Leannahn in the Dungeon

Leannahn readjusted her mantle and stepped over the smoking body.  Sounds of the man’s rough laughter still echoed in her ears.  He had thought her just another slave.  Well, he had stopped laughing soon enough.

Here the dungeon was darker than at Cnos Fada.  Thin groans came from almost every cell.  Moans echoed from the pit, placed at the darkest corner.  Stringy, furry arms groped for her between the bars.  Leannahn skirted around, trying to ignore them as she passed.

The farthest cell was silent.

“Eahn?” Leannahn whispered, crouching as once before.  No comforting presence stepped behind her.  Regret, an alien emotion, closed her throat.  The young lord in Cnos Fada had been a kind soul; she could feel it still within her.

The Northern Thorn was chained to the wall with iron chains and manacles of brass.  Lacerations laced his body, white with infection, glaring madly in the dark.  He remained human, although it was more difficult to reassume the form every time he shifted.  One eye was swollen shut, branded.  He might never see with it again.

“I am so sorry,” Leannahn sobbed, burying her face in her hands.  “Had I known they would provoke the changes–  No.  I should have known.  This is where I grew up.” 

The Northern Thorn growled with frustration and hatred.  Even were he free, he could not attack Leannahn.  She still held the sway of command.

Leannahn leaned against the bars and wept.


Excerpt from Black Wolf, Silver Fox.

Young Man vs. Dragon

Kirk knew nothing about being brave, but he knew desperation. Desperate was how one felt when a dragon narrowed an eye and said, chillingly, “Why, Fire, I believe this young scamp broke one of my nails. I just had them done last week, and now this one is chipped.” Desperation was knowing your only weapon was a broken stick as a pile of perfectly good swords taunted you from just feet away.

People do strange things out of desperation. Kirk chose to throw the stick into the dragon’s nearest eye and run for it. He did not stop running until he was on the far side of the meadow. Behind him, the dragon roared indignantly and shouted something about the price of having one’s nails done.

Kirk stumbled to a stop. The dragon was still at the cave mouth, biting one claw distractedly while making strange moaning sounds to itself. Still glinting in the morning sun, the pile of swords beckoned. If he had been quick and brave enough, he could have grabbed one….

Well, before he was incinerated.

Maybe he could still get one while the dragon was distracted. His father was counting on him, the dungeon was waiting, and he would never be able to face Lidea again if he failed. He had no choice. He had to go back….

This is an excerpt from A Chance Encounter of Two, a short story I wrote a few years back. It’s available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Kobo… and really anywhere Smashwords distributes it too. Which means it’s available on Smashwords as well.