Black Moon Draw (Chapter Five, page 1 of 12)

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I always wanted to go on an adventure. Preferably one to the Bahamas or somewhere with warm beaches.

Nibbling on the last piece of cheese, I've spent the past half an hour debating whether or not being trapped in this book or dream - whatever this is - is a chance to be the person I wish I was, to make a go at starting over, and if it's better for me to sit in the carriage and do what I'm told.

I stare at my hand, waiting for it to give some kind of guidance. Like maybe how to get the hell out of this dream and back to my world or at least if I should stay in the carriage or risk leaving. The words scrolling across my palm stopped after the warning about the fork, leaving only the countdown.

Suddenly, shouts come from outside the wagon. I can't quite make them out through the wooden walls. They're followed by a bloodcurdling scream.

"Looks like I'm leaving." I replace the cheese and stand, eyes on my bare feet. I'd rather have on tennis shoes if I have to make a run for it and start digging through the contents of the wagon. A hooded cloak hangs on one wall, along with boots that are far too large for my feet. There's nothing beneath the pillows on my side, so I go to the side where the Red Knight sat and rifle through the satchels and pouches tucked along one side.

Opening a leather pouch, I gasp. A living bird is shoved into the small space. "You poor thing!" I carefully push a hand into the bag and come up under the small creature. There's not enough room for my hand to fit between it and the sides of the bag. The satchel is small and the bird the size of a softball.

Digging him out, I set him on the tray with food and watch him skeptically as he starts pecking at the bread. "You've got to be the fattest bird I've ever seen." I don't think it can fly, but maybe it can run away before the Red Knight returns.

I go through another bag and find food rations. The third satchel is filled with knives and throwing stars.

The bird chirps at me.

"I know, right? So much for being at peace," I mutter and toss that bag to the other side of the wagon. I'm not sure what I'm looking for or even what to do if I find something interesting.

The third and fourth bags are deep and filled with what look like wooden casino chips, a form of currency maybe, given the markings on them. They're kind of cool with intricate carvings so fine, I don't know how they were done by hand. I decide to keep several in case I need money for something here then close the satchel.

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