Novel Excerpt 2:Night Scene In A Desert

The encampment lay quiet beneath the cold desert moons. Bloven shivered as he stood on the dune overlooking the gray canvas of the tents. He pushed his glasses up his nose, loosening his grip on his rifle, which tightened again as he heard the rustling in the cluster of dru bushes to his right. Then he saw the luminous eyes of the owl and relaxed. Glancing across to where his fellow sentry stood, he sauntered nonchalantly toward the bush, raising his robe for camouflage. "Are they in position?" he whispered.

The luminous eyes swiveled on its uncanny neck to scan the surroundings. "Yes, hooliness." Bloven blinked. He had almost forgotten his new title. "All we await is yoour signal," the bird continued, blinking as if in imitation.

Bloven nodded. He lowered his robe, with an exaggerated sigh of satisfaction. A few seconds later, the owl launched itself silently out of the bush.

The other sentry, a tribesman named Shveni, let out a low, coarse laugh as it swept across the sky. "Those things're dangerous," he said conspiratorially. "They could bite yer pecker off." Bloven smiled, chuckling as if amused, then clubbed the man in the neck with his rifle butt. He caught the body and lowered it easily to the ground. Then he slipped the chains and pegs out from under the bush and started attaching them to the man's wrists and ankles. The signal would be given soon.

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The Den of Ubiquity/ Aaron V. Humphrey /