Thursday, September 21, 2006

midnight meeting

Zhenya had not been asleep. He was the first to hear the riders coming, and he woke Findal with a whispered, "Trouble!"

Findal rolled out of his bedding and took up a sword in the same moment, buckling it to his waist. His grey hair was wild from sleep, but his eyes were already bright and alert. "What is it, boy?" he asked.

"Riders are coming," Zhenya said. "Coming fast."

Findal kicked Orlin; Morris and Randal were already awake and gathering their weapons to them. "What is the hour?" Findal asked.

"Four hours till sunrise," Zhenya answered.

The men turned as one to the road, ready to meet whatever was coming. Marta was up, twisting her hair behind her. "Into the wagons, Zhenya," she said. "You'll not fight."

"Taerith is down by the river," Zhenya said. Marta opened her mouth to give direction when the riders galloped up. Their horses were fine and decorated in a king's own livery. Chief among the men was a strongly-built fellow, darkly bearded and well-armed. Findal laid his hand on his hilt but did not draw.

"What has happened here?" the man demanded. "Bandits... where are your prisoners?"

"You read the story wrongly," Findal answered with a slight bow of his head, "my lord Borden. It was my fine men and I who chased the bandits off in this same night."

"The carriage of a great nobleman lies wrecked behind you," Borden said. "Where is the woman it carried?"

Lilia's clear voice rang out. "I am here."

* * *

Chapter Three of Taerith by Rachel Starr Thomson is up!


Anonymous Lizeth said...

8:22 PM  

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