The kids are grown, now what?: Excerpt: Immortal Voyage bu C.G. Powell

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Excerpt: Immortal Voyage bu C.G. Powell

The long overdue message finally arrived from Sarik. Rowe sat behind the table in his private chamber mulling over each and every word. It was written in the language of Sarik’s people, something Rowe learned from Sarik many years ago. Unlike the other messages sent by Sarik on parchment, this one was on stark white paper brighter than anything Rowe had seen, and each letter of each word was precisely the same size and unusually perfect. It was more than just a simple missive, and Salima’s help was required to understand its contents. He walked into the hallway, looking for someone who could retrieve Salima. Tam hurried down the hall past him without even acknowledging his laird when Rowe called for him to a halt. “My boy, where are you going in such a rush?” Rowe asked, but didn’t wait for a reply. “No matter. I need for you to ride to Halis and Edric’s cottage. Tell Salima I have received a message from Sarik and require her assistance.” “Yes, my Laird,” was all he said as he rushed out of the house. He padded his way to the stable, mounted his stag pony and headed to Halis and Edric’s house. In his haste, he dropped in the stable a small pouch containing a polished stone wrapped in silver on a leather necklace. He intended to give it to Lenni, but their conversation took them to a different place, and now his token was a reminder of yet another failed attempt at love. He rode down the well-trodden road, his mind in turmoil over Lenni’s rejection. Just as he approached the cottage, the sound of laughter singing from the windows caused Tam to stop and listen for a moment. He sighed and blotted his eyes with the edge of his sleeve, amazed that something as simple as a woman in love’s laughter could bring him to tears. How is it that something so unassuming continues to elude me? he thought before knocking on the door. Halis answered, threw her arms around Tam’s neck, and kissed his cheek. “Tam, I’ve missed you, dear brother. Come in,” she bubbled, happy as always. “I can’t stay long. I’m here to deliver a message to Salima from your father,” he said, craning his head around the cottage looking for her. Edric shook Tam’s hand as he stepped inside the doorway. “She’s out back collecting plants.” Halis grinned as she grabbed Tam’s hand and lead him out the backdoor where Salima was bent over in the garden. Salima stood and turned her gaze toward them. “Tam, what brings you here?” “Rowe has received word from Hy-Brasil and requires your help,” he relayed. She picked up the basket by her feet and followed them back into the cottage. “Did he tell you what it was concerning?” she asked, carefully wrapping the contents of the basket in a cloth. “No, but it must be quite urgent if he had me ride out here to get you.” “Aw...Can’t you stay and visit?” protested Halis. “I can ride back on my own, Tam, if you would like to stay,” said Salima. “I could use your help. I need to add thatch to the roof and could use someone tall enough to hand it to me. Not to mention, a break from all of Halis’ jabbering,” Edric teased. “I suppose I could stay,” Tam relented, as Halis smiled and threw her arms around him again. As soon as Salima left, Tam followed Edric out back where the thatch was already bundled. He climbed onto the roof and waited for Tam to hand him a bundle. Tam looked off in the distance lost in thought. Edric cleared his voice from edge of the roof, snapping Tam back to reality. “Want to talk about it?” “What makes you think I have something to talk about?” Tam asked as he handed Edric a bundle of thatch, attempting to hide his nervousness. “Did you really think your kiss with Lenni would go unnoticed? The prospect of a union between you and Lenni has tongues wagging from here to Monmalor,” Edric said, grabbing the bundle from Tam. Throwing his hands up in the air, Tam groaned. “What a fine mess that kiss turned out to be. I always believed in my undying love for Wren, but after that kiss—I don’t know. I yearn for Lenni in a way I never felt for Wren. And after toiling all night over it, I came to the conclusion the Wren of the past is dead, and it’s time I move on. Unfortunately, Lenni does not share my willingness to let go of the past. She still believes she will find this man from her dreams.” “A great man once told me, think hard before you set your sights on one of Rowe’s daughters. They’re nothing but torment to any man who opens his heart to them—but a fine torment, indeed.” He laughed. “Well, that man is more fool than great at the moment,” snorted Tam. “But you can’t deny you were wrong either,” said Edric as he placed the last bundle on the roof and climbed down.

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