This story takes place in the same universe as X Marks the Spot and will be my own take on a super hero universe. It will owe a little bit to the Wild Cards series of books. This is a WIP and is covered by the Creative Commons License below.
I locked up the door on Mr. Looper’s PC Emporium and jumped as high as I could, snagging the gate and using my body wait to pull it down. With it locked in place, I knew that it was as safe as any store in this neighborhood could be. In spite of the fact that this was a computer store, most of the stuff he carried was way old. He tinkered with his stock and fixed any electronics that customers brought in. No matter how useless or broke down the TV, radio, or remote controlled car was, he was always able to coax life out of it.
I pulled my black nylon jacket’s collar up around my neck to try and keep warm. If I hurried I could make the three blocks home before it got dark. This was the Dragon’s turf and anyone caught out in it after dark, especially a girl my age, was like fresh meat. If we didn’t need the money I wouldn’t clean Mr. Looper’s store, no matter how much he paid me and he payed me way too much.
Mom thought he wanted something more than money. She’d never say that to my face, but I’ve heard her end of phone calls. She’s also always asking me how the old man makes me feel or if he ever touches me. I don’t think she knows that at thirteen I know what she’s asking and it made me sick to think about it. He never did and I don’t think he even has thoughts like that. He doesn’t like people much. Oh he treated his customers and me well enough, but he loved his machines.
Wind picked at my jacket and cut through the legs of my skinny jeans. We moved to North Carolina from New Jersey five years ago, but the winters are still pretty cold, even this far south. I broke into a jog, hoping it would warm me up. It almost had too, until I heard the whooping and jeering from up ahead. I knew that it was a group of the Dragons. They weren’t a real gang, not like the Ochos or the Strangers. Mostly, they were just older teens who smoked dope and stole lunch money from younger kids. Ricardo, whose brother was an Ocho, said that they couldn’t cut it in an actual brotherhood, but wanted the excuse to act tougher than they were.
I didn’t know about that. I’d known a few kids that got their share of bruises and cuts, and while Mr. Looper might not be interested in my girlhood, these boys might be. It wasn’t much further to get home, but going the long way around I’d risk running into some tougher groups. There was no safety except to go back to the store. Mr. Looper lived above it and I could probably get him to take her home, or at least she could call Dad to come and get her when he got home.
I hated to bother him, but he had invited me upstairs once or twice early on for cookies. Thinking about Mom’s advice, I said no, respectfully, and it never came up again. I think he knew why I said no, cause he looked a little embarrassed and sad.
I hurried, but the wind was in my face. It seemed to be blowing faster, making it hard to take steps. I didn’t weight much and the spaces between buildings focused the winds. That must have been why I didn’t hear the voices behind me. I didn’t know there were Dragons behind me until one grabbed my arm.
Here There Be Dragons by Scott Roche is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at www.scottroche.com.