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By Rigel Ailur

Published by Bluetrix Books, Smashwords edition.

© 2011 by the Rigel Ailur

Copyrighted material. All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce in part or in whole without the express prior written consent of the author.

All characters and events in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is coincidental.


I'm the best liar in the world, normally skilled enough to keep myself clear of trouble. But you'd never know it by my current predicament.

Now I'm lying in the cargo hold of a river barge and feigning unconsciousness. My head is pounding as if it's been split open which, judging by the blood I can feel on the side of my face, is likely the case. So while pretending to be out cold, I'm also fighting to not pass out again for real. That would probably be lethal.

The barge is tossing beneath me and I can feel additional bruises—and splinters—accumulating from the hard wooden floor as I bang against it. I can also feel the contents of my stomach roiling as badly as the river outside. It must be a horrible storm, but this deep in the ship I can't hear anything. I pray the weather subsides before I give myself away by being ill.

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