Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Page 99 -- Serpent's Keep

Page 99 from Serpent’s Keep
A Fantasy Novel
By David R. Beshears
Reprinted with Permission: Copyright By David Beshears. All Rights Reserved.

Book Description: "I bequeath to my nephew, Jacob Quigley, all that I own, all that I dream, and all that I am, in the hope that my life's quest will become his quest."

-- Last Will & Testament of Tobias Quigley

Those few cryptic words send Jake into a bizarre world that couldn't possibly exist. In his quest to gather together the Artifacts, he will befriend a network of eternal Guardians, defend against an ancient enemy no one has ever heard of, travel a series of Gateways to Other Worlds, and if his quest is successful, sacrifice his freedom.

Meara thrust the staff toward the lead wolf, keeping it and its companion at bay. The two stayed just beyond the reach of the weapon, continually watching for an opportunity, studying and reevaluating, knowing that sooner or later Meara would make a mistake.

Jake rolled up onto his side and attempted to sit up. He froze then, suddenly, hearing the sound of snapping brush and breaking tree branches.

Something was coming out of the mouth of the ravine.

Oh, great…

The dragon pushed its way between two trees and came roaring into the clearing. With two quick strides it was on the wolves. The lead wolf jumped aside, but the other wasn’t fast enough. The dragon dropped its clawed foot down on the animal and held it. The wolf struggled to free itself, digging frantically with its front paws, but it wasn’t going anywhere. Ignoring its efforts, the dragon turned its attention to the other wolf.

The leader of the wolves had moved to the far edge of the clearing, where it stopped and now watched and waited. It clearly wanted to get back into the fight, to win whatever prize it had come for, and was displeased at this turn of events.

It knew that it had lost, and didn’t like it one bit.

It gave its companion a final glance and looked up into the eyes of the dragon that held it prisoner. Knowing that it could do nothing to save the other wolf, it growled angrily at Meara and Jake, then turned and disappeared into the surrounding woods.

The dragon turned and looked down at Jake, gave him a studied, knowing gaze. Jake nodded, as if to say yes, I have it…The dragon then curled its claws around the wolf, gripping it so that the helpless animal couldn’t move. The dragon opened out one great wing, stretching it its full length, then stretched out the other wing. It gave two heavy beats of these massive wings, pushed off with its powerful rear legs, and leapt into the sky. It circled high overhead and turned into the darkness of the ravine, carrying the wolf with it.

“Master Jacob!” Meara ran to Jake and dropped to her knees. She grasped his arm and held him up.

“I’m okay,” said Jake.
David Beshears is an author, a screenwriter, a programmer and a teacher. He founded Greybeard Community Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping those with disabilities and their families, after his son was severely injured in Afghanistan. He established greybeard publishing to support the creation of the community center. All proceeds from the small publishing company go to the fund for the center. Among the titles is "Climb the Mountain", the story of his son’s struggle to recover from severe traumatic brain injury. David is currently training to climb Mt. Rainier this summer and will be making the ascent in the name of his son, SFC David M. Beshears, recipient of the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. He lives in McCleary, Washington with his wife Sylvia.

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