Well, I have to say, my muse is happy today or maybe I'm finally shaking off the flu. Either would be great. I only wish I could breathe without coughing up a lung! I managed to write a flash this morning AND add 1000 words to my MS. The story is flowing again. I hate it when my muse hides from me. Maybe it's the Two Towers playing in the background??
And here's this week's image for the talented Mr. Luis Royo.... I hope everyone found it as inspiring as I have.
On The Next Moon Rising
by: Dottie Taylor
word count: 730
He had turned his back on her, walked away from what could have been to what was needed of him. His destiny.
Rashad grew up in a small village, he would be the leader one day, this he knew, this he would be.
“Shellea will rule at my side.” He said, a rueful smile filled his young face.
“I will take orders from no man.” She playfully, but truthfully said, leaving his bed.
“Not even from your husband?” He questioned, an eyebrow crooked with desire to know the truth.
She smiled. “Especially not a husband.” She pulled on her warrior garb, leathers, an armored plate for her chest. A sword at her side, arrows and a bow covered her back. Small daggers for her wrists, and a knife filled the ankle of her boot.
“When will you see, woman, warriors are meant for war, not for filling a chieftain’s bed?” He too stood, covering his manhood with leathers, equally armed. Theirs was a dangerous world.
“And when will you understand, husband to be, if it is to be so,” she smiled, “warriors are what our people need. Not bed warmers, warriors.” She stood proudly, her palm rested on the hilt of her sword.
He covered the distant between them with two powerful strides. She stood nearly as tall as he, and met his gaze with a bold stare.
“It is to be.” He stated, no doubt filled his voice.
“It shall be decided by the elders, tonight.” She chewed her bottom lip. The elders decided everyone's fate, sometimes fairly, sometimes with malice. She was not an elder favorite.
“They will see my way or I will remain wifeless.” Rashad pulled her roughly into his embrace. Brave words for one who lived by the elders's wisdom. In his heart, he knew, the elders would force his hand, one way or the other. The only question was how.
That evening, a great fire glowed from the elders's chambers. The pronouncement they had been waiting for was about to be spoken.
An elder, one of the young ones, barely a century old, stepped forward. “The elders have declared that Rashad is of age, he must produce an heir.”
The crowd cheered, their leader though young at the time of his father's death, had grown strong. He welded his sword with powerful swings, saving more than one life. A woman warrior already stood as his side. Surely it was time for them to be bonded.
The elder's voice rang through the crowd, quieting them, drawing their attention to his words. “It has been decided that Shellea will lead the next battle. Rashad will wed Mellia with the next moon's rising.”
Shellea stood tall, it was what she expected. They would rather sacrifice her than allow her blood to flow in the next chieftain's veins.
Rashad turned to the elder, a stricken look on his young face. “I will have Shellea at my side.”
“You will not, young Rashad,” the elder claimed, “unless you are willing to give up your place as chieftain?” A tight smile stretched across the elder's ugly face. “An elder may be more apt to lead these people.”
“You know that is against our law. No elder shall take a chieftain's place.” Rashad strode forward, forcing the elder to meet his eyes.
“Then you will obey our commands or the law will cease to matter.” The elder smiled wickedly. For Rashad to claim his true destiny, elder proclamations must be followed.
“I will follow the order of law.” He said as his eyes found those of Shellea. He had just promised himself in marriage to another. Something, hours before, he had sworn to never do.
“Mellia, step forward.” The elder called. “Come, stand next to your husband.”
Mellia was a mousy girl, no warrior genes in her family history. Rashad's eyes fell upon her. Now he understood the elders's desires. To keep the chieftain in his place, they would make sure his child only carried half the genes of the warrior class.
But, life stirred elsewhere. The elders were not all knowing. A warrior chieftain would exist. And one day, the elders would find the people had outgrown them, they had become obsolete. The next cheiftain had already been conceived.
Well, anyway, I finished a flash! It's been a while, but then I've had the flu for more than two weeks. Whenever I think we finally kicking it, the fevers come back and everyone's sick all over again. *sigh*
Has anyone heard if the plague is making a comeback??
Have a great weekend everyone, and remember to come back Monday Morning for another....