Broken Treasure – Excerpt

cover-two-short-storiesBroken Treasure

 

Augustus Hopperton slipped through the streets of Whitehall and away from his home on the outskirts of the village. No one saw him; no one ever did. He was a small man, short, thin, with a balding pate and not much to lend itself to acknowledgement. He had no real skills, other than his ability to pass unnoticed, and no acquaintances to reprimand him for his behavior. He was a scavenger, plain and simple, and he had no desire to be anything more.

The village was quiet this late in the evening. Most folks were home with their lights out and their kids tucked into bed. Businesses had closed at the dinner hour, and the nightly rainstorm was in progress. Drops fell in sheets, and runoff from the nearby mountains threatened to turn the streets into rivers. But Augustus didn’t care. Tomorrow was burning day, and he had to reach the Heap before the light shone.

Augustus skulked by the last house and made his way through the swamp grass to the place where the Heap rested. Putrescent pools surrounded it, and rot saturated the ground. But that didn’t bother Augustus. All he cared about were the treasures he’d find in the Heap, things he could take home and save from destruction.

The Heap rose before him, almost head high. It spanned the several feet of dry land in the middle of the swamp and was nothing more than a tangled mass of garbage. Food scraps lay side-by-side with broken furniture and garden instruments, and a few moldy books were tossed in for good measure. It had always amazed Augustus that the people of Whitehall could throw away such treasures, things that could be mended and used, and the food, while not fresh, was rarely rotten. There was good stuff here, if one cared to look. Augustus himself hadn’t had a meal from anywhere else in years, and he was as fit as he’d ever been.

Wasteful. That was the word. The people of Whitehall were wasteful. It was bad enough that they threw away valuable items and food, but them burning the pile once per month made it even worse. There was no point in it, and Augustus saved as much as he could carry.

Lightning cracked the sky, and Augustus took a moment to peer upwards. Dark clouds rolled across the heavens, and thunder shook the ground. The swamp itself seemed angry, and Augustus shivered. The storm was worse than usual tonight, and he wanted to finish his business and get home to his fire.

Augustus raised his lantern to better see the mound of trash before him. He spotted a chair leg and pulled it from its resting place. He could use this, he was sure, and there was no point in wasting good wood. He also found a lamp, cracked down the side so it would never hold oil again, but he was positive he had an adhesive at home that could mend it. His heart lifted when he found the freshly tossed remains of a roast, and he shoved it in his pocket to have for dinner. If he could just find some fruit, he’d eat well.

The rain’s intensity increased, its fury beating the swamp grass into submission. The mountains groaned as lightning touched their tops, and thunder shook the ground so much that Augustus stumbled. It wasn’t safe here, not tonight. He’d have to just grab what he could and get back to his dwelling, no time for dilly-dallying. Even his treasures weren’t worth his life. Not in this storm.

Lissa Dobbs

http://www.lissadobbs.com

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The Slave’s Caress – Excerpt

rise-of-the-mad-gods-cover-2When the Catastrophe destroyed the universe, all were impacted, including the gods. In the battles that followed, many were killed or driven mad. The mad gods are those who resisted the new world and seek to destroy it and the humans who caused it. Below is an excerpt from “The Slave’s Caress”, a short story I’m currently working on. I’m hoping to release it in the next week or so.

 

Violetta Redsmith breathed a sigh of relief as the airship docked in the port city of Grimview. She’d been running for months, dodging the demon trackers that had been on her tail since Pistofficle, and considered herself lucky to have found berth on the airship from Flameport in the Kingdom of Emerell to Grimview in Riverland Pearlrest. She didn’t particularly want to spend the rest of her life in the cold near the Shizzuria Wasteland, but it beat being a slave.

Violetta looked around the port and noted the long wooden piers and the bustle of those embarking from the ship. The town before her was small, especially for a port, with one story buildings and copious amounts of smoke coming from chimneys. There was no market square as there was in Pistofficle. Instead, all shops had signs hanging from them, and people entered them instead of shopping out in front.

“What do I do now?”

Violetta had no idea. She’d left Pistofficle with no thoughts other than escape, and planning her future had played no part in her thought processes. Now she had to figure out what to do with the rest of her life, and she had little coin to use to sustain herself.

You will find what you need.

His voice had been a constant source of reassurance and guidance throughout her journey, and she was grateful for his companionship.

A chuckle. You still think me no more than a figment of your imagination.

That was true. The voice in her head and the image that manifested to her all seemed no more than a dream born of desperation, a safety valve for her sanity.

Be on the lookout for Rise of the Mad Gods 1, which will contain “The Slave’s Caress” and “For Love of Her”.

Best wishes!

Lissa Dobbs

http://www.lissadobbs.com

A Visit from Sir Klaus

A Gift from Sir Klaus

‘Twas Yuletide at last, and a crystalline night.

The morn would soon bring the rebirth of the light.

Alone on his mountain a-dressed all in green

Sir Klaus stood surveying the wintery scene.

The toys in his pack he loaded onto his sled,

While he waited on young ones to snuggle in bed.

Then down through the snow with his white wolves to guide him

He came with the presents to leave there beside them.

Into each home he crept on silent-clad feet

Leaving gifts by the hearth and taking cookies to eat.

Then away he would slip with a flick of the reins

While children awoke to toys, dolls, and games.

But ‘ware ye the child who would hinder the old,

For Sir Klaus will leave thee nothing but coal.

sir-klaus
“A Visit from Sir Klaus”

 

Read the story “A Gift from Sir Klaus” at http://www.lissadobbs.com.