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        That, he thought, was awesome.

        It was a shame nobody had been around to see his nimble dive away from the collapsing shed. Little enough happened in the valley that Jeremy took every opportunity to seek excitement. Their ranch was fine for a weekend getaway from the city, but in the case of staying for the entire summer, he very quickly ran out of things to do indoors. While his sister could content herself with imaginary friends and playdates by the pond, Jeremy needed more activity. It was the very reason that he was wandering around in the valley after dark, very much against his parents’ wishes.

        A large figure on horseback was silhouetted against the imposing Tower, and a broken sword was held aloft toward the starry sky. Jeremy slowly approached the stone soldier, admiring the statue even as he paced around it from a wary distance. From hooves to hilt, the statue was nearly fifteen feet tall, and a low, empty basin encircled it. The blade of the sword had broken off and lay in stone shards beneath the horse’s raised forelegs. There was a plaque attached the statue, but it would have been too dark to read even if the words hadn’t been worn away by the elements.

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