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Dawn of the Knight
Robert L. Beck
Copyright © 2016 Robert L. Beck
Ebook formatting by www.ebooklaunch.com
Other books in the series.
A Knight's Honor: The Lance Rock Chronicles Volume 2
A Knight’s Promise: The Lance Rock Chronicles Volume 3
Knightfall: The Lance Rock Chronicles Volume 4
A Knight in the Jungle: The Lance Rock Chronicles Volume 5
Day of the Knight: The Lance Rock Chronicles Volume 6
Dragon Slayers: The Lance Rock Chronicles Volume 7
Joust: The Lance Rock Chronicles Volume 8
Plague: The Lance Rock Chronicles Volume 9
Mindbender: The Lance Rock Chronicles Volume 10
Blackest Knight: The Lance Rock Chronicles Volume 11
For my wife Brenda, whose grace, beauty, and love have supported me for over 30 years.
Table of Contents
In the truest sense this book never would have been started, completed, or published without help from the following individuals, and I would like to thank them here. First, I would like to thank Thomas B. Sawyer for his book, Fiction Writing Demystified; Tami D. Cowden, Caro LaFever, and Sue Viders for their book, The Complete Writer's Guide to Heroes and Heroines; Sixteen Master Archetypes; and Ann Rittenberg and Laura Whitcomb for their book, Your First Novel; a published author and a top agent share the keys to achieving your dream. All three of these books were invaluable in helping me grasp the principles of fiction writing and all three come highly recommended by me for both the budding writer as well as the seasoned pro.
I want to thank my wife Brenda and Janice Keen for their encouragement to follow my dream and write this story. I would also like to thank Jeannie Sundholm who encouraged me to press on when I was ready to "throw in the towel" after completing chapter 5! Thanks go out to Jess Beck, Katie Jones, and Courtney Stangl for their editorial advice and suggestions.
The following individuals read the pre-published edition of "Dawn of the Knight" and they provided positive and encouraging feedback. I want to thank them as well. Katherine Pearce, Katey and Lindsay Gay, Matt Beck, Chris Beck, Ben Millard, Steph Grick, Kelly Ashley, Terri Hamelin, Melissa Joyce, Gail Miller, James Hershey, Alexis Hagens, Janna Weiler, and Becky Sallee.
And last but certainly not least, I would like to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; the honorable God-man whose sacrificial death on the cross rescued me!
One honorable young man can make all the difference.
I glanced down at my watch noting the time. The thumb and forefinger of my right hand nervously rubbed the key that was hanging from the chain around my neck. I was sitting in the arrival area of Terminal 2 at Los Angeles International Airport while waiting for a ride that was over an hour late. It was supposed to come from the Colsons; the host family whom I would be staying with for my senior year at Santa Barbara Area Senior High School. Being a Canadian high school student, I was attending this California school through a Student Exchange Program.
Repeated calls to the Colson's house only yielded an answering machine. While sighing and resting my head on my hands, I scanned the luggage that was sitting on the floor around me. My eyes came to rest on the package protruding from my carry-on tote; the one that my mother had handed to me just before saying goodbye with the comment, "This is a gift for you when you're feeling homesick." I carefully picked it up and removed the wrapping—revealing a scrapbook filled with pictures and mementos of my life. With little else to do at the moment, I decided to peruse it. The first page contained several photos of me as a newborn baby. I was being lovingly cradled in my mother's arms as she lay in the hospital bed shortly after having given birth. I mused on what she had told me concerning the circumstances of that event.
My conception was the result of a handsome 18 year old Canadian boy seducing a beautiful 18 year old Canadian girl, with no consideration or preparation for the possible consequences. After my father found out that my mother was pregnant, he demanded that she abort me. Having been raised a Catholic; her beliefs restrained her from following through with that course of action. When my father understood that he could not persuade her to do what he wanted, he abandoned her and she never saw him again.
Her parents advised her to put me up for adoption. They said that as a single, young mother, it would be too stressful and difficult for her to raise me alone. She insisted on keeping me though, while ignoring their advice. Yet my mom was embarrassed of her pregnancy which resulted in her dropping out of high school two months short of graduation. I was born a beautiful, healthy baby, and I was christened Lance Joseph. Due to my father's absence, my mother gave me her surname: Rock.
My grandparents did their best to help their daughter try to raise her newborn son. I was a handful, and I kept them continually occupied. They used to comment to my mother that I was an intelligent, inquisitive boy who seemed to excel at figuring out how to get into places that were designated off limits while engaging in behavior that was deemed dangerous.
As I grew older, the strain and demands of being a young, single parent eventually caught up with my mom. Without a high school diploma, high paying jobs eluded her. As a means of trying to cope with her difficult life, she sought comfort in alcohol. There were occasions when she would drink herself drunk, and the change in her temperament would frighten me. She would get agitated, and then angrily yell at me for no reason. I used to get big hugs from her before going to bed at night. That loving attention slowly disappeared the more she would drink.
By the time I was six years old my mother was an alcoholic. I was now in kindergarten and fortunately this provided a means of escape from the anxious situation at home. However, my dysfunctional living environment was causing me to become incorrigible. The schoolteachers expressed their concern to my mother. During parent-teacher conferences they would inquire about my home life. She was clever at hiding her addiction, though. Because of this, there was little the school could do to help.
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