Friday, March 6, 2015

Thunderlord snippet - Taking A Rest

Please remember that this is a work in progress and drafts have a habit of changing drastically from inception to finished book.

From Thunderlord Chapter 7

They went slowly, for the horses were still fatigued from the long, hard climb the day before. The trail dipped, less steeply now, winding as it followed the contour of the mountainside. The land here was still rugged, but from time to time, glimpses revealed softly-rounded hills covered with forest and open meadows that marked the sites of fires from years ago. The trail widened, but did not branch. Edric began to worry that they would have gone too far before he found a credible excuse for leaving the company. He was relieved when Francisco called a halt in a little open space, a crossroads of sorts. To each side, patches of hardy mountain grasses grew between clumps of low, wind-twisted brush. Two smaller paths diverged from the main road, but neither showed any sign of recent traffic.

“We’ll rest here and let the horses forage,” the captain said, dismounting.

“But should we not press on?” came Dom Ruyven’s plaintive voice. “The day is still fine – why do we tarry?”

“My lord, the horses have been working hard on short rations. If we wish them to carry us all the way to — to our destination, we must allow them to recover their strength.” Without waiting for an answer, Francisco set about loosening his girth, hobbling his horse, and slipping off the bridle. His men proceeded to do the same, as did Alayna, who jumped down without any help. 

Edric, having left his own horse to browse, walked over to where Alayna had spread her cloak on a flat stone and sat, face tilted to the sun, eyes closed. Francisco had set up rotation of sentry duty, taking one of the first positions himself, and Dom Ruyven was nowhere to be seen, presumably attending to private matters behind one of the taller bushes.

“How fare you, damisela?” Edric asked, relieved to see the color in her cheeks. 

“In body, much better now that we are over the pass,” she answered. “In mind…there is no help for it, is there? I cannot rescue my sister, although she certainly would come after me, were our positions reversed. It is so unfair! You see what terrible manners I have – it is all her fault, you know, and she would tease me for saying so. There! There is your proof that I’m doing better, for I would not have prattled such nonsense a day ago.”

“No, I don’t think you would have.”

“Will you not sit beside me? The sun is very pleasant, although tonight is likely to be just as cold as before.”

Edric could not restrain himself from grinning. “I hardly think your guardian would approve.” He sat down.

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