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The Blade of Shattered Hope

The Blade of Shattered Hope

Description : The Blade of Shattered Hope
The Lake

Bryan Cannon looked at the catfish—its bone-like whiskers, its slimy skin, its dark, unblinking eyes—and he saw death. For the creature, of course, not himself. Dinner would be fine and tasty tonight.

The day was beautiful. A slight coolness crisped the air, balanced perfectly by the brilliant sun shining down on Bryan’s boat, sparkling off the waters that surrounded him, dancing like fairies of light. Too bad this fish wasn’t enjoying things as much as he was.

Bryan had caught the fish in the little body of water in which he floated—called, quite pretentiously, Lake Norman. But if that tiny spit of rain-washed sludge was classified as a lake, then Bryan’s toilet at home constituted a big pond. He chuckled to himself, as he often did at his own jokes, and spiked another squirmy worm onto his hook. Bryan shifted to getfortable then he cast the line.

His small canoe rocked at the movement, sending gentle waves rippling across the lake’s surface. He watched the

outermost wrinkle, enjoying how it traveled along like it didn’t have a care in the world. Bryan always loved it when he could keep his eyes trained on the tiny wave until it actually hit the shore. It wasn’t as easy as it sounded, and his eyes watered with the effort.

There it goes, he thought, getting smaller and smaller, smaller and smaller . . . there! It hit right over by that sandy—


A disturbance in the water, right where the lake met the shore. Then another splash, a huge one, that sprayed droplets all over the small beach. Bryan had been...

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