Deepdale led Levi down the narrow street and halted outside a ramshackle, timber-fronted structure. The fox ranger took care to hold his russet brush-tail above the street’s filth, though the hem of his frock coat trailed, leaving a track in his wake.
Leaning buildings loomed either side of them, their gables drawn together high above, like branches arching over a woodland glade, shutting out sunlight and casting the street in perpetual shadow. Along the street’s centre a slick-sided channel contained an oily black slime strewn with filth. Levi pulled his cape around his face and wrinkled his nose in disgust.
‘Is this the place?’ he asked, trying not to breathe too deeply.
‘It is.’ Deepdale pointed to a large wooden sign hanging on iron brackets above the open doorway. Levi squinted at it, just making out what appeared to be a sort of club, crudely painted on the wood. Deepdale patted his shoulder.
‘The Black Jack Inn. Home to a score o’ thieves, cutthroats and other scandalous scallywags. Stay close to me – and avoid eye contact.’
Levi swallowed and reached unconsciously for his sword hilt. Deepdale quickly stayed his hand.
‘And don’t even think of reaching for that – you’ll be drilled with more holes than old Bullyrag’s rain barrel afore you can blink. Now, close your eyes a few seconds – takes ‘em less time to get used to the darkness once we’re in. You never know what’s waiting inside a door such as this one. Ready?’
The ranger waited for Levi’s nod, then turned and boldly led him into the pub’s gloomy interior.
And so begins the previously-unpublished sequel to my Amazon five-star rated children’s novel ‘The Door to Caellfyon‘.
Continuing in the tradition set by part one ‘The Flight of the Sparrow‘ will be serialised on this site, and offered through a string of free, downloadable PDF files.
To access each chapter as it appears, you may either navigate to the text version using the menu tab above or, for the free PDF, click here.