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   Chapter 25 No.25

The Book of Deacon By Joseph R. Lallo Characters: 5765

Updated: 2018-01-19 12:03

She trudged to the door she had wrestled partially open. The inch-wide portal to the outside remained, for whatever reason, undisturbed by the kidnapper. The fiend could have easily pushed her wedge from the door and robbed her of this tiny accomplishment, but instead it remained, whistling with the frigid wind of the outside. Earlier that day she had prayed to find this place and to be allowed inside, but now all she wanted was to leave. She put her eye to the crack.

The sky to the east was beginning to take on the rose hue of dawn, coloring the stark white snow a faint crimson. The only soul to be seen was the captor, dressed in the same blasted cloak as any other northerner. The stranger sat with eyes to the east and back to Myranda. Far off in the distance, a speck of black was moving toward them along the snow-mounded road. As it drew nearer, it revealed itself to be a horse-drawn sleigh. It was not unusual for such vehicles to be seen so soon after such a terrible storm. Blizzards were anything but uncommon, and waiting for the roads to clear was a surefire way to be caught in the next. However, it was clear that no one had been along this road for many months, save for whoever had looted this place. This sleigh's appearance could not be a coincidence.

When the sleigh was near enough, Myranda could see that the horses, the sleigh itself, and the four soldiers who stepped out of it, all bore the unmistakable emblem of the Northern Army. Her heart lifted. She had not been happy to see a soldier of either side for years, but today they represented her only chance for rescue.

"Here! I am in here! Help me!" she cried out, beating on the door with her fists. A sharp pain in the shoulder quick

to be thrown into prison, and if the weapon was valuable enough to hire a bounty hunter and alert the army, she would remain locked away for the better part of a decade.

As she worried what the future held for her, the exchange between the bounty hunter and the soldiers became very heated. The other soldiers, who had stood silently until now, began to encircle the blade-for-hire. The leader stepped between the door and his underlings and began working at the ropes, blocking Myranda's view of the spectacle. Despite the overwhelming emotion, she could not help but notice an odd quality about him. It was something in the way he moved. It seemed. . . foreign.

A flash of light reflecting off of something metal shifted her gaze to the action behind the approaching leader. The soldiers began to move back, but never even made it to a second step. One by one the soldiers jerked awkwardly and dropped to the ground. Their ends were brought in a heartbeat by a single strike too fast to see. The clang of falling armored bodies drew the attention of the leader. His head had not yet turned when a blur of steel removed it from his shoulders.

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