New World 4: Way of the Giant

Here’s a excerpt from early in the draft of New World 4: Way of the Giant. Future editing may wipe this scene from existence… so enjoy it here, because you never know!


For shelter that night, they dug a burrow in the snow. Simon could see the darkening sky through the opening, and he watched the moon climb and the stars come out as he crunched on black, curled pieces of smoked meat. Bush bacon, Bogg called it.

The mountain man lay beside Simon, not snoring yet. “It were a fine trek. The pleasantest days to pass over my head.”

“You’re sorry to be home?” Simon asked.

“Indeedy. We crossed that ridge, that… I disremember what you called it.”

“The continental divide.” Simon had learned some geology while working his father’s press, too.

“Right. I recall your tale of it. You spit on one side and it runs into the Hestern Sea. You spit on t’other, and it runs to the Keelkicker Shallows.”

Simon grinned.

“Anyway, I suspicioned our journey might be drawing to a close. City life lies in wait for us. No escaping it.”

“You’ll change your mind about city life when you have a mug of ale in hand at the Mermaid.”

Bogg chuckled. “You do know me, don’t you, pup?”

The night was quiet. Simon craned his neck to see the moonglade cast on the snow. The stars shone brighter and the turn of the night approached. He saw a new light in the sky, near the moon. Pale and hazy, like a white star with a milky stream pouring from it. “Oh… a comet. Bogg, look.”

Bogg turned over and raised his head. “Good land. It’s the Little Sister.”

“The what?”

“I haven’t see that since I was a wee lad. They say it’s the little sister of the Moon Rabbit. He takes care of her, and she looks out for him. Moon Rabbit plays it safe and stays on his path, but Little Sister, she trampooses off hither and thither. Gone most of the time. He hardly ever sees her.”

“A comet.” Stories came to Simon. “They say a comet is a bad omen. A sign of war, or famine.”

“Who says?”

“Astrologers in Algolus. They say a comet appeared in the sky before the goblin hordes began their seige of Isengrim. And the night that Wizard Malbardwin raised the undead from the killing fields of Saale, they say a comet could be seen in the aust.” Simon frowned. “I like your version better. Moon Rabbit and Little Sister are a family. Sort of like us.”

Bogg grunted. “Is that what we are? I hadn’t thought of it that way. ‘Family’ makes me think of my old brother Ackerley. How long has it been?”

The blue unicorn privateers had killed Ackerley, Simon’s father, and sixteen more in Fort Sanctuary. “I was twelve.”

“That I know. How old are you now?”

“I’m…” Simon had watched the weather and the passing of the seasons on their journey, but hadn’t been counting the days. “Sixteen? Surely by now.” His fingertips rubbed the itchy stubble on his jaw.

“Family,” Bogg said. “Well, I reckon it can’t be avoided.”

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