Bits from the book . . .

Extract from Peril, The Legend of Sedrak

After another uncomfortable sleep, I was startled when the dirty sheet covering me was yanked away, revealing five snarling sailors.

“A stowaway!” an ugly big brute of a man bellowed.

They dragged me up the stairs, my legs kicking at them in protest. As they lugged me out into the sunlight I covered my eyes against its sharpness. With cruel laughter they threw me down. I skidded a fair distance before slamming against the side of the ship. Dirty sailors laughed and heckled as I jumped to my feet.

“What’s going on boys?” a well-dressed man with a strange accent drawled. He seemed out of place with the rest of the company. His white pants were tucked neatly into his leather boots, while his green shirt shimmered in the sun, ripples of frills running down the centre. A long dark braid hung down his back and a small black moustache sat on his upper lip as if drawn onto his face. When he saw me he jerked back, his eyes making a quick summary.

“We do not allow stowaways,” he scowled. “This is a merchant ship. Everything on here is worth something, every passenger paid for.” He paced while he spoke. “Freeloaders are bad for business.” To his crew he grumbled, “Throw it overboard.”

Fear crept up my body before closing around my throat. If only I had my bow, but it was with the rest of my provisions at the hide out. Then I remembered the dagger tucked into my pants. I produced it to jeering shouts. One of the sailors lunged at me, and I sliced his arm. As he jerked back in pain the rest of the crew formed a circle around us, egging us on.

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