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The Black Dragon

Dedicated to
Hannah, my co-author, and Kaz, my editor

Grr. I promised myself that I wouldn't do these stupid author's notes, but i've given in.

I was wondering if people could comment on this story? I don't really care about votes, but i do care about comments. See, I take a writing class at MIT every summer with my best friend, and our teacher, Finale (yes, that's her name, she's awesome) wants us to get as much imput from as many different people as possible, to "expose us to the criticism we would get if we were published".

So, yeah. Please?

Chapter 1- March 8th


    "Jake- wait!" Alexi called, running to catch up with me. He put his hand on my shoulder to keep me from leaving, but I shrugged him off angrily.

    "don't call me Jake. That's what my *friends* call me. " I said, trying my best not to shout. We were standing In the middle of the platform, and people were looking at us strangely. I fought to control my temper.

    "I thought I was your friend!" Alexi didn't bother to try and lower his voice. The fact that he meant it was why I lost it.

    "Friends don't try to kill me!"

    "Jake, I had no choice! They would have killed me!"

    "That's bull. Of course you had a choice. Kill me and get on with your happy excuse for a life, or don't kill me and die with honor and loyalty. It's what a better man than you would have done. It's what I would have done!" I shoved him away violently before stepping onto the train. “Don't come near me again, or I swear I will kill you.” The doors closed in his face.

    I felt it coming, triggered by the episode with my ex best friend. I tugged at my glove. A throbbing pulse had started on my wrist. Peeling up my sleeve to look, I watched the dragon printed where the tendons rippled. It slowly opened its mouth and breathed a slow waterfall of ink. Droplets spread out along the cobwebs of black lines already wrapping my forearm. I watched the new tendrils form as I leaned my skull against the Plexiglas subway window.

    It was almost my stop.

    I could make it.

    By the time I staggered out of the station into the half-sun of evening, I was shaking with the effort of holding it back. My entire body ached with it. My hand was numb by now, I no longer felt the pain in the tips of my fingers. My long, thin face grimaced as another spasm ran through my entire left arm. Unable to bear even the slight pressure of leather, I tore off the glove. There was nobody on the streets to see anyway. A black viscous liquid dripped slowly from my fingertips, my paper white skin stained gray. I was losing the battle.

    Just A little bit farther, I thought. Begged. Thank god it was late enough, there was no one else on the street. I let my useless arm hang by my side as I reached for the doorknob with my good hand. Twisting the key in the lock, I weakly called out into the empty brownstone before falling into oblivion.

    I opened my eyes slowly. I didn't dare move quite yet. Genesis' worried eyes were on me, but she knew enough not to touch me when I was at this stage. My sister sat on the couch, her knees tucked up to her chin. Slowly and carefully, I levered myself sideways onto one elbow, turning away from her so she didn't see the pain etched onto my face.

    “Isi.” She didn't protest the use of the old pet name. “How long was I out?”

    “A-about an hour.” She was lying. I could always tell. It had been longer than that. I groaned and sat up, holding my head in my good hand. Genna unfolded herself and walked across the room, leaning against the kitchen counter. “That was a bad one, Jake. They're starting to last longer.” I didn't look at her. I looked at my hand instead. It was still dripping with the black stuff, and my entire hand was stained black.

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Chapter 1


Hannah Murrayas Liri

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