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The Giant’s Shield (Part VII)

Continued from The Giant’s Shield (Part VI).

“Trun.” Ask’s voice sounded strained and shaken.  He could hear his own panicked heart beating rapidly. “There’s something scary outside the window.”  He swallowed, and the lizard in the middle seemed to grin at him with teeth that put Ask’s own to shame.  Ask blinked, and they were gone.  He swallowed again and slowly turned to the door.  His hand rested on the handle, and he looked back.  The window was empty.

Sweaty hands opened the door, and Ask looked up at Trun. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Giant’s Shield (Part VI)

Continued from The Giant’s Shield (Part V).

All of the events since saving the innkeeper’s wife spilled from Ask’s angry lips, right up until he came to the part where Korenila joined him in the back of the wagon.  Only then did he pause to think about the events. “Korenila and Evoxe and Horse never stopped trying to help me.” Tears filled his eyes. “They got kicked out of their healing house, Korenila and Evoxe did, because of that.  Horse stayed with me even though I planned to eat her.” He swallowed his tears and tried to speak, but words wouldn’t come out.  His thoughts refused to stay straight.

For a long time, he just sat there in the company of a stranger, trying not to cry. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2013 in Semihistorical Fiction

 

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The Giant’s Shield (Part V)

Continued from The Giant’s Shield (Part IV).

Sometime before the arrival at the pair’s home, the older goblin jostled his ribs just right, and Ask’s world turned black.  Horse was running free.  He couldn’t see her surroundings.  His dream shifted through a haze, and he saw Korenila praying.  Her words wove through the confusion.

“Bring Ask back to us safely.  May he find food and shelter, may he still be alive.” She took a deep, shaking breath, and it rattled through Ask’s entire being. “He fell only recently off the drop.  His horse has run away from us, going to the south.  Keep her safe.  Evoxe is going to build a sign for the two.  Should they get lost, and look up, they’ll know where we are, he assures me.” She held back a sob. “Please, keep everybody safe.  Peace with us.”

A faint voice behind her spoke, and she smiled.  It was the scarred girl.  Korenila’s voice faded as she spoke normally. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2013 in Semihistorical Fiction

 

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The Giant’s Shield (Part IV)

Continued from The Giant’s Shield (Part III).

The silence niggled at Ask’s mind for what felt like hours.  Slowly, he looked back downward.  Even from the distance, he could see the creature’s red eyes.  It somehow looked larger as it stared up at him.  The goblin tried to swallow his fear as his eyes and the creature’s locked together.  He flexed his claws into the stone in front of him, and it cracked.  He looked in horror at the stone, then reached forward desperately to grab the face again.

Slam!  A column of stone shot from the side of the cliff he was climbing, right where his belly was.  He tried to hold on, but it happened too fast.  His scream filled the area as he shot away from the side, out into the air.  He watched as cliff and sky and shield seemed to zoom away from him, and then he began to fall. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2013 in Semihistorical Fiction

 

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The Giant’s Shield (Part III)

Continued from The Giant’s Shield (Part II).

Dawn arrived, and as a stray ray of sunlight hit his face, he scowled and opened his eyes.  Everything around was unfamiliar to him: from the soft, wet moss beneath his body, to the local sounds of foreign birds and bugs.  For a moment, he thought he heard Horse stamp one foot, as though eager for something.  When he looked around, she was nowhere near.

On hands and knees, he crawled from his resting place and dusted off his damp fur and leather clothing, but stopped as his eyes fell on that eerily smooth cliff face.  It looked like the same shape as the shields that knights might carry, although this one was stone and easily stood as tall as twenty houses, if not more. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2013 in Semihistorical Fiction

 

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The Giant’s Shield (Part II)

Continued from The Giant’s Shield.

When Ask returned from his ride, he fell asleep as soon as his belly was full, right at the table, and Evoxe had to carry him to the stable so they could clear the dishes away without waking him.

Ask was outside before sunrise, seated at the edge of the drop and staring in towards the house and the grass. He waited for the sun to rise as his eyes slipped shut again and again.  A nudge to his cheek woke him, and his jaw dropped open as he finally saw it– the sunrise on the first frost.  All was silent in the early morning, even though he was certain the others were rising.  The house looked like polished brass, and each long piece of grass looked like it was on fire. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 9, 2013 in Semihistorical Fiction

 

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The Giant’s Shield

Continued from The Sand Flea series.

Dull but happy days came and went.  Ask slept in until two hours past sunrise, ate filling and delicious meals to break his nightly fast, rode through the plains and ate on Horse’s back as they flew through the grass, then returned as the sun began to slip down past the horizon, just in time for a dinner that left him full and drowsy.  After that meal, provided by Evoxe’s hunting and Korenila’s stores, their small company sat around the fireplace and told stories and sang songs until one by one, they excused themselves to sleep.  Ask slept with Horse in her stall, and the cycle continued as the seasons changed.

Spring became summer, which became fall, and the mystery that lived behind the curtain finally revealed herself– a young human woman, covered in scars that were old and new, who moved carefully and flinched each time Ask or Evoxe raised a hand, even if it wasn’t in her direction.  Her flesh was pale, like someone who was not accustomed to the sun, and her yellow hair made Ask’s heart do strange flips inside his chest when it caught the light or framed her face. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2013 in Semihistorical Fiction

 

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