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Hell on a Leash

Michael McCloskey

Published by Michael McCloskey at Smashwords

Copyright 2010 Michael McCloskey

ISBN: 978-0615434032

Cover art by Howard Lyon



One


Darkness threatened the treacherous trail that led up through the towering walls of rock. Although the sun had hours of life left, the tall crags would soon deprive the narrow passage of light. Once the shadows grew to envelop the crevasse, the heat would dissipate, signaling the scorpions, snakes, and wolves to begin their evening hunt.

A train of fifty men pressed their mounts on, loaded down with freshly-won plunder. Grime covered their faces and equipment. Cracks lined the sun-dried leather that armored them. Swords and axes leaked blood from their scabbards, yet to be cleaned. No wounded rode with them; those who could not travel had been dispatched.

The king’s soldiers searched a day behind them, lost amid the innumerable crags and valleys of the desert plateau. No retribution would find the bandits anytime soon. Should the army ever come to find the spot, the thieves would have walls to protect them, and of course the Four.

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