by Mercy Loomis
Copyright 2010 by Mercy Loomis
Originally published in Taste Test: Welcome to the Jungle. Round Rock, TX: Torquere Press, 2010
Cover design by Mercy Loomis. Cover art by Wavebreakmedia Ltd / Dreamstime.com, pulsartt / iStockPhoto.com, Dave Wicks / morgueFile.com/opticgroove.com.au.
This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book, or portion thereof, in any form. This ebook may not be resold or uploaded for distribution to others.
This is a work of fiction. Any references to historical events, real people, or real locales are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination, and any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead (or undead), is entirely coincidental.
Jon crouched, listening for all he was worth in the thick darkness. The stone outcropping next to him was cool and damp, the sandy loam squishing between his toes. The jungle was especially dangerous—it was always too dark for his eyes, and he didn’t have the abilities that the other creatures here did. He gripped a large rock in one fist, a broken branch in the other.
Across the clearing, something shifted.
Clearings were death-traps, he’d learned that early on. The filtered starlight that they let in was only an illusory comfort—the creatures that lived here knew full well that his kind were drawn to the faint light. The creatures could gather in the shadows and kill their prey at their leisure. The jumble of rocks that sheltered him hid him from the clearing, the feeble glow illuminating the tangle of plants that surrounded him.