Excerpt from "Of Fury and Fangs" by Kyoko M
By: Kyoko M
It was one-thirty a.m. when all hell broke loose.
The security alarm shrieked, its panicked cries high and deafening, and nearly catapulted Dr. Rhett "Jack" Jackson off of his comfortable couch where he'd been sprawled in an exhausted, impromptu slumber. Jack let out a startled yip of surprise and leapt to his feet on impulse, blinking hard to clear the sleep from his brown eyes. He winced as the screaming alarm jabbed at his eardrums and hurried over to the alarm pad against the wall not far from the front door. He punched in a code and the alarm fell into blessed silence. He sighed in relief and then swiped to another screen to see what had caused the disturbance.
The security alarm, unfortunately, was a bit overdramatic. Over the past year, Jack had gotten used to it crying wolf every so often due to the system's oversensitivity. Once, it had gone off when his daughter Naila had slapped both palms against the downstairs window facing the backyard. Another time when their German shepherd Brunhilde had been teaching herself to open the sliding door. Its first two weeks of installation had been a nightmare as well, since it often went off and its occupants couldn't even identify the source of the problem. By now, Jack had a lot of reservations about it, and had been considering switching to a new system.
He rubbed his eyes with his palms before he read the alert aloud in a gravelly, sleep-deprived voice. "Upstairs master bedroom. My ass, it's the bedroom window. Unless it's the damn Easter Bunny, I'm going back to sleep."
Jack took two steps towards the couch and then heard his daughter's distressed wails, wincing. "Oh, right. The munchkin."
He instead turned and headed for the stairs, yawning and scratching his messy brown hair, calling out, "Hang on, chubby monkey, Daddy's coming."
Jack reached the top of the stairs.
And stopped dead.
There was a dragon standing in the darkened hallway.
140 Decatur St.
Atlanta, GA 30303