Dragon Muscle

by James E. Auel © 2001

The smell of brimstone was smoldering near by, still Reed paid it no mind because he wanted some fast cash, and upon entering the building he hardly noticed the name Dragon Enterprises about the doorway. Reed opened the glass door and walking to a room that opened up to a high ceiling, at first he couldn't believe his eyes. There was a strange creature about 10 feet tall sitting at a glass counter. Based on the clothes it appeared to be male. He was busy with a jeweler's eyepiece examining a very large and beautiful ruby red gem necklace. Reed was just a young kid of 22 and was shadowed at only a height of 5ft 5inches. He blinked his light blue eyes once and he pushed his very blond hair that hung over part of his face to the side indicating the hair needed trimming.

"Excuse me sir. I came about your ad that said top prices for precious items, and quick loans." Said Reed.

"The name is Mr. Yanson, and in just a minute I be with you," Mr. Yanson said. He grunted a few times, placed the necklace back into its case then addressed Reed "How can I help you young man?"

"Well, Mr. Yanson, I need a loan. You see my mother is sick and needs an operation."

"What's you name kid?"


"Reed, you look like a nice kid, so I'll give it to you straight. Cut the carpfun. We both know your mom's not sick. You shouldn't be coming to me for money, I can however give you a job if you want it." Stated Mr. Yanson.

"Cut the what?"

"Carpfun. I sorry you probable don't speak Dragonaise. Dragons like to tease carp, for no real reason. Hence the word Carpfun."

"You are a Dragon? I wasn't sure I've seen a number, you're the first one I seen this large, not that you're fat. What kind are you and how did you know that my mother wasn't sick?" Inquired Reed.

"Well, I get about one kid a week with a similar story, that's how some of my best workers have donned my doorway. To answer your other question, I am Rhineland Runner; so don't even think about getting on my bad side. We're the meanest when riled; Toronto Tanglers tend to give us a wide berth. They usually don't back down from anything." Stated Mr. Yanson with an almost arrogance sound in his voice.

"O' I'll keep that in mind. Is that job a real offer?"

Mr. Yanson paid no attention to the question "Besides I doubt you have anything of real value, or any kind of collateral. However I could use an extra hand around here."

"Really I got the job that easy," Reed asked?

"I am assuming that you know how to read, can handle a high level percussion weapon, and don't have a week stomach?"

"Yes, Mr. Yanson?"

"Call me Philip. You're working for me now."

"Yes, Mr..Philip."

"Alright fill out these papers.for tax reasons. This set is for getting your permit to carry an unlicensed, and or concealed high level percussion weapon. This set here will get you your passport to travel abroad or interstellar."

"What exactly is this job," asked Reed?

"Before I explain that go over to the door, flip the sign on the chain from "open" to "closed" and lock the door."

Reed did as he was told and came back over to where Philip was. He grabbed another chair and sat down beside him.

"Reed the ad you read, that brought you here was a way to draw in people for business, but only partly. I use it to also find kids who want to make money, and need some guidance, along with direction. Not everyone stays working for me. Sure I pay big bucks here, and the work is rewarding, but most get their start down the right road. Before you ask, we're not mafia. I run an on going business, which is a multimillion-dollar company. Sometimes some of my clients don't or can't pay for what they have ordered. So I need someone to collect the items. Sometimes it can get a little messy. That's part of what you'll need to do occasionally."

"I don't understand Philip. Why do you need someone like me when you're a dragon?"

"Because I need back up; you know someone watching my back. There are those out there that think they can out-muscle me. They try to use some of the merchandise I sell them, never realizing I expects some of my clients to try to not pay."

"So is that all I do; push people around that don't want to pay," asked Reed?

"No not at all, my boy. I'll teach you everything you'll need to know to rise to any level in the company that you want. We have a first-rate science, language; and species understand classes, rivaling the best universities. My training techniques will have you learning everything in about a 10th of the time."

"One final question, if I might ask," inquired Reed?


"Philip, I noticed a strange smell outside as I came in. What is it?"

"Oh That! .Just the remains of a man who refuse to pay me for a large shipment of products he sold to the Trodon's. Sometimes I get carried away with my temper. I burned him to ash. That's what you smelled it reminds most people of brimstone," explained Philip.

"Is that legal?"

"It helps to have a few lawmakers on the payroll," chuckled Philip.

"I guess so," Reed also chuckled unbelievingly.

As the years passed, many new employees came and went but Reed stayed and became Philip's top worker. He became as much of a son that a human can be to a dragon.

x x x

Comments on this story can be directed to the author at jim@auel.info

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