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This is a bit from the upcoming Minivandians book.  Please, let me know what you think.

They reached the top of the pass just as the sun began to dip below the horizon.  A cold north wind whistled between the peaks on either side of them, whipping their cloaks as they looked about for shelter.  Ruarin found a small rock overhang that offered some protection from the wind.  DaddyBear spent the last few minutes of daylight tending to the horse and looking for firewood while she unpacked their blankets and some food.

Soon, they had a cheerful fire going.  DaddyBear showed Ruarin how to make a thin soup out of dried meat and berries mixed with melted snow.  They used this to soften some of the rock hard bread, and ate in silence.

“I know that wasn’t the finest meal you’ve ever had, my lady,” DaddyBear said as he finished his portion.

Ruarin smiled across the fire at him.  “My belly is full, and for the first time in days, I’m under a hard roof.  I think this will do, my lord,” she replied.  “Besides, the company is good.”

DaddyBear snorted at that. “This trip would not be as pleasant without you, Ruarin,” he said, gazing across the fire at her.  She met his gaze for a moment, then looked down at the flames.

“You look tired, my lady,” he said, breaking the silence.

“It’s been a long day, and I did not sleep well last night,” Ruarin said without looking up.

“You’re restless in your sleep.  What troubles you so badly in your dreams?”

Ruarin did not reply.  In the flames, she saw a ghoul reaching out to her in the dark, then Simon lying helpless across Blacktooth’s saddle.  All of this was surrounded by smoke and flame.

“Funeral pyres,” she said simply, “I see death.”

DaddyBear nodded gravely.  “You’ve seen much that you’ve never prepared for, Ruarin.”

That sounded familiar to her ears, although she could not place where she had heard it before.  Her brow creased as she looked up at the Northerner.

“How can you prepare to see so much death?” she whispered. “What makes you not care to see these horrors?”

“I never said I do not care, and the dead visit me in my sleep, on occasion,” DaddyBear replied, now taking a turn at gazing into the flames.  Faces, some of enemies, but mostly those of friends, stared back at him.

After neither said anything for a long while, he looked across the fire at her and said in a low voice, “Life throws many horrors at us, my lady.  Some let the horror consume them, some run from it.”

“And you?  What do you do?”

“To me, it is a prod, driving me onward.”


“Yes, to a place where the horrors do not reach as far into life.  Where I can ride without finding villages burned to the ground and littered with the dead.  I want the lands of my fathers to be at peace.”

“My home is like that.  Wars are far away.”
“Are you sure it has always been like that?” the Minivandian asked pointedly, his eyes blazing in the firelight, “Are you sure it will always be that way?”


  1. VERY nice teaser! 🙂 Write faster!!!


  2. Kelly

     /  June 20, 2016



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