Simon Ashcroft returns in BLOODY IVORY launching June 5th. As a special “Thank You” to my readers, here is a sneak-peek of the action in the bloody battlefields of Africa’s Ivory Wars…
Simon disembarked as the four wheel drive slowed. In a crouch he jogged towards the poachers. He saw an elephant stagger on its feet, then fall. When Orszak had driven fifty meters, he pressed the horn hard. The poachers finally saw him, oblivious to his presence until now due to the gunfire and wails of scared and dying elephants.
Simon sprinted forward, certain that he hadn’t been seen with Orszak’s reckless distraction. A poacher beaded his hunting rifle on an infant elephant. Simon didn’t hesitate, firing off a short round, impacting the man in the thigh, stomach and chest, killing him instantly. The young elephant kept running.
A poacher fired at Orszak with an AK-47. When he spotted Simon, now a closer target, he turned and fired.
Simon dropped, making himself as small as possible in the dust. When the man had emptied his clip, Simon lined him up along the sights on his barrel. Another short burst made quick work of the second foe.
More gunfire tore up the dirt around him.
Ducking backwards, startled, Simon regained his composure. He looked for the assailant, spotting a young man with a raised M16. The man didn’t see the old mother elephant coming up behind him, and Simon watched, horrified yet relieved, as she impaled him with her horns, flinging him five meters through the air.
Simon heard bones breaking as the young man hit the ground hard.
The matriarch didn’t hesitate. She charged at the downed poacher, trampling him until he was nothing more than pulverized meat.
Simon clambered to his feet, ejecting his spent magazine and replacing it with another. He pulled back on the charging lever, loading the first round.
The matriarch stopped, turning slowly to face Simon.
Staring him down, her eyes locked on his.
Simon didn’t know what to do. He couldn’t run because she was much faster.
And, he definitely didn’t want to shoot the old mother either. That would go against every reason he was here. Plus . . . those eyes . . . she stared at him like she knew him. Or wanted to know him. Was he friend or foe? How could an elephant tell?
Without conscious thought, Simon stood, raised his arms high, AK-47 in one hand and the other open and empty, in a gesture of surrender.
She kept staring.
He maintained eye contact.
He was aware of the gunfire around him, Orszak taking on the poachers alone.
Time stalled. He held his breath.
It was a situation that couldn’t last forever.
I hope you enjoyed this excerpt from BLOOD IVORY. The novella launches June 5th… see you all then!
If you’re a Goodreads member, could you please add BLOOD IVORY you your “Want to Read” shelf? Just click here.
Aiden L Bailey