Rise of the Gatebreakers (SAMPLE CHAPTER)
The Gatekeepers Series
Rise of the Gatebreakers by M.L. Katz copyright @2015
All Rights Reserved
This book is a work of fiction. People, places, and events are the products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual people or historical events is entirely coincidental.
No part of this book may be reproduced, stored, or transmitted without express permission of the author. With that written, small snippets may be used for relevant reviews.
Year I of the Rehan War
The fourteen children of Far Point Village huddled together inside a rocky cave. Though the spring day had started out cool, the heat from their bodies and the damp cave walls soon made the refuge humid and uncomfortably warm.
After the hidden children heard the fight for the village begin, the hoarse shouts of the attackers blended with unspeakable cries from the defenders. Despite the distance and insulating cave walls, the roar of battle soon grew tortuous. The only mercy was that it did not last long.
Rabin Dranath Grandtree, the hybrid boy, sat on the dirt and pebble cave floor beside his younger siblings. He wanted to retch from the stink of sweat and fear.
Jan and Kim Grandtree Dranath, the daughter and son of Rabin’s mother and stepfather, huddled together on a mat with their eyes closed. They all knew they needed to be quiet. Rabin worried that if he opened his mouth to speak, he might start howling. Once in awhile, he reached over to pat Jan’s slim shoulder or run his his fingers through little Kim’s tousled hair. He hoped the gesture gave them comfort.
Through the day and into the night, Rabin had heard both of his younger siblings whimper quietly, doze off, and then wake to begin again. When they woke, Rabin believed he could almost taste their fear. He could certainly taste his own like an unpleasant surge of bile in the back of his throat. Hours passed. The thin stream of moonlight that filtered down into the cave melted away into gloom.
“It’s pitch dark now,” Rabin whispered to the larger boy beside him. Del Gerson, the oldest and biggest of the village children, had mostly stayed quiet. At sixteen, he wasn’t even exactly a child in the way that twelve-year-old Rabin still was. Del was already as tall as most men, and his broad arms and chest were dusted with blonde hair.
In response, the older boy just sighed and said, “Steady, there. My father and your mother told us to wait for help. We’ve got food and water for three days. It hasn’t even been one day. We have to believe that they had planned for something like this.”
After Del spoke, the children heard the muffled pounding of hoofbeats. At first, Rabin’s heart rose. That had to be their rescuers. Rough voices shouted in a language that sounded like wolves growling. Jan started to whimper. Dirt and pebbles sprayed into the cave. Rabin put a gentle hand on her shoulder to quiet her. Another younger child cried out in the darkness. Del slid over to shush him.