moon and the street light, Jackson could see that all the cars were gone. All except his: a red Chevrolet Malibu. In the dark of the night, his car almost looked jet black. He started towards it.
“So, maybe I’ll start with my own essay,” Jackson continued to himself. “I mean, it’s perfect. The analysis of Romeo and Juliet. You see…”
“Honestly, no, I don’t see. At least, you don’t see. Me.”
Jackson froze in his tracks.
“What?” the voice asked. “Why would you talk to yourself if you didn’t expect to hear back?
“Uh,” Jackson said, continuing to walk, “I’m an auditory learner. Have to hear my plans before I can act on them.”
“Oh. Nice. I’ve always enjoyed hearing people’s plans. Though for some reason, their plans usually involve something called ‘augh oh no, I’ll be good, Ahhh!’”
Jackson looked up and around, but… was it just him, or had everything gotten darker?
“Oh, don’t bother looking around, buddy. You don’t need eyesight here.”
“Wow, not subtle at all, are you?”
“Nah, nobody has time for that…”
Jackson had reached his car. He reached inside his pocket for his keys.
They were gone.
“Huh?” Jackson dug his hands into both his pockets. No keys. He slipped his pack off and dumped it on the ground. He dug through it. No keys.
“Uh-oh, no keys? That’s not good, is it? For you at least. I get some company.”
Jackson looked around frantically. It was too dark. The moon and the lamp weren’t doing it for him. He looked back at the school.
“Maybe I left them inside,” Jackson said.
“Or you could take refuge in the school.”
“That’s an idea,” Jackson asked as he all but sprinted for the school building. “Why do I feel like I’m in a movie or something?”
“If you are, you’re probably one of those red shirt guys that the killer kills to show how badass he is.”
“Not today,” Jackson said, his palms beginning to sweat as he finally reached the school door. He pulled on the door.
It was locked.
“Oh, locked too, huh? Not good, buddy.”
Jackson was sweating as he backed away from the doors, back towards the light.
“I, uh, I don’t know what to do,” Jackson admitted.
“Have you considered getting into the light?”
Jackson turned to the street lamp. It was still burning bright.
“Perfect,” Jackson said as he sprinted.
“To quote John Cena, are you sure about that?”
“You’ll have to find another victim today,” Jackson said as he sprinted for the light.
“Who said anything about victims? Not that I’m saying you don’t look cute enough for the part.”
The light was getting closer. He just had to get past his car.
“Jackson. Wait for me.”
As he passed his car, he tripped over something.
“How… did you know my name?”
“That was your name? Damn, I was just pulling names out of my ass.”
Jackson moved his hands over the gravel, trying to find what he had tripped on.
“So… I’m going to give you ten seconds. Give or take. Nine… eight… seven…”
Jackson slapped his hands on the ground and abandoned his search.
“Six… five… four…”
“Why are you even giving me a countdown?” Jackson said as he pelted for the light.
“It’s funnier to see you panic. Three…”
Jackson’s breaths came in short bursts as he poured on the speed, racing for that street lamp.
Jackson reached the lamp. In the circle of light, Jackson let his breathing slow. Everything else was pitch black around him. He couldn’t even see the school or his car from the glare of the light.
Suddenly, something wet fell on his pant leg. Jackson looked down to see liquid running down his leg.
“Ah, damnit. I can’t believe I just drooled on someone. Now that’s embarrassing.”
Another glob of clear liquid fell onto Jackson’s shoe. He started to feel his eyes moving upward.
“So, listen. No idea if this will work, but I suggest that you don’t look up.”
Jackson tried to fight it, but then another glob of what he could only describe as saliva fell onto his hair. His body betraying him, his head tilted, and he looked.
“Not very bright, are you?”
The blue backpack sat on the floor, stuffed with a computer and enough books to form a mini-library. Logan picked it up.
“Who the hell leaves a perfectly good backpack and a car in the middle of a parking lot?” he wondered.
Logan looked around, but save for the Malibu, no one was around. It was completely empty.
This stupid heel wrestler called Jimmy the Jackal had been a thorn in the side of Rocket’s favorite wrestler, Jackie Nightshade. As the Jackal walked out to his music, I could already hear Rocket growling from her spot near my lap.
‘The routine’ started. We all know ‘the routine.’ The villainous wrestler acts annoying until the hero shows up.
“He’s so annoying,” Rocket muttered. “Can someone beat him up.”
“They will, kiddo,” I said. “In time.”
Thank God Nightshade himself finally came down. I swear that if Rocket’s roar of approval had been any louder, she would’ve shattered the glass on the TV. She just left a ringing in my right ear that didn’t go away for a week.
Nightshade and Jackal go on for a bit, trading banter back and forth.
“Oh crap,” I muttered, as the Jackal brought out an older man.
“You sure you wanna say that in front of your father?” the Jackal asked Nightshade.
Rocket was silent.
The Jackal’s goons rose from the ring. They handcuffed Nightshade to the ring post. Nightshade roared and struggled as Jackal kicked his father to the ground.
“Rocket?” I asked.
She was gone.
“Ah, shit,” I muttered.
Pressing the alarm that would get me transport to the arena, I pulled up a live feed of the wrestling event on my phone. The arena was only a few miles away. Rocket would reach the place before my people could run damage control. All I could do was watch and hope people thought it was just a publicity stunt. We had pulled a big one the week before.
I lost the feed for a moment. When it came back on, a roar cut through the speakers and the air. The Jackal froze. Heck, everyone froze. The cameras focused on a familiar seven-foot red scaled beast leaping over the rim of the arena.
“Jackal!” Rocket roared. “I’m gonna kick your butt!”
A few people ran for the exits, but everyone else just stayed out of the dragon’s way. A few even started cheering. I smiled; they thought it was another publicity stunt.
As for the Jackal, he bolted as Rocket barreled down towards him.
Security guards and Jackal’s goons tried to get in Rocket’s way, but she smashed her way through.
The Jackal disappeared behind the arena. She followed after him, and one cameraman—bless his soul—was still chasing after them, allowing the live feed to continue.
“You think you can just beat up an old man and get away with it?” Rocket roared. “I’m gonna…”
Her sights set on one of the wrestlers she was trying to get past.
“Oh, my Sweet God, it’s Sandy Sleeper,” Rocket squeaked. “I’ll be back for you.”
I got to the arena right as the building’s entrance exploded with a burst of fire. The Jackal came running out with his leotard on fire. Rocket barreled right out after him, the livid expression back on her face as she pursued the Jackal into the streets.
The Jackal tripped. Before he could get up, Rocket pinned him, fire burning across her scales. I ran towards her as fast as I could.
“What’s wrong, Jackal?” Rocket asked. “Too hot for you?”
“Don’t kill me,” the Jackal begged. “It was just a performance. He wasn’t really hurt.”
“Liar,” Rocket roared. “You beat up an old man. Now let’s see how well you do against me.”
Rocket snatched the Jackal up and lifted him into the air. Her wings spread like she was about to take off.
“Rocket, no,” I shouted. “Bad Rocket.”
The dragon tensed up, just like a child that had gotten caught with her hand in the cookie jar. She turned her red eyes towards me and her tail instantly tucked.
“Ah, crap,” she muttered.
“That’s a nickel in the swear jar, young lady,” I said, “Now put him down.”
Rocket threw him to the ground with a huff. As the Jackal tried to crawl away, her tail came down on his legs as she gave a sideways glare at him.
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Rocket is an anomaly: one of the only dragons to live in Modern Day America. She's far from the classic monster that kidnaps princesses and hoards treasure, but her idea of 'fun' is still rather... eschewed. Start her journey with "The Parking Lot," where she 'has fun' with Jackson Noble, a college student that was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Drake Rider, her trainer and best friend, reveals her noble side in "My Life with a Teenage Dragon." In "Dog Squad," she faces off with an eccentric team of female mercenaries called the Dog Squad. Witness her sad side in "How Did It Come to This?" where her best friend, Drake Rider, betrays her. Funny, tragic and dramatic, Rocket's journeys will be an exciting adventure for young adults across America.