Email this sample to a friend


A Short Story by James D. Pratt

Copyright 2012 James D. Pratt

Smashwords Edition

Cover image ©


Smashwords Edition, License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If this is not a free book and you would like to share it with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If this is a free book and you would like to share it with another person, please direct the recipient to the book’s page on so they can download their own copy. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.


Heinrich hated sentry duty. A grizzled veteran at forty, he damn well should have merited exemption from such menial tasks. That’s what new recruits are for, and there were always plenty of new recruits. The mortality rate was high out on the edge of the southern frontier, but such was a soldier’s life. Dying from unnatural causes was part of the job and where the Damned Company was concerned, there was plenty of unnatural to go around. The Blight wasn’t going to guard itself, after all.

Granted, it was a small consolation that he was sharing guard duty with Eobard Critchler. The younger man was fairly tolerable as far as fresh recruits went. Most of the new guys grew up rough and tumble and arrived with scars on their faces and chips on their shoulders. With no prospects back in civilization (unless you counted death by knife or noose a prospect) they came south, lured by the promise of a generous pension for a mere ten years of service spent in shouting distance of the most dangerous place in the world. Heinrich didn’t just know their collective story, he’d lived it.

Previous Page Next Page Page 1 of 13