Action & Adventure

Bad Dogs - A Black Cadet In Dixie

By

This book will launch on Feb 5, 2021. Currently, only those with the link can see it. 🔒
Synopsis

Inspired by actual events, this timely, gritty novel chronicles the experiences of Jon
Quest, an African-American student from the North who attends a prestigious military
university in the South. Jon is at the mercy of racists who do not want “his kind” at their esteemed university. Despite constant verbal and physical assaults, he refuses to be intimidated. He begins working to improve conditions for Blacks, focusing on
eliminating the racial terrorism which is so prevalent. When an incident occurs that puts him and his friends in the crosshairs, Jon forms a secret vigilante squad to mete out retribution to those who escape accountability.

Readers are taken on an emotional ride on the roller coaster of racism and inexplicable
hatred, as this country’s leaders of tomorrow show their true feelings about white
privilege and ingrained racism. The story boldly presents an uncomfortable reality in a
raw and thought-provoking manner.

It was 6:45 pm, and as usual Jon Quest had not left the office.

He was the President and CEO of a large, diversified media

and consumer goods company, which owned television, radio

and cable stations, and several daily newspapers. In addition,

Jon’s company produced movies, short films, and television sitcoms,

owned several restaurants, and manufactured its own line

of packaged foods.

Though his job kept him busy, Jon also remained involved in

the community, his church, and more importantly, the lives of

his children and wife.

Jon rubbed the bridge of his nose as he leaned back in his

oversized high-back Italian leather executive chair. He had been

poring over the financials of a potential corporate acquisition

involving several radio stations in the mid-west.

Oblivious to the time, Jon voice-dialed Vivian Morgan, the

M&A vice president working on the deal and the one who submitted

the financials to Jon.

“Hey, Vivian, I am reviewing the financials on this deal and

something is not making sense to me. I want to sit down with

you and the rest of the team later this week and go over it, line

by line, if necessary, until it clicks for me. This is a great opportunity,

but I don’t want to get over our skis on this one.”

As Jon spoke, he was looking out of his seventh-floor window.

The sky was a beautiful shade of amber and was littered

with bleached, wispy clouds. The sun was lazily melting

over the horizon, signaling the onset of yet another chilly fall

night.

How romantic, he thought, completely zoning out on Vivian’s

ongoing commentary.

Jon’s phone beeped, signaling an incoming call. Jon looked

down at the caller ID on the phone console, which was sitting

on his desk.

Jon gasped as the name “Lexie” appeared on his display.

“Hey, Vivian, hang on a second, I have another call coming

in that I have to answer.”

“No problem,” remarked Vivian.

“Hello, my beautiful angel,” said Jon with a big grin.

“Jon Quest, why are you still at the office? You know tonight

is our night to host the family dinner! I was expecting you home

early. I reminded you this morning.”

“Oh my God, Lexie! I totally forgot! Okay, I’m leaving right

now! I’ll be home in 15 minutes!”

“Yeah, okay!”

“I will, baby! I’m on my way!”

Jon clicked back over to Vivian.

“Vivian, I have to go. I am late for my monthly family dinner,

which I am hosting tonight! Call Deborah in the morning

and have her put you on my schedule for later this week.”

Jon swirled around in his chair and noticed Jessica standing

in his office doorway. Jessica was the night cleaning lady and

was used to seeing Jon in the office after hours. She would often

come by between 6:30 and 6:45 pm to signal Jon that he’d better

either call his wife or pack it up and go home.

Jon was grateful Lexie called him, even if she was not exactly

ecstatic to find him still in the office.

One day a month, the entire Quest family broke bread

together. Each month they alternated homes where they gathered.

This month, the family was coming to his home, and his

wife, Lexie, had already warned him not to be late. The tradition

was started by Jon’s mother because everyone was so busy with

their careers and businesses, and “we may rarely see each other

and take time to sit together”. Though they regularly saw each

other on Sundays at church, they were not always able to spend

quality time, catching up on each other’s lives, after the services

were over. Jon’s mother often lamented that living next to one

another was not a substitute for being a family. “Being a family,”

she often said, “meant spending quality time together, knowing

each other, and knowing what is going on in each other’s lives”.

He glanced at the clock on his desk, wincing as he realized

the lateness of the hour.

Oh boy, he thought, I am in trouble.

Jon looked at Jessica and mouthed the words “good night.”

She smiled and nodded knowingly as she went on her way.

Jon placed the phone receiver into the cradle and watched as

it automatically retreated into the top of his black marble desk.

He stood up, stretched, and began clearing his desk. He placed

his date book and several stacks of papers into his black alligator

Lederer de Paris attaché case and snapped it shut. Jon scanned

his desktop and deemed it once again neat and tidy. He hurried

across his office and removed his jacket from the closet and

slipped it on.

As he walked back to retrieve his attaché case, he scanned his

entire office to ensure everything was in its place. Neatness was

not only something he enjoyed, but he also needed the sense of

calm and control it provided.

Jon loved his office. His large corner office was tastefully

decorated and had the most spectacular view of both the city

and the shoreline.

Jon personally supervised the layout, design, and decoration

of his office. He wanted to ensure his office had a positive

energy and spirit while speaking directly to Jon’s unique personality.

Though he was not one to micromanage, in this case, it

was necessary and as a result, he really loved the look and feel of

his office!

The decor was contemporary and masculine. The furniture

was black with gold accents, the walls were tastefully covered

with limited-edition African-American art, and the accessories

were handpicked based on specific interests and matters of

import to Jon.

Aside from his bedroom and enclosed back deck at his home,

Jon’s office was one of his favorite places.

Jon picked up his attaché case and walked toward the frosted-

glass French doors, stopped, turned around, and made a final

visual inspection of his office. It was a habit he had picked up

from his time in the military. Everything had to be in its proper

place.

As Jon rushed down the hallway, he thought about how

much he loved his job and his company. Jon could find many

reasons to be away from home 24/7, if his wife would permit it.

A smile crossed his face as he thought of Lexie’s reaction should

he even think about not spending quality time with her and the

kids. Remembering just how late he was, he passed up the elevator

and opted for the stairs.

I hope Lexie’s not too mad, he thought.

As Jon hurried through the lobby, he paused long enough

to yell goodbye to Mark, the security officer seated at the large

half-moon-shaped security desk, which was in the middle of the

entrance lobby.

“Hey, Mark, I’m out of here!”

Mark gave him a thumbs-up.

“In trouble again, aren’t you Mr. Quest?” Mark said jokingly.

“Yeah, but what would Lexie ever do if I acted right? But I

guess I don’t need to push my luck, huh? See you tomorrow.”

“Yes, sir. Same time tomorrow?”

“Let’s hope not!”

Jon hurried through the doors and looked down at his watch

as he headed toward his car.

As the CEO, one of his many executive privileges included

reserved parking. Jon had a reserved spot right in the front, which

was a perk Jon could truly appreciate on a night like tonight.

Jon reached for the door handle and heard the doors unlock.

He opened the door of his brown and bronze Audi R8, tossed

his attaché case and jacket onto the passenger seat, and slid into

its driver’s seat. He pressed the button on the console and smiled

as it rumbled to life. He adjusted the volume of his music until it

played loudly enough for the people in the next zip code to hear.

Jon sped out of the parking lot and turned onto the street,

heading for the freeway. As Jon turned onto the freeway, he

thought about calling Lexie to confirm his ETA, but then he

thought better of the idea. He was already late; no use getting

fussed at twice.

Jon, conscious he was late, pressed harder on the accelerator,

though he was already exceeding the speed limit. Driving in the

far-left lane on the expressway, he tried to make up for working

late. Fifteen minutes later, he exited the expressway and barely

slowed as he made a hard right.

Corners like she’s on rails, he thought.

A few minutes later, Jon was sitting at the entrance of Quest

Estates, which featured a huge set of wrought-iron automatic

gates with the letters “Q” and “E” on the left and right gates,

respectively.

Quest Estates was several hundred acres and included four

mansions, one guest house, one recreational facility, a private

lake, horse stables, and a nine-hole golf course.

Jon reached over and pushed a button on his dashboard.

The gates slid silently and slowly apart. Jon pressed hard on the

accelerator and was thrown back into his seat as the R8 sped

down the long main drive. He usually made a point of driving

slowly when he entered Quest Estates so he could appreciate the

landscaping and picturesque scenery. However, tonight, he just

wanted to get home!

As he drove along, Jon noticed the herd of horses as they

stood in the field grazing. Jon’s horse, Lucky, was easy to spot

as she was a honey-bronze color with a thick brown mane. Jon

loved riding Lucky, though he was not able to ride as often as he

wanted. Riding his horse was one of the few activities that really

relaxed him and took his mind off work and problems. Jon also

noticed Lexie’s horse, Paso, grazing nearby in the field. They first

saw Paso during a trip to Curacao, two years earlier. Lexie fell in

love with the beautiful animal and purchased it during their trip.

After about half a mile, Jon approached the first mansion.

It belonged to his youngest sister, Joyell. She was five years

younger than Jon and quite a bit different. She was 5’6”, darkskinned,

plus-size curvy, and full of energy. She loved to dance

and enjoyed going out. She was married to a Marcus, a forensic

psychiatrist, who was amiable and laid-back. Jon liked him and

felt that he was good for Joyell. The couple had three daughters.

Joyell was a criminal law professor at a local university. There

was no doubt Joyell found her niche in that role. Joyell ambled

through life until she happened upon juvenile criminal justice

and was hooked. She graduated with a dual JD–MBA, then continued

to secure a doctorate degree in juvenile criminal justice.

She was a highly sought-after expert witness for many high-profile

legal cases and had written a number of books on the topic.

She had a way with seeing what others could not. She was often

able to get “into the heads” of juveniles in a way that was determinative

for treatment and case resolution.

Joyell drove a maroon Maserati Quattroporte, which she

always parked in the middle of their circular drive. The fact that

it was not there meant she was working late, like Jon, or at his

house keeping everyone entertained, with her wonderful sense of

humor, until her “Big Bro” arrived.

Up the road, about a half-mile or so, was the mansion of

his older sister, Bernice. Bernice was eighteen months older

than Jon. Bernice was 5’3”, light-skinned, and a bit of a recluse.

Unlike Joyell, she rarely went out, instead favoring an evening

at home with family or at the JAM Center doing arts and crafts

with her nieces and nephews. After studying theatre in Europe,

earning a PhD in Critical Studies, then enjoying a number of

years in front of the camera, Bernice now spent her time behind

the camera producing, directing, and writing movies and television

sitcoms. Bernice’s husband, Angelo, a maxillofacial surgeon,

was pleasant and gregarious. The two had four daughters.

Directly across from Bernice’s mansion sat the recreation

center. The three-story building housed a full basketball court,

four racquetball courts, three tennis courts, an Olympic-size

swimming pool, a large free weight and nautilus room, an aerobics

and dance studio, a 1.5-mile jogging track, a movie theater,

a video arcade, a game room with pool tables, a steam and sauna

room, a five-lane bowling center, and a children’s play area. Jon’s

children—two boys and two girls—would meet Bernice’s and

Joyell’s children at the recreation center every evening after they

finished homework to play games, shoot pool, or work out. The

center was named the Josephine-Addie Memorial Center, after

Jon’s two grandmothers, and was referred to by the family as the

JAM center.

At the end of the road, was the “Master Mansion”, the residence

of Jon’s parents, Jon Sr., and Kathy. Jon Sr. and Kathy,

business magnates, were enjoying the fruits of years of hard work

in the fashion and home furnishings industries. When they were

not jetting all over the world purchasing new clothing lines or

inspecting their several manufacturing facilities, they spent their

time on Quest Estates hanging out with their grandchildren.

Jon turned into his drive and proceeded to the rear of the

house, where the five-car garage and guest parking spaces were

located. As he came around the corner, he saw all his family’s

cars.

Uh-oh, he thought, here we go.

Jon pulled into the first available spot, turned off the engine,

and quickly grabbed his attaché case, and jacket. As he collected

his belongings, the side door opened, and Lexie stood quietly

glaring at him.

No use in rushing now, Jon thought as he headed toward the

door. Lexie met him before he made it halfway up the sidewalk.

“Hey, babe,” Jon said as he leaned in to kiss his wife.

“Uh huh,” said Lexie as she held up her hand and turned her

face away. “You know I reminded you this morning! Really, Jon?”

“I know, honey, but—”

“Don’t ‘but, honey’ me. This is just the same story, different

day. Just hurry up and change. Everyone is in the study waiting

on you!”

Jon rushed into the house and walked toward the study. He

stopped long enough to say hello, apologize for being late, and

promise to return from upstairs soon. Jon’s two sisters, their husbands,

and his mom and dad were in the study drinking coffee

as they talked. As Jon exited and headed upstairs, Lexie entered

the study. As she entered, he heard her apologizing to the others

on his behalf.

What a woman! he thought.

He truly appreciated and loved his wife. They had been

married twelve years and she was his best friend. There were

so many things that had attracted Jon to her when they met.

Not only was she stunningly attractive (FINE was the word he

had often used), but she was also extremely intelligent, articulate,

sassy, and a godly woman.

Lexie was just the kind of woman he had wanted and needed.

Physically, she was extremely appealing. She was 5’5” with the

most beautiful, smooth cocoa-toned skin. She was slender and

curvy with bright eyes. She was gregarious, warm, caring, genuine,

and never met strangers. She was a hugger and had a light

that shone around her, drawing people to her like moths to a

flame. Professionally. Lexie was an insurance executive and entrepreneur.

Lexie was the CEO of an insurance company. In fact,

she was the only female, Black CEO of a major insurance company.

When they first met, Jon was immediately impressed with

her sophistication, business acumen, and professional achievements.

Aside from being the CEO of a major insurance company,

Lexie also owned a string of water ice restaurants in several

states, something she repeatedly shared with Jon was a dream

of hers. Jon had no idea how she managed to do all she did,

but her ability to do so was impressive. Spiritually she was one

who allowed the light of Christ to shine through her as opposed

to being one of those types that are hypocritical. Lexie was a

woman who believed in prayer, in a relationship with Christ, and

in allowing that relationship to make her a better, kinder, more

empathetic person.

Lexie was perfect, to and for, Jon. It was as if when God

made her He was thinking about Jon. She was everything Jon

ever wanted, all the way down to her sorority! Jon especially treasured

the alone time they spent together just talking. They often

sat for hours on the screened-in deck talking about everything

and nothing. Jon often wished every married couple experienced

the same compatibility, satisfaction, and happiness.

Where was she twenty years ago? he thought as he rushed down

the stairs. As Jon entered the study, Bernice was the first to turn

to him.

“Well, it’s about time!”

“Sorry, just one of those days.”

“Oh, and I guess you’re the only one who has those?”

Jon walked over to Lexie and kissed her on the forehead.

“Hey, Dad . . . Mom,” Jon said as he crossed to his mother

and kissed her on the cheek.

“What?” replied Kathy, having been engrossed in Joyell’s latest

humorous escapade.

Jon’s mother was an amazing woman. She had built her company

from the ground up and it had been a vision in her mind

for over twenty-five years before it actually became a reality. She

was a genius. She built a wildly successful company from the

bottom up and still found time to raise a family and be a wife.

She was a distinguished, sophisticated, and attractive woman.

She was spunky, sassy, and energetic, but above all else, she was

wise.

Jon’s dad, a military veteran, was no-nonsense. He was often

quiet, carefully picking when and where to speak. The man was

as wise as an owl. Jon Sr. was notably just as much behind his

only son as anyone. He, too, had been there for him through

the years. Jon Sr. had truly shown Jon how the love of a father

looked.

“So, Jon, are we eating tonight?” asked Joyell.

Jon glanced at his younger sister, smiled, then walked over

and kissed her on the forehead.

“Excuse me, Mr. Quest? Would you care for coffee, sir?”

“Yes, as a matter of fact, I would,” Jon said as Kati, one of

their maids, handed him a coffee cup and saucer.

“Two lumps as usual, sir?”

“I’m so predictable!”

Jon sipped his coffee and looked around the study at the

members of his family. He hated being late. He hated having

everyone waiting on him.

“So, how was your day?” asked Kathy.

“I’m sorry, Mom, it has been a crazy day. As you know, we

have the opportunity to purchase a radio station in—”

“Oh no, not more meetings and briefings!” interrupted

Bernice. “Can we at least eat before we start with the briefings?”

Jon looked at Bernice with a scowl. She scowled back.

“Bernice, look—” began Jon, but was interrupted by the dinner

bell.

“Dinner is served,” announced Kati from the doorway of the

study.

Everyone gathered themselves and moved toward the dining

room. Jon placed his cup and saucer onto the end table and

glanced at the mantle above. As he did, something caught his

eye. It was not the myriad awards, plaques, citations, or certificates.

It was something else. Something he had seen millions of

times before. Something that had caused pain and pleasure, sadness

and joy, fear and anticipation, and regret and reward. As he

looked at his college degree, splendidly displayed on his awards

wall, his eyes focused on the date. Twenty years ago today . . .

Jon’s flashed back to a place, long ago and far away. There, he

heard yelling, screaming, running, shouting. . .


“Brace!”

“You shithead! You better roll your shoulders back!”

“I hate you, toad!”

“You better rack your chin in!”

“Drop and give me fifteen!”

“Daddy! Daddy!”

Jon snapped back to the present as he felt someone tugging

at his sleeve.

“Daddy.”


Jon looked down at his five-year-old son, Kristian.

“Daddy, Mommy told me to come and get you. She said,

‘don’t let me have to come and get him myself.’”

“Okay, I’m coming right now.”

“Daddy?”

“Yes?”

“Why are you always staring at that one big piece of paper

on the wall?”

Jon looked down at his son, grabbed his hand, and headed

toward the dining room.

“Well, son, I guess it’s because of how difficult that one piece

of paper was for me to get. A huge price came along with that

piece of paper.”

“So, what? I thought we were rich?”

Jon smiled at his son who was the spitting image of himself.

“No, son, your mother and I are rich. You and your brother

and sisters are poor, unemployed, and broke. But I don’t mean

that kind of a price.”

“Well what kind then?”

“Well, son . . .”

Jon’s mind faded back to his freshman year at the Military

University of The South.

About the author

Rev. Ken Gordon has been fighting for parents, families, and the community for over 3 decades. He is a Diamond Life Member of the NAACP and former president of an NAACP branch. He is the past Chair of Human Relations Commissions in Colorado and New Jersey. Ken lives in Alabama. view profile

Published on December 28, 2020

50000 words

Contains explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Action & Adventure