Benjamin Dragon - Awakening (The Chronicles of Benjamin Dragon)

BOOK: Benjamin Dragon - Awakening (The Chronicles of Benjamin Dragon)
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“Benjamin Dragon: Awakening”

Book 1 of The Chronicles of Benjamin Dragon

Copyright © 2013 Warrior Born Publishing. All Rights Reserved

Author: C. G. Cooper

Editor: Karen Rought

(
http://www.BenjaminDragon.com
)

 

This is a work of fiction. Characters, names, locations and events are all products of the author’s imagination. Any similarities to actual events or real persons are completely coincidental.

 

 

Dedications

 

To my amazing wife who never tires of my outlandish stories, I love you, K, and couldn’t do it without you!

To my entire family and amazing group of friends that have supported me unconditionally. You guys are awesome.

To all the amazing young readers, feed your talents, smile often, don’t wish away your youth and always make new friends.

Chapter 1: Bullied

 

The boy shuffled slowly down the bright school hallway. Papers fluttered on the ground as he passed and the smell of the French fries from lunch lingered in the air. There was more trash around because of the flyers for the dance on Friday. Benjamin wouldn’t be going. His father had said he should ask someone, but who would he ask? Benjamin didn’t have any friends.

This was his second school for the academic year. Moving was part of Benjamin’s family life. They’d moved again because of his mother’s job. His father also traveled all the time to help companies fix whatever they were doing wrong. Sometimes he came home after what he called a “restructuring trip.” Benjamin knew that meant he’d had to fire people from their jobs. His dad, usually loud and happy, was always quiet after those trips. He’d sit watching ESPN with a distant look in his eyes, not really watching. Benjamin made sure he got his dad extra beers on those nights.

The school bell rang. Doors opened with crashes along the hall and students rushed out, chatting excitedly with their classmates. Benjamin kept his eyes glued to the paper in his hands. It was a class schedule the school counselor had given him. Advanced English, Advanced Algebra, Advanced, Advanced, Advanced. It was his first day at the new school. He’d eaten his packed lunch by himself.

Benjamin was a smart kid…a really smart kid. He was only ten, but his parents and the school system had agreed that he should skip two grades. There weren’t many public schools that could give him what he needed in his age appropriate grade. Sometimes Benjamin wished he wasn’t so smart. Nobody had asked him if he’d wanted to skip grades.

Walking through the throngs of locker-slamming kids, Benjamin peeked up every few quick steps. The last thing he needed was to bump into someone. He was almost a head shorter than most of the others. Embarrassing.

Thankfully, he made it out of the crowded school and into the bus waiting area. He looked for bus 29, the one with Mrs. Wilkinson driving. She was nice. Old, but nice. Benjamin just hated how she talked to him like he was five. There was always a hint of pity in her eyes.

Bus 29 wasn’t parked yet. That meant he’d have to wait. Benjamin pulled the cell phone his mom had given him out of his jean’s pocket. No messages, no texts and no missed calls. Typical. All the boys and girls around him were texting and checking their Facebook accounts. Benjamin wasn’t allowed to have a Facebook account yet. His mom said it would expose him to bad stuff. He had one anyway. His parents didn’t know about it. He knew more about computers than they did.

Benjamin checked his Facebook account and breathed a sigh of relief. There was a message from Erica, one of his only friends from his old school.

how was your 1st day?

Benjamin typed a quick reply.

i survived

As he closed the app, Benjamin got bumped to the side by a group of three larger boys. The biggest one turned with a sneer.

“Watch where you’re going, shrimpy,” he said.

Benjamin didn’t say anything. He knew it was better to just be invisible. This time, that tactic didn’t work.

“I said, watch where you’re going,” the boy growled. His friends watched expectantly.

“I’m sorry,” Benjamin offered quietly.

“What did you say?”

“I said I’m sorry.”

“Sorry doesn’t cut it around here, new kid. What’s your name?”

“Benja…”

“Oh that’s right!” The boy turned to his friends. “I heard Miss Lesindry talking about the new kid. He has some funny last name.” Turning back to Benjamin, “Isn’t that right, shrimpy?”

Benjamin closed his eyes for a second and took a deep breath. His hands shook.

“I asked you a question, shrimpy. What’s your last name?”

More kids were crowding around the humiliating scene. Girls and boys pointed at Benjamin.

“Dragon,” he whispered to his feet.

“Say it louder, shrimpy.”

Benjamin looked up slowly. “My name is Benjamin Dragon.”

The small group howled with laughter. Taunts flew at him from all directions.

“Look at the little dragon!”

“Breath fire, dragon!”

“Where are your scales, dragon?!”

Unseen by Benjamin, one of the other boys snuck up behind him and pulled Benjamin’s pants down. He stood silently, eyes as big as saucers, a sheen of tears coating them. Benjamin finally got the nerve to bend down and pull his jeans back up.

Someone started a chant that quickly spread. “Dragon, dragon, why your pants saggin’? Dragon, dragon, why your pants saggin’?”

With eyes watering, Benjamin tried to push his way past the older students.

“Where do you think you’re going, saggin’ dragon?!” the ring leader yelled.

He grabbed Benjamin by the collar and threw him to the ground. The crowd yelled, “Fight, fight, fight!”

No adults came to Benjamin’s aid.

“Get up and fight me, saggy draggy.”

Benjamin looked up in despair. He raised his palms and noticed that he’d skinned his hands on the concrete. Blood seeped out in tiny lines.

“Aw, look at saggy draggy. He’s got a boo boo. You get a boo boo, saggy?”

Benjamin got to his feet and wiped his hands on his jeans. His mom wouldn’t be happy. She always liked him to be ‘presentable.’

A single tear dripped from his right eye and fell onto the pavement.

“Look at saggy, guys. He’s crying. Maybe we should call his mommy.”

The laughter and jeers hit a new level of hysteria. Boys and girls fed off the charged energy. It felt like an electric current passing through the group.

Without warning, the bully rushed Benjamin. The crowd hushed and time slowed. It seemed to take forever for the two to connect. Benjamin raised a hand, palm out, just like cops you see directing traffic. It couldn’t stop the bully. Benjamin closed his eyes.

The collision never happened. Later, students would tell the principal that the new kid had punched Nathan (the bully) in the chest. If anyone had looked closely, they would have noticed that the two boys never touched. Instead, the bully was thrown back into the crowd like someone had pulled an invisible string tied around his body.

Benjamin examined his hand in shock as if expecting to find a gun held tight. There was only the scraped and bleeding heel.

The crowd hushed. Then the whispers started. Someone was trying to wake up the bully.

“What’s going on here?” the adult voice came out of nowhere.

Children scattered, leaving the bully lying on the ground and Benjamin standing with mouth hanging open.

The teacher looked down at the boy on the ground then back up at Benjamin.

“What happened here?” the teacher asked with a scowl.

“I don’t…I don’t know…”

The teacher yelled for help and three other teachers materialized. Where had they been two minutes before? Stupid teachers.

One of the teachers bent down to check the bully.

“He’s breathing,” she announced.

The first teacher pointed a finger at Benjamin. “You are coming with me to the principal’s office.”

Benjamin’s head dropped to his chest as he followed the man back into the school.

What a great way to start at a new school. 

Chapter 2
: Questioning

 

They’d waited for Benjamin’s parents to arrive. He’d had to sit outside like a criminal. The security guard had taken away his backpack and cell phone.

Now Benjamin sat across from the
principal, Mr. Kent, flanked by his two parents. They were both in their work clothes. Benjamin’s father, who was smiling affably, wore an expensive pin striped suit that perfectly fit his athletic form. He’d loosened his tie.

Benjamin’s mother sat with a frown in her grey skirt and blue blouse. Her suit jacket was folded on her lap. She’d been in a courtroom when the school called. She was a lawyer and the reason they moved so much. They had to move from big case to big case for something she called ‘litigation.’

Benjamin’s parents were both very attractive. The perfect power couple.

“As I was saying, Mr. Dragon…” said Mr. Kent.

“Please, call me Tim.”

“Thank you, Tim. As I was saying, the young man your son assaulted is now lying in the hospital emergency room. It looks like he has multiple broken ribs. We cannot let this go unpunished.”

Benjamin’s mother spoke up. “How is it that this even happened, Mr. Kent? Surely you have staff that monitor the children so no one gets bullied. Especially the new students?” She arched an eyebrow. It was one of her signature courtroom moves.

Mr. Kent nodded. “We do, Mrs. Dragon, but it all happened so quickly, and we can’t have eyes everywhere. Like I mentioned earlier, the testimony we’ve gotten so far from the student witnesses--”

“Testimony? Were they under oath, Mr. Kent? Because I find it very hard to believe that my son started the fight or that he assaulted the other boy. Have you asked Benjamin what happened?”

Everyone looked at Benjamin.

“We, uh, haven’t had a chance to...” started Mr. Kent.

“Okay then,” said Tanya Dragon. She faced her son. “What happened, Benjamin?”

There was little compassion in her eyes. She was all business. It was a show for her to put on in front of the principal.

“I…I don’t know,” stammered Benjamin.

“Come on, Benjamin. Just tell the truth,” his mother prodded.

Before he could answer, the assistant principal stuck his head in the door.

“We just took a look at the surveillance video, Mr. Kent.”

“And?”

“It looks like the Pratt kid--”

“Nathan,” said the Principal.

“Right, Nathan Pratt. It looks like he was the one who started the whole thing.”

“What about how Mr. Pratt got hurt? Did my son punch him like the other kids say?” asked Timothy Dragon, a small hint of pride creeping into his voice as he glanced at his son and winked.

The assistant principal stepped all the way into the office and scratched his balding head. “Well, the angle of the camera didn’t give us a clear picture. It looks like Nathan Pratt rushed your son and then went flying backwards.”

Benjamin’s mom looked triumphantly back at the Principal. “There you have it. Benjamin is not responsible. It sounds like he protected himself.”

Sweat dotted Mr. Kent’s blotchy forehead. He adjusted his necktie nervously.

“Yes, that may be the case, but…”

“There is no but, Mr. Kent. Are you running a zoo around here? Do I need to get on the phone with the commissioner? I’m sure he’d be excited to learn about the bullying that goes on under your roof,” said Mrs. Dragon.

Mr. Kent looked at his assistant principal with beseeching eyes, then back to the fiery eyes of Mrs. Dragon.

“School policy states that any student engaged in fighting will be automatically suspended, Mrs. Dragon. My hands are tied,” he almost pleaded.

Tanya Dragon shook her head slowly. Timothy Dragon looked on with a tight smile. He knew the drill. His wife could crush the toughest opponent in or out of the courtroom. It was one of the reasons he’d fallen in love with her.

“So let me get this right, Mr. Kent. If a student is attacked by another student, the student should just lie down and take it?”

Mr. Kent’s mouth opened and closed like a goldfish.

“What’s the verdict, Mr. Kent?” asked Mrs. Dragon.

The principal grabbed the back of his neck and squeezed like it hurt. He tried to match Tanya Dragon’s stare.

“As I said, it’s not my decision…”

“You’re the principal for God’s sake! My son was assaulted and now you want to punish him. What’s it gonna be, Mr. Kent?”

The principal’s eyes looked like they wanted to pop out of his head.

“I suppose we can allow Benjamin to attend in-school suspension for one week.”

“Not good enough, Mr. Kent.”

“Mrs. Dragon, I’m sure you understand the spot you’re putting me in. Nathan Pratt’s parents are very well respected in this town, and I have a set of rules to uphold.”

“You let me worry about the Pratts, Mr. Kent. I want you to make this situation disappear, or I’m going to the commissioner and the local newspaper. I’m sure other parents would like to hear about how you’re allowing students to be assaulted.”

The threat hung in the air like a throbbing fireball. Neither side wanted to touch it. Mr. Kent looked like he was about to have a heart attack.

“Very well. No suspension.”

Tanya Dragon stood up quickly, followed by her husband. Benjamin remained in his seat, looking glum.

“Thank you for your time, Mr. Kent. Come on, Benjamin.”

Benjamin stared up at his mother and sighed. Looking like he was carrying a hundred pounds on his shoulders, he stood up and followed his parents out of the principal’s office.

 

BOOK: Benjamin Dragon - Awakening (The Chronicles of Benjamin Dragon)
7.99Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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