TITLE: Traitor Knight
GENRE: Adult Fantasy
A clamor of rooks exploded through the trees, nearly drowning out the woman’s scream.
Morgan’s head jerked up and he straightened in the saddle. Trouble, at last. It had been a boring patrol up til now. He set his heels to Arnicus’ flanks and the big grey gelding quickened its pace along the narrow trail. The birds flapped off, their raucous calls fading in the distance. A watchful silence overtook the woods, broken only by the thud of Arnicus’ hooves on the summer-dry earth.
Morgan scanned the undergrowth for the source of that cry. He knew no good reason why a lady, screaming or otherwise, should be in the middle of the King’s forest. But whatever the reason, he had to find her. Help her, if possible. He’d never been one to shy away from trouble. No soldier was, or he didn’t remain a solider for long. His hand reflexively loosened his sword in its well-worn sheath.
Another shriek split the air. Arnicus leapt forward, nostrils flared and ears laid back. Morgan drew his blade. The trees thinned slightly, the mottled light of the forest replaced by brighter sunshine that heralded a clearing. Morgan jerked hard on the reins, causing Arnicus to toss his head in equine complaint. Morgan paid little heed.
Just ahead, the trail opened out onto a serene sun-dappled clearing. The little meadow, dotted with bright patches of wildflowers, would have been charming if not for the hulking blue dragon crouched in its center.