Saturday, September 12, 2015

Angusel wrestles with myriad emotions in Raging Sea Ch 7/Sc 2

Graphic overlay (c)2015 by Kim Headlee.
I take special delight in turning certain aspects of the Arthurian Legends upon their collective ear while leaving other aspects as traditionally portrayed. 

Lancelot, whether you believe he was based upon a historical personage or not, was never described in the ancient literature as being one of the first members of the Round Table, and I have chosen to stick with that angle in Raging Sea.

In today's installment, Angusel must watch and wrestle with myriad emotions as my version of the Round Table, an elite unit known as the Comites Praetorii ("Count's Guards") forms without him.

Previous excerpts of Raging Sea 
 Chapter 7: Sc 1 |

Raging Sea Chapter 7, Scene 2
©2015 by Kim Headlee
All rights reserved.

He knew he should remain stoic, as he’d been drilled countless times, off as well as on the practice fields, but he couldn’t help averting his gaze as Gawain rode by. Emotions that had to remain hidden assaulted him: grief, of course, mixed with anger and unworthiness and regret, bound by a taut cord of sadness. Only the determination not to be overwhelmed by the taunts and pranks of the other men of First Ala had kept that sadness from veering into despair during the past turning of the moon.

She had posted him to First Ala, and he would sooner crawl into a hole and die than fail her again.

Her words today had bestowed a glimmer of hope that one day he might earn a place in her “Count’s Guards” elite unit. He nurtured that hope as a freezing man feeds an infant flame with dry grass and twigs lest it die before it gains strength enough to save his life.

He looked up as the last of the Comites Praetorii members approached First Ala on their way toward the central aisle for their investiture. Through the rising dust clouds, he gazed over the heads of the nearest infantry century toward the crowd and blinked, hard.

An absolute vision of loveliness was standing near the rail, bedecked in an overdress dyed an exquisite shade of azure, embroidered with a gold falcon. The same design, in woad, decorated her right forearm. Eileann’s rich brown tresses were plaited with gold and blue ribbons and wrapped around her head. Her cloak, the Clan Tarsuinn pattern of saffron crossed with blue and red, was edged in gold as was her due as àrd-banoigin.

The only missing details were her harp and her smile.

It took him a moment to realize she was attending this event to honor her brother Tavyn mac Dynann, who was one of the Comites Praetorii inductees and had just cantered past them from his position behind Eighth Ala with the handful of horsemen who had transferred from units other than the Horse Cohort. Angusel wondered who might have replaced Tavyn as commander of Second Turma, Manx Cohort, and whether he might have stood a chance at the promotion had he stayed.

Nay. A weanling was more fit to lead a cavalry squad than he was.

He clamped off that discouraging thought and stole another glance at Eileann. To his amazement, she seemed to be looking straight at him and smiling. Mayhap ’twas sheer coincidence, but he felt his lips tug into a half smile. Hers deepened.

His spirits felt lighter than they had in too many sennights.

Then he realized that she was standing next to the man to whom she was betrothed, the man to whom, after another turning of the moon, she would be married. Iomar glowered at Angusel. Heart plummeting, Angusel fastened his gaze upon the Pendragon, who was preparing to speak.

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  1. I love the tale of Arthur and Guinevere. I've been reading the excerpts in your blog and would love to win this book. Blessings & Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you; that's so sweet of you to say!
      Blessings to you too, and good luck!! :)


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