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In the Empire of the Golden Dragon
By BEN RAHA
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2011 Ben Raha
All right reserved.
Chapter OneAt Home
"Hello, Mr. Harper! I'm glad you came! Oh, Mr. and Mrs. Smith!" said Mr. Wang. He bowed nearly to the ground before a richly dressed couple as they came in. "Oh, Mrs. Rouges, how do you do? And you, Arthur, old friend, what a spiffy suit you have! And your children look so nice!" he said as two young girls entered, holding stiff parasols. The guests took off their snow-covered cloaks and stepped into the parlor of the house. The ladies went into the living room to sip tea with Mrs. Wang, while the men went into the den to discuss politics and stock market prices. As more guests came in, the house got noisier, but the adults seemed not to notice.
The children ran around the house playing hide-and-seek. "Ninety-eight, ninety-nine, one hundred! Ready or not, here I come!" shouted Jake, bursting out of the closet. Their maid, Mrs. Tobin, almost had a heart attack when she saw the dirty boy run right by her. Jake raced to the grand staircase and started to climb. He spied a figure sitting on a chandelier high above him. "Lucy! I see you!" he yelled. He ran into the empty guest room, which concealed a thousand and one hiding places. He thought he saw the pillows move, and when he yanked them off, there was one of the Bradford twins, giggling. He opened the wardrobe and went inside to look through the clothes. Checking the back corner, he heard the wardrobe door slam. When he opened it, a stampede of children rushed out. He raced into the hallway, but too late. Suddenly he saw one of the potted plants move. He crept over to it and found three boys hiding in the branches. He looked around and moved off down the hallway.
All the guests had arrived, when suddenly there came a sharp knock on the door. Mr. Wang opened the door, and there stood his twin brother, Mr. Fung. Mr. Fung was a tall man with black hair. His face was long and thin, with piercing, ice-blue eyes; a long, crooked nose; and high cheekbones. In his right hand he carried a cobra skin walking stick topped by the snake's head. The eyes glowed green, with flashes of red in them. The mouth was open, seemingly ready to strike. The gleaming fangs curved downward in an arc. Rattlesnake rattles hung at the end of the stick, with a sharp point sticking out. Around his waist hung a sharp, curving sword; three daggers were hidden among his silk clothes. His ruffled pants were covered with a long black skirt. Over his black shirt with silver and ruby dragon emblems, he wore a vest covered with lizard scales. Around his neck hung a diamond dragon brooch with ruby eyes and emerald claws. A silk turban set with pearls was on his head. As Mr. Fung took off his black cloak, he revealed a small sack of gold coins at his waist. A modern iPhone was in his breast pocket.
He bowed deeply and strode into the den. His son Suo followed, carrying a small sword at his waist. Mr. Fung turned around and said, "Suo, go enjoy yourself! Play with the other children! Your toys are in your backpack." The children and even some of the adults laughed. Imagine, a fourteen-year-old boy bringing toys to a friend's house! Suo turned red and rushed upstairs. He turned the corner at the top of the staircase and raced down a dark hallway. Suddenly he heard someone. It was Sally, trying to hide. Suo hid behind a pot of geraniums and waited until Sally went by. Then he opened his backpack and pulled out a screwdriver, a laser, a flashlight, a box of various tools, and a switch machine he had invented that sent two hundred volts of electricity into anything the little wire touched. He planned to open any locked safes with it. Then he took out a hamburger and started munching.
Downstairs Mr. Fung was listening to the men's debates with scorn. "But, Mr. Smith, I insist that the stock market has risen six percent since last night, and not five and a half!" Mr. Harding exploded "That would mean that if I invested in the Cauldron deal, I would gain two hundred and fifty thousand. But my broker claims sales will pitch downward twelve percent, which would mean my company would be affected, causing me to lose four million, three-hundred seventy-three thousand, four-hundred and eighty-one dollars and fifteen cents!" he said, his eyes bulging at the very thought. Mr. Fung snickered and yawned when Mr. Harding proceeded with his lecture. "That would be a tremendous loss for my company and would shut down our chances of signing that deal with that apple sauce company! Or was it some sort of computer store?" he muttered. Mr. Fung held his iPhone and tapped at the apple symbol. "I think you might mean Apple industries?" he inquired with a smirk.
Mr. Smith couldn't contain himself any longer and burst out, "But I said that the stocks dropped five and a half percent! Not rose! That m-means that I have made a bad deal with Worldwide Electro! Now my company will lose not four, but forty, million dollars! This shall be my ruin!" he shrieked.
"Relax, Mr. Smith! You still have several hundred million left!" cackled Mr. Fung. Mr Smith's jaw dropped down and as the comical situation settled in, he fainted dead away. Finally Mr. Fung tired of making a sport on the businessmen's talking and asked, "Where is your restroom lo-cated?" with a slight Chinese accent.
"Top floor, down the hallway. It'll be on your left!" said Mr. Wang as he sprayed smelling salts on Mr. Smith's face. Mr. Fung bowed and exited the room.
As soon as the door behind him was safely shut, Mr. Fung grinned. "Brainless fools! To think that we're actually related!" He chuckled. He crept up the banister and ran into the dark hallway. Jake was just ahead of him, but Mr. Fung did not see him in the dark. But Jake heard him, and he quickly hurried into the huge starlight room, which had a dome. He spotted Sally. "Get down here and be quiet!" he hissed. Sally looked puzzled but came down. The teens hid behind a large couch and watched as their cousin Suo and uncle Fung met.
Mr. Fung grabbed Suo roughly and dragged him to the door of their father's office. The kids watched as Mr. Fung took out a glowing key, made entirely from the backbone of a cobra. The key gleamed light blue in the darkness. As Mr. Fung inserted it into the elaborate keyhole, it shone brighter and brighter. Then a sharp click sounded, ands the key instantly stopped glowing. The job was completed. The door to their father's personal office opened. Sally and her brother gasped! No one except their father was allowed in his office. Even they, his children had been in it only seven times. Jake jumped up and raced to the open door. He peeked in and saw Suo place a weird contraption on Mr. Wang's desk. He stuck a little wire into the keyhole and pressed a red button. Jake laughed silently, confident the electronic fingerprint and password system and the computer-protected camera and voice recognition security would thwart Suo.
Suddenly there was a buzzing noise, and the desk shook violently. With a groan it cracked in two. Sally shook with rage. How dare these worthless relatives destroy their property! Sally shot into the room and sent Mr. Fung out the window with a kung fu kick. Mr. Fung didn't even have time to yell before the cold waters of the pond below closed over his head. Quickly Jake grabbed Suo and swung him against a replica of an ancient samurai warrior. Suo hit the sheathed blade and groaned. But Jake was not finished yet. He flipped Suo onto the cracked desk and grabbed the remote. "Let's see how you'll dance with two hundred volts of electricity running through your veins," he laughed and pressed the button. Suo flipped into the air, blue lightning bolts shooting from his fingertips. Jake grinned and pressed a lever. Kablam! The device exploded, sending Suo out the window. Just as Mr. Fung resurfaced, his son crashed into the pond.
As Jake and Sally raced outside, Suo climbed onto what looked like a little island. Jake waved his hand over the motion sensor, and the little island Suo was sitting on came alive and sent Suo screaming into the air. He splashed back into the pond and pushed away a sinking "rock." The "rock" grew a head and bit Suo's rear end. "Waaaaah!" he cried as two curious trout tugged off his shoes. A largemouth bass grabbed the shiny buckle and undid Suo's belt. Off came his pants.
Meanwhile Mr. Fung was having troubles of his own. First of all, his shoes got stuck in the seaweed. His sword went down next, and just as he was sure he was in the worst position possible, a large fish grabbed his brooch and made off with it. Mr. Fung dogpaddled to shore and crawled up the bank. "Aaaaaaaugh!" screamed some cute chicks as he came out. "A mud monster! Help us!" they screamed and promptly fainted. Just as they came to, out of the water stumbled Suo, searching for his pants. He saw the girls staring at him. His face turned crimson, and he tried to hide his whites behind a lily pad. The girls started to giggle. Only then did Suo become aware of the frog and the lily pad, which were residing on his head. Mr. Fung was in as much trouble as Suo. His magic sand had spilled down his shirt and his phone was missing. "Ugh! Oh, no! I've lost my marbles!' he screamed, tearing at his seaweed-covered hair.
Jake snickered and yelled, "Well I can see that!" As the two seaweed—and algae-covered "monsters" staggered across the white, snow-covered lawn, a loud waltz began to play, and the people cheered. As the unfortunate relatives crawled into the weeds, the guests laughed and started dancing to the music.
An hour later Mr. Fung, aka the swamp monster, was lying in his recliner. The massager came on, and he groaned in pain as the shiatsu hit a few painful spots. Finding painful spots was no great feat for the machine, as Mr. Fung was simply covered with bruises. "Aaaaah!" he yelled as the machine hit a particularly painful spot. "Those damned kids! To do this to their very own uncle! They'll pay for this!" he snarled and turned the massager off. He heard Suo singing in the shower and yelled, "Suo! Shut up! Can't you see that some people are trying to relax?
The singing stopped, and Suo came out of the shower. "My coffee!" yelled Mr. Fung. Suo ran into the kitchen and returned with a plate piled high with cakes and cookies, plus a large mug of coffee. "Here you are, Dad!" he said as he held out the tray. Suddenly he slipped, and the heavily loaded tray landed on his enraged and shocked father.
"You ... You brainless, pea-brained ..." he screamed but then the coffee pot fell over his head and stopped his next words.
Suo looked puzzled. "Dad, how can I be pea-brained if I am brainless? That doesn't make sense!" he said as he scratched his head.
Mr. Fung finally managed to pull the coffee pot off of his head. He staggered into the bathroom to wash in the hot tub. As he went in, he slipped on the wet floor and fell head first into the toilet. He reached up to pull himself out of the smelly water and accidentally flushed it.
Whoosh! went the water. "Urk!" gurgled Mr. Fung after he managed to pull his clean head out of the sucking water. He stumbled backward and toppled into the full hot tub. At that moment Suo peeked in to see what the terrible noises were that were coming out of the bathroom. "Dad! I didn't know that you bathed with your clothes on!" he exclaimed. He watched his groggy father slip out of the hot tub and sprawl onto the floor.
An hour later Mr. Fung lay in his king-size waterbed and sipped on some icy cold, all-natural juice. Suddenly, blam! The water bed exploded. Mr. Fung lay on the floor in a puddle of water. "Suo!" he screamed as he grabbed onto a cord. Unfortunately the cord was connected to a radio. Bonk! "Ouch!" yelled Mr. Fung. Blam! went the lights. "Oof!" went Mr. Fung.
"Bleugh!" wheezed Suo. Five minutes later they were on their way to the hospital. That was the end of their party.
"Jake, Sally! C'mon down! Let's start the lessons early!" called Dad.
"Aw, come on. Who needs this old boring stuff!" whispered Jake. It was Saturday afternoon, and their dad had been inspired again. They had pitched quite a fit six months earlier when Dad had announced his idea at dinner. Now it was time to start the next boring lesson on boring old China.
"Dad, how come I have to sit here in this stuffy room while my friends play? It's school vacation!" Jake argued.
His dad answered him readily. "Because you guys have Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi for a great-great-grandfather! Qin, pronounced like chin, gave us the word China. The first emperor's name will never die. Qin Shi Huangdi oversaw a standard form of writing so that commands could be read throughout the country. This script has not changed much."
"I don't care who this crazy old King Shit Howdy is, but he sure is one royal pain in the A!" mumbled Jake.
"Aw, c'mon! It's not that bad! Besides, it's high time you young people learn your own secret language!" said Dad, trying to liven up the mood. "Now we will start the next lesson on Jon Guo, written I think. First today we will learn how to say wrong! It is not the new way that you already know but the ancient traditional way! Make a fist and look at it! Look at the cracks! You should see something like the character bu, written [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. You got that? Good! Next, let me teach you how to say dragon. The Dragon was a very important symbol in China, he was the symbol of peace and power. He was written like this [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. Let me read to you the rest of the dragon lesson! It's on page fifty-two! You may take notes for the quiz in lesson 86. Now as for the text! That will be ..." A funny look crossed his face. "Now that's weird! I wonder what happened!" He muttered.
"Uh dad? The text you were saying?" said Jake with a ready look. Mr. Wang frowned. "That's just the problem! The text is gone! You wouldn't know anything about it I suppose?"
Jake rolled his eyes. "Yeah sure! Like I would want to study extra!" His dad shrugged and flipped the page. "Anyway let's skip this lesson for now and start lesson 83! Our lesson is on the art of ..."
Two hours later a figure popped out of the bushed at Uncle Lou's house. "OK! We have found House X! Target gone! Primary obstacle! Penetrating building and locating evidence! Uh, Sally? How will we do that?" Asked Jake staring in awe at the huge oaken mansion in front of them. Sally put on a pair of rubber coated gloves and leaped onto the handrail on the porch. Grabbing hold of the gutter she scrambled onto the thin veranda roof. Jumping from window top window and occasionally shinnying up the gutters she made it to the large central dome. Lassoing the steeple in the center she unscrewed the cap and lowered herself to the bottom. She opened the door and dragged in Jake who was staring at the top of the house in awe. "Wow!" he whispered and went in. They searched all the rooms for a hiding place when Sally noticed a dragon painting hanging in the huge starlight room. She looked into the place for the eye and saw the glint on metal in it. Quickly taking a thing titanium wire she twisted it until the head popped out. Reaching in, she found a stack of yellowed papers, a small chest, and in a large manila envelope, the lessons! As she turned around Jake ran in. "Uncle Lou's car just rolled in! You wouldn't believe the wheels on that baby! It's a McLaren!" Sally Grabbed the papers and shoved the chest at Jake. "How could you admire his car when we've just legally committed a burglary? Let's get out of here!" she exclaimed running down the steps. "Hey! You said it was legal! Besides, why are you going down? By now they'll be walking to the front door!" Sally turned and paced the room. What will we do!" she cried in frustration. "Well if you don't mind ..." said Jake slyly.
"Good-bye Uncle Lou! We love your car!" yelled Jake as the shiny red McLaren sped out of the driveway leaving a bewildered Uncle Lou behind to choke on their dust.
Excerpted from In the Empire of the Golden Dragon by BEN RAHA Copyright © 2011 by Ben Raha. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Azure has mix of silver and gold scales. She has purple eyes and purple wings. She never talks.
Go to whitewood res one and tell barkpelt to go to res one of roxxi cuz i want to b her mate
A very beautiful olive green girl dragon with blue eyes. She is very loyal and caring, but battle ready. She has no family ties, but would like a mate and kids more than anything. Her fire is a magnicifent blue color.
NAME:gingerDESCRIPTION:a ginger girl dragon,silver horns,silver claws, green eyes,black swirls on body, fro where body meets wings iit fades from ginger up to gold. PERSONALITY:strong witted,strong/muscular, kind,secretivly caringBREATH POWER:smokePERSONAL INFO:no mate/kids. Hopes to have them!!!
A striking red fire dragon. the Most highly feared warrior there is.
Position:elder. Gender:female. Past:she was raised in a nest far south from here and has many many stories to tell. Description:a light blueish gray scaled dragon with a claw missing.
Gender: Male. Age: Two days. Looks: pure black with black eyes and gold claws. Breath power: darkfire ( deadly to all )
LEADER-----Male. Mate is ivy.----brown back. gold wings. bronze horns claws and stomache.----secretly caring. Confident. Loyal to dragon empire---strong.------
NAME: Gem. AGE:14 GENDER: Female. DESCRIPTION: A sapphire-blue dragon with dark blue eyes ivory claws horns & back spikes. Neck area & area along my spikes is a maroon color & my feet & the last seven inches of my tail are also maroon. FIRE POWER: When i breathe fire on my enemies they turn to stone that can never be undone. Also when i breathe on rocks of any kind they turn into gemstones of all kinds. PERSONALITY: Shy & aloof around dragons i dont know but once i get to know you im kind sweet caring gentle & very considerate of everydragons feelings. EXTRAS: I can read minds so i know just what you're thinking or just how you feel. I can also shapeshift into a human girl & a female werecat. MATE: None but i want one really bad. DRAGONLINGS: None but i want some real bad. DEN: First result.