Dragons Hill: Book III by J. Barrett - HTML preview

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By: J Barrett




About 20 miles outside of Chicago, in one of the well-to-do enclaves that existed before the

Great Burning, a large mansion stood on a rise in the center of one of the most exclusive of

these. Haunted eyes peered out of the picture window watching men unload weapons and

ammo from a large gray produce truck parked in the driveway. Dixon was a large man; his

6’5” frame held a well-muscled and finely tuned body. A scruffy dark beard and long

disheveled hair combined with red bloodshot eyes gave him a look that said - ‘mess with me at

your own peril’. A former Marine Black Ops member; he towered over most men, and could

take down any he encountered without much effort. He had been the best in his outfit and took

great pride in his abilities; when in the field he was cold, methodical, and emotionless - a

perfect killing machine. And now with no soul – he was deadlier than ever.

The men unloaded the many crates of ammunition slowly and with great care storing them

almost reverently on shelves that lined one wall of the large garage. They took a number of

weapons out of the van and stored the majority of these with the ammo; but they took their

own weapons with them into the mansion. Dixon called them all to attention in a low voice as

they gathered in the entry alcove; nervous twitching and low conversation confirmed this man

was their leader, and they feared him. Dixon ordered them to seek shelter in one of the

surrounding mansions and to pick their places well as they would ride out the long cold winter


Upon entering the exclusive neighborhood they had found few survivors, and Dixon had made

short work of any who resisted. It had been three years since the Great Burning, and there

seemed to be fewer and fewer reports of the black monsters in the area, so he wasn’t

particularly worried about them. His ‘weatherman’ had predicted the previous cold fronts,

and now predicted the first blizzard of the season was on its way. Dixon decided to ride it out

in comfort this time in one of these luxurious estates. No one disagreed with him; no one ever

disagreed with him. He claimed the largest estate for himself and his seconds-in-command.

Guards were posted and the remainder of his men was sent out to scour the other large homes

for any and all food and drink.

Hours later Dixon gave orders he was not to be disturbed unless there was an emergency; and

it ‘damn well better be an emergency’. Others had learned the hard way what constituted an

emergency, at the cost of their lives. Dixon grabbed a bottle of Jack Daniels in his powerful

hand and walked into the large living room, taking a long swig. He paused at the window that

looked out onto the back of the large estate; enjoying the burn as the liquor slid down his

throat. A pathway led down a small incline to the abandoned tennis courts and swimming pool.

The sun was setting on a cold blue horizon and he watched as its colors played across the dirty

algae-ridden pool. He turned around abruptly and looked about as if expecting someone to be

standing there. He waited for a few minutes and then slowly walked thru the large rooms of

the house, taking a swig from the bottle every now and then.

On the second floor he discovered what appeared to be a private study. The décor was very

masculine, dark paneled walls, small bookcase, and a large soft leather couch. An impressive

leather chair stood behind a desk so ostentatious, and yet so definitely male, he was drawn to it immediately. He sat himself down in the leather chair and began to go thru some of the desk’s

drawers. The bottom drawer on his left produced a pearl-handled Colt 45. He leaned back

admiring the weapon, yeah; this is definitely me… he thought to himself smiling.


He rose and went over to the plush sofa and plopped himself down grabbing a throw pillow and

sliding it under his head. He downed the bottle of Jack and slammed it on the rectangular

coffee table. Leaning back again, he closed his eyes and let his body go, releasing the tension at last. He cleared his mind of everything, and then as he dozed, he allowed himself to


His mind took him back, back to the cave where he had found her; back to the ultimate joy that

had gripped his mind when he made first contact.

In his last battle with the black monsters he had become separated from his unit. They had

attacked with such a vengeance that he barely made it to safety. He had run to a ledge and

jumped down the side of a mountain, sliding and rolling down a considerable way, striking his

head several times on boulders. He ended up at the bottom of a small ravine in a clump of

bushes, unconscious and hidden from view; the rest of his team was not so lucky. He

remembered coming to and finding nothing but scorched earth and charred bodies all around

him. He wandered about trying to find his way back to his unit. He was turned around and the

ground was charred beyond recognition. He couldn’t travel very far by day, and night travel

was out of the question with the monsters in the area. A bad situation quickly got worse and he

ended up on his own in the middle the monsters hunting ground.

He had been wandering for several months and came upon a desolate valley; the land was

scorched and blackened. He had to be very careful, always locating a place he could hide in

nearby in case the bastards showed up. He had finally found a cave in the side of a mountain;

it seemed to go on forever. He spotted one of the monsters above and retreated to the back of

the cave. He was trapped, so he decided to explore it further when a wrong turn led him to a

dead end where he slipped and fell into a large crevasse. He slid down at least a hundred feet

before he landed in a puddle of some horrible smelling liquid, which he later discovered was

dragon urine. It was very dark, and he couldn’t get his bearings. He could see some light down

a long pathway, so he quietly headed for it keeping alert to any sounds.

It opened into a large cavern, and the ground was littered with odd shaped orbs. He realized

quickly that they were dragon eggs of various sizes – he was in a hatching ground. He quickly

backed against a wall and dropped to his knees carefully looking about; there was no

movement or sound. He began to move forward slowly when he heard a small child’s voice

calling out and froze on the spot.

Is anyone there? A small plaintive female voice called, Please, can you help me?

A child trapped in here with all these eggs, he thought, probably food for when they hatch.

He looked about frantically searching for any indication of where she could be. His natural

instincts kicked in and he made a decision - no way will those beasts feast on this child!

He looked about and thought, where in the hell are you, kid?

The reply was immediate.

You are somewhere very near; I can feel you close by.


Dixon spun around scanning the ground near him. All he saw was a small gelatinous egg.

Going down on one knee he looked closer at it and noted it was honey-colored and appeared to

be sparkling in the dim light. For several seconds he seemed spellbound, mesmerized by the

dancing lights. He stood up and looked all about the chamber. He became aware that there

were several of these colored gelatinous eggs about the floor of the chamber, but none like the

one at his feet.

He looked down again at the small egg at his feet and reached out to pick it up. He was hit with a huge electrical shock that knocked him down. He landed flat on his butt, stunned for a

moment. Almost immediately his mind was flooded and contact was made.

All the false bravado, all the macho bullshit, the hard outer shell he had erected about himself

dissolved away in an instant. It was replaced with an all-encompassing love unlike anything he

had ever felt before. He would never be alone again; never know rejection again; he would

have a friend who accepted him as he was. Their joining made him happier than he had ever

been in his entire life.

{Dixon stirred in his sleep and smiled at the memory.}

The next several months were spent finding a safe place for the little girl to mature. She

showed him how to get out of the cave and soon they began a long journey to find a safe haven.

If the monsters got wind of her existence, they would surely try to kill her. So he searched for a safe place to hide her while she grew.

Several hundred miles away from the cave he had found her in, Dixon stumbled onto a hidden

opening in the side of a small mountain. Burrowing and squeezing into the opening he found

himself inside a huge cavern. A landslide, probably from an earthquake, had blocked the

entrance. For his purposes, this seemed like a safe place for her. He set up camp in the cavern talking to his charge and telling her all about their safe hideaway. He retrieved small branches and leaves and fashioned them into a nest for the egg. He blocked any openings he found in the

cave, the better to keep her safe from prying eyes. He explored the cave and found a pool of

water at the back, down a long slope. Feeling safe at last, he set in for the duration of her


In the days and weeks that followed the egg began to grow. They spent their days exchanging

knowledge. She explained that the full extent of her knowledge would happen at the hatching,

when they blended as one. But she gave him the knowledge of the history of her kind. For the

first time in his life Dixon felt he was part of something greater than himself; and he was

humbled that he had been chosen to be included in it. He told her about himself leaving

nothing out, and he felt her acceptance of him as he was, without any reservations. She would

teach him a new way to wage war on the devils, she told him, and they would join with others of

her kind and put an end to this horror.

And then one morning, as he was bathing in the pool, she called to him to come quick. He

dressed hurriedly and as he ran towards the main chamber he heard her egg cracking. He

entered the main cavern and saw the shells lying about and looked for her.


She called to him and stepped out into the open light. Dixon stared in awe at her; she was

gorgeous, more than he had envisioned. She was honey colored, stood at least 20 feet, and as

she lowered her beautiful head to him he beheld her dark brown eyes, and the intelligence

beyond them.

I am the Lady Tessa, Warrior Dragon to the First. She began to tell him, you are my savior, my

companion, and my friend. I was chosen for you and you were chosen for me. We are to be Riders

of Light, in the army of the First. We will rid the land of the monsters that kill and destroy for no

other reason than they can.

He felt himself rising in the air and he heard her cool sultry voice calling to him. A flash of

bright light suddenly burst from her and they were encased in it. He felt himself changing, and

the knowledge began to flow. He was in ecstasy, reveling in the joy of full bonding.

And then the bastards burst in.

Dixon lashed out in his sleep at some unseen enemy. “No!” He shouted as tears began to slide

down his face.

Screeching and roaring filled his mind as he remembered what took place when they broke in

and attacked. Lady Tessa dropped him on the ground, sweeping him aside with her tail to

protect him; she spun around and faced her attackers. She fought a terrible battle with the

devils; fire flying in all directions. He was thrown out of the cave and rolled down the side of the hill slamming his head against a rock. He could hear the loud roaring from above; it filled

his mind just before he blacked out. When he came to all was deathly quiet. He searched in his

mind for his friend; but the connection had been severed.


Heart pounding, he ran up the hill to the cave; he found it covered in blood. He searched

everywhere and sadly found her lifeless body towards the back of the cave. She had been torn

to pieces. Dixon howled like a madman, screaming out his anguish.

He held her lifeless head to his chest rocking back and forth and wailing. He thought he had

known pain in his life; but it was nothing compared to the pain of this kind of loss. A dark,

black emptiness filled his mind and his heart - his grief so deep. He could not fathom the pain

he felt… Dixon went mad.

Days passed and he was barely aware; he would be quiet and reflective one minute, and a

raving madman the next. His rages went on and on and in his madness he looked for someone

to blame, someone to take vengeance upon. This ‘First’ she spoke of never came to her aid; he

abandoned her in her hour of need. Dixon would hunt him down and make him pay.

Eventually, through his strong will, he was able to pull himself together; but he was a changed

man. He had one thing on his mind now – revenge! He would find the one responsible for this

and destroy him. He would raise an army, an army so large that none would oppose him. He

would hunt this First down and do to him what had been done to Dixon. He would kill his rider

and watch with hideous glee as the madness overtook him, and then Dixon would kill him.


Days later he gathered his small possessions and left his cave of so much joy and headed out

into the wasteland. He wandered about for some weeks until he stumbled across a band of

marauders who quickly attacked him. They had no idea who or what they were dealing with.

Dixon ran at them screaming and roaring; all they saw was a madman with wild red eyes. His

appearance, wild and disheveled, put them off for a few seconds. He used the time to swiftly

take out their leader; then took over the band of cutthroats, killing any who resisted. The

majority knew it was better to follow than die but they did so out of fear. He took this small

band and went in search of other bands doing the same. As the months went by he slowly

began to build up his forces.

“Aargh!” (He screamed in anguish)

Dixon bolted upright in a cold sweat panting deeply. He wiped his eyes and looked around.

One of his men had come into the room explaining that he had heard him yelling, and asked if

he was okay.

Dixon shot him between the eyes.

“I am now,” he said in a cold dead voice as he watched the red pool slowly form around the

man’s shattered skull.

“I am now.”