After the action and slight barbecuing of chapter 1, we rejoin Shayla in a more contemplative scene at the start of chapter 3.
The clearing in front of Shayla was unnaturally level, its true purpose revealed by occasional mounds of crumbling masonry around its perimeter. Massive dressed blocks, some carved with bas-relief glyphs, jostled with less brutish remains of more recent construction. A temple in some form or other had stood on this site for over ten thousand years. A nearby half-buried dragon's head, cloaked in lichen and the height of a man, bared foot-long fangs at Shayla. She gazed past it at the emptiness of the clearing beyond.
The sun blazed high in the sky, blanketing the forest in suffocating heat. Even in deep shadows under the trees the air was stifling. Sitting on her pack, sweat tickling her spine, she squirmed and eased her shoulder into a more comfortable position.
Ghosts update: In addition to the Smashwords outlets, the e-book is now also available on Amazon.