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Tuesday Teaser 1/7/14 – Wolf’s Lady

For my Tuesday Teaser I am going to be presenting a short story from the After the Crash world. This is about Sand Wolfe, one of Taye’s cousins, and the woman who will become his mate.  I had already started this story, but I’ve decided to go back and tell it from the beginning. There has been no–zero, zip, zilch–editing or even proof reading to this, so please excuse the roughness.

Wolf’s Lady

by Maddy Barone

Chapter 1

 

Omaha, Nebraska – the new Sin City of what had once been the United States

September 30, 2070

 

Sand Wolfe looked at the distant wall enclosing the city of Omaha, hiding the distaste wrestling with curiosity in his belly behind a blank face. He had been here only two months ago as part of the group escorting his cousin’s mate to her uncle, but on that trip he had stayed outside the wall. He liked to run free, and living inside a dirty city was something he’d never wanted to do.

“C’mon,” his cousin Snow muttered. “The gate is right ahead.”

They walked, leading their single horse behind them, through an area which had once been a suburb of Omaha. Now it was empty, all buildings and trees cleared away decades before he was born to prevent attackers from sneaking up on the city. Sand flicked a glance up at one of the watch towers built into the wall, his excellent eyesight finding two men there. The barrenness of the land gave the guards a clear line of fire. Sand forced his shoulders not to twitch.

The road led them directly to the gate. More guards were there, with guns and questions.

“Names,” one guard barked at them.

“I’m Snow Wolfe,” Snow said in his quiet, gentle voice. “This is my cousin Sand Wolfe.”

The two guards, beefy and well fed in their olive drab uniforms, exchanged a glance, but they said nothing about the names as one wrote them in a book. Snow was actually Snow On His Fur of the Lakota Wolf Clan, and Sand’s full name was Wolf Running In Sand. The cousins showed their Lakota heritage in their waist length black braids and dark skin.

“What’s your business in Omaha?”

“We’re visiting family.”

The man poised his pen over his book. “What’s your family’s name?”

“Sky Wolfe.”

“Cute. Snow, sand, and sky. No sun?”

“No.” Snow’s voice was flat.

“Alright. Ages?”

“Twenty-eight,” Sand answered.

“Twenty-seven,” said Snow.

The man wrote it down. “How long are you staying?”

Snow raised his eyebrows at Sand. “Two months maybe. We’ll head out before winter comes.”

Maybe he could stick it out that long, but Sand doubted it. He was sure they could have snuck into the city without all this gab. One of the guards went to their horses and searched through the saddlebags, inventorying their spare clothes and scant food stores.

“No weapons?” the guard barked.

“We both have a knife,” Snow said, touching the grip of the knife in his belt.

The guard wrote for a while longer, then tore the sheets out of his book to hand one to Sand and the other to Snow. “Your Visitor Permits. Keep those with you at all times. They’re good for two months, until December 1. The City Guard can ask to see them at any time and if you don’t have a visitor’s permit you will be escorted out of the city.”

Sand read the words on his permit. It identified him as Sand Wolf, age twenty-eight, six feet two inches tall, 170 pounds, slender build, black hair very long, brown eyes. Nose aquiline, mouth full. All accurate enough, he supposed.

Once they were past the gates Sand took a deep breath and steeled himself to enter the city. “Let’s find Sky.”

 

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