In which Meagan wakes up, still unsure of her whereabouts…
When Meagan opened her eyes, her first thought was she had been beaten. Heavily. A horn sounded at close proximity and pain blossomed throughout her body in an amazing bouquet. Maybe I was run over by a chariot after all, she thought, wincing.
Others were sitting up and stretching. All around her, lines of horses were being groomed and tacked. Meagan groaned to think of getting on a horse. The mere effort to sit up made her gasp. A bow-legged man was walking through the camp knocking pallets of late sleepers. “No, thank you,” Meagan told him. “No riding today.”
She flinched as the man kicked her pallet. He pointed to the line of horses. “Targ ha!”
“Yes, good morning,” she said politely. “I am really quite sore.”
“Thank you for understanding.” Clenching her teeth, Meagan kept herself well wrapped as she stood.
“Aieeee!” The man grasped Meagan’s thin tunic and dropped it in disgust. He stamped away and returned to thrust a packet of clothes into her arms. She was sent to dress behind a curtain of skins. Worn boots sailed over the top.
The standard set of garments was loose trousers and a coat with a flaring skirt and long sleeves. The coat’s front fabric was crossed and tied. Meagan studied the crude tailoring. Her abiding hope was that she was traveling forward and not to someplace older than Rome, but she still could find no reassurance.
She stepped timidly from behind the skins. There was no need to be self-conscious, for no one was looking. The camp was a bustling hive of activity: she was only to conform and not ask questions, and her anonymity was assured.
Surveying the field of small horses, Meagan was unsure which mount was hers. She limped after the bow-legged man. “Excuse me, which—”
“Targ ha!” The man shouted, and exploded into a string of words that were not enlightening in the least.
“Yes, I see. Targa. Thank you, you have been very helpful.” She rubbed her arm. The offered animal certainly looked like the pony she had ridden yesterday. Of course, so did fifty or eighty thousand others…
Excerpted from Eclipsed by Shadow, the award-winning first volume of “The Legend of the Great Horse” trilogy. (Hrdbk pg. 183)
Book II: The Golden Spark was just published, Book III announcements coming soon…
Read the 1st Chapter online!
Copyright © 2008 John Royce