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Growth (Sprig, Issue #5)

Growth (Sprig, Issue #5)

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Growth (Sprig, Issue #5)

79 pages
1 hour
Apr 27, 2021


A seed of hope in a world of hate...

When Kaia, Tigala, and Marv escape the colony in midst of crisis, they're forced to fend for themselves in the dangerous wilderness of Daegal. With no assurance that the rest of their group is okay, they press on in the search for their people.


War rages as land runs out. Elves, Dwarves, Humans, and other races fight for control of the limited space they have. When a land mass suddenly appears out of nowhere, people flock to it, only to be caught up in its mysteries.

Kaia, one of the last living members of the Treek race, heads to the new land to find others like herself and escape the war that surrounds her. With conflict at her back, and untamed wilderness ahead, she and the companions she makes discover the truths of the new land and themselves.

Apr 27, 2021

About the author

A life-long adventurer and explorer, Houston Hare has never stopped dreaming. As a child, he wrote music and poetry, often depicting his journeys into the endless outdoors. As an adult, he hitchhiked across the United States to explore people and the country in which he resides. He has volunteered at farms and in several Central American countries. Through his exploration of the world around him, he found hope. Even though there are horrible tragedies all around us, there is still good.Now Houston has taken on his next adventure: writing a book that encapsulates the world he knows. His first work, Sprig, is an ongoing web serial brought to print with all of Houston's unique perspectives and creativity put into words.

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Growth (Sprig, Issue #5) - Houston Hare

Issue 5 - Growth


Tallstrunt Press LLC


Issue 5 - Growth

Copyright © 2021 Houston Hare

Tallstrunt Press LLC


All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form by electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the publisher, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review.

First eBook Edition

This is a work of fiction. Names, places, characters, and incidents either are a product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Published by Tallstrunt Press LLC



Chapter 1 Interlude: Marv

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

The Adventure Continues!

A Quick Favor

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Chapter 1 Interlude: Marv

Tink, tink, tink.

It was a sound he’d heard so many times before. The sound of the mines where Marv spent his days. Countless other Dwarves, much like himself, were scattered in the distance. Each was in a separate passage connected by the central mineshaft. Their picks caught the light of nearby lanterns as they chipped rhythmically at the cavernous walls. Like ants building their home, the Dwarves dug.

Marv glanced at his pickaxe. Old and covered in soot, he rose it again to strike at the stone before him. The dust covered him, making the creases on his arms, face, and neck more prominent. His reddish-brown hair bobbed in a knot on top of his head as he worked. A few stray locks danced past his sad eyes.

Some days were harder than others to swing that pick.

Marv reached into his pocket and pulled something out. He held a whittled wooden deer of poor craftsmanship in his blackened palm. The ridges of it were darkened from age.

One more week, he thought to himself. He wrapped his fingers around the deer and plunged it back into his pocket.

Marv. You alright, lad?

He looked up to find the source of the question, but he already knew who it was. A greying Dwarf looked at him with worried eyes that somehow still glimmered with mischief. His wiry hair blended into his beard, making it hard to tell where one ended and the other began. The Dwarf’s dark eyes sat beneath unkempt eyebrows. Marv lowered his gaze.

I miss her, Griff. I miss them both, Marv said with dampness in his eyes as he continued to stare at his own blackened boots.

Ay. I know, it can’t be easy sending your family off to an unexplored land. But you’re almost ready to go yourself, right? Griff said.

One more week and I’m out of this pit to join them. Softer and more to himself, Marv spoke again. One more week.

It sure is going to be boring around here once you leave. Who else is going to help me fill the foreman’s office with glow newts once you’re gone? Griff said with a chuckle.

What do you mean ‘with’? You did that all on your own and roped me in when you got caught! Marv rolled his eyes and couldn’t help but chuckle at his friend’s convenient half-truth.

Fine. Who am I gonna blame then?

I guess you’ll have to find a new clean-lung to torment, Marv said, jabbing a thumb in the direction of some new hires in a nearby tunnel. His grin grew to a full smile, welcoming the distraction.

Ah. Why hadn’t I thought of that? Oh, wait. I did! said Griff. He laughed a hearty laugh and Marv couldn’t help but join in.

Griff continued. You excited to explore the new land then? Where did it come from anyway?

No clue. Sailors from those parts are saying it wasn’t there one night, and the next morning it was. They’re calling it Daegal. Whatever it is, it’s a way out of this place. I just hope it’s as safe as that captain promised.

Well, if I could find the coin to join you, I would. Sure would be an advent—

A scream, a loud one, reverberated through the tunnels. Both of their heads snapped to look in the direction of the sound just in time to see a Dwarf fly across the top of the central mineshaft. The Dwarf slamed into the opposite wall, and then plummeted into the darkness below, screaming in terror as he fell. All that followed was a guttural shout in an unknown language. Marv’s heart sank.

I’m too late.

Shouts of battle and the clanging of weapons echoed through the cavern above.

Marv glanced at Griff and was met with creased eyebrows. Marv, we need to get out of here! he said.

How? If they’re up there then they’ll be blocking the entrance too, Marv replied.

That’s not the only way out, lad, said Griff with a wry smirk.

Oh, come on. You’ve got to be kidding me!

You know it’s our best shot at getting out of here alive. Griff began jogging toward the central mineshaft. Marv stayed put.

Yeah. Just a hair better than trying to fight the serpents ourselves, I suppose, he said. He considered his chances as Griff disappeared around the corner. It was their only chance.

Marv grumbled beneath his breath as he chased after the old Dwarf.

The two Dwarves ran up the spiraling stone paths carved into the walls of the central mineshaft. They passed mine tracks and other tunnels that they had explored many times before while the screams of battle rang out above them. They came to a platform where mine carts were lined

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