The guy’s fist was big. Meaty, you might say, and though clichéd it wouldn’t be inaccurate. His fingers were thick; a fine tracery of dirt defined the lines and patterns of his skin. There was a narrow scab across his first two knuckles.

That was my view for a split second, before it came down again. I wanted to object—I might have gotten a syllable out, but it was cut off by the impact, the blinding flash of light and swirl of spots.

My hands were tied behind my back. The guy must have weighed 240 pounds, and his knee was firmly in my sternum. I didn’t really have an alternative to simply taking it.

He pulled back and did it again. I almost couldn’t feel the pain, but I felt the jarring against my teeth. I wondered briefly how many I was going to lose.

The fist pulled back again, but this time it hovered, considering. I started to say something, but couldn’t make anything but blood bubbles. The fist disappeared, to be quickly replaced with a knife. The hand at my collar jerked me roughly, and I found myself staring into a face. A meaty face. Unlike the knuckles of the fist, it wasn’t bloody.

“If you make a sound,” the face hissed, “one single sound, I cut your throat.” The blade pressed against my Adam’s apple. “You understand?”

Last time around I took questions from a number of good folk who keep up with this story. I welcomed any vaguely relevant topic, and though I expected spoiler requests and questions about the story content, most of the querries were actually about the writing process. Which is cool and all that. If you’d like more of that sort of thing, I invite you to follow (“Like,” in the parlance of our times) my Facebook page, where that’s pretty much all I talk about. (And if there’s some burning story question you didn’t manage to get in under the previous post, you can always post them here. Or at the Facebook page. Wherever.)

So, anyway, someone is due a Fabulous Prize. I said I’d choose the coolest question, or pick randomly, and since all the questions were pretty cool I went with the latter method. The winner, according to my dice, is shiftykobold! Shifty, if you’d care to drop me a line (address is my first name at my domain name) with your address, I’ll get your shiny copy of Heroes of the Fallen Lands out to you post haste!

This week: The first half of Chapter 15. Enjoy it, and enjoy it now, because from this point forward these postings aren’t permanent—I will probably take them down at some point in the future when the entire book is done. I’m within a few thousand words of the end, so that day isn’t, hopefully, too far down the road!

Click through for PDF

New to all this? You can find the first 13 chapters compiled in one handy PDF!

As always, I crave your comments!

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