In the Shadow of the Demon Gate
By Sylvia Volk
Published by Unexpected Books at Smashwords
Copyright Sylvia Volk 2011
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“AMYKE, WHERE are you hiding?”
Amyke crouched behind the mud-brick bread-oven, in the kitchen courtyard. The other slave-girls, Wardu and Saggim, huddled against her. Saggim whispered into Amyke’s ear, “The gate-guards say there’s a monster loose on the mountain. A wild spirit, maybe a ghost—they found a traveler with his throat chewed out—and maybe it’s come into the city, maybe it’s calling you, Amyke—”
“A beast named Beltu?” Amyke whispered back.
They all giggled behind their hands.
“Amyke, good-for-nothing! Come out or my curse on you, lazy slave!”
“Don’t go,” Wardu hissed. “Don’t. The beast will eat you.”