Labyrinth Wall (9780991531219)
here. He’s absolutely crazy and has twenty-two saber tooth mutts at his command.”
    “Twenty, now.” Korun points with his bloody axe at the two dead mutts.
    He starts to lead me out the door when I remember my bag.
    “Wait.” Frantically I run toward the back of the house to find my bag, but my dagger’s missing. “Damn it.” I turn around to face Korun.
    He’s left my side, distracted by Sir Riddles’ “pets.” Horror screams in his eyes as he looks them over. Having seen the skinny bruised bodies multiple times already, I’m still shaken. I can’t even imagine what he’s thinking. He pulls his knife back out.
    “There’s no time. He could be back any second.”
    He glances at me shamefully. “We can’t leave them like this.”
    When he reaches to cut off a woman’s collar, she snarls and bites his hand. He jerks back, and we move away from the wall as they all start growling. We almost reach the bed before we stop. “What did he do to them?” he questions.
    “I told you, he’s completely crazy.”
    At that moment, I hear Sir Riddles’ low growl
    It’s not very nice
    To talk bad about your owner.
    And do my eyes play tricks,
    Or are you running off with a stranger?
    Korun and I both whirl around to face him.
    He stands at the doorway. Drool drips from his sagging lips. His eyes get big at the sight of his dead mutts. He begins to howl.
    Korun and I look at each other with frightened eyes. Tree branches shuffle outside, and loud pattering clamors in our ears.
    “The other mutts!” I exclaim.
    Three are already emerging from the tree line outside, swiftly approaching the open door.
    Sir Riddles snarls at us, revealing nasty canine teeth, then leaps high into the air, headed our direction.
    In a panic, I jerk Korun over toward the fireplace. My fingers get slightly burned extracting a lit log from the fire and launching it toward our attacker.
    His robes light up instantly, causing him to whimper. He drops midair, letting out his awful loud cackle. A sharp cracking noise cuts the air as he hits the ground. Rolling around in his attempt to put out the flames, he manages to set his bed on fire.
    Korun takes his axe to the only mutt that’s made it inside so far. In two strikes, he kills the thing. The flames and mutts have us backed into the house. Fire is spreading to the walls. We’re across the house from the door, the exit.
    Another reaches me. It’s jumping at me, ears back and mouth struggling to tear at my skin. The mutt takes a full bite out of my baggy pants but only barely scrapes my skin with its teeth.
    Korun spins around, swinging the axe up into its midsection, flinging it across the room.
    “Come on.” I grab his arm and charge for the back of the cabin.
    He catches up with me. At the same time, we launch our bodies through the air at the huge window. Glass sprays on our impact. I close my eyes, afraid of being blinded.
    We hit the ground hard, descending on the rotten flesh of dead bodies. Our rough landing isn’t great, but as I notice the many sharp pointed rib cage bones a few feet away, I count us lucky. The smell is atrocious.
    Korun’s on his feet first, pulling me up beside him. “Go, go!” he yells.
    My dagger’s in a pile of weapons behind the house. “Wait!” I insist.
    I backtrack a couple feet. Just as I reach the pile, a mutt jumps through the window at me, knocking me to the ground again.
    “I’m coming,” I hear Korun yell.
    “I’ve got this,” I assure him as I grasp the dagger in my hand, slamming it into the angry dog’s eye. It whimpers as it runs off, tail between its legs.
    Once again, Korun helps me to my feet. We take off running. I situate the dagger in my hair like it should be.
    “Think we could move faster?” Korun urges. Faster would be ideal, but we’re headed uphill and my empty body needs food. “Don’t look back. Just keep going.”
    What if Sir Riddles is behind us? And those mutts, how many are on our trail? We reach the top of

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