Tis Tuesday and time for another teaser. This week it is an excerpt from my new Shadow Wolf book, Red Fangs, which first appeared on my Thursday night serial.
This bit is something I added during re-writes; the appearance of a foil for Ragnar who plays a bigger role in the 3rd book.
At night Guthus’s Ladder was poorly lit and the ruins provided many dark alcoves that could shelter those who might wish to rob or harm passersby. That several notorious muders had occurred here in centuries past, as well as rumours of a haunting, did nothing to dispel its nightime reputation. In my experience, it acted as a shelter for those who could not find some better place to rest their heads than an ambush point. I had no fear of the place in the dark.
And yet as I approached the looming stone bulk of the place, my nose caught a scent among the nightime cornucopia. It was out of place, and yet familiar, speaking of fur and blood, and madness. I knew that scent well enough, and it filled me with cold dread. I knew the bearer of that scent and what he portended.
Stopping in the narrow street that led to Guthus’s Ladder, I scanned the shadows. There was nothing I could see in the wooden shacks nearby or in the shadows between. The deeper darkness in the ruined tower was impenetrable even to my eyes. I sniffed the air and listened, extending my senses.
The scent was faint but I want not imagining. I could hear music from far behind me and a cart in the distance but nothing nearby. Nothing. Not a breath. Not the sounds of sleepers. Not the faint creep of a rat skulking in the alleys. Nothing of the sounds that one would expect in such a place at such a time. I drew my weapons and faced the ruined tower squarely, ready to fight and to die.
“Ulfgorr, come out where I can see you.”
My voice shattered the stillness. I heard a scrape from within the tower and tensed. I saw a shadow move in the torchlight. I shifted my grip on axe and hammer.
I waited. Nothing else happened. I heard a sound from a nearby alley, a cobblefox or a rat. The scent was gone.
I waited to be certain and then ascended the ancient staircase, weapons still in hand, ill at ease.