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A wide-shouldered figure leapt out of the second story window and hit the boardwalk next to the ruined cart with an enormous smack. He was bare-chested, and every inch of the man’s skin was covered in a tattoo of intricate design. He held a sword in each hand, and the look on his face said he was about to use them.
“Let’s talk about this?”
Gavin heard Ardin but couldn’t see him anymore. He was running, pushing Noobit out in front of him. The Treekin’s legs moved as fast as they could, but not fast enough for Gavin. They turned several times before either of them felt comfortable enough to stop.
“I told you that guy was bad news,” Gavin said as he caught his breath, placing his hands on his knees. “He would have gotten us killed.”
“You offered him twenty blonks,” Noobit reminded him. “Now we don’t have a boat.”
Gavin nodded, but he didn’t have any ideas for their next move. They were in the middle of a nasty looking part of the city. A clearing filled the view ahead of them, most of it covered with makeshift tents and lean-tos. A wave of funky body odor clung to the air and made Gavin’s nostrils flare.
The entire encampment was the size of a football field, rounded at the edges. Patches of open space dotted the backdrop between the temporary homes. The openings centered on fires, most surrounded by people drinking and conversing. A number of songs hovered over the camp, each highlighted by an instrument or a chorus of voices.
“What is this?”
“This is where you end up if you don’t have a boat,” Noobit explained.
Gavin’s stomach soured. “You mean like us?”
Gavin took one more look around. “Oh, heck no,” he announced. “We have to get out of here.”
“And go where?” Noobit asked.
“I don’t know, but we can’t stay—”
He refused to stay a minute longer in that dreadful place, but a familiar sight froze his tongue in his mouth. A group of figures covered in ratty cloaks stalked across the open ground, their hoods pulled tight around their heads. The troop worked its way between the makeshift tents, heading directly toward Gavin. His mind pulled back to the attack on the streets of Tarravale.
“We’re in trouble.”
Noobit sighed. “Tell me something I don’t know.”
About the Author
Michael W. Garza often finds himself wondering where his inspiration will come from next and in what form his imagination will bring it to life. The outcomes regularly surprise him and it’s always his ambition to amaze those curious enough to follow him and take in those results. He hopes everyone will find something that frightens, surprises, or simply astonishes them.
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