A Foul Business By Any Name By: Terry D. Scheerer


A Foul Business By Any Name
By: Terry D. Scheerer

(Editor's note: This story is a sequel to "The Dragon Hunters", which appeared in Issue #1 of "World of Myth". If you have not yet read the first story and would like to, before reading this one, go to the Fantasy Archive and click on "The Dragon Hunters". Thank you, TDS).

Bodkin shook the sodden lump beneath the blanket.

"Mmm, wossit?" came a mumble from under the cover.

"I think we're in trouble. C'mon, up, up, up," Bodkin pleaded, shaking what he hoped was a shoulder through the blanket.

"Eh, whazit?" Smudge moaned. He slowly struggled into a more or less sitting position on the side of the cot, although he was leaning decidedly to the left.

"Look at this," Bodkin said as he pulled the blanket from Smudge's head and thrust a small gray card at his face.

"Er," Smudge managed, as he tried to focus his bleary eyes on the paper, which was only inches from his nose.

Smudge--called such because of a large birthmark which resembled a 'smudge' of dirt on the otherwise unwashed left side of his face--being but a small part of the illiterate majority, could not actually read, although through his chosen profession he had come to recognize certain posted signs, such as, 'No Trespassing', 'No Poaching', 'Keep Out' and especially, 'Guard Dogs On Duty!'. Beyond that, he was pretty much lost when it came to the written word. The figures on the paper in front of him--when they finally stopped swaying from side to side--appeared to be nothing more than the drunken meanderings of some poor spider who had inadvertently stepped in an open inkwell and then wandered across the paper.

"Er," he repeated, squinting at the writing. "What's it..." he paused to burp, "...say?"

Bodkin was not actually an avid reader, either, although he would not admit the fact. Since his line of work (when he had one) rarely took him onto other people's property in the dead of night--as Smudge's sometimes did--he would not even recognize as many words as his friend was capable of. In fact, if the runner who had tracked Bodkin down had not told him exactly what was written on the card, he would know as much as Smudge did about what the note said.

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About the Author

A published writer since 2001, along with his work which has appeared in "The World of Myth," Terry D. Scheerer's short stories have appeared in such magazines as, "Dragonlaugh" and "Sword's Edge," and a book of his collected poetry and short stories was published by Gateway Press in August, 2005. Mr. Scheerer continues to work as an Editor and writer (as health permits) on a number of ongoing projects.
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