Excerpt of Where Flap the Tatters of the King, The Order of the Four Sons, Book III, by Coyote Kishpaugh & Lauren Scharhag
Alyssa had discovered the wooded area wasn’t all that deep, perhaps sixty yards. Up ahead, she glimpsed a clearing, and started to move towards it when a dark figure seemed to rise up out of the twilight, obscuring her vision.
With a small gasp, she halted.
She stared at the creature ahead of her, trying to make out what it was. Not human, certainly, judging by the enormous size of its frame, the head that was not even visible above the branches of the trees. All she could see was the outline of a wide torso, the pair of muscular arms at its sides.
Motionless, she waited. There was no sound but the skeletal rustlings of the sleeping forest, the whisper of snow swirling into drifts.
The creature didn’t move. It simply stood in the billow of wind and snow, a shadow in the glade.
After a moment, she took a step forward. Then another.
Sensing no danger, she moved with a little more confidence, but when she reached the edge of the woods, she paused again. It was fully dark now. Without the cover of the trees, the wind whipped at her cloak. Wet droplets stung her face and, squinting, she held her hair back away from her eyes.
Now she could see that the figure was made of stone-- a statue, sixteen feet tall, buried almost up to its knees in snow. Tilting her head back to better examine it, she saw the great horned head, the smooth, broad shoulders.
A minotaur, carved out of some sort of highly polished black stone.
She walked carefully around it, observing the detailed carving—the texture of the horns, the sculpted nostrils, the nude, virile body. It stood at attention, its fierce eyes fixed on some point in the distance.
There was no danger—no danger, of course, from a statue. But there was something about it all the same, something deeply disquieting. Why did she think it seemed to be waiting—for her?
Backing away from it, she sensed a great expanse opening up behind her, and turned. For the second time, she inhaled sharply, immediately understanding why the minotaur was there, in the middle of a clearing.
It wasn’t a clearing at all, but the edge of a steep bluff.
There, spread out in a wide valley below, was the Capital.He was its sentinel.
If you haven't discovered the O4S-verse yet, it's never too late. Check out Book I here.