Sample: Lassiter and the Renegades of Sunk Mesa

sunkmesacov2Looks like I’ll be able to release the Lassiter short story at the end of the month. In the meantime, here’s a sample from the middle of the story.

From Lassiter and the Renegades of Sunk Mesa:

Lassiter jerked from sleep as the blare of a hadrosaur call sounded in the distance. He scrambled up and began searching for his dino. He could have tied a hobble to the creature’s legs to keep him nearby, but he didn’t—figuring the dino was hobbled enough by the arrow wound. Now Bullet had wandered off. Another mistake.

A dim twilight surrounded him. Bullet was nowhere to be found. Another hadrosaur called. Lassiter got the sense that he was surrounded. The renegades must still be about.

He surveyed the jungle’s edge and didn’t spot any renegades. He moved westward across the darkening plain, from shadow to shadow. When the light was at its dimmest, he found a fresh pachysaur track in a muddy dip in the ground.

He struck a match. In the orange light, he saw the clawprints were jumbled together with dozens of other sharp-toed prints. Lassiter could see that Bullet was being harassed by this pack of smaller creatures. They must have smelled the blood from his wound.

The jumble of prints pointed westward, from what the gunman could judge. He let the match sizzle in the mud and then followed the prints westward.

The hadrosaur calls grew fainter as darkness took over everything. A quarter moon gave him enough light to keep from stumbling. An occasional glint from light on a muddy print also showed him he was headed in the right direction.

A dark thought struck him as he walked—the bundle. It was strapped to the pachysaur…

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