The Old Fart was a foot shorter than the trooper, which he rectified by hoisting himself up on a stool. He turned to Liam and stuck out a hand. “Moses Alakuyak, shaman.”
His beer and Liam’s single malt arrived. Moses held out his bottle of beer and Liam clinked his glass against it. “To women,” Moses said. “Not all of them leave, you know.”
“I beg your pardon?” Liam said.
Moses drained his bottle in one long, continuous swallow. “Barkeep! Do it again! Not that it matters,” he said, turned back to Liam. “Pretty soon there’ll be nothing left of this goddamn planet but a garbage dump and a grave.”
The Old Fart grinned up at him, and now that he was looking for it, Liam could see the Alakuyak in him, in the barely perceptible slant of his eyes, the high, flat cheekbones, the snubbed nose. But his skin was olive, not golden, his hair a grizzled brown, not the sleek black cap found in the villages, and his eyes were a startling gray, a gray so light they had almost no color at all. They were looking at Liam now, clear, cool, assessing, and Liam could not shake the uncomfortable feeling that they could see right through him.
Excerpt from Fire and Ice, the first Liam Campbell novel. I’m working on the fifth one in the series now.
Author and founder of Storyknife.org.