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Dead’s End to Middleton by Natania Barron is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at escapepod.org.
Dead’s End to Middleton
By Natania Barron
Dust rose at the horizon in tongues of earth and wind, dancing before the sinking sun. Bits of mica flashed now and again; almost like fairy dust, thought Nathaniel, more than a little delirious in his saddle by now. It had been far too hot for a breakneck race such as this.
But there were slobbering, chittering creatures swarming Middleton behind him, slavering over the horses and terrorizing the families that made up his close-knit community. Their only hope was in him. Sutherland Ranch couldn’t be far. Old Man Sutherland would know what to do.
Time was wasting. His horse, Mixup, needed water, and Nathaniel needed rest. His tongue felt cold, his lips cracked and bleeding; he’d gone so far past dizzy that he’d come to expect the world to shift a bit by now.
But, no. Maybe not that much.
A voice. A woman.
It was easy enough to comply. Nathaniel doubted he had the strength to move, anyway; his ankle was still twisted up in the stirrup.