Saturday, January 23, 2016

Angusel begins training Drustanus in Ch10/Sc1a of RAGING SEA by @KimHeadlee #amwriting

Graphic overlay c2016 by Kim Headlee.
The Lancelot-Gawain friendship is an epic one in the truest sense of the word, according to traditional Arthurian legends. Another such epic friendship is that of Lancelot and Tristan—or Tristram, as some medieval stories name him.

My Tristan character in The Dragon's Dove Chronicles goes by an even earlier form of his name: Drustanus. A glimpse of the deepening friendship between him and Angusel is the focal point of today's Raging Sea excerpt.

Previous excerpts of Raging Sea 
Chapters 1–6 in Raging Sea: Reckonings
 Chapter 7: Sc 1 | Sc 2 | Sc 3 | Sc 4 | Sc 5a | Sc 5b |
Chapter 8: Sc 1a | Sc 1b | Sc 2 | Sc 3a | Sc 3b |
Chapter 9: Sc 1a | Sc 1b | Sc 1c | Sc 1d | Sc 1e |

Raging Sea Chapter 10, Scene 1a
©2016 by Kim Headlee
All rights reserved.

SWORD AT THE ready, Angusel circled his opponent, inviting attack. Drustanus answered with thrusts and slashes that were indeed improving, if predictable, and his footwork was atrocious. One quick lunge or twist, and he’d go down every time. But he kept getting up, ready to try again, and that was all that mattered.

Their wooden practice weapons collided with a fearsome clatter. Angusel’s sword almost slipped from his grip. He grinned.

“That’s the way! Now follow it with a body block.” He demonstrated with full force, and Drustanus went sprawling with a yelp, kicking up a cloud of dust in the fall that made them both cough.

Waving to part the cloud, Angusel bent to offer his hand, which Drustanus grasped to haul himself up. “I think I have the right of it now, Ainchis Sàl.” Sword cocked, he adopted a fair attack stance. “Let me have another go.”

He never got the chance.

Angusel had moved their training sessions to the main ring near the fort’s north gate upon receiving Centurion Marcus’s approval—though they were still constrained to practicing in the waning light after supper to prevent this activity from interfering with their regular legion duties. This evening, the double gates had swung open to admit a large mounted unit.

All the alae had returned from maneuvers hours ago.

He lifted a finger to signal Drustanus to pause, and together they turned to watch the Comites Praetorii parade by on their way to the barracks.

Nay, “parade” was not the word for it. Every horseman—and woman—looked dust-covered, bone-weary, and dispirited.

What in the name of all the gods had happened?

Drustanus was whispering the same question.

The Pendragon and… she rode past them. Drustanus and Angusel rendered the expected legion salutes. No one paid either of them any heed; every member of the company kept his forlorn gaze trained upon the road before his horse’s hooves as if to do otherwise would invite derision and scorn.


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