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“Why did ye miss? You’re an even better shot than me.” “I-I’m sorry uncle. I was... lost. I won’t miss again.” He pulled me up to my feet with his arms as big as tree trunks and patted the dirt away from my breeches. “Yer lucky there was another squeal. Ye know what that means?” “He’s not alone?” “And with that, more dinner.” Skol “HUWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK!” I should’ve never left the den. I should’ve listened to mama. I should’ve just waited. “Don’t be ssssscared young pig. I won’t bite. I only ssssswallow.” The titanic snake hissed, slithering closer and closer. Its vile curved mouth opened wide, showing its pink flesh within, its sharp yellow fangs dripped with green ooze. Each wriggle it made, its slimy and thick body expand and contort, a gigantic mass of brown dotted with black, slowly made its way toward me. It looked at me with malice, its indigo eyes enticing me to go down from the ledge. There’s no more space to edge further away, only cold stone against my fur. I close my eyes and believed it was the end. “GET AWAY FROM MY CHILD!” She came bursting out of the bushes, charging full speed at the snake. Right before the snake could react, mama pierced it with her tusks and threw the snake down the ravine. “Mama!” I screamed, running down to mother. “Skol, my child, my baby boy. Are you ok?” I buried myself in her warm soft brown fur. I expected her to be mad, but she embraced me and nuzzled her nose to my belly. “I’m ok mama, you’re here now.” “Listen to me next time ok? There are monsters lurking in every tree here.” “Scarier than the snake?” “Yes. I saw two earlier while I was picking berries for you.” “Berries? Where mama?” “I’m sorry, I dropped them. I ran to you as fast as I could.” “Can we go back for them mama? I love love love berries.” “Yes, my baby. I’m sure the monsters are gone by now.” “Berries! Huweeek! Yum yum!” “Let’s go bef-” A stick came flying out from the trees and hit mama on her right back leg. “HUWEEEEEEEEK!” She limped, and tried to run but it was no use. I was scared once more, I watched mama squirming in pain on the ground, helpless. “Mama! What can I do???” “Skol. Listen. The monsters. They are coming closer. I can’t run with you anymore. My leg is badly hurt. You need to run. Find your uncle Borbrus. His den is one and eighty trees away from ours to the north. He’ll protect you.” “I can’t leave you mama. I can’t survive on my own.” “You have to.” “Bu“Go! I lov-” Another stick flew again from the trees and hit mama right in the middle of her head. As my tears poured I ran as fast as I could. The taste of berries that I will never eat with mama, on my mind, leaving a bitter taste. joust

VOLUME 1

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Joust Volume 1  
Joust Volume 1  
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