5th book – read it yet?

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The next book:

Night hung black and heavy about the old barn. An iron gate creaked a short distance away and a few minutes later the short figure of a man slid alongside the barn. As he moved cautiously forward his fat, gloved hand felt the wood. The man stopped as he neared the door and his hand dug into his right coat pocket. Fumbling, he searched for something. Not finding it, he uttered an oath and reached awkwardly across to his left-hand pocket. He pulled the empty sleeve from the pocket and reached inside, withdrawing a long hypodermic needle. His dark-skinned face creased into folds of fatty tissue as he smiled. Moving forward once again, he did not bother to replace the empty coat sleeve and it hung limply at his side in the still air.

The prowler reached the door. Carefully he opened it and slid inside. His eyes, already accustomed to the darkness, made out the stalls on the other side of the barn. As he moved toward them, his thumb slipped to the back of the hypodermic needle.

The hard ring of a horse’s hoofs against the floor came from one of the stalls. Then a long and slender neck that arched to a small, savagely beautiful head peered over the door. Thin-skinned nostrils quivered as black ears pitched forward. The prowler, halfway to the stall door, had stopped. The horse shook his long black mane and a powerful foreleg struck the door.

A board creaked as the man moved closer. Baring his teeth, the horse whistled the shrill, loud scream of a wild stallion. As the whistle resounded through the barn, the prowler moved forward. He would have to work fast. Mincing steps carried his round body to the stall door with amazing speed. He opened it, but fell back as the black stallion struck at him.

Gripping the hypodermic firmly, the prowler advanced again, more cautiously this time. He stopped and his fat face twitched nervously. The giant horse rose on his hind legs, mouth open and teeth bared. As he came down, the man lunged at him, but the horse’s foreleg caught him in the groin. The attacker turned gray beneath his bronze skin. Staggering back, he attempted to close the stall door behind him. The stallion, halfway through the door, rose again on his hind legs as the man stumbled and fell to the floor. Thrashing hoofs pawed the air above him. The hypodermic dropped from his hand as the giant form began to descend. The man rolled fast, avoiding the stallion’s hoofs by inches. Climbing to his feet, he ran frantically for the barn door.

Outside, he heard voices coming from the direction of the gate and, turning, stumbled off into the night, the empty coat sleeve waving slightly at his side.

5th chapter (pdf)

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