Catching a Spy

First Entry

Previous Entry

As I execute my new plan, I hope the dragon still underestimated me. I made sure the town saw twenty one men on horseback ride out the morning after our tavern meeting, dressed head to toe in plate mail. For a part of the treasure a dragon hoarded there were always citizens willing to spy on their neighbors, even when the lizard was making some of them into meals. Heading out of town in a direction just north of northeast, we ride hard into the sparse forest across low hills that got higher as we travelled.

            Satisfied that we had passed completely out of view and would not be seen by a hard charging spy headed to the dragon, I let out a shrill whistle. All riders pulled their horses back to a walk and rope ends were passed to the front rider, now no longer me. As soon as twenty ropes had been secured to the lead rider’s saddle, I lead the others in dropping off the moving horse onto the hard packed ground as gently as my huge size would allow. The soldier chosen by straws to fool the spy galloped off leading the empty steeds into the distance.

            I led the sprint into a dense copse on a nearby hill and we immediately began stripping off the plate mail to get down to the loose leather. “Take a bit to cool off. We’ll watch for the spy to go by and then the cart with the shields should be close behind.”

            “Yes, Commander,” came the quiet replies. The more time that passed since my encouragement on the road to town and fighting the dragon, the more the fear would build in them. I know I need to get them to the dragon.

            As a breeze rustles the dry but still green leaves of the trees around us, I spot him. Two hills over, on a path where he would never have caught us, a hooded rider on a hot day kicks up dirt. He’s too far away to see us at that speed, and I smile at the damage his speed is doing to the dirt, leaving a clear trail for us to follow. In moments he passes behind more hills and I stand. “Time to move. The shield cart will be following that spy’s hoof marks, and it’s some distance south.”

            “What about all this armor?” asked one of the soldiers.

            “We’ll come back for it. For now, take a swig of your water and follow me,” I answer as I start jogging towards the hilltop I first saw the spy on.

            With only canteens, longswords and leather armor, we cross the few hills between us just as the cart comes into view from the west. “Angin, go watch for that spy to double back far enough that he won’t see us before he sees you. Hide and take him off his horse when he comes by, but don’t kill him.” A lanky blond soldier nods at me and sprints off down the clear trail in even this hard soil. The grass under our feet has struggled to get halfway to our knees in the summer heat and a galloping horse leaves a lot of it crushed. The spy was sprinting his horse, trying to beat us there.

            “Take a seat and rest. We need to save what energy we can for the fight ahead. We’ll join the shields on the cart for as long as it makes sense,” I said.

            As the sun hits zenith the cart, carrying nineteen of us, arrives at Angin standing over the spy, the spy’s dagger in Angin’s hand. I jump down from my seat next to the cart driver and squat in front of the seated man. “What did you tell the dragon?”

            “It won’t matter, you’ll all be dead soon. I told him you were on your way, wearing plate mail. Clearly that was a ruse,” said the brown haired, very pale man. His loose fitting cotton garments hid a well fed, but dirty body, from the smell of him.

            “Maybe we’ll be dead, maybe not. But whether you survive the day depends on your answer to this next question. Where is the dragon’s back door entrance?” I asked.

            “Back door? What back door?” the man stammered.

            “Every dragon cave has two entrances. The main one for them to go in and out in dragon form, and a smaller one for, let’s say, other passage. Surely he’s sent you out the back door to avoid detection, probably at your request. You’ll take us to that entrance, or you’ll be the first target of his flame,” I said with a snarl.

            “Ah, you don’t scare me Aquendar of Concrof. You would never kill me. You can threaten me all you like but I’ve heard about you,” said the spy.

            “Or maybe it is that none of the traitorous, greedy men like you ever live to tell anybody how far I will go.” I stood and turned to Angin. “Get him up and we’ll lash him to the front of a shield. May take two of you to force him forward, but he’ll be that much more protection against the dragon’s first breath attack.”

            “Yes, Commander,” replied Angin, with all the excitement I’d hoped he would muster.

            As Angin hoisted the still doubting spy up by his collar, I turned to the others. “Just remember the last time we did this men. Some of you forgot to hold your breath the smell of the burning traitor cost you lunch!” Catching on to the ruse, the men started to laugh, fake retching and hold their noses.

            “I’ll show you! I’ll show you!” shouted the spy. “Ghorin did have me go in and out the back entrance to try to protect our secret.”

            “Ah, so you even know his name. Put him up there next to me on the driver’s seat and we’ll go see if he’s telling the truth.” Angin tied his hands behind his back and forced him onto the seat. The driver cursed slightly and quietly at the crowded bench, but held his tongue knowing he had the option of waiting here between the hills for a cart he didn’t think would return.

First 2 volumes

Want more Aquendar? He’s in my trilogy available at my author page at my author page on Amazon.

Boldly Confident

First Entry

Previous Entry

It truly is impossible for twenty soldiers in new leather armor, longswords strapped to the sides of their horses, to ride into a town unnoticed. Fortunately, I had the foresight to have the wagon carrying the shields and other supplies be covered, so if anybody who assisted the dragon watched us, they couldn’t be sure of our intent. The extra tall and wide shields would give our mission away for even a slightly keen eye.

Once behind the charred but standing walls of the town’s military barracks, we closed the gate and dismounted. Burned out hulls of buildings surrounded us. None of the soldiers here had been prepared for the dragon. “Set up camp,” I began. “Keep your shields nearby at all time. We’ll have screams to warn us with all the other standing buildings around these barracks. I’m going into town to get more information if I can.”

A chorus of “Yes, Sir,” followed me out of the door next to the gate and I turned left to head south towards a tavern I knew nearby. Two and three story wooden buildings lined the packed dirt street, wide enough for wagons to pass each other. The canvas walls flapped here too, a light breeze catching them, a constant presence. One and a half blocks south of the barracks I came to The Joker, a court’s jester painted on the swinging white sign barely above my head.

My usual spot in the corner farthest from the door had a very handsome man sitting in it. Bright jade eyes carefully examined every person who entered, his slightly dark skin glistening in the torch light ever so slightly. Even sitting I could tell he would be average height, but that would be the only thing average about him.

The innkeeper kept me from staring, as the slightly overweight man behind a low counter on my left said, “He’s been there for the last few days, only leaving at closing, My Lord,” the man said in a low voice. He was careful to be loud enough to not be suspicious but too quiet to be made out. Yet, something told me the strange, beautiful man heard every word. “Comes back not long after we open.”

“I’m going to join him. Please bring me some ale, Innkeeper,” I responded.

Crossing between the ten tables that filled the wood paneled room, only half of them occupied, I sat down at the table in the corner, facing the stranger and my back to the walk in fireplace where a large black pot of soup bubbled over a low fire. My chair creaked under my weight as I leaned forward and in a low voice said, “What is it you wait to walk in those doors, dragon?”

Surprise spread across his face, tinged with a little bit of amusement. “Ah, so there are humans that know this dragon secret,” he responded quietly. “Well played, Aquendar of Concrof.”

“Then it’s not an accident that a town in Rambestar, the kingdom I currently serve, is the target of your aggression,” I said, barely hiding the surprise in my voice. Silence followed as the innkeeper brought my ale. From behind the pewter mug, I continued, “You meant to draw me here.”

“My cave is to the northeast of here, half a day’s ride for you and your men. Yes, the news of your arrival beat you here on the loud lips of these pathetic villagers. Their smell is excruciating when not baked in my breath. Tell me how you knew so surely that I am the dragon?” asked the red.

“The vanity of reds is well known, and shared with me by the gold dragons I’ve met. Only a red dragon would think size is all that makes you average, while making the rest of your features set you apart as beyond handsome. You couldn’t resist, could you?” I said.

“Hmm, my master warned me not to underestimate you. Honest, but careful to only border on insulting. Now that I know you’ve arrived, I’ll return to my cave. Don’t wait too many days, though the sun sets on this one. I haven’t eaten a human in a week, but I suppose twenty one would be too many for one meal. I know you’ll last longer cooked.” The dragon stood with the grace of a high noble, his chair making almost no noise. As he dropped two copper coins on the table, he said, “Don’t tarry, champion, or I’ll find some farmer’s daughters to feast on.”

As I watched him glide out of the room, his feet seeming to barely touch the floor, I wondered who he considered master. There could be only one being a red dragon would submit to, and then grudgingly. The fact that Rangdor wanted to draw me to my death, he hoped, meant the arrival of the one I wait for should be close. I downed my ale to draw the innkeeper back. “Tingen, have there been any reports of extra activity by evil creatures, such as credarils or forangen or xanineft, in the other kingdoms?”

“Just yesterday, My Lord, a report came from Seftrel that the xadineft had become more aggressive and kidnapped some kids,” he answered. “How did you know?”

“Something that stranger said. Any others?”

“Not yet, My Lord. Should I pass them on to our contacts in Rambestak if I hear of more?”

“Yes, I will be staying where I can be found for the next few months.” Dropping two copper next to the dragon’s, I stood. “I am at the barracks, for now. If I’m not there, send it on to Rambestak.” As I left I wondered how well Ofeldar withstood her testing.

Support me by buying my books and reading more about Aquendar at my author page on Amazon 🙂

Trilogy Ad Picture


Previous Entry

I lost all doubt about Vedelbred’s sincerity when the shields were complete in a week and twenty young soldiers stood in front of me holding them. Arrayed in the courtyard of the castle, they looked a formidable group in their plate mail, but there stood the issue. “Commander,” I said to the soldier on my right, one of those who refused this task, “they all need leather armor, loose fitting. It has to have room to shrink without cutting off their circulation.”

“That makes no sense, Aquendar,” answered the stout blond soldier.

“Ever try to boil water in a leather pot, Commander. If this meeting with the dragon gets dragon breath hot, metal armor will conduct the heat straight to their bones,” I answered.

“Yes, I suppose you are right.”

The sun had moved considerably in the sky by the time we all sat astride horses, the huge shields strapped to the sides opposite long swords. As we rode out the southeastern gate of the castle I could feel the fear and nervousness but I pressed on until we had passed well beyond the city and the sun had reached zenith. “Dismount,” I called out as we reached a clearing in the already sparse trees. “Eat your rations for lunch, then we’ll review this mission,” I said.

The meal was silent, but for the chewing and noises of unwrapping dried meat and fruit from their parchment. Emotions had all twenty soldiers deep in thought. It also made them slow eaters, so I finished first and stood. “I’m guessing you all took this task for the extra pay, but that really doesn’t make you any less brave. A red dragon is formidable. It would have a hard time turning around and moving in one of the four story houses in Rambestak. Each claw is as long as my sword, nearly as tall as many of you. There are spikes on the wings and back, and horns on his head, a head that is bigger than a large cart and filled with fangs. However, all of those things pale in danger compared to his breath weapon. The flame from a red dragon’s mouth is hotter than any fire you’ve ever seen and if it touches you directly it won’t matter what material your armor is made out of. I had you change armor to protect you from the indirect heat.”

All of the soldiers had stopped eating and even the brown skinned soldiers had turned white as a sheet. “Then it’s hopeless,” said the youngest soldier, barely old enough to serve at all.

“No, it’s not hopeless. I told you all of that so you have no illusions that we’re going to walk into a dragon’s cave and in a short, simple battle, kill it. However, a red dragon can be killed by humans who can keep their courage, not flee at the dragon sight. If it goes to sweep at you with its tail, drive your sword between the scales and use your shield to survive hitting the wall. When the dragon breathes at us, get as small as you can behind your shield and hold your own breath so the hot air doesn’t burn your lungs. Focus on not getting hit by claw or tooth or tail, and not being in the direct flame, and together we can take him.”

“Sir, you sound like you’ve fought one before,” said another soldier.

“Fought? Yes. I managed to defend myself long enough that he grew tired of it and gave up. He didn’t realize how broken he had me or I’d have been food. The burns under my plate mail took weeks to heal. What I did learn is that gaps do open up between the scales as they twist and move. I also noted that the underside of their heads is soft so they can pass food through. It’s a small area, but a long blade driven up through it should finish them. If, while avoiding getting hit, you have a chance to plunge your sword between scales or into exposed soft tissue, do it and return to defending yourself. Let go of the sword handle or the dragon turning to see who stuck it will fling you around.”

“So, we’ll spread out,” said a soldier.

“Yes, quickly give him twenty one directions to worry about. We can do this, survive this, if you remember to protect yourself first at all costs while you wait for an opportunity, when it’s safest, to deal a blow,” I finished, then looked at them as they seemed to grow in courage. “Now clean up, and we’ll keep going until dark.”

Read more about Aquendar and help me out at my author page on Amazon 🙂

Trilogy Ad Picture


I rarely enjoy meeting with the kings. If it wasn’t so necessary to my cover job and my secret work, I would avoid it like I avoid riding into low tree branches at high speed. So here I am, the sun beating on my face as I tower over every other person on the crowded street, making my way to the castle. I don’t usually have to weave through the people as they see me coming and give me room, as is the case today. I’m built like I could scoop any two of them up, one under each arm, and carry them with me. The handle of my two handed sword shows up above my left shoulder and daggers nearly as long as butcher’s knives hang around my belt. All this is why I wear only leather armor in the city. I get enough stares without wearing my plate mail.

“Perhaps you could shorten your stride just a little, Sir,” said the soldier walking next to me. He comes up to my shoulders and is being a bit more jostled by the crowd than I ever am.

“Sorry, soldier, I almost forgot you were there.” I slow my steps a bit, and notice everybody going about their business also suddenly seems calmer. They know me, I think. How can they fear a man who’s served so visibly in Rambestar for two years now? The breeze picked up and the canvas that makes up most of the walls on Rambestak’s two to four story homes and shops flaps even more loudly.

I slow even more as the cobblestones on the street grow noticeably in quality, much more even under the soles of my boots. Moments later we’re passing by the guards at the entrance of a sprawling castle. Standing only two stories tall at its highest point, Rambestar’s castle covers an entire city block, with open courtyards and gardens between buildings linked by covered stone walkways. Interior walls are almost entirely fabric or canvas, taking advantage of the constant breeze in the warm climate.

Striding straight south from the front gate I quickly reach a large square structure that peaks in the center and is covered with wooden shingles. Three wooden stairs lead up to the wooden floor standing a few feet off the ground. Otherwise, only the supports for the roof are wood, but the canvas is extra thick and held with steel cables that can be quickly tightened against colder weather.

This morning nobles and soldiers mill around the throne room in this unique castle, entirely different in design than in the twelve other human kingdoms. King Vedelbred stands from his cushioned throne when I enter, slightly raised on a dais and covered in gold fabric striped with gray. “Ah, Aquendar! Don’t bother bowing,” His Majesty begins as he makes his way to me, “I need you to follow me.”

“Yes, Your Majesty,” I answer as I follow the otherwise ordinary looking man with his pale skin and slightly graying hair. The soldier that fetched me has vanished as the king and I reach another small building.

As he sits at the head of the small conference table, Vedelbred gestures I should do the same. My curiosity is definitely piqued. “Aquendar, I’m ashamed to admit it, but my other commanders in Rambestak have refused to take on the task I’m about to assign you,” Vedelbred shook his head but I waited for more. “Oh, perhaps Commander Xin would but he’s on the coast and there’s no time to recall him.” Another pause, but I wait again. “We have a dragon problem. It has been reported that a very large red dragon is causing trouble southeast of here, attacking towns and stealing children away.”

“You know I don’t come here to serve in your military, Your Majesty. I am friendlier with you than most kings of Li, so I have told you I will only fight with a gray army. What is it that you are asking?” I answered.

“I want you to go take care of this dragon problem, Aquendar. Yes, I realize you will only do training, of both horses and men, when you work for kingdoms, but I am asking for an exception. I know of no more capable warrior in all of Li for a problem such as this.”

I pause in thought for a moment before saying, “Yes, dragons are a unique problem, Your Majesty. Besides the fear they induce, their breath weapon and huge size make them quite formidable. Part of the reason I’m alive is I’ve never challenged one.”

Vedelbred sighed. “Dragons usually do no more than steal livestock either. It’s rare to even see one, but it happens often enough for everybody to know they’re real. Do you think they can be negotiated with?”

“I’ve heard legends of people talking with them. There were stories of a magician training with a gold dragon long ago,” I answered.

“Then, I ask you, no, I’m at the point of begging you, to go see the situation, see if this dragon can be reasoned with, and if not, try to kill it if you can,” said Vedelbred. “I can’t have that kind of terror in the kingdom. It’s bad enough that evil infested forest covers my southern border.”

“See if you can get twenty soldiers to sign up at quadruple pay to join me and have twenty one shields made of steel. The shields should completely cover a crouched man and have cushioning between the metal and straps to protect from heat. Once that is done, I will lead them to go find out what this lizard is up to,” I said.

“Thank you, Aquendar, I will get the smiths working.” King Vedelbred stood. “We will be forever in your debt.”

Read more about Aquendar and help me out at my author page on Amazon 🙂

Trilogy Ad Picture


I never thought I’d feel relief to be back in the fort in Seftrel, surrounded by human and neftir officers, but I did. The surviving kids back in their homes, we gathered to discuss next steps. Prince Zif looked at me and said, “Tell us what happened please, Ofeldar.”

“I won’t bore you with the fighting our way out,” I began. “Apparently Captain Hundle had been duped into thinking he could get his child back by helping the credarils capture me.”

“You believe this whole kidnapping of children tactic was to get to you?” asked Zif.

“Me and other people Rangdor fears. The sorcerers told me Rangdor is trying to take potential commanders off the field, the ones with reputations. They arrogantly felt sure I would never escape,” I answered.

“This has to mean the child of prophecy is close to being revealed,” said Tendelbro. “We have to warn the others.”

“Do we even know who they all are?” asked Zif.

“You and Ofeldar are two of them,” answered Tendelbro. “You are legendary for your mountain command skills, Prince Zif, and Ofeldar has proven herself as well, in many conflicts. This escape from the credarils will only enhance that. Those kids she rescued couldn’t stop talking about her killing credarils in the dark, without being able to see them.”

“The other two I know of are Aquendar of Concrof and Sir Xalt of Polentair,” I said. “If we warn them, they may know others to pass the warning on. I’m sure the mendar, thrandrils and endarils are all aware of the prophetic birth.”

“And safe in their enchanted homes,” said Zif. “I will have messages sent to Aquendar and Xalt. From now on I’ll approach each encounter as an attempt to kill me.”

“I am going to disappear and be near where I expect this prophetic warrior to appear. If Rangdor wants to kidnap and kill children to get my attention, he’s going to get my skills used against him,” I said.

“The credarils retreated with the death of their sorcerers and the neftir have secured the tunnels. The attacks won’t come from there. I’ll make sure my fellow commanders are informed of this new effort by Rangdor,” said Tendelbro.

“Since their failure to capture Ofeldar the xadineft have begun migrating north, in huge packs. We’ve harried some of them over the last two nights, but they come in numbers from as far south as the thrandril haven. That doesn’t mean I’m safe, but it does confirm what the sorcerers said, that Rangdor believes his last battle is coming,” said Zif. “I will prepare Seftrel to be there when that happens.”

I stood. “Then let us get to it.” The others all stood as well and just like that, the meeting was over. I returned to my rooms, packed, and headed for Polentair, the kingdom closest to the endaril’s hidden valley.

First 2 volumes

Want more Ofeldar? She’s in  Available at my author page at my author page on Amazon.


I whipped two arrows out of my quiver, behind the fletching, one on either side of my middle finger. In the same motion they were on the bow and flying. The credaril wizard heard one bow twang and burned one arrow to ash. The second took him in the chest.

As blades came out of scabbards in the dark, two more arrows left my bow and I dove to my left. Short crossbow bolts screamed past my ear, but two bodies made a thudding sound in the dark. I knew they could see me, at least the heat shape of me. The children with me had slid into the tunnel Josha had disappeared down, silhouettes in the light of her bobbing torch as she returned.

I could sense them, like the ripples in the air or the vibrations of their step told me their location. Only four left in front of me, but dozens of neftir to my right. “Run to Josha,” I shouted, then dove towards the tunnel, bow in my left hand, my next arrow in my right. The children reacted out of fear, fortunately not freezing. They sprinted away from me.

Leaving the bow and arrow where my hands landed, I stood up and drew my blade. I placed my back flat against the wall of the tunnel where the credarils couldn’t see me until the turned the corner and looked left. Men who would not stand as high as my shoulder leaped over the running wall of kids. In the brief light I saw thick brown and black beards, scaled metal armor flapping as they jumped. Dangerous looking axes glinted in the torchlight.

The first credaril turned the corner and my sword cut him in half with my swift stroke. An axe flew close enough to my face to feel its breeze and the second credaril fell. The neftir could see heat too, but now the credarils knew they faced more than children and one human. By the time the short, powerful warriors reached me, I could hear the feet of the remaining credarils fading away back up the other tunnel.

I used the cloak of the credaril I nearly cut in half to clean my sword. “Just in time, though you proved some credarils are more honorable than others.”

Reichet looked at me in the light of the torch, Josha now standing behind the dozen neftir. “They have no honor, Ofeldar, don’t be daft.” The neftir pulled his axe out of the dead soldier.

“A credaril got us to this tunnel. Yes, he did it knowing he was going to die, but he did exactly what he promised. Knowing he was going to die he could have led us into a trap, and let me finish him.”

“If it was any other human telling me this, or even a neftir, I would think it a lie,” said Reichet. “Did you find out anything? Why are they doing this?”

“Rangdor wants anybody who could command troops out of the way, according to my torturers. They underestimated me while Rangdor does not,” I said.

“You? No offense, but you’ve never wanted any command,” said the neftir commander.

“If Rangdor is trying to kill those he thinks would do a good job commanding, then the one prophesied to end him is getting ready to do so. And I would gladly serve under him. I hunt xadineft better on my own than answering to some prince or lord, but the one to end Rangdor would be worth serving under,” I said.

“He already pulls on the credarils to return to the light then, at least some of them. Come, let’s get you to the surface. We’ll help these children get someplace safe.”

The other neftir lit torches. I followed lost in thought. What should I do now? Is he ready for me to come to him? I barely remember the rest of the trip to the surface. As the neftir grew in number and then led us to a town near the tunnel we exited on the surface, I still struggled in my mind.

Want more Ofeldar? She’s in First 2 volumes Available at my author page at my author page on Amazon.


A couple of the kids turned out to be teenagers, so I had them walk in back of the sixteen of us. I figured their nerves would be steady enough to not be on the edge of panic, therefore able to listen for anything behind us as Shan’tar led us out what he claimed to be the back side of the dungeon. I didn’t trust the credaril, nor did I want to be using the torch, but every time I turned to look at the young faces following me, I knew darkness would scare them even worse than they clearly were.

We came to another intersection, our third in the seemingly unbroken maze of gray stone tunnels. In a few places beams held up dirt with long planks of wood or steel between them, but for most of it we only saw gray. I made sure to nick the wall at a height and spot I knew without the jet-black skinned soldier noticing, in case he merely led us in circles to keep us trapped. “How much further?” I asked quietly.

“This is as far as I can go,” he replied. “Walk down that way,” he pointed right, “for one thousand paces and you’ll be in neftir territory.”

“Unless you encroach more than ever before, that doesn’t seem possible that they should be there after such a relatively short walk,” I said.

“It is the neftir that have grown toward us. That is a debate that would rage for days between our races if negotiation was even possible. It’s not under Queen Lotha, may she live forever. I am ready,” he finished.

I looked at the credaril for a minute trying to figure out what he meant. Then it dawned on me. “Josha, take the others down the tunnel until you run out of light.” The oldest girl began quietly herding the children around the corner. I held the torch to light both their tunnel and the one Shan’tar and I remained in. “I will remember what you did if we make it to safety. If we land in a trap, I will personally peel the skin from your body.”

“I would expect no less,” he said, barely flinching as my right, leather gloved hand struck him across the head, while wrapped around my sword hilt. The credaril slumped to the floor.

For the first time in a while the children had stopped moving, and I heard it. Faint shuffling reached me from far down behind us. No, I corrected myself, running, but still far off. I sprinted to the kids. “Follow me at a run, try to run quietly, make no other noises. We must reach neftir soldiers or a good place to make a stand.” They all nodded.

I jogged at a pace that would be running for the younger ones, I knew they couldn’t take much distance at their speed, but if the credaril told the truth we didn’t have far to go. We ran past a tunnel to the left and I stopped, kids crashing into me and each other. I waved Josha over.

“Yes, Ofeldar, what is happening?” she asked.

“I need you to take this torch down that tunnel. Count your steps. When you reach a turn, go down it fifty steps, prop the torch against a wall and come back. It will be dark, so remember how many steps back. Can you do that?” I asked.

“I’m scared. What if credarils are down there? Why don’t you do it?” she asked, her voice trembling. I could see her brown eyes wide in the dark.

“If you see credarils, don’t scream whatever you do, but do turn and run back here as fast as you can. I’ll know that means I need to help you, but I need to stay here with the younger kids in case what I know is coming reaches us. I need you to be brave,” I said.

She slowly took the torch. I’m not sure a man could have convinced her, but seeing a woman like me taking charge and being brave inspired her. With one eye I watched the black haired girl walk down the tunnel, while using the rest of my senses to monitor the tunnel behind us. The children shuffled, but made me proud how otherwise silent they stayed, even the ones crying into their sleeves in fear.

Long moments passed and I feared I’d lose sight of that small light before she reached a turn, but suddenly it went left and vanished. I counted it out in my head and listened. I prayed to the One God that Josha’s footsteps would be the next ones I heard.

Want more Ofeldar? She’s in First 2 volumes Available at my author page at my author page on Amazon.