Broken Dragon - D.W. Moneypenny


The Chronicles of Mara Lantern, Book 3


The Chronicles of Mara Lantern on Amazon:

Broken Realms (Book 1)

Broken Souls (Book 2)

Broken Dragon (Book 3)

Broken Pixels (Book 4 - Coming Soon)

Learn more about the books at my website.

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The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author. No part of this book may be reproduced or stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise—without express written permission of the publisher.

© 2015 David W. Moneypennny

Published by Nevertheless Publishing

E-book 978-0-9960764-4-9

Paperback 978-0-9960764-5-6

Copy Editor: Denise Barker

Cover Design: damonza

Here be dragons.

-The Hunt-Lennox Globe (map, circa 1510)


The zombies, the poor people taken over by the viral spirit of Juaquin Prado, had limited their damage of Mason Fix-It Shop to the large window out front and the antique gadgets on display there. As Mara stepped into the window, she noted a cuckoo clock with a footprint on its smashed face next to a shattered stained-glass lamp. While several of the shedding victims had entered the shop through the shattered window the night before, it appeared they had simply knocked over a few things, pulled random items off the shelves and left.

Cold air, dust and a thin haze blew through the gaping hole in the window. Red and blue lights strafed the buildings across the street, adding an odd aura to the gray dawn. In the street, firefighters and rescue workers helped dazed people in pajamas and hospital gowns, leading them to ambulances and police cars, presumably taking them home or to the hospital wards from which they had escaped.

They look shell-shocked, but they look normal. Even their skin is beginning to heal. And there are no green ghosties to be seen.

A man in a firefighter’s helmet approached the window and jumped back, startled when he realized Mara stood in the shadows. He looked up at her with bugged eyes but didn’t say anything.

Mara waved and said, “Don’t worry. I’m just assessing the damage.”

Gathering his wits, the fireman said, “Do you have any injured people in there?”

“No, we’re all fine.”

He pointed to Abby’s silver Nissan on the sidewalk in front of the shop door and asked, “Is this your car? We need to tow it out of here and clear the sidewalk.”

“No, it’s not my car.” She saw no point in saying it belonged to a friend. With a caved-in hood and roof, it needed to be towed no matter who owned it.

“Okay, we’ll get it out of here.” He walked farther down the sidewalk, out of sight.

Mara stepped from the window with a crunch, as her shoe ground glass into the wood floor. Walking to the counter, she leaned down and snagged the receiver of the black rotary telephone dangling at the end of its coiled cord. She returned it to its cradle, turned and looked into the rear of the shop.

As bad as it is out here, there’s a bigger mess to deal with back there.

She sighed and walked farther into the shop.

Sam stood with his back to the frame of the entryway, as if he were afraid to enter. Before him, a tiny girl stood on her tiptoes, her emerald-green eyes glittering with joy. She crooked a finger upward, indicating she wanted Sam to bend down to her, like she had a secret to tell. He lowered his face to her, and she placed a palm on his cheek, rubbed it and giggled.

“What’s so funny?” he said.

“It’s not bristly,” the little girl said. She leaned forward and kissed his cheek. “It’s smooth.”

Sam blushed, as his gaze tracked Mara, while she crossed the room and sat down at the cheap resin dinette set that constituted the makeshift break area outside the tiny back office. Ping sat across the table and stared at the girl.

“Now it all makes sense,” Ping said. “She’s a prompter, except her promptings express themselves as metaphysical abilities instead of simple thoughts or ideas. I suppose that’s logical, since a person’s metaphysical talents are dictated by their knowledge, awareness and beliefs, which are little more than organized and sustained thoughts. Incredible. She’s a prompter, just like her father.”

“So explain to me how she got here,” Mara said.

“Excuse me! Who is this girl, and why is she calling me daddy?” Sam asked.

Ping glanced at him but turned back to Mara. “You