Menu

After 4 years…here is the first chapter

HomeForumsShare Your TruthAfter 4 years…here is the first chapter

New Reply

This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Peggy 1 month, 1 week ago.

Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #312255

    Sun
    Participant

    Hi Friend,

    It’s been four years, and I finally have a novel written.

    Since this section is called “Share Your Truth,” I figured this would be the best place to present the first chapter in a manuscript that is about a boy from a village in the desert called Cascus.

    Born without a father and raised by a hardworking mother, circumstances immediately force him to travel his war-torn country, and readers are given access to his thoughts about the world and the many characters that he discovers along his journey.

    Enjoy 🙂

    —-

     

    <span data-contrast=”auto”>Chapter 1</span><span data-ccp-props=”{"201341983":0,"335551550":2,"335551620":2,"335559739":160,"335559740":480}”> </span>

    <span data-contrast=”auto”>Meno o</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>f Cascus</span><span data-ccp-props=”{"201341983":0,"335551550":2,"335551620":2,"335559739":160,"335559740":480}”> </span>

    <span data-ccp-props=”{"201341983":0,"335551550":2,"335551620":2,"335559731":720,"335559739":160,"335559740":480}”> </span>

    <span data-contrast=”auto”>Meno </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>hooked the fattest </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>frame </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>slithering between his dirty fingers dripping with grain and worm, and he </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>cast </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>a </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>new line, watching another silver shadow inspect a wiggling barb. </span><span data-ccp-props=”{"201341983":0,"335559731":720,"335559739":160,"335559740":480}”> </span>

    <span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>“</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>That</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>’</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>s it,</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>”</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> he whispered</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> as the </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>fish</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> circled</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>the</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> bait</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>.</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-ccp-props=”{"201341983":0,"335559731":720,"335559739":160,"335559740":480}”> </span>

    <span data-contrast=”auto”>After three </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>rounds,</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> his</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> rod started to bend, and </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>Meno</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> pulled</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>back</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>with all his young force </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>as </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>its</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> string</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>turned t</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>he</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> water</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>’</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>s r</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>ipples</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> into an arrow. </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>He</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>quickly </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>moved</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> his grips</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> down</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>its</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>leather-wrapped </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>handle</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>, his</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>fee</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>t</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>settl</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>ing</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> on a</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>rock</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>, </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>when</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> he heard a </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>light cr</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>acking noise and then </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>a </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>curved</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>snap</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>. </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>Two sticks </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>suddenly </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>flew into the air</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>.</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>He</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> slipped and scraped aga</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>inst the river’s bank</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>, </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>a piece</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> of rod </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>soon </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>landing</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>beside him and</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> his</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> bucket filled with </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>the </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>toads </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>he</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> had caught earlier. H</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>e </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>remained</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>on his throbbing</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>back</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>for </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>a few minutes</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>before</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>regathering</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> his </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>emptied </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>satche</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>l</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>,</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> and </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>with a loud, irritated </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>grunt</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>he </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>be</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>gan limping</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> toward the village since d</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>usk was falling</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>, and</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> he </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>had </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>to be</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> home by dark</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>. </span><span data-ccp-props=”{"201341983":0,"335559731":720,"335559739":160,"335559740":480}”> </span>

    <span data-contrast=”auto”>Wiping </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>the </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>dirt off</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> his bruised shoulders and arms</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>, </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>Meno</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>passed</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> the gypsy camp</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>set up</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> just outside the village walls</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>:</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> a small, temporary circle of</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> t</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>ents and wagons only a few feet away</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>,</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> with</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>scattered</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> fires </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>spi</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>t</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>t</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>ing</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> smoke and embers at the setting sun</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>.</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>The tents</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> housed</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>families,</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>stallions</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>,</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> and cows with perfectly shaped skulls</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>, which meant they were of a </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>pedigree that far surpassed the</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>crossbred </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>livestock the villagers owned</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>.</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>And t</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>ho</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>ugh any</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> keen</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>herdsma</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>n would</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>have </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>eagerly</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> rush</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>ed</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> at</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> the </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>chance to upgrade</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>to</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> gypsy</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> cattle, </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>bad </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>rumors</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>had </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>spread</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> of </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>the</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>annoyance</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>briefly</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> occup</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>ying</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> that plot of sand</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>.</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-ccp-props=”{"201341983":0,"335559731":720,"335559739":160,"335559740":480}”> </span>

    <span data-contrast=”auto”>The gypsies were </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>known for</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>tell</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>ing</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>f</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>rightening</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>tales</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> brough</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>t by their messenger hawks</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>, </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>smil</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>ing</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> while</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>delivering</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> any </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>unwelcomed</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> news</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>, </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>and </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>then </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>laugh</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>ing</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>as if </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>they would somehow be gone </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>before tragedy struck</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>. But as they snickered at</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> the dangers received </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>by a</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> bird’s </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>traveling </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>talons</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>, the</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>villagers, in disgust of their new neighbors, kept them</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>barred </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>from crossing</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> the</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> main </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>gate</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>. </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>Nevertheless, Meno ignored these st</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>ories. He </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>carelessly </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>watch</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>ed</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> a beautiful</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> gypsy girl every evening on his walk home from hunting</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> and fishing</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>. Some days</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>sh</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>e fletched arrows, on this day</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> s</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>he argued with an older woman over</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> what appeared to be a basket of </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>sheep</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>’</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>s wool.</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> Yet, l</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>ovely as she was</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>,</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>he</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> n</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>ever dared enter the gypsy camp</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> unless accompanied by a gypsy</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>, </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>and </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>sadly he knew </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>none. </span><span data-ccp-props=”{"201341983":0,"335559731":720,"335559739":160,"335559740":480}”> </span>

    <span data-contrast=”auto”>Meno gestured at</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> the guard standing on the </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>wooden </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>watchtower and waited for the gate</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>’</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>s rusted teeth to creak open. </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>He had </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>finally reached the village, his home, Cascus. Once thrivi</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>ng, several raids had</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> turned Cascus i</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>nto a den of thieves, swindlers</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>,</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> and struggling </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>families. </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>It was t</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>hese </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>miserable</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>inhabitants that prevented the</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>ir</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>village’s </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>growt</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>h, for</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> Cascus was near the only river in the desert, and the best </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>hunters had made</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> fortune</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>s</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> selling the</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> pelts </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>of </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>thirsty</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> game </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>to wandering adventurers. </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>Yet</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>even </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>the richest </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>bowma</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>n</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>,</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> a</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>coin purse</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> bursting at the</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> seam</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> within his greedy grasp</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>,</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> hated the </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>place</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> that gave him his</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> wealth. It</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> smelled like</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> animal droppings and copper, and music and laughter could </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>always </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>be heard coming from the lo</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>cal tavern filled with dueling men and</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> scruffy spectators</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>. </span><span data-ccp-props=”{"201341983":0,"335559731":720,"335559739":160,"335559740":480}”> </span>

    <span data-contrast=”auto”>Everything inside Cascus was either old, dirty, or stolen, and Meno disliked having</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> to see it all after a long</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> day</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> of</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>unsuccessful fishing</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>. He </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>kept to himself and avoided</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> eye c</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>ontac</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>t with the ones</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> sitting on the tavern</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>’</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>s por</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>ch</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>,</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>scurrying</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> up t</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>he</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> path to his hut</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> without second glance</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>s</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>, </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>where he</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> st</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>ood</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> frozen</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> by its door</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>. </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>A minute</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>passed, and h</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>e </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>could </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>already </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>hear </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>his mother’s </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>voice</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> before </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>walk</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>ing</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> in. </span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-ccp-props=”{"201341983":0,"335559731":720,"335559739":160,"335559740":480}”> </span>

    <span data-contrast=”auto”>“</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>Anot</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>her night and you still haven</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>’</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>t brought</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>any fish?</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>”</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>s</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>he yelled while </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>furiously </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>grabbing</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> his</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> bucket</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> and</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> placing </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>it over</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> a</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> fire she had prepared earlier.</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-ccp-props=”{"201341983":0,"335559731":720,"335559739":160,"335559740":480}”> </span>

    <span data-contrast=”auto”>Meno</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>swiftly </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>put his things away </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>to avoid</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>her</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>from </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>notic</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>ing</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>that </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>his rod</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> was missing</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>.</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> B</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>ut when he returned</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>,</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> she was still angry</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>,</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> a</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> permanent set of lines deepen</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>ing</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> between her furrowed brows</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> since t</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>hey </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>were barely</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>surviving off</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>the </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>milk provided by their</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> cow, Nadia,</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>and his</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> amateur hunting and fishing</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> that</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>usually left</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> her with seasoned warts</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>.</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-ccp-props=”{"201341983":0,"335559731":720,"335559739":160,"335559740":480}”> </span>

    <span data-contrast=”auto”>Adding</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> spices an</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>d</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> herbs to give them flavor, his mother</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> placed the cooked toads on the table. </span><span data-ccp-props=”{"201341983":0,"335559731":720,"335559739":160,"335559740":480}”> </span>

    <span data-contrast=”auto”>“</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>Meno, I am tired. You leave all day and bring </span><i><span data-contrast=”auto”>this</span></i><span data-contrast=”auto”> f</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>or sup</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>per?</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>” </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>She</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> h</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>eld</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> her plate beneath </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>his</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> nose. </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>“</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>I can</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>’</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>t remember the last time a fish entered my stomach.</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>”</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-ccp-props=”{"201341983":0,"335559731":720,"335559739":160,"335559740":480}”> </span>

    <span data-contrast=”auto”>Meno looked down and quietly ate his food.</span><span data-ccp-props=”{"201341983":0,"335559731":720,"335559739":160,"335559740":480}”> </span>

    <span data-contrast=”auto”>“</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>Meno, speak,</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>”</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> she said.  </span><span data-ccp-props=”{"201341983":0,"335559731":720,"335559739":160,"335559740":480}”> </span>

    <span data-contrast=”auto”>“</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>I</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>’</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>m</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> sorry,</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>”</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> he</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> replied</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>.  </span><span data-ccp-props=”{"201341983":0,"335559731":720,"335559739":160,"335559740":480}”> </span>

    <span data-contrast=”auto”>“</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>Sorry isn</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>’</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>t</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> g</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>oing to get us a real meal</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>. </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>Perhaps</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> your friend Emir</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> can give you lessons on fishing</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>.</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>”</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-ccp-props=”{"201341983":0,"335559731":720,"335559739":160,"335559740":480}”> </span>

    <span data-contrast=”auto”>Meno clenched</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> his fist</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>s</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> beneath the table and stared at his mother with </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>a spurious</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> smile. She knew how to get under his skin; she knew bringing him up would cause tension. </span><span data-ccp-props=”{"201341983":0,"335559731":720,"335559739":160,"335559740":480}”> </span>

    <span data-contrast=”auto”>“</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>Maybe I will,</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>”</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> Meno said. </span><span data-ccp-props=”{"201341983":0,"335559731":720,"335559739":160,"335559740":480}”> </span>

    <span data-contrast=”auto”>“</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>Maybe y</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>ou should,</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>”</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> his mother replied</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>. </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>“</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>Go</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> c</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>lean up and get ready for bed. I will wash the dishes tonight.</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>”</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-ccp-props=”{"201341983":0,"335559731":720,"335559739":160,"335559740":480}”> </span>

    <span data-contrast=”auto”>“</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>Thank you, mother.</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>”</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-ccp-props=”{"201341983":0,"335559731":720,"335559739":160,"335559740":480}”> </span>

    <span data-contrast=”auto”>This will pass, Meno thought</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>,</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> watch</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>ing</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> h</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>er</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>clean the </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>plates</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>with</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>an </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>attitude </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>he </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>simply</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>considered </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>another </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>moment of</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> temporary rage. </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>S</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>o many days were s</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>pent in this sway</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> t</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>hat </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>he</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>knew</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> when </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>her</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> short-lived anger </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>was</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> invented rather than </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>genuine</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>,</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>and he</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>a</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>ccept</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>ed</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>her</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>fury</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>—like </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>an unruly </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>lea</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>f</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> watered by a rainstorm’s tantrum—</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>in every momen</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>t</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>of </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>life</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>, from morning to night</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>, from milki</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>ng breakfast to skinning dinner</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>. </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>T</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>o</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> expect h</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>is mother</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> to pacify herself</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> would be </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>like </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>asking a </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>choleric </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>gypsy to </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>stop telling scary</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> stories, </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>a task only a fool</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>would take</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>. </span><span data-ccp-props=”{"201341983":0,"335559731":720,"335559739":160,"335559740":480}”> </span>

    <span data-contrast=”auto”>“</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>Mother,</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>”</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> Meno said</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> before leaving the table</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>, </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>“</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>do </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>you know why the gypsies talk about</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> beheadings</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> and crosses?</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>”</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-ccp-props=”{"201341983":0,"335559731":720,"335559739":160,"335559740":480}”> </span>

    <span data-contrast=”auto”>“</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>What do you mean</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>?</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>”</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-ccp-props=”{"201341983":0,"335559731":720,"335559739":160,"335559740":480}”> </span>

    <span data-contrast=”auto”>“</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>Emir says the gypsies are lea</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>ving in two days. The</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>ir</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>hawks</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> say there</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>’</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>s</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> a</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>n army of</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>—</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>”</span><span data-ccp-props=”{"201341983":0,"335559731":720,"335559739":160,"335559740":480}”> </span>

    <span data-contrast=”auto”>“</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>The </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>hawks</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> say </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>this</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> and the gypsies sa</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>y that, what do the toads say?</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>”</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-ccp-props=”{"201341983":0,"335559731":720,"335559739":160,"335559740":480}”> </span>

    <span data-contrast=”auto”>They</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> silently </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>stared </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>at the half-eaten plates</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> and then </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>burst</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> into </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>an unexpected </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>laughter. </span><span data-ccp-props=”{"201341983":0,"335559731":720,"335559739":160,"335559740":480}”> </span>

    <span data-contrast=”auto”>“</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>To be fair,</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>”</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> his mother</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> wiped</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> her eyes, </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>“</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>the gypsies are not all crazy. Just leave their prophecies for</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> their people, and we will stay with ours</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>.</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>”</span><span data-ccp-props=”{"201341983":0,"335559731":720,"335559739":160,"335559740":480}”> </span>

    <span data-contrast=”auto”>Meno nodded</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>, still smiling from her joke</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>. </span><span data-ccp-props=”{"201341983":0,"335559731":720,"335559739":160,"335559740":480}”> </span>

    <span data-contrast=”auto”>“</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>Now go wash </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>up before bed. I won</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>’</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>t</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> ask again</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>.</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>”</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-ccp-props=”{"201341983":0,"335559731":720,"335559739":160,"335559740":480}”> </span>

    <span data-contrast=”auto”>Meno</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> bathed in the</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> water from </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>their </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>shower</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> bucket</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>and scrubbed his</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> body</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> until </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>his </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>filth fell on</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>the </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>dirt floor. The </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>breezy</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>night</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> hurried hi</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>m</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>,</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> and within seconds</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> he</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>was</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>snuggled in a </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>cot</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> of wool and hay,</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>sleepily </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>gazing</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> at the sky through holes in the</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>thatched</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>roof</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>,</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> each star making his </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>eyes </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>heavier than</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>before</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>. </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>Maybe rest will bring fish, he</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> thought</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> as he</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>drifted</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> into a sea of dreams. </span><span data-ccp-props=”{"201341983":0,"335559731":720,"335559739":160,"335559740":480}”> </span>

    <span data-contrast=”auto”>*</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>* *</span><span data-ccp-props=”{"201341983":0,"335551550":2,"335551620":2,"335559739":160,"335559740":480}”> </span>

    <span data-contrast=”auto”>The sun was not </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>fully </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>out yet, but</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> Meno</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>could see his mother</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> from the small window</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>emp</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>tying Nadia into a</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> canteen. </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>He</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> rubbed his eyes, stretched</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>,</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> and packed</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> his gear fo</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>r the day</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>’</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>s hunt. </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>W</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>he</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>n</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>he </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>walked out the door, he heard his name.</span><span data-ccp-props=”{"201341983":0,"335559731":720,"335559739":160,"335559740":480}”> </span>

    <span data-contrast=”auto”>“</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>Meno, come here,</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>”</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> his mother</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> called from behind the hut. </span><span data-ccp-props=”{"201341983":0,"335559731":720,"335559739":160,"335559740":480}”> </span>

    <span data-contrast=”auto”>“</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>Yes, mother?</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>”</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-ccp-props=”{"201341983":0,"335559731":720,"335559739":160,"335559740":480}”> </span>

    <span data-contrast=”auto”>“</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>Y</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>ou </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>will </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>sell this</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> at the gypsy camp</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> today</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>,</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>”</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>she</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> handed</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> him the canteen of warm milk, </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>“</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>a</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>nd don</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>’</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>t you dare wander. I know how those gypsy </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>merchant</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>s haggle and claim to carry sto</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>nes that turn things into gold. </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>Understood?</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>”</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-ccp-props=”{"201341983":0,"335559731":720,"335559739":160,"335559740":480}”> </span>

    <span data-contrast=”auto”>“</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>But will I be allowed inside?</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>”</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> Me</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>no asked as h</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>e carefully put the canteen</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> in his satchel.</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-ccp-props=”{"201341983":0,"335559731":720,"335559739":160,"335559740":480}”> </span>

    <span data-contrast=”auto”>She breathed deep and yanked onto Nadia</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>’</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>s udder</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>, </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>now </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>filling a </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>personal </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>cup</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>.</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>“</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>The gypsies leave </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>tomorrow night and say they will</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> trad</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>e with Cascus. I</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>’</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>m sure </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>at least one will</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> pay</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>for the </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>goatskin and </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>fresh milk.</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>”</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-ccp-props=”{"201341983":0,"335559731":720,"335559739":160,"335559740":480}”> </span>

    <span data-contrast=”auto”>“</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>They leave because of the messenger hawks. </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>Mother, w</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>e </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>must go with them.</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>”</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-ccp-props=”{"201341983":0,"335559731":720,"335559739":160,"335559740":480}”> </span>

    <span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>“</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>And what, live with</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> gypsies? You treat this home like</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> the</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>y </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>treat their</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>s</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>, with</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>out respect, </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>always </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>r</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>eady to leave when things</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> get</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> uncomfortable</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>.</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>”</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>She</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> stood</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>.</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>“</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>We aren</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>’</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>t</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> going anywhere, especially because of some </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>birds.</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>”</span><span data-ccp-props=”{"201341983":0,"335559731":720,"335559739":160,"335559740":480}”> </span>

    <span data-contrast=”auto”>“</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>I</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> didn’t mean to upset you</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>,” he said. “</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>I only want us to be safe.</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>”</span><span data-ccp-props=”{"201341983":0,"335559731":720,"335559739":160,"335559740":480}”> </span>

    <span data-contrast=”auto”>Her sharp ridges sheathed at</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> her son</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>’</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>s</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> worry. </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>“</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>You aren</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>’</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>t</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> old enough to know how to keep me safe. There will be a time when I will ask you for </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>advice</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>,</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> but when you</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>’</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>re</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> a man, not a boy.</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>”</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-ccp-props=”{"201341983":0,"335559731":720,"335559739":160,"335559740":480}”> </span>

    <span data-contrast=”auto”>Hearing this made</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> his heart sink.</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>He </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>hadn’t</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> told her why he chose</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> to learn archery despite </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>her thinking that he wanted to be</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> a </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>hunter</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>. </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>Inside him, l</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>urking within an</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> abyss of </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>insecurities</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> and </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>guilt</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>s</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>regarding times</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>he</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> had no control</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> over, times when his father was alive </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>and there to protect,</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> was a </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>young </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>man that wished to stand tall and defend h</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>er</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> with honor </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>if need be. He</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> wanted to shield her for the only difference between </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>him</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> and a beggar was</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> the blessing of sacrifice. His mother</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> ensured </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>he</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> had a roof over his head,</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> prepared food, and</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> guidance from a straying path.</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>Yet in spite of</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> all her </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>maternal</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>attributes, </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>her</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> w</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>rong wisdom was t</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>hree</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>fold</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>:</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>one, </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>h</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>e</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> would</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>catch</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>a </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>fish, not as</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> a</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> fisherman</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> but as </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>a</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>bare-handed </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>savage</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>;</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> two,</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>he</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>, too,</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> would </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>eventually </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>flee </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>this decaying place like a</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>gyps</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>y</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>; and three, he would be</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>come</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> a leader</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> one day</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>, a man that no one in the village</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>…the region</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> had ever seen. He only needed time to </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>prove</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> all three correct, and </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>fortunately</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> he had already </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>proven to</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>himself </span><span data-contrast=”auto”>t</span><span data-contrast=”auto”>hat he was</span><span data-contrast=”auto”> more than patient.    </span><span data-ccp-props=”{"201341983":0,"335559731":720,"335559739":160,"335559740":480}”> </span>

     

    #312257

    Sun
    Participant

    reposting

    #312341

    Peggy
    Participant

    Hi Sun,

    First chapter not sent in readable form.

    Peggy

Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic. Please log in OR register.