"He twisted his head around to give a despairing look at the brakeman. Beyond him, the open boxcar door revealed that the train was presently making its way along a trestle over a steep ravine. If he jumped now, he would certainly end up dead at the bottom of the gorge. It wasn't clear whether the brakeman cared."
Is service a privilege or a chain?Two young men face this question. Both live in the Dozen Landsteads, where life centers on the nation's Bay. One young man lives at the beginning of the twentieth century, the other in the sixteenth century. Both youths possess masters. But do the masters have their best interests at…
Two guards. Two prisoners. A multitude of problems.
As a tramp beats his dangerous way to a new destination on the Western Mippite Railroad, he is joined by a prison guard seeking guidance on a difficult prisoner. The guard's guidance must come from a man who is longing for a human bond . . . but who has a reputation to establish.
This suspenseful novelette (miniature novel) can be read on its own or as the second story in the "Mercy's Prisoner" volume of Life Prison. Friendship, desire between men, and the costs of corruption and integrity are examined in this multicultural speculative fiction series, which is inspired by prison life at the end of the nineteenth century.
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