By Erik Schubach
2015 by Erik Schubach
Published by Erik Schubach at Smashwords
P.O. Box 523
Nine Mile Falls, WA 99026
Cover Photo © 2015 Coka / Triff / ShutterStock.com license
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This book contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from the author / publisher, except by a reviewer who wishes to quote brief passages in connection with a review written for inclusion in a magazine, newspaper, blog, or broadcast.
This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
Manufactured in the United States of America
Chapter 1 – Portcullis
I yawned as I stepped out of my family's stone cottage with my little brother, Jace, the steel pin hinges groaned in protest. I closed the old wooden door as quietly as I could as to not waken mother. Her health had been deteriorating and we didn't like her exerting herself.
We walked to the pig pen and I grabbed my wooden cart by the handles and started toward the portcullis of the defensive wall around our village. I called back, “After you feed the hogs, bring Matilda to the butcher. She isn't laying anymore, and we could probably get at least two pennies for her or trade for a half sack of grain, she has some good meat on her.”
He nodded as he grabbed the bucket to get some of the castoffs from Castle Wexbury we had traded some eggs for. Our feathered ladies were some of the best laying hens in the village and the lords of the castle were partial to them. I smiled. He was only seven but was a godsend around here. With mother down, he was all I had to help me with all the chores while I was out scavenging.