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I know I said last week that was going to be the last Hump Day Snippet I took from The Last Hour of Gann, but I lied. I lie a lot. That’s why I ended up a writer. If you’re good at something, never do it for free, as someone awesome once said. But okay, here is what very well could actually be the last snippet I take from The Last Hour of Gann. Or maybe not. We’ll see next Wednesday, won’t we? To set the scene, Amber has been abducted by a band of raiders and Meoraq is in pursuit, led by a boy who claims to know their camp. Of course, anyone who would know their camp is not entirely trustworthy…
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The boy’s looped belt dropped over his head and before Meoraq’s eyes could identify the danger, it had cinched tight.
No air. A perfect choke. He had less than a minute to break it. Meoraq’s sabks were already in his hands and stabbing backwards, but the boy skimmed around them with the same ease as he’d navigated thorns and gullies all day. Abandoning that, he slashed at the belt, but the boy wore a braid and the cheap leather was thick and stiff. He hadn’t made a single good cut before the boy bashed the rock into his hand. Once. Twice. Then the other. Disarmed.
Through a haze of smothering grey, Meoraq heaved himself backwards, groping blindly for an arm, a throat, his tunic, anything. The boy leapt out of the way, heaving with him, and then Meoraq was on his back on the ground, staring at the world through shades of grey that shook with his own pulse. In his last seconds, he tried to pull the belt out of the boy’s grip, but he had no leverage and no strength. He could feel the scratching of his scales on the taut leather vibrating through his skull, but even that felt distant, unimportant. He could see his mouth opening and closing; the world beyond was smoke and shadow and the white open eye of death.