Hi readers. As promised, below is an excerpt from The Warrior from Monde and a fresh link to read the free chapters.
Marquis Fabien Chevalier shouted commands as he and his men entered the eastern woodlands at the edge of Monde. With him were twelve soldiers of Monde’s Royal Army. They raced through the tall forest trees on horseback in search of a traitor to the army. A young man who had been in communication with an enemy empire. When he was found out, he fled. Monde’s border was just past the forest Fabien and his men were searching. The traitor was likely in the area, or not far beyond it.
Rima was the first of the three women in the cottage to hear the trampling horses outside. The two other women, Agnes and Judith, woke to her alarmed whispers.
“Wake up. Listen. There are men coming,” she said to Agnes, who slept on a ragged cot a step away from her. Agnes and Judith had fallen asleep hours earlier. But now, both women were awake. Rima rolled over on her cot to where her son, Lucian, slept beside her, and gently combed her fingers through his sleep-disheveled hair. He was sleeping deeply. Agnes sat up and listened to the noises outside.
“It sounds like they’re getting close. Find a place to hide before they’re at our door, Rima.”
Rima looked around the one-room shack. “Yes, but where?”
The women looked at each other, then Judith looked at the door. “Outside . . . that’s the only place to go. We cannot conceal you in here.”
The sounds outside grew louder, closer. Rima gazed down at her son, then back at the women.
Agnes and her younger sister, Judith, had invited Rima into their home when she was pregnant with Lucian. She was a young woman who was far from home, and in need of shelter. Before that sad day when she found the women’s cottage in the woods, and before Lucian’s conception, Rima was a mere traveler passing through Monde. She never made it to her planned destination.
“Come here, my child,” Judith said, rising up from her cot, her aged body moving with as great an urgency as she could muster. She gathered up a wool scarf to wrap around Rima’s face and cover her features, leaving only her eyes visible. Not a woman from Monde, Rima possessed distinct, yet fine foreign features: thick, dark hair and golden skin. Unlike her, the people of Monde had fair skin and varying shades of hair. Rima’s dark features were common in her homeland, and varied little. If she were to be seen by the fast-approaching men outside, they would likely pry into her business in Monde. Then, they could easily discover that she was an illegal resident. She could be imprisoned. And if that happened, her son would be orphaned. Knowing this, Rima and Judith prepared to flee the cottage.
Read more (author’s edit – currently seeking agent representation): https://snpetro.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/the-warrior-from-monde-sn-petro-10-08-15.pdf