20 By the Light of the Silvery Moon

By the Light of the Silvery Moon

At its apex, the moon appraised the Rhine valley, picking out the straight lines of human endeavor, the right angles of the latifunda1, the allées of trees leading to the farms, the terraces of grapevines, the road drawn toward the city of Confluentes2. The miniature figure of a horse had just enough wit left to carry its head at an angle the reins trailing to one side, as it tore in the direction of that city.

The sounds of terror shook the air and the scent of sweet horse blood and dung overlay the road. Soon this would be spiked with the sharper note of human blood and open omnivore gut.

The horse that didn’t get away still screamed from the pain the dragur had caused in his rush to get at the red cloaks. The pitiful noise not only woke the children but irritated Tod enough for him to turn and deal a backhanded slap that broke the beast’s neck, before he went back to pulling bits off the messengers. Continue reading