|Illustration by Michael Rogers|
For two weeks a steady rain had battered the ancient forest. Malatthias was cold and hungry, the weight of his armor tiresome. By the time the second moon rose he wore but his tattered shirt and bloodstained pants, his sword still sheathed. A thick cloak covered him and part of his horse, Mayllyn.
Suddenly, a snarl came from above. Malatthias looked up. She was dark and beautiful and for the moment the disenchanted knight was mesmerized. Look away. He could not speak. She slowly descended toward him. "I am Kteress." It was more like a hiss than a woman's voice.
Mayllyn stood straight up on her hind legs, plunging the knight into the thistles and thorns. He scrambled to his feet but Kteress was on him within a blink of an eye. Her claws dug around and into his throat.
Read More ...