Roar! is Book 4 in the Edge of the Universe series. It’s ready to read and up for pre-order on Amazon.
Here’s what it’s about…
After meeting the clone maker and realizing the trouble the scientist has gotten himself into, Art realizes that he needs to find a good lawyer of his own to create a few legal loopholes of his own and leave himself a way out if Tony plans on using his DNA-splicing technology for something evil.
Tony has been hounding Art to sign the contract even before his time was up and Art has a sneaking suspicion that something is up. He just doesn’t know what it is yet.
Art and Bill find a way to sneak into Blue Wolf’s lair even though LocTech spies are watching them. There they learn about an old enemy Tony once made, known as the Rain Maker, who may be able to help Art create the legal loopholes that he needs.
It has been edited and the latest version has been uploaded for release scheduled on February 1, 2019. If you’re too anxious to wait to read it though, you can get an Advanced Reader Copy by joining my Advanced Reading Crew.
That way you can tell me if you find any mistakes the editing team may have missed. And leave a review to help promote the book when it goes live.
Enjoy and tell me what you think.
Feel free to leave you questions and feedback about Roar! in the comments below.
I just put Book 3 of the Edge of the Universe series up for pre-order.
It’s called Rush!
What is Rush about?
While his new home is being renovated and his team transferred to Brimhill, Art is getting settled into his new billionaire lifestyle. He is actively looking into LocTech to make sure everything is okay before signing his final contract.
Tony pressures him into come in a day early which he finds strange. But before he can sign it, he gets really sick.
Art meets Dr. Mark Bates, who everyone thought was killed in the Blue Wolf sabotage and is told that the same sickness the clones died from may have mutated and passed on to him.
He must do whatever it takes to get to the bottom of what’s really going on at LocTech and Sector Seven because he knows they aren’t being completely honest while trying to find his way through all the different groups who oppose what LocTech is doing…and ultimately stand against what Art is doing there.
Rush! has been edited and is already uploaded, but we still need Beta Readers to make final suggestions.
If you’re too anxious to read Rush! you can grab an Advanced Reader Copy by joining my Advanced Reader Crew.
All I ask is that you point out mistakes our editing team missed and leave a review for future readers in exchange for a free copy.
Feel free to leave your questions and feedback in the comments below.
I’m really excited!
Episode 2 of the Edge of the Universe comes out in a couple of days.
I can’t wait.
So, meantime, I’m releasing a short story from April’s point of view about what she discovered in Sector Seven, and why she left Tony.
You can download it for FREE right here on the blog
It’s about 10,000 words (30 pages or so depending on who’s counting) which means you can probably read it in less than thirty minutes.
Once you’re done reading this story, go ahead and grab a free copy of Rise! (the first book in the Edge of the Universe series as well)…if you haven’t read it yet.
Once you read, Floor 47, I would love to hear your thoughts on April and her reaction to Tony trying to have her killed off.
She totally surprised me in this story.
I mean, I’ve been planning this series for nigh on to five years now, and I pictured her in a completely different way.
April just stormed in and took over the story, demanding to know what was going on down in Sector Seven and throwing her personality around like she was the one telling the story.
We had a little argument there for a while.
I tried to put her back in her role and make her do what I wanted.
But she was a feisty little character and put her foot down hard.
So, this was the story of what happened to April Roman on Floor 47 the fateful night she broke into LocTech and realized what was going on down in Sector Seven.
Hey there! Another quick short story. This one was inspired by a video I watched about the Bermuda triangle. 300 ships and 75 planes all disappearing into the sky. Hope you enjoy it. And yes, this does tie in directly to an ealier short story called ‘City In The Clouds‘.
The clouds rolled in thick and dark. Towering hundreds of feet high. Extremely unnatural for this time of the year on this section of the planet. It pressed onward in their direction.
Unrushed. Unhurriedly. Slowly. Steadily.
Pushing forward into all the other clouds before it.
The crowd quickly gathered around. Everyone craning their necks to get a better look. Some quickly brushed it off as normal and moved on as if the cloud wasn’t really there.
Gayle stayed around with those who remained. Soon, most of them began to chat about other things. Seemingly unworried about the sheer size of the massive billows steadily coming closer.
She lay down and kept a close eye on it. Gayle didn’t care if anyone else was interested in it or not. She was going to try to understand this strange phenomenon and figure this thing out.
After a bit, the rest of the crowd began to disperse as well.
“Not much we can do about it anyway, best get back to work,” she overheard one man say to his companion.
“Aye, but it sure seems strange though. Never seen something like this in all my days. And I’m a lot older than you are.”
“That you are, old man. That you are. You must be at least four hundred times as old as me,” the younger one laughed as the older man swung out his cane.
Gayle smiled. These crazy folk in Stratosville were a humorous bunch. She was glad her family had moved here. It was much nicer than the previous cloud they had lived on before. Resources were harder to come by, and their neighbors were always uptight and cranky.
Suddenly, Gayle realized what seemed so surreal about this enormous strange cloud still threatening to overtake them.
It was because the massive, dark thunderhead wasn’t moving quickly and overtaking their cloud. Nor was it drifting so slowly that their billows were catching up to the larger one.
As she watched closely, Gayle noticed that the enormous atmospheric phenomenon wasn’t drifting with the current wind currents at all. In fact, it wasn’t even simply floating in place because it was too large to be pushed about by the gusts that often threatened to sweep Gayle off her cloud as at that altitude.
It was literally moving against the wind currents as if it sought to collide head-on with all the other clouds in its path.
As she watched, Gayle a sense of foreboding washed over her.
It seemed as if this cloud wasn’t just drifting through the others. But instead, it seemed to swallow them up and assimilate them. Making them a part of its larger self. Whatever it was.
Gayle had often heard horror stories like these since she grew up among the cloud people. Her mother warned not to go jumping off onto strange unexplored clouds or wander off too far where she might be devoured by a Cloud Eater.
And now, with this strange atmospheric phenomenon, she was sure of it. This was the Cloud Eater.
Gayle raced home to find her mother. Diving down into the entrance when she arrived. Calling for her mother.
“Great clouds on fire, child! What’s all this screeching about?”
“Mother, the dark cloud. It’s the cloud eater. It’s coming. We have to get away from here.” Gayle pleaded, tears streaming down her face. “Come! Come see.”
“I already saw it, silly girl. It’s not the Cloud Eater. No such thing even exists. It’s just a story that parents use to make their children behave. I’m sorry if we scared you. Go sit down at the table and I’ll make you a snack.”
The mother turned and glided down the hall. Gayle didn’t stick around. She raced off to her best friends home.
“Ventis! Ventis!” she called desperately upon arriving at her home.
No one answered quickly enough, so Gayle barged right on in, diving into her friend’s bedroom.
“Hey, Gayle! You spooked me. I didn’t hear you coming. What’s up?”
“It’s the Cloud Eater, Ventis. I saw it. It’s this huge, dark, enormous cloud out there. Eating up every other cloud. Come and see it for yourself.” Gayle pleaded.
“Silly, girl. That’s not a Cloud Eater out there. I saw that earlier today on my way back from school. Even before anyone else. I think I was the first to notice it.” Ventis declared proudly. “Besides, I can’t go out right now. I’m grounded this week. Remember?”
Gayle sighed despondently.
“Oh, c’mon. Don’t cry.” Ventis continued trying to comfort her. “Our parents just use those stories to keep us in line. Most kids our age don’t even believe them anymore. I can’t believe you still do. We only tell those stories at night under the light of the full moon to try to scare each other. Remember?”
Gayle nodded and turned to leave.
“Hey, don’t go running around screaming anything else about the Cloud Eater out there. You’ll be the lacking stock of the Aereyons when the story gets back to them of the girl who cried Cloud Eater.”
Ventis giggled as Gayle stomped off furiously.
How could these people be so blind? They couldn’t see the obvious when it was right in front of their faces. They told themselves these stories for so long and convinced themselves that they were only children’s fables. Talking themselves right out of seeing the danger in front of their very eyes.
Gayle stormed furiously through the village to the far end of the cloud for a better view. She paused once or twice along the way to eavesdrop on people’s conversations. A few of them even jokingly referred to it as the Cloud Eater.
“Yep, if it looks like a Cloud Eater and moves like a Cloud Eater, it’s probably a Cloud Eater.” One of the men said mockingly, and everyone standing around him joined in the laughter.
“How can they be so stupid,” Gayle muttered to herself.
She had to find a way to convince them that this was indeed a Cloud Eater and get them out of here before it was too late.
Gayle finally arrived at the edge of her billowy, white cloud.
Old man Atmos was standing on the very edge. Watching the massive, dark threat looming high over their heads.
He had once been the chief of their cloud. A very busy man. But after an argument with the current chief over some petty issue, old man Atmos had been ousted from the clan. He had spent many years traveling, but recently returned. He lived by himself on a smaller cloud, and it was rare to see him over here on Stratosville.
“Oh, hello there, Gayle,” he mumbled. “What are you doing out here at this hour. Shouldn’t you be at home doing your homework.”
She nodded. Surprised that the old man remembered her name. Most normal adults didn’t even call her by name. They just called her little girl or child. Even her mother rarely called her by name unless she was angry about something. h
“How is that cloud propelling itself against the wind and assimilating all the other clouds in its path?” she asked meekly because she was sure that he was going to make a joke of it and start laughing at her for her foolishness.
Old man Atmos didn’t though. He actually turned to her with a surprised look on his face.
“Hmm, so you noticed it too. Huh? And where did you learn such big words from, Gayle?”
The young girl just nodded and beamed with pleasure. She prided herself for reading the dictionary and encyclopedia every day to increase and improve her vocabulary.
“I’m afraid I do know what it is, but I need to find a way to get higher. Would you like to join me?” he asked.
She didn’t look at him but continued watching the dark billows growing ever closer. If that thing was the Cloud Eater, they were all doomed. There was no escape for those on Stratosville.
Gayle finally looked up after considering her options. If it weren’t a Cloud Eater, her mother would scold her for running off like that. But still, all things considered, it was better to be reprimanded by her mother than annihilated by that thing. Whatever it was.
“Yes,” she finally managed to say, as she took Old Man Atmos’ hand.
Old Man Atmos led her from cloud to cloud. They moved higher as they went, seeking to rise above it.
Away from the giant, dark cloud that came steadily onward against the wind currents. The same wind current that pushed the other clouds ahead of it directly into his waiting jaws.
Gayle had the impression that the large cloud formation was a living, seething, angry being. Like a celestial being that was scowling down upon those before it. Preparing to pour out its wrath and fury.
It was a long, hard climb. Gayle was soon panting and unable to keep up with Atmos. But if they didn’t hurry, they would quickly be swallowed up too. So, she sucked it up, took a deep breath, and tried to keep up with him.
But the climb was too steep for Gayle’s thin, frail frame. Especially trying to make it up the last few clouds toward the end.
Atmos came back for her. Stooping low to pick her up off the puffy billow Gayle had paused to rest upon. Panting heavily she began to cry.
“I can’t make it. Go on without me. I don’t want to hold you back too.”
But he didn’t listen. Atmos swooped her up easily. She was small and light for her age. Atmos continued the climb, carrying her on his back.
It made her feel safe and secure as if he would protect her from the fury of the cloud before them. She clung tightly to his neck and nestled her head into the back of his thick, silvery-white hair.
Gayle could sense that her weight, slight as it was, still slowed him down. But he didn’t complain about having to bring her along, and for that she was grateful.
There was one unusually long leap from one cloud to another that she almost didn’t think he was going to make. It was a huge jump even for him on his own. And with her on his back, she didn’t know how he made it.
She actually thought he was going to wait for another cloud to blow closer, but he was anxious to get to the top and didn’t want to wait for it. She closed her eyes and held her breath. They made it. Just barely, but it was enough.
After that, it wasn’t far. Just a few more short hops on up and they finally made it out onto a small cloud that was level with the larger one. Gayle gasped at the sight before her. Large jagged spikes curved up and out of the top of the evil-looking thunderhead. Gayle shivered and closed her eyes briefly.
They were still headed on a collision course with the larger cloud though, and she felt Old Man Atmos moving farther along the edges trying to make his way higher.
He managed to pick out a path up higher over the top of the larger cloud and off to the side where they were out of its way as long as the winds held steady and didn’t shift directions.
Atmos set the young girl down carefully and sat beside her to catch his breath. He scooted closer to the edge. Hanging his legs freely over the sides of the cloud they were on.
Gayle didn’t have the courage to sit beside him. So, she lay on her belly and glided forward till she came up beside him. Close enough to peer over the edge. She hung on to puffs of the cloud tightly. Just in case a draft of wind tried to playfully push her over the edge.
She was high enough up, and there were enough clouds before her, that they would probably catch her and break her fall. But then Gayle would have to find her way back up here again on her own. She preferred to stay right here beside the old man in safety.
Her home cloud was nowhere in sight, she glanced around nervously in all directions.
“Where is Stratosville?” she asked Atmos anxiously.
He pointed it out to her off to the side a little ways. It was closer to the big cloud than she had expected it to be. Almost under one of its large billowy overhangs. It wouldn’t be long till Stratosville collided with the larger cloud.
Gayle hadn’t ever been this high up or far away from her home before without her mother before. She looked down and sucked in her breath. It was just a small speck far below them.
“Will everyone make it out on the other side okay?” she asked almost in tears. “Will the city cooling condensers be strong enough to hold up against a cloud that size?”
“I hope so,” he said softly. “I tried to warn the leaders that we were entering a dangerous area that the humans call the Bermuda Triangle. I warned them that many ships and planes have been swallowed by the clouds here. But they just laughed at me. I told them that they needed to decrease the temperature to form ice crystals which would solidify the cloud and strengthen it when the time came. Maybe giving them a chance to survive. But they didn’t want to waste the fuel. They said it would take too much work to replace later.”
“You mean the lazy bums just didn’t want to have to work hard after it was over,” she said bitterly. “Was my father there with them?”
Atmos nodded sadly.
“Unfortunately. I tried to turn the condensers down myself, but the leaders wouldn’t let me. I even offered to gather the extra fuel too. They refused to listen to me. They said I was just a silly old fool. I would have stayed with them if they had listened. But they didn’t, and that’s why I left.”
The thought of her family and friends not making it through to the other side horrified her. Most natural clouds that collided with one made by cooling condensers just slipped right on through. Sometimes, a larger cloud would even join up with theirs for a time. Pulled along with it.
Two clouds with cooling condensers were never allowed to collide though. The stronger one with the most cooling condensers would end up tearing the other apart. If the collision was unavoidable, both cities had to work together swiftly to synchronize their systems. One large cloud would form, and the two would be merged together forever.
But it wasn’t just the size of the giant cloud that concerned her. It was the menace of the large, jagged curves coming up from inside the puffy white billows.
The cloud itself no longer looked dark and dangerous from her position up here. The sun hanging low on the horizon off to her their right actually lit it up brightly, even colorfully. If it were any other normal cloud, it would have been a stunningly gorgeous view as the hues of gold and yellow reflected the rays all around them.
Gayle glanced back down along the sides of the large cloud and could see just how far the sun’s rays traveled. The cloud grew darker, the farther down she looked until it was a dark, hideous gray at the bottom that matched the curved spikes rising out of the golden, yellow puffs before her. She shivered once again at the darkness before her.
It felt so evil. Like dark figures that often haunted her dreams. Figures she could never actually see but could sense surrounding her, watching her, disturbing her. She could feel them here now.
“What is that thing, Atmos?” she asked.
The old man shook his head slowly from side to side.
“I don’t know, child. After I left the village, I spent time wandering the paths of the sky. I traveled all the way to Aereyon.”
“Oh,” Gayle gasped. “Is it as beautiful as my mother tells me?”
“Even more beautiful, young lady. Words can’t truly describe it. It is a sight you must see for yourself.”
“So, what did you learn on this trip?”
“I met many wanders who told stories of this threat that hides in the clouds. They had many names for it. Some called it the ‘Drifting Wraith’. Others simply called them ‘Death Clouds’. One even told me that he knew where they came from. He said they came from above. He said that they come from the land of Kruvia where they are known as Dhaqs.
“There’s a monster inside that cloud?” she asked interrupting the old man.
He tilted his head and raised an eyebrow. Then smiled warmly at her.
Gayle could sense though that he was only smiling to calm her down. She could tell that inwardly, he was just as terrified as she if not more because of the tales he had heard.
Old Man Atmos stood to his feet and stretched. He handed a cooling condenser that he had brought along with him.
“You stay here. I’m going down to take a closer look. If I don’t make it back, you burrow down into this cloud for the night. Use this cooling condenser to make sure it does dissipate from around you. And then in the morning, head that way until you come to Aereyon.” he said pointing in the opposite direction of the setting sun.
“Why?” she asked.
“You must warn the Aereyons of this great danger. The wanderers say that the Dhaq seek Aereyon. They hope to stumble across it and consume the great city in the clouds. Others say that the Dhaq already know of its location, but they are not yet strong enough to attack it. So, they feed off smaller clouds and cities until the time is right.”
“But what will I tell them when I get there? That is if I ever even make it.” she cried.
“Tell them what you have seen here today. Tell them what happened to Stratosville. Hopefully, they will listen before it is too late.”
“I hope it works well. It is one that I made myself. There should be enough fuel in it to last you for a few nights so you can sleep well. Turn it off during the day to conserve the energy as long as possible. Hopefully, you will find more before it runs out.”
“Please don’t leave me,” she pleaded softly.
“I must try to find out what these things are exactly if we hope to have a chance to fight them. I shouldn’t be gone long. I’m just going right over there.” Atmos said pointing to the closest edge of the large cloud.
“So, why are you giving me the cooling condenser and telling me to make the trip on my own?” she said crying. Tears flowing down her cheeks.
“Only in case, something happens. I am an old man. I could fade away at any time. It is the way of life. I am ready for that moment. I want you to be as well.”
“What if I get lost?” she asked quietly.
“Don’t worry. You’ll find others along the way who will guide you in the right direction. Look for solid clouds that don’t wisp away at the edge. You’ll recognize them. It’s easy to find Aereyon because it never leaves its place. It remains fixed just over the highest mountains on land.”
The young girl stopped sobbing. She grabbed onto the old man’s hand and clung to him. He patted her head softly and hummed her a song that she remembered her mother used to sing her to sleep at night.
Gayle couldn’t contain herself any longer. She wrapped her arms around his legs and sobbed loudly.
Atmos waited patiently for the young girl to stop. When she had stopped sniffling, he knelt down beside her and leaned forward, giving her a big hug. She squeezed him back tightly around the neck.
“Promise me that you will go straight to the city of Aereyon. Ask to speak with the queen. And tell her all that you have seen and all that I have told you. Don’t leave out one word.”
Gayle nodded bravely. She stood on the highest point of her cloud. Watching as the old man leaped from cloud to cloud back in the direction of the ominous, jagged curves rising out of the top of the cloud.
It seemed to her that she could see less of long curved spikes than before. As if the giant mass had assimilated the clouds that collided with itself and built them up higher around its jagged curves.
Soon, the old man was just a speck in the distance. She leaped over to another cloud that was just a bit higher and blocking her view. She climbed up to a tip of the cloud that jutted up above the rest.
Gayle watched Old Man Atmos pause before making his final leap onto the large cloud itself. And then, he just disappeared, as if the darkness or whatever was inside had swallowed him whole.
She stood there for what seemed like hours. Holding her breath. Waiting for Atmos to reappear. But the old man never did. She was completely and utterly alone.
Gayle was still standing there for what seemed like hours and even days until her little cloud floated on past the larger one.
She kept her eyes peeled, looking down below out the far end of the cloud, anxiously waiting to see if Stratosville would waft on through. Breaking out into the bright, clean air behind it. But it never did.
The young girl never saw her home cloud again. Not that night. Nor the next day. Nor ever again. No one ever heard from anyone at Stratosville after that.
When the fading sun began to set, Gayle activated the cooling condenser and burrowed down deep into the billowy puffs. Pulling them tightly around her.
Gayle cried herself to sleep. Cried for her family. Cried for Ventis. And even cried for Old Man Atmos.
She knew that the old man had known Stratosville wouldn’t survive the collision. He had known he wouldn’t return from his expedition into the dark thunderhead full of Dhaqs or whatever those things were.
She imagined him fighting whatever controlled the dark cloud from within. Seeking to destroy it. Seeking to stop it. Or at the very least gain control. Giving his life to protect others.
Gayle didn’t understand why. It seemed so futile. So pointless. It had all been in vain.
After she had cried her eyes dry with no tears left to shed, she pulled a few more billowing puffs of cloud around her body and made up her mind to travel to Aereyon.
She would begin her journey. But she swore that along the way, she would discover who these Drifting Wraiths were. She would find out what powered their Death Clouds. And she would learn how to eliminate them. Then she would travel to Kruvia and destroy them all.
She, young Gayle of Stratosville, would become the Destroyer of the Cloud Eater that had devoured her home cloud.
Those were her final thoughts as she drifted off to sleep.
The brave young lass didn’t see the large dark beings pulling themselves out of the dark cloud. Pulling themselves onto the large, jagged spikes. Shaking themselves off. Then leaping into the air to flit and play under the light of the moon until the sun came up. Gloating over their victory over another city that day.
Neither did they seem to notice her, tucked away in her little cloud that was drifting safely away in the opposite direction under the light of the stars. Little dreaming that their greatest future nightmare lay innocently passing them so closely by.
Thank you for reading my short story! I hope you enjoyed it.
If so, make sure to read more of my stories on here on the blog, as well as sign up to get updates when I release new stories at https://DaveBailey.me/go/crew
Read my web novel called ‘Edge Of The Universe’ at https://www.wattpad.com/story/166114932-edge-of-the-universe-art-on-the-run
Or continue to meander on through my fictional musings here at https://DaveBailey.me
You can also follow my daily writings on my Patreon page at https://www.patreon.com/DaveBaileyMe/posts
For reprint or licensing options, contact Dave Bailey directly at http://davebailey.me/go/contact
Episode 2 is called Release! in the Edge of the Universe series and should be ready soon.
I have written it and editing starts later on this week. It is already on pre-order on Amazon and is scheduled for release on December 1.
I’m almost finished writing the fourth episode and plan to start the fifth in another day or two.
It’s such an exciting series. You can follow along with my daily writings on Patreon if you’re too anxious to wait for the release date.
Here it is! The long-awaited, first episode of Edge of the Universe series will be officially available on November 1, 2018.
I’ve ended up changing the name of Episode 1 from “Run!” to “Rise” because it deals with the start of Art’s ascension as a billionaire.
Episodes 2 and 3 have already been written. They are currently being edited.
And I am almost finished with writing episode 4.
The official versions will be out in the next couple of months.
But you should be seeing those in the folder if you grabbed a pre-release copy here in the next couple of days.
Here is the latest updated information about the Edge of the Universe series (as of November 1, 2018). What books Dave Bailey currently writing and when upcoming episodes will become available.
I’m currently writing a chapter or two each day. You can read the daily chapters on Dave Bailey’s Patreon page
Series: Art on the Edge of the Universe
Season 1: On The Run!
Episode 1: Rise (November 1, 2018) Available on all major platforms
Episode 2: Release (December 1, 2018) Already available on Patreon & Gumroad
Episode 3: Rush (January 1, 2019) Already available on Patreon & Gumroad
Episode 4: Run (Feburary 1, 2019) Writing the final chapters now – Read available chapters on Patreon
Episode 5: TBA (March 1, 2019)
Episode 6: TBA (April 1, 2019)
Episode 7: TBA (May 1, 2019)
Episode 8: TBA (June 1, 2019)
Episode 9: TBA (July 1, 2019)
Episode 10: TBA (August 1, 2019)
Season 2: TBA (November 1, 2019)
I found a new character that is absolutely amazing. His name is Ray McGowan from Knight of the Dragon Queen. It’s currently available on Amazon by the way.
So, I decided to write a follow-up story for him even though he was supposed to be a secondary character to backup the Dragon Queen in another story that I’m writing.
But this guy is too much fun to leave alone. And his sidekick Eartalk is a hoot too.
I’ll let you know when the story is complete.
Hey! Good news. I’m putting the finishing touches on my new short story called ‘Knight of the Dragon Queen‘.
It was inspired by my good FocusMate buddy, Darius, and his good folks over at Carets who make an amazing pair of shoes.
So, as you know by now, I’m writing a series of stories for ‘Love On The Edge‘. And the I’m tentatively calling the first story in the series ‘Rise of the Dragon Queen‘.
No spoilers yet, because I don’t want to ruin the surprise. But suffice it to say that it follows closely on the heels of ‘Dragon Troll‘ for a reason.
You can read Dragon Troll for $0.99 now, but I will be making it available free for a limited time in about 30 days for those who are a part of my ‘Advanced Reader Crew‘ (hint, hint if you want to join, now is the time)
So, anyway, back to my story about Darius, we were chatting and he was telling me about this promo they want to do where they’ll be giving away a real sword, and they wanted to do something with a real knight.
Hey, the Dragon Queen needs a knight too. Right?
She is a strong, independent woman of course in this modern day and age. But it’s not her fault that the Rakshasas and Dryads ganged up on her and buried her in the frozen permafrost of the Alaskan Tundra.
Whoops! I did say that I was going to try not to give away any spoilers. Right?
So, my creative wheels started churning, and I started hashing out some ideas for a storyline for a modern-day knight (minus the shining armor) since it’s not needed nowadays. I don’t think. (At least not on this side of the portal).
After banging this short story out and running it through the furnace a few times, I think I managed to come up with a really cool concept for a knight that fits the Dragon Queen & Dragon Troll concepts for NorthWorld and the Edge of the Universe series.
Read away and let me know if you think this sounds interesting…
When Ray McGowan’s momma told him that he was a hothead, Ray thought it was just an expression.
Until he finds starts spontaneously combusting and bursting into flames in the most inconvenient places.
Like at work, at home in bed, and at the restaurant with his girlfriend.
And usually, it happens when he’s upset about something.
Then his momma’s words start to take on a whole new meaning.
Unfortunately, she’s no longer around to tell him what causes this and how to stop it.
Recently, a stranger noticed what was going on, and told him that he carried a rare strain of Dragon DNA and offers to take him on the adventure of a lifetime.
Their mission is to locate an ancient weapon named Venomshank, the Warblade of Ballar.
To save the Dragon Queen.
But when the group gets attacked by their enemies, Ray is the only one left standing who can actually make the trip.
So, they give him the map and what little information they know about it.
Will he be able to make it without the help of his friends?
Ray sets off toward the caves under the mountains to locate the portal that will take him to NorthWorld.
But first, he has to convince the portal guard to let him through, and then pay whatever price he demands.
If he can afford it.
Everything seems to be going well until the portal guard loses his cool and attacks Ray.
The young, up-and-coming knight must do whatever it takes to overcome his enemy without blowing them both to bits in the tunnels, and convince the guard to let him through the portal to continue his journey.
Which is actually hard to do when the giant ogre wants to get him into a fight.
Now, he has to diffuse the situation and put him down without humiliating the creature and angering into the point where it won’t help him, while also not bursting into flames and burning them up in the process.
Whew! That was a lot to cram into this little short read. I haven’t actually tested it, but I think it will be about a 30 minute short read.
Something you can read in a single sitting.
I do hope you enjoy it.
Take a look at ‘Knight of the Dragon Queen’ here on the blog >>>
Read it on Knight of the Dragon Queen on Amazon Now >>>
This is the lawyer that Art is looking for in Edge 1.4 because he wants a lawyer with a vendetta against Tony. He comes highly recommended by April. However, she doesn’t know where to find him.
Kobe is also getting his own short story where he stars with Katrina.
2321 Boggess Street
Height: 5′ 9″ (176 centimeters)
Weight: 218.0 pounds (99.1 kilograms)
Blood type: B+
Favorite color: Silver
Vehicle: 1993 Oldsmobile Achieva
Birth date: February 28, 1955 (11:47 AM)
Death date: May 7, 2028 (10:57 AM)
Cause of death: Diabetes
Mother’s maiden name: Huntjens
Location: Overijssel, Netherlands
Email Address: KobeKasper@VanWilligenburg.com
Company: Van Willigenburg LLP
Visa: 4485 3563 7807 2716
After reading about Kobe in the stories, let me know what actor or celebrity he makes you think of in the comments below.
“Whoa!” Art said and looked at Tony in shock.
“Hey! Keep your eyes on the road, man.” Tony commanded.
Art looked back at the road, but he could see Tony smiling out of the corner of his eyes.
“Serious?” Art asked in surprise. “Like I can choose the one I want?”
“No, goofball. You can’t choose one. I’m giving you all three cars. I’m tired of the Ferarri and the Aston. BMW sent me the new one as a gift for being a valuable client, but I didn’t really like the way they made the steering wheel. Besides, I’ll never drive it anyway.”
“Wow! Thanks.” Art said. He tried to think of something else to say, but nothing came to mind. He started to look back at Tony, but the old man scowled at him and told him to keep his eyes on the road.
They drove down the road a way before Tony had him turn into a gated community. Art pulled up, and Tony introduced him to the guard on security duty. Art was amazed at the beauty of the place. Lush green grass growing over low rolling hills.
“There’s a golf course right over along that side. Pools are down there by the clubhouse. And that’s your gym.”
Art paused to let a golf cart and several people cross.
“Busy tonight. Huh?” Art said.
“Nah, just wait till Friday. Then you’ll see this place hopping.” Bill answered.
“You play golf?” Art asked.
“Yeah, since when did you start playing golf?” Tony asked. “You told me you didn’t play last time I invited you along.”
“I have a friend who lives down here. I come over once in a while for a barbecue. We just sit on the front porch and watch the babes.” Bill half-giggled and half-snorted to himself.
Art and Tony just looked at each other and rolled their eyes.
“Seriously, Bill? You’re such a loser. I keep telling you that you gotta get a life. Tell me you at least go hit on some of them. Right?” Tony said.
“C’mon, Tony. I’m just a working man. I just drive a Toyota. All these girls come down here with their millionaire boyfriends in Lambos. What chance do I got with them? They see me with my car and won’t give me the time of day.” Bill whined.
“What are you talking about. You’re a big shot military guy who does security for a high-tech firm. You’re not some hobo on the street. Suck it up, man. Some of these girls are bored out of their minds with these fat, old geezers. Give them five minutes, and they’ll fall head over heels in love with you.” Tony shot back.
“Nah, man! That’s not how it works around here. You have never been rejected by one of these gold diggers.” Bill complained.
“I’ll loan you one of my new cars,” Art said. “You can borrow one on a Friday night and drive down here to visit me.”
“Really? You’d do that for me?” Bill asked.
“Sure.” Art replied. “Freely you have received, freely you shall give. It’ll be fun. You can be my wingman.”
Bill brightened up and thanked Art profusely several times while patting him on the back each time. After about the third time, Tony lost it and slapped his hand off of Art’s shoulder.
“For crying out loud, man. Leave the dude alone and let him drive. You sound like the guy just saved your life, not loaned you a car so you could pick a chick. Sheesh. You sound like such a douchebag. You should listen to yourself. You’re never gonna get a decent girl that way. It’s not about the money or the car. It’s about the self-confidence. You just got act like you’re the man.” Tony ranted.
Art glanced back at Bill, and they both rolled their eyes.
“Yes, Tony. That may be so. But in this case, I have to agree with Bill. Having a nice car will definitely help him get his foot in the door. He’s not as good looking as me.” Art said laughingly.
Bill took a swipe at him and landed a light punch on his arm. “Watch it. Yo! I’m the man with the gun in a uniform, and chicks dig that too.”
Art just shook his head and rolled his eyes once again. Tony pointed to a huge house off to the side and directed him to pull up the drive. Art paused the car at the entrance and leaned closer over the wheel. He looked at Tony wide-eyed.
“What are you waiting for? Step on it. I’m more anxious than you to see this place too.” Tony said with a grin.
Art looked back at Bill for a brief second. Then he eased his way up the hill towards the house. The house looked like a massive, three-story mansion with a bit of a Mexican flair to it. There was a wide veranda that looked like it went around most of the house.
He parked the car and stepped out into the shadows under the light of the moon. It was a beautiful night. Art listened to the sounds of nature coming from the trees. He heard the sound of frogs chirping in the background and a cicada humming. They were loud, but they were all natural sounds. He realized that there as no sound of cars or humans.
This was a huge difference from the house he lived in Brazil. His house was right next to a large road where he heard cars and buses going by all night while motorcycles raced each other till the crack of dawn. He breathed deeply of the cool night air.
Tony had the door open and was waiting for him. Bill waited till they were safely inside till coming in after them.
The house was even nicer than Art had imagined. They entered right into a small foyer that then led into a large living room. He could see the patio and pool out beyond that. There was a large kitchen to the left and a hall that looked like it led to several bedrooms to the right. The stairs led on up into the other parts of the house.
“There was some furniture that the old owner left behind. You can keep anything you like. The rest you can chuck. I’ll have Rhonda come over tomorrow to redecorate the place for you. Once that’s ready, you can stay here.”
Art whistled as they continued to walk around the house.
“Delta Two will be your personal bodyguard and lead on your security team. We’ll keep guards on site twenty-four-seven until we’ve eliminated all threats and make sure your safe. And Joanna will be your personal chef cooking breakfast and supper. You can eat lunch at the office cafeteria with us, or eat out at one of Ridtote’s fine restaurants. There will also be a maid and a maintenance man to keep the place up.” Tony continued.
“This is way too much, Tony.” Art said. “I can’t take all of this.”
“No, Art. Listen to me. You have a much bigger priority right now. You’re gonna save the world. The world can’t wait for you to clean the toilets and mow the lawn. I expect you to spend every working hour focused one hundred and fifty percent on implementing your technology to our needs. No one else can do what you can. Besides, these guys are all pros and can do these jobs much more efficiently than you could. You play to their strengths and let them play to theirs. This is a win-win situation for everybody.”
“Okay, Tony. Since you put it that way, it makes sense.” Art replied. “I would normally feel guilty paying someone to do something that I could do myself. My momma always taught me to be self-reliant and independent.”
“I’m sure you’re momma’s a smart Brazilian lady. So, I’m not gonna knock the lessons she taught you. But I’ll bet she didn’t realize that she was raising a billionaire genius that was developing a global cure for all disease who needs to focus on achieving one, single thing.” Tony said.
He slapped Art on the back at the very end as they finished walking back down the stairs towards the living room.
“I could just have the rest of my team help out here. You know. There’s lots of room and we can all pitch in together.” Art said as he pointed to the rooms upstairs.
Tony grimaced and shook his head. He turned Art to face him squarely.
“This is your house, Art. Your team will have their own houses somewhere else. They will have their own cleaning and maintenance crew. They’ll get all their meals too, just like you. Don’t worry about them. Let me take care of you, and them, and everything you need. Just keep them focused on implementing your technology to our needs. That’s the only thing I need you to do. Can you understand that.” Tony said as he lowered his head and raised his eyebrows to look into Art’s eyes.
Art nodded dumbly. This was all happening too fast. It was almost more than he could take in. He nodded and again and slapped Tony on the shoulder.
“I’ll do my best to make you proud of us, Tony. Thank you. I really appreciate your generosity.” Art said.
“Good. Good, man.” Tony replied.
Art walked over to the large, glass door and slid it open. He stepped back outside onto the patio and breathed in the cool night air. Tony flipped on the lights to the pool area. It was absolutely gorgeous. Art sat down at the picnic table to soak it all in.
Off in the distance, he could see the golf course. There was a sand pit to the side. To the other, there was a small lake. And in the center of the green, he could see the flag waving brightly as it reflected the light of the moon.
Art smiled to himself in the dark. This was beyond anything he had ever dreamed of. It was an amazing house better than he ever imagined living in, and he couldn’t wait until his mother arrived to see it.
He kept the image of his mother sitting at this table while drinking a fresh pot of coffee as he drove them all back to the office building. Art couldn’t wait for tomorrow to get here so he could see what other amazing things, life had in store for him.
Tony’s driver picked him up soon after they got back, and Bill drove home in his Toyota. He didn’t ask to borrow the Ferrari yet, although Art could tell that he was dying to. After they left, Art went into the kitchen and cut himself a large slice of the pecan pie that Joanna had left him.
Art didn’t bother taking a bath. He was too tired. He fell back into the same bed where he had napped that day. The bed had been made, and the sheets changed which reminded Art of Carla. Who was she? And why had she come to see him?
He continued mulling all these crazy events and questions over in his head until he fell asleep. The last thing he remembered thinking about was driving into his new house with the Ferrari on Friday for a barbecue with Bill. He had just drifted off to sleep when his new cell phone beeped to announce an incoming message.
“What did you do? I told you not to sign the contract. You’re a dead man now, Arthur Costa.”
Art ignored the message and rolled back over. There was nothing he could do about this tonight. He would let Tony handle it in the morning. Either Tony would be able to explain all these things to his satisfaction over the next two weeks, or else Art would leave. Either way, he got to keep the money Tony paid him in this first deposit. He smiled and drifted off easily into a dream world filled with fast cars, beautiful women, and huge feasts in exotic mansions.
Tomorrow was a new day!