City of Hell Chronicles: Trifecta
Anthology (3 tales)
Find these and more at:
My thanks to first readers, Ewan Davies, Cam Field, Jane McCard and John Giles, and to editors JJ and Russell Smith and Jane McCard. Thanks also to my publisher, Colin F. Barnes.
For Ewan, Raven and Gabriel.
Shame drove Kurn through the rain and mist and up the scree trail at an angry lope. His comrades had the Bear at bay, but he was here, hunting nothing more fearsome than a pregnant sow.
Rain-slicked stones skittered beneath his feet spotted here and there with blood. He was close. A woman’s scream echoed from the dark caves gouged into the ragged line of hills that squatted beneath the cloud-shrouded mountains. It was the great scream, the earth shaker—the scream of birth. He froze; steam rose from his near naked body, indigo war paint ran down his limbs. Fool. It was only the cold that made him shiver, only the chill breeze sweeping off the snow wrapped mountains, not spirits. There was nothing here that could stop him gutting the bitch and casting her get onto the rocks for the buzzards to devour. The Dura Sat had commanded that the invaders die, and so they would. All of them.
“You’ll catch your death up here, son. It’s a bad place to be running around half naked,” said the old woman.
Kurn was angry that he’d flinched. He hadn’t seen her because she was small, and as grey and hunched as the tumble of rocks she was standing beside. She must have been hiding, and had crept out when he was looking up at the caves. She hadn’t just appeared out of thin air. The mist was playing tricks with his eyes.