Wolves howled as they trapped the straying horse and his rider. Sam tried to calm Stanley down.
The horse was always slightly overweight and lazy, but loyal to the bone and a fighter when he needed to be.
Still he wouldn’t stand a chance against the wolves, and Sam saw it even clearer when the horse tried to outrun the wolves.
Out of the corner of his eye, Sam saw the caged castle, and he knew what he had to do.
He gripped his satchel filled with the only clues he had to his father’s disappearance years ago and whispered in Stanley’s ear, “Go find your namesake.”
Then he leapt off Stanley’s back, screaming to make sure he had to wolves attention. That might’ve been a bad idea, because if Stanley couldn’t outrun the wolves how the heck was he supposed to.
He raced toward the towering gates anyway, years of outrunning the other kids his age paying off… until he stumbled in the entry.
He slammed the gates closed with the feet barely in time for the wolves to batter against it, but at least the gate held.
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