THE MUFFLED CRYING sound came again, from just over the hill. Meagan crept forward. A man was crouched at the base of the knoll, sobbing. He wore chain mail over coarse brown fabric. Next to him lay a shield and a long, tapered, brightly-painted wooden pole: a knight’s lance.
She cleared her throat delicately. “Excuse me, is something wrong?”
The man whirled and rose to his feet, and Meagan saw two things immediately. First, the man was not much more than a boy, and second, there was a sword strapped to his side. The young man brandished the metal blade, then on another thought grabbed his shield. He took a fierce stance, wiping his red eyes discreetly.
“I am sorry, I did not see you before,” Meagan said cautiously. “Are you lost?”
The young man sniffed. He was blonde-haired and his plain, wide features were raw from rubbing. “Cheval go,” he said miserably.
Zhivago? Meagan enunciated clearly: “Do you mean as in ‘Doctor,’ by any chance? It’s one of my mother’s favorite movies.”
“Nie, nie!” He pointed to the bridle Meagan carried. “Cheval!”
“Oh, this?” Meagan held up the simple headgear. “It is not a shovel … it’s a bri-dle. For my horse.”
“Tak, tak! Horse!” The young man launched into an excited string of what sounded like gibberish.
Meagan held up her hand. “I am sorry, I do not understand. Do you speak English?”
“Small!” The young man nodded eagerly. “English mother once.”
“English. Mother. Once,” she repeated.
The young man pointed off into the distance. “Horse go. Mens.”
She straightened. “What do you mean, horse go? My horse or your horse?”
He pointed at himself sadly, saying, “Horse go.” Then he pointed at Meagan. “Horse go.” He made an angry face and pantomimed kicking, as if imitating a certain ill-tempered pony.
This person had no idea what he was saying. Meagan put her hands to her mouth and whistled the call that always brought Targa trotting. The pony did not come. Again she tried … the call sounded shrill and futile.
After a moment silent except for sounds of birds in the trees, the young man shyly cleared his throat. He pointed to himself apologetically. “Henryk.”
Eclipsed by Shadow (Book #1 of the trilogy) won national awards including the Eric Hoffer Award for best Young Adult Fiction, and the Mom’s Choice Award for best family-friendly Young Adult Fantasy.
» See All Excerpts from The Legend of the Great Horse trilogy.
» Read the 1st Chapter online.
» See the Media Kit for more information about the trilogy.