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Shadows Of The Past

A Farshore Short Story

Everything in your life can change in one night.

Charity learns that truth the hard way in this high-energy short story.

An orphan from the worst slum in Byzantia, Charity survived by never letting anyone get too close. Being taken in by a sect of priestess-scholars was the kind of luck that urchins like Charity only dream of, but an unexpected letter from the last living soul she'd ever called friend forces her to break their rules and risk losing the only home she'd ever known. Winding up back on the street would be bad enough, but when her night goes from bad to worse she'll have to think fast and act faster if she wants to survive the night.

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CHAPTER ONE

It was too damned dark to see anything, and that suited me just fine. Byzantia's east end was an impossible tangle of dead ends and sodden alleyways, misery and double dealings. Those who lived there just called it the Dead End, and those who lived elsewhere tried not to talk about it at all.
 
The city's proper citizens were quite happy to let Byzantia's garbage, human or otherwise, roll downhill from the Phoenix Gate or wash in from the harbor district to disappear into the east end. No one went there on purpose. When I'd left the place behind I swore to the uncaring gods that I'd never set foot on its streets again, but Garris had sent me a letter, and Garris couldn't write. That meant he'd begged, borrowed, or stolen enough coin to pay someone else to write it for him and deliver it to the cloister of the Daughters of Vesta in the temple core. 
 
I'd known it was bad trouble before I'd finished unrolling the cracked parchment.

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