The wonderful story of what happened after the war - includes the short story Mistry's Tale
Warning: If you haven't read series one of Dirt, then this contains a couple of spoilers. Hit the back button quick!
Life is settled in the small, ancient fishing village of Deoram Ham, until Seb Dawfoot, his daughter Silvi and their family arrive with terrible news.
Farthing put his hand up for them to stop.
"What is it?" Silvi whispered. She had started riding next to him in the last hour as she slowly recovered from her embarrassment and fear.
"Over there," he said, pointing. "Those are deer."
"They are very small!"
"Scrubland Deer," Seb said quietly, riding up on the other side of the girl. "Go on, Silvi. I have seen you get a small boar with your bow. You can get one of those. They make great eating."
"You think?" She looked nervously at the two men, both of whom for different reasons she felt she must impress.
"I think you should try," Farthing said. "Get down so you are stable, I will hold your horse."
"What if I miss?"
"Then it is beans again."
Silvi concentrated, trying to ignore her audience of two men and six horses as she notched the hunting arrow and pulled the string back. She took a slow breath as she brushed her cheek with the string. "Come on Silvi," she said to herself. "He is watching, you can do this, you know you can." Feeling her mouth going dry she aimed at the lower chest of the deer standing closest to her and let fly.
It is nearly ten years since the end of the war and now another despot is determined to build an empire, this time in the south of Bind. Farthing doesn't have an army any longer, he owns a farm and shares his life quietly with the fishermen and a few of the riders that escaped from Ponack. If he is to save his family, he has to escape and that means he needs a boat...
Short Story and the prelude to Dirt: Series Two
Mistry is fifty years old though she looks the same as ever, but despite living happily on Hope for the last twenty-five years, she has decided she needs to move on and complete the journey she started when her father was killed; the journey to find her true home.
Taking passage to Port Lesende, she buys a wagon with two good horses and makes her way slowly back along the route she and her friends took all those years ago.
"Yeah, why have you turned up? I have never had you as an imaginary friend before."
"Another one for you to try and work out. You are getting a collection of questions now, aren't you?"
"You are a pain!" Mistry stopped the cart and threw down the reins, folding her arms.
"You going to turn around then and find your old friends?" Weasel asked, climbing back onto the cart.
"No." Mistry sagged and picked up the reins again. "It's the past isn't it?"
"What do you mean?"
"I am expecting to ride into the past. I know they are all older and have children and the rest, but in my head they are all still riders, wearing leathers and missing their dragons. But they won’t be like that at all will they? They are all ten or more years older than me. Most will be creaking, too fat for their leathers, and be far more concerned about whether it is going to rain or not than what is over the next hill. They will have all changed, that is what you are saying, isn't it? They will have changed, but I haven't.” She looked down at herself and sighed. “I have hardly changed at all. That is it, that is what I am scared of, isn't it?”
Mistry's Tale acts as a prelude to the second series of Dirt when an even more dangerous threat emerges.
"Of all the characters, Mistry is my favourite and I simply could not let her go. This short story, almost a conversation piece has allowed me to take Mistry to a place where she is no longer the unpredictable teenager and can use her fierce courage and intelligence to the full. Now, onto the next series, and more wonderful characters." CC Hogan.
Available in Paperback and for Kindle from Amazon and in other formats from Smashwords
Paperback length: 168 pages
Number of words: 71,000 appx
ISBN (Amazon): 1517287723
Dirt: Series One
The opening of the entire saga, Dirt tells the story of Johnson Farthing as he races across the ocean to rescue his sister Rustina with the help of the beautiful Sea Dragon Fren-Eirol and the annoying magician Weasel. Read More