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The Adventures of Jack and Winters: ''Dark Rider''
By Max H.
age: 14
New Mexico

A grey cloud lingered overhead the small town called, Johnston village. “Looks like it’s about to rain,” murmured Jack gazing up at the cloudy sky with his pet dog, Winters. Winters lay beside Jack his head on his paws. “We better get home before my mom and dad become worried,” said Jack, standing up and turning around to walk back to the village. Winters gave Jack a look of disappointment, and then followed obediently behind, as Jack started off towards the city.

Halfway there, Jack felt a few raindrops land on his black hair. “Humph, its gonna be pouring by the time we reach home. What you want to bet?” Jack asked Winters.

Winters turned his head slightly and said, “I’d say you should be more positive.”

Jack had a talent that no one else had. He could understand dogs. He had understood dogs since he turned fifteen, and he had been able to see things others could not. Jack had seen ghosts, goblins, and other mythical creatures that should not even exist, but they did.

“Positive? That coming from you?” Jack laughed loudly then added, “Just the other day you were saying that we were all going to be killed by that hoard of goblins.”

“I didn’t know you were good at fighting with swords,” growled Winters looking up at the road ahead. “Jack, why do we always go so far out of town?” scowled Winters, walking to the side of the road as a car passed by.

“I didn’t know I could fight well with a sword; however, my friends and I used to play swords with sticks when we were little,” said Jack, caught up in his memories of his pre-teen years when all his friends started worrying about was cars, games, girls and getting into trouble. “Heh, I guess we all change,” said Jack looking down at Winters trudging along beside him.

“Yeah, people and animals do change with time,” said Winters jogging on ahead of Jack. “Race you,” said Winters happily.

“You’ll win again no doubt,” said Jack, starting to jog beside Winters. No words were needed, the race had started. Jack had taken the lead, but lost it just as fast when Winters took off into a swift sprint and darted past Jack leaving him behind to try to catch up.

“Ha, come on Jack, can't you run faster?” Winters called back to him.

“Shut up!” cried Jack, trying to speed up, but he had already begun to feel tired about ten minutes into the race home.

The dirt road wound through the open plains that stretched on for miles upon miles until it reached the forest that Jack called, “The Ghost Forest,” because so many ghosts resided in it; however, they were all friendly and he still got the chills around them.

“Jack do you give up?” asked Winters slowing down to keep pace by Jack who was trying his best to keep up, but just was not fast enough for the speed of the dog.

“Give up? Are you crazy? I’ve only started,” joked Jack slowing down into a walk. Winters slowed down into a walk as well. Both of them panting and laughing. “Someday I will beat you,” panted Jack bent over, his hands on his knees gasping for air.

“Yeah, maybe when I’m old,” said Winters jokingly and sitting down at Jack’s side. Both of them took a small rest before setting off again. The farther they walked along the more rain seemed to be falling, but still it was only sprinkling.

“So we’re sure that those goblins won’t be coming back?” inquired Jack.

“Don’t know,” said Winters, shaking so he could rid his fur of some water.

“Did you have to do that near me?” asked Jack, soaked with the water that Winter had shaken out of his fur.

“Yeah, I’m pretty sure I did,” laughed Winters, looking up at Jack as he wiped muddy water off his face.

Jack glared down at Winters then looked up when a loud burst of lightening flew threw the air followed by the loud crash of thunder. “Crud,” said Jack, as water started to pour down around them as if the thunder had burst whatever had been holding back the rain.

“…Don’t know about you but I think going this far out of town wasn’t such a good idea,” stated Winters looking up at the grey sky.

“Next time it’s this cloudy out and smells like rain is coming, I think I’ll stay home,” said Jack walking forwards. They still had at least two miles before they would reach home.

Jack and Winters walked on a little further until it was clear that the storm was not going to let up, nor back down. Jack, soaked from head to toe in water, walked along, his shoes making a suction sound every step he took. Winters, on the other hand, was running through puddles and then running over to Jack and jumping up on him with his muddy paws. They had done this for about an hour when a lightning strike landed a few hundred feet in front of them.

“Woah!” exclaimed Jack, knocked over by the blast. Winters started growling, barking and whimpering loudly. “What the--?” Jack said watching as a black horse with a rider wearing black armor walked out from where the lightning strike had landed. Bright blue, glowing eyes shined from the helmet of the dark rider.

“I am the Dark Rider!” exclaimed the Dark Rider

. Winters and Jack both exchanged looks then Jack said, “Uhh… yeah whatever.”

“Why do you not tremble in fear from my power?” asked the Dark Rider. His black horse pawed the ground with its large hooves.

“Look, I have fought goblins and talked to ghosts and dogs. I don’t think anything can scare me anymore,” said Jack, regaining his feet. Winters turned his head, looking at Jack as if he had gone insane.

“Jack, you have not heard of the Dark Rider?”

“Nope, why?”

“WHAT!” cried the Dark Rider loudly and looking at Jack, his blue eyes glowing even brighter and electricity sparked from the armor and the horse.

“Jack… the Dark Rider is called the demon of the skies as it has the power of electricity, and controls the power of lightning to strike down wherever he wants it to.

“Really?” Jack looked at Winters, then back at the Dark Rider. “Humph! What do you want then?” asked Jack, crossing his arms.

“You still do not tremble in fear!” shouted the Dark Rider, angrily sending a bolt of electricity at Jack’s feet.

“Jack!” cried Winters, running towards Jack to knock him out of the way, but did not reach him in time. Jack was sent ten feet backwards and landed on his back. The wind knocked out of him and pain shooting threw his body, he tried to stand up, but ended up collapsing again.

“You’ve got to be joking,” said Jack, finally getting back up.

“Are you alright?” asked Winters, running to Jack’s side.

“I have felt better,” said Jack, watching as the Dark Rider rode his horse towards him, then added, “Got a plan?”

“A plan?” Winters questioned and then announced, “you aren’t planning on fighting him… are you?”

“Winters, you told me I had powers that other humans didn’t. So what are they?” Jack asked.

“Well, you can talk to dogs and see ghosts, goblins, vampires, werewolves, demons, and other mythical creatures,” said Winters looking at the Dark Rider, as his horse trotted up to them.

“You said I also had the power to fight them,” said Jack looking at Winters for an answer.

“Yes, but you are not that adept at it yet,” said Winters, looking at the Dark Rider, who was looking them up and down.

“So what you’re saying is that we're screwed?” questioned Jack, taking a step backwards.

“That could be one way of looking at it.”

“That’s great,” moaned Jack looking around for the nearest exit.


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