MariaVSnyder would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Night Study (Excerpt)

By MariaVSnyder All Rights Reserved ©

Scifi / Fantasy

Excerpt

After a day and a half of hard riding, we reached the location of Leif’s disappearance. A few hours of daylight remained.

Janco dismounted and examined the ground. Ari and I allowed him to do his tracking mojo while we walked the horses. They had set the brutal pace. Patches of sweat stained their coats. Their nostrils flared as they caught their breaths. Once their breathing smoothed, we watered and fed them. By this time, Janco had finished his investigation. He stood in the middle of a number of scuff marks on the right side of the road, scowling.

“What did you discover?” Ari asked him.

“It wasn’t a typical ambush.” Janco pointed to clumps of grass and dirt between two trees. “Somebody went to considerable trouble to stage an accident. They overturned a wagon and made it appear as if it was stuck.” He strode closer and crouched down. “And here’s evidence of a freaked-out horse.” Janco straightened. “They knew their mark.”

“Janco,” Ari warned.

“I’m trying to be dispassionate. Leif’s my friend, too.”

I concentrated on the information and ignored my emotions, which threatened to let that voice of doom speak. “Why do you think it was set specifically for Leif?”

“`Cause of the elaborate setup. Being a Sandseed horse, Rusalka would have alerted him of people hiding in the woods.”

“Unless they were waiting downwind,” Ari added.

“Not this time of year. The prevailing wind direction is from the west.”

Ari and I exchanged a glance. Impressive.

Janco huffed. “Ya know, it’s not all…tracker mojo. There’s a lot that goes into it. And there’s some good news.”

My heart jumped. “You know where he is?”

“I wish. They headed west, but the road’s surface is too hard packed and well traveled to distinguish their tracks from all the others.”

“The good news,” Ari prompted.

“There’s no blood.”

“That makes sense if he was taken by the Cartel. They wouldn’t want to harm him until he refused to join them.” And my stubborn brother would probably never agree to work for them. Which meant we had a limited amount of time to find and rescue him before The Mosquito bit.

“Another thing about the setup is they knew Leif would be on this road at a particular time,” Janco said. “Who else knew his location, other than Master Irys?”

“Bain and the Councilors, who might have informed their aides,” I said. Plus all the people who bribed the aides for intel. In other words, too many.

“Janco said they continued west. We didn’t pass them on the road, or else Rusalka would have smelled Leif. Is there another road that branches off this one?” Ari asked.

I considered. “There’s a shortcut about a day west of here that leads to the main southern road. That route follows the western edge of the Avibian Plains, but they could have veered off into Stormdance or Greenblade lands. And they have a three-day head start.” Frustration welled.

“That’s also the way to the Jewelrose lands,” Ari said.

If Bruns Jewelrose is dumb enough to amass his magician army in his own backyard,” Janco added. “I doubt he’s that stupid.”

“What’s our next move?” Ari asked.

Guessing would get us nowhere; we needed reliable information. I stifled a groan. My earlier mistake—the one that had led to us sitting in a cell wasting time for five days—returned for another kick of recriminations. “Fisk.”

“But if he knows where Leif and the others are, why doesn’t he tell the Council?” Ari asked.

“For the same reason we don’t trust the Council,” Janco said.

“And the reason is?”

“They’re ineffective idiots!”

“He probably doesn’t have any proof,” I said. “These are wealthy businesspeople who have a great deal of influence and power. Fisk has probably cobbled together bits of information from his sources and determined what’s going on.” At least I fervently hoped so. “We need to talk to him. Let’s go.” I stepped toward Kiki, who grazed nearby.

Ari grabbed my shoulder, halting me. “No.”

“But time—”

“We haven’t slept in over a day.”

“We’ve been resting for five days.”

“A few hours is all we need.”

“Leif—”

“Leif’s clever. He’ll play along, knowing we’ll come rescue him. But you won’t be able to help your brother if you’re exhausted.”

I peered at him. He’d gone from using we to you, meaning me. “Let me guess, Valek—”

“Doesn’t have to order us to protect you. You are family. That goes beyond orders.”


Write a Review Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, MariaVSnyder
Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

SandraHan1: This story is very descriptive, with vivid scenes from the very beginning, which made for a good scene setting. I love the symbolism in names, such as “Naysayers”, “Hadd”, etc . The story itself is revolutionary, intriguing, emotional and exciting. I was very pleased to see that there is a happy ...

Carole Troup: A good read for a paranormal lover. There are multiple different types of beings here a dragon ,warlock , witch, vampire Slayer, gargoyle, vampires a few more I am not listing. this is a nice read not overly violent. However there is fighting and bloodshed. A Love story, wrapped in a vampire war,...

Marijana1: The melancholy present throughout this story has the power to influence and etch into the minds of the readers, to stay there and refuse to leave even after they have finished reading the story. This is a deep, powerful story, making the readers wonder about everything – about love, about their e...

Sonali Srivastava: It is very Fancinating to read a story full of Fantasy and specially when love is not complete as story , I really like the Imagination of Author and his writing skill, u dictated everything so beautifuly that when I read it I lost in the story and I hope I will read soon the second year of Zakir...

Diana Chernenko: I liked this book. Even if the idea of book isn't so new. "girl that should save the world with her super powers." sometimes I thought that she is too overpowered, and I was sometimes really annoyed by her, and felt sorry for her friends and Derek. Moreover I didn't like first chapters when the...

Nanasha: I thought I'd written a comment on this story, but for some reason, I guess it didn't go through. Anyway, so this story is intensely addictive. I liked how the author uses established mythology but then gives it a unique twist. The idea of goblins all coming from the head of the king is an ama...

mandynova411: Not only was this story captivating, but it tugged your heart in all the right places. I highly recommend. It does get a little repetitive in the middle, but overall the story is a class act. To sum it all up: a love fantasy love story that defies all odds.

LeahWrites: I love your use of writer's craft and how you use figurative language to enhance your writing. It great how you didn't have any spelling or grammar issues.

More Recommendations

icamiss: I loved this, the plot twists and turns were ones you couldn't always see coming (those are the best kinds) and the ending leaves me wanting more! I'm completely intrigued with this narrative, the way you write and explore your characters. The storyline seemed a little cliché at first, but honest...

blantonk63: This book is anything s fantasy/adventure/romance fan could ever want. The plot is very well developed and I absolutely fell In love with the characters. I 10/10 will recommend this book to anyone and everyone!

Kevin Brand: My overall rating: 4.8/5 starsLoved. Every. Second. Everytime I came back to continue reading I got this overwhelming feeling of getting hooked on the first sentence... Over and over and again!The only things that were missing for me include more descriptions on what happens when Reuben touches s...

Ding Fernando: very nice read.so realistic you can hardly put it down,i really like the character so human despite posessing immortality and eternal youth.though i would prefer a better ending..i still love this novel and i am recommending it to all sci fi fans to give it a try .you will love it too!!

Krupa Kataria: the detailing is really awesome ....the characters, ur plots jst too Awsm ,m waiting for the further chapters please do complete it ...like m really craving for those ones ...great job with words too ..please complete the further parts ...

Jordano Quaglia: I was taken to the future, to the shock of worlds among the people in the underground versus the mutants. The characters are well defined and rich in details, as I felt that I empathized well with them and envied their adventures while being scared by their predicament. It i a world that I would ...

{{ contest.story_page_sticky_bar_text }} Be the first to recommend this story.

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.