This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
Kato Dojo (Martial Arts Studio), East 4th Street, New New York City – June 17, 2192
“Mario, it’s your turn. The mats. Put them away. Please,” said Clarke.
Mario didn’t respond.
“Look, Mario. Just stack them in the closet,” said Clarke, his patience strained.
They had just completed working out at the martial arts studio. The boys had put away their own Kendo shinai, the bamboo practice swords, and now what remained on the floor was the practice mats. This was a duty they rotated.
Clarke Kato was a tall 12 year old, clean cut, muscular and working his way slowly to the top of the regional ranking for Kendo. His dad, Rei Kato, owned the martial arts studio where they trained called East 4th Street Dojo.
Practice was over and Mario was sitting with his buddies, talking and laughing.
Mario was lean and strong and learned quickly. Rei had seen his potential and given him a full scholarship and then tolerated him in the dojo. This was not always easy. Mario had a quick temper and sometimes lashed out at younger students.
The fact that Clarke had just overpowered Mario in the practice session didn’t help. But Clarke was on a roll.
Clarke had made his ‘Crossing’ before the Time Stamp Corporation that ran the city a few days before with all this year’s 12ers. During this ceremony, every 12-year-old received an implant that signifies their crossing to adult status. His Calling Light, the main feature of the implant, had come on the moment he stepped into the studio. No big surprise there. Rei had been instructing Clarke and his two brothers in proper stances and strengthening exercises since they were big enough to hold a stick.
But there was something about having his Light Lit - even if it was expected. Somehow, just being at the dojo was great - everything that had felt like a chore before held promise now. His dad had even given him some new responsibilities to help run their practices.
So, it was with a spring in his step that Clarke was working at the dojo two days after his Crossing.
Now Mario was sitting against the wall with two other boys in full Kendo gear, head mask in his lap.
“Seriously,” said Clarke, holding his new Kendo shinai ready to pack away in its case. “Our shift here is ended and if we aren’t done for the next period, I’m gonna get the clocker shock. So just do it! Please.”
‘Clocker shock’ was a slight electrical shock, one of the ingenious supplemental components of the implant that encouraged punctuality.
Mario didn’t move but made an aside to his buddies who laughed at Clarke. Clarke didn’t have his father’s patience when it came to Mario.
“Get off your butt and pick them up, Mario. Your sticks, too. Now,” Clarke yelled.
“I got your stick right here,” said Mario, with a rude gesture. The other boys chuckled.
Clarke swung his Kendo stick at Mario’s head, stopping at the last instant. Mario ducked anyway.
“Psych!” said Clarke, smirking. Now the kids were laughing at Mario.
Mario scowled at them and looked at Clarke with a red face. He moved forward, pretending to get up, but then dove low into Clarke’s stomach with his shoulder. Clarke fell on his back with a thud. Mario rolled and got to his feet. Now Mario was chuckling.
It took a moment for Clarke to catch his breath.
“You are such a loser, Mario. Just do your….” He rolled onto his stomach and started to get up again.
As he rose, Mario stood over him and planted the Kendo stick hard in the middle of Clarke’s back. Crack.
Mario’s mouth was open as he saw Clarke fall, unconscious to the floor.
Then Mario closed his mouth. His eyes narrowed as he pointed a finger at each of the boys who had watched. He looked desperately at Clarke and ran for the door.
MavisMcQueen: "To Live Again" is a well crafted, highly engaging, heart vibrating tale surrounding our favorite Elven King. The author will keep you engrossed until the very end and by that time you will feel so strongly for Clara and the other characters that you will never want it to end...like ever. Thrandu...
Alice Liu: Whoa! I've been wondering how would the Maurauders react to Harry's life and here we go! YOU ARE THE BEST! All the characters are consistent with their personalities shown in the book! I love how you compare Lily with Molly and it's definitely true for her being a mother! I wish Peter comes have ...
RubyScars: I absolutely love your story! It killed me when I finished, I read it all at once and then it stopped at the epic cliffhanger! Uggggggh. But, that said, it just means that you have done such a lovely job. I am so in love with your complicated characters, and even the ones I didn't like you slowl...
Alex Rushmer: This was not what I expected, but I enjoyed it a lot Malfoy was always one of the characters that I liked a lot, so I like that a lot of this happens between him and Colette. I read the first couple chapters, and I enjoyed your writing style and am excited to see where you take this story. My com...
Lacey Schmidt: The Trouble with Super is that you can't stop reading it. Mr. Barrett's characters are all to easy to relate to even if you don't have a super quirk of your own, and their plight is both heart-rendingly funny and heart-warmingly sad at the same time. It's a bit like Office Space meets the Matri...
CookieMonster911: The story overall was an adventure that is appealing to any age. The way the characters develop adds a more human characteristic to the novel. The writing style itself is amazing because you can learn every character's thoughts and emotions. The awkward love triangle and jerk moments adds to the ...
John Reed: Seadrias masterfully captures the impressiveness and complex scope that a science fiction novel should provide while carefully crafting an entire universe that will leave a reader in awe from start to finish. The only flaw I could find is that I wish I could have read more. This book is certainly...
Toria Danielle: I must congratulate Erin Swan on completing such a beautiful work. The Rising Sun is well rounded and leaves nothing to be wanted. ALL of the characters and their development are beautifully written. The plot is extremely well thought out. Creating a whole different type of universe is difficult ...
Hawkebat: Playing both Kotor I & II and Swtor I found the story line interesting and it held me until chapter 35 Very good story and plot flow until then, very few technical errors. I felt that the main character was a bit under and over powered, as it fought for balance. The last few chapters felt too f...
ga1984: I really enjoyed it! Characters were deep and plot was pretty complex. A bit on the violent side but it doesnt detract from the story. Very dark but situations make sense. Ends kinda abruptly and later chapters will need some editing work. I'm assuming there's more in the works?
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