Three Sample Chapters of a Novel
P. T. Mayes
Copyright 2013 © P. T. Mayes
This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the author's imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemble to actual events, locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
All rights reserved.
No part of the publication can be reproduced of transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without written permission from P.T. Mayes
Having crawled through mud and fought the storm (much like Michael Wells on the night he raided the Merchant's HQ, he thought) the stranger eased open the cottage door and stole into the dark, warm kitchen. Having carefully closed the door behind him he stood for a moment with his backside turned to the fire, his long leather coat steaming, wishing the ache of the road would leave his bones, if only for a moment. He sighed, stretched, noted that the brass hands on the ornamental clock on the shelf were edging past ten. No time to mollycoddle himself. Unburdening his shoulders of the backpack he let it drop beside the old rocking chair - it landed like it was full of stones - and glanced once, longingly, at the chair before taking the hunting knife from the sheath strapped to his right ankle. There was work to be done. Outside the rain lashed the windows and the wind wrapped itself around the cottage, trying to find a way in, shrieking at finding every entrance blocked.
Crouching by his backpack the stranger severed the wet knotted cords rather than attempt to untie them, and lifted the sodden flap. Inside he could see the old folder, a worn thing of brown leather, faded now almost to tan, that contained nothing more than the most important manuscript in the world.
Twigs scratched a window pane.
The stranger turned and stared into the dark living room. His hand now gripped tightly the knife, ready to fight for his life.
Had he heard something move in there?
Surely not. He had circled the cottage several times before breaking in and had assumed it was empty, after all the lights were off and there was no signs of any movement from within. He remembered what they used to say about people who made assumptions.
His eyes searched the layers of dark for a human shape, or worse, a guard dog.
No, he must be mistaken. It would not be the first time his nerves had played tricks on him.
He forced himself to relax, allowing his pent-up breath to whistle between his stained, broken teeth, reminding himself that he was no longer in "enemy" territory. There was no danger here, at least not at the moment, but it wouldn't hurt to double check.
Putting the folder under his coat for protection he stepped into the living room, and knew instantly he had made a mistake when he felt someone hiding in the dark slip behind him. Upon feeling the knife's razor sharp edge at his throat, trimming his scratchy and road-tangled beard, he froze.
"If I was you," whispered the girl into his ear, "I wouldn't move so much a muscle, just in case I slit your throat by accident. I'd hate for that to happen. Blood is so difficult to get out of carpet."