A dark smudge ahead and to their right had Aklaq raise a cautionary hand. Mackenzie
turned and signaled a cutting action across her throat. The riggers worked quickly
to reduce sail as Cameron Miller applied the brake, his body adding weight to the
rear-mounted metal claw.
Aklaq jumped clear as the sled skidded to a stop. Cautiously he approached the object
while Mackenzie and crew scanned the horizon. The Inuit knelt, his inspection lasting
several moments before standing and staring east.
Mackenzie joined him. On the ground lay the remains of an adult polar bear, its exposed
rib cage dark with congealed blood. “What is it, Aklaq? What do you see?”
The Inuit pointed. “Wyrm sign.”
The woman noted a faint trail, a shallow depression almost obliterated by the blowing
snow, leading toward an ice shelf in the distance.
“This is a recent kill,” he said. “The wyrm is close.”
Rejoining the crew of the ice-clipper, they set off toward the area Aklaq had indicated,
their speed and approach slow and cautious. They were hunters now.
Topping a gentle rise, both Aklaq and Mackenzie spotted their prey simultaneously.
A sharp hand-signal from her brought the sled to a stop.
Before an outcropping of ice lay a wyrm, its body coiled in the repose of sleep,
its pale gray scales rising and falling with each shallow breath. Mackenzie judged
it to be young, nowhere near adult size, but old enough to be free of a mother’s
watchful eye. It was more than enough for their needs. Taking position behind the
harpoon gun, she carefully released the safety and checked the well-greased firing
“Here we go,” she said, more to herself than to the Inuit beside her. The harpoon
had limited range and the wyrm one vulnerable spot, making a fatal first strike paramount.
A miss, and all hell would break loose. She signaled the approach.
The riggers slowly laid out sail as the ice-clipper lurched forward, sliding down
the rise and gliding toward the resting wyrm.
Mackenzie counted the seconds as they closed. She swiveled the harpoon gun and aimed
for its throat as the gentle scrape of the sled, its vibrations amplified across
the thick ice, alerted it to danger.
Arctic Rage Excerpt
“Yet in Bruce Durham's tense story Arctic Rage, readers find themselves in a frosty
post-nuclear apocalypse Inuit setting where the hunter and the hunted play dual roles.”
“I’m breathless, as I come to the end of this, seat-hugging, nail-biting saga.”
“The realistic details crafted by these writers are amazing and eating wild dragon
is a disturbed but welcomed vision for the hunters of mythology and fantasy.