I forgot to register again *facepalm* but then I’ve a lot on my mind at the moment not all of which is bad, thank goodness.
Six Sentence Sunday is a fun way to read other authors work. It takes a long time but it very much worth doing because there are some terrific stories out there.
Ideally one is sensible enough to register with the website here then on the following Sunday post exactly six sentences taken from one of your works. Some people do lots of different books, taking the opportunity for a bit of promo, others are [brave souls] writing a story six sentences a week! It’s great fun to read all the different styles.
I, of course, remembered on Tuesday, but it was before the new post went up and I forgot to return. So instead of six sentences here’s an excerpt that I haven’t counted that follows on directly from last weeks.
“The Misbegotten” have been out for some training. It has been very hard, cold, miserable and annoying work.
Cynfal was riding beside Pup, leading the horse and keeping an eye on the rider. Pup had fallen down one of the cliffs. He was nursing a gashed leg and a broken arm, which they had set and splinted with firewood and left over bits of raw hide.
“I don’t think it was that bad,” Pup said, his voice weak. “I learned a lot.”
“Yes, to avoid anything that requires climbing.” Aeddan snorted. “And now it’s all ‘ride in pairs – knee to knee – try to look like proper cavalry’. As if thats what we’re here for.”
“Yes,” Cynfal said and winked at Pup. “It’s not like we know how, is it.”
“I’ve forgotten more about riding in close order than you’ll ever know,” Aeddan snapped, glaring along his shoulder. He saw Cynfal’s grin and scowled. “Oh, very funny.”
“Well go on, then,” Cynfal challenged. “Educate us.”
“Yes, show us how it’s done.” March leaned from the other side of Pup. “We’ll be all right, won’t we, Pup?”
“I would,” Aeddan said and cast a derisive glance at Cynfal’s mount. “But close order with a man riding a sheep is just too damned embarrassing.”
“Chicken,” Cynfal murmured and leaned back in his saddle to avoid a punch.
They sighted the smoke of the dun well before dark and the fires had only just begun to show in the early dusk as they rounded the loch and trotted the last few bowshots to the horselines. By then the teasing had paid off and Aeddan had formed up the dozen men who shared the bothy into a reasonable semblance of order. They jingled along in a tight block with Cynfal leading them in a scurrilous song casting doubt on the manhood of their leader. Cynon’s upright seat didn’t waver but Cynfal was delighted to see that the back of his neck was rather red.
“You were right,” Aeddan said as they stopped to unharness their horses. “We need a harper. This lot couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket.”
Cynfal chuckled. “Especially you,” he said. “March, why not lead Pup up to the bothy and ride his horse back?”
“My horse,” Pup said, struggling to get out of the saddle. “My responsibility.”
“Good lad.” Cynon had approached. His voice was sharp though his smile when he looked Pup over was kind. “But stay in the saddle. I’m going to take you up to the dun to let the monks take a look at that arm. Cynfal – let Aeddan see to your horse – you come too and you can walk Pup’s back down.”
Aeddan bleated under his breath as he took Cynfal’s reins, But cynon was looking impatient so Cynfal put retaliation off ’til later. He took Pup’s reins and jogged between the two horses as Cynon set a fast pace up the muddy track to the dun.
“How are you coping?” Cynon asked the boy and Pup replied, trying to be brave but almost inaudible. That the lad was being tested was obvious to Cynfal, but he wondered if Pup saw it that way. Apart from his poor showing at climbing Pup was very competent, cheerful, and willing to follow orders, even if he didn’t understand their purpose. Cynfal would be inclined to nurture him, not break him, but maybe that was why Cynon was the leader of the troop and not Cynfal?
There had been no time to poke around the hall enclosure so the way around to the little church was new to Cynfal. The church had recently been expanded. Some of the adzed flat trunks making the walls were still golden brown, rather than the silver they would become in a year or two, and the thatch was as fresh as that of the hall. When the horses pulled up outside, Cynfal helped Pup down then stood trying to get his breath back as Cynon called for attention.
The monks seemed gentle enough as they clustered around Pup but he looked nervous at the thought of being left with them. “I’ll stay with you for a while,” Cynon promised. “Cynfal can walk my horse back too. You’ll enjoy that won’t you?” He grinned. “It will make such a nice change from your sheep and you probably won’t have the breath for singing.”
Cynfal chuckled as Cynon disappeared into the church. As a reprimand for his singing, it was both private and bearable. Especially since he did have breath and was prepared to prove it. With a bridle in each hand he turned the horses to lead them past the hall towards the track and he sang as he walked. He chose a nursery song that he had enjoyed singing to little Ox, good and loud at first but dropping to a croon when a few paces away. “And so he calls to his nimble hounds, Giff, Gaff, come by, fetch fetch.”
The last two words woke echoes of harp song and Cynfal pulled the two horses up and peered past the head of Cynon’s bay. Gwion was in the doorway of the hall, harp held loosely in his arms.
Back to normal next week I hope.