Archive for March, 2013

In the officer’s mess aboard the Bared Fang, the evening meal was just starting to wind down when a young, flaxen haired human stuck his head in the door.

“Pardon the interruption, sirs and mesdames,” the youth said, “but Lieutenant Garn thought this too important to wait. The lookout reports a ship on the eastern horizon.”

The wolf at the right of the table’s head frowned. “Garn wouldn’t have sent you down here without more details than that. Out with it, ensign.”

The junior officer swallowed hard, taking a deep breath before managing, “It’s… the Silver Pennant, sirs, mesdames.”

On those words a heavy silence fell.


In the early days, Bear was the greatest mother of all the wild spirits. Always the strong, steadfast guardian, She was fierce and implacable before any foe; and if She was stern with Her children, it was the sternness of a concerned, protective mother, always conscious of the well-being of those children, past, present, and future. She did not share Her love and Her gifts openly, but always they were there for those who asked Her in the appointed ways.


Charlie’s sudden departure left the impromptu picnic feeling somewhat strained. Blake returned after seeing his friend off, but conversation had become decidedly brittle, and the quagga soon excused himself as well.

That just left the girls.

“I wonder what that was about?” Melly said, going over the conversation in her mind.


The sight of the orchard almost made Jami weep. The branches were heavy with fruit, and even in the moonlight he thought he could see a ripe red gleam. It was more food in one place than he’d seen in days – far more than he’d been able to gather in his mad flight across the grasslands. He was just a city boy, a silversmith’s apprentice. He’d never needed to gather food from farther than the market until now; he knew just enough about it to know he’d been very lucky indeed to not have eaten something dreadful while he was scrounging.

And now he came face to face with this bounty – on the other side of a fence, the sort of thing he’d been well-taught never to cross without permission.