TITLE: Keeper of the Key
GENRE: Young adult
Peter crouched in the foliage. It hid his body from view, but didn’t block his sight. Through the cracks in the leaves and branches, he saw a field littered with dead. A great battle was over. Nothing moved. No victor remained.
Beads of sweat formed on his forehead. His eyes flicked back and forth as he surveyed the seen until one body drew all his attention. He recognizing the lifeless form and jerked his head back. For a moment he forgot to breathe. Father?
His head pounded as he stared at the body. Fresh blood leaked like heavy tears from lacerations covering the tanned muscular shoulders and torso. His shirt was torn in pieces and lay over the center of his massive chest. A knife buried to the hilt in his father’s chest sparkled in the dimming light. The sun straddled the mountains; night approached.
Peter heard the thumping of feet and rustling in the nearby trees. Shifting his eyes, he saw three men running, dodging the tangle of bodies that lay on the ground in a scattered mess. As if premeditated, they ran straight to the area where his father lay and stopped, searching the scene and the bodies at their feet. They were looking for something.
One of the men stopped his search when he came to Peter’s father. He called to the others. Breathing heavily the men stared at the blood-stained corpse. Their clothes were drenched in sweat. They had run far.