• Miles O'Neal

Justice for A Friend (a sneak peak from YEAR OF THE DRAGON LORD)

Digging a cist (type of grave)

The king spoke. “Any other dissenters?”

None of the prisoners spoke. None even moved. After a moment the king finished. “Very well. You shall live at the mercy of those you helped enslave. Serve them well and they will you treat you better than you treated them. Perhaps one day some of you may even earn your freedom.

“Play the traitor and suffer a traitor's death.”

Over the two days after the battle, the village had been thoroughly looted—every home and other building searched, wells and trees checked, disturbed earth dug up. Three carts were piled high with the results, and every man carried some as well. It would all go back to the three villages known to have been plundered by the dead raiders.

With the prisoners walking in front, the army rode one hundred yards from the village and stopped. A dozen men rode through the village, setting it afire. All watched it burn, waiting until the last building had collapsed into a mound of smoldering ashes, little tongues of flame still shooting up at random.

“Thus,” noted the captain, “we deal with plagues and their breeding grounds.”

Copyright 2015 Miles O'Neal, Round Rock, TX.

Illustration by Alli Ritchie.

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