Saturday, February 20, 2016

Angusel answers for his rashness in Ch 10/Sc 3a of RAGING SEA by @KimHeadlee #amwriting

Graphic overlay (c)2016 by Kim Headlee.
Though I delight in turning the Arthurian legends inside out in my fiction, one constant I've left unchanged is that Lancelot answers to Guinevere. 

Oh, sure, Lancelot has to take orders from Arthur from time to time—he is one of Arthur's soldiers, after all—but Guinevere is the one person to whom he has sworn absolute obedience in all matters.

In The Dragon's Dove Chronicles, the relationship of Angusel (a.k.a. Lancelot) to Gyanhumara (a.k.a. Guinevere) is no different, and today's excerpt provides a glimpse into its ever-evolving complexity.

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 |
Chapter 10: Sc 1a | Sc 1b | Sc 2a | Sc 2b |

Raging Sea Chapter 10, Scene 3a
©2016 by Kim Headlee
All rights reserved.

One perfunctory bath later, Angusel stood in front of the open clothes chest beside his cot in the First Ala barracks, naked save for the towel he’d girded about his loins, contemplating what she might have meant by “presentable.”

His status as one of the legion’s lowest-ranking officers and no longer possessing noble privileges had left him with but two choices: either his parade uniform or clean sparring gear. He opted for the crisp red linen tunic worn under his parade armor—the armor itself was stored with everyone else’s in the armory, which was always locked before supper except in the event of an attack—and best leggings, his officer’s cloak, and legion boots, the latter still bearing the training ring’s dust and scuffs.

The scuffs he could do nothing about without incurring her wrath for taking too long to report to her workroom, but he used the damp towel to wipe off the dust as best he could.

Once he was admitted into the lioness’s den, she studied him for what felt like forever. He battled the urge to retreat.

“Explain yourself,” she said at length, in Caledonaiche.

He decided that she meant his earlier behavior rather than his choice of dress, and drew a deep breath. “I was defending your honor.”

Her eyebrows shot up so fast that if his relationship with her had remained on its old footing, he’d have laughed. “Indeed? How do you justify defending honor with dishonor?”

“I—” He felt his eyes widen as the implication sank in. “I cannot. I’m sorry, my lady.” He averted his gaze, despising the all-too-familiar flush of shame. Behind him the door creaked open, and he heard the measured tread of someone entering the chamber, mayhap even more than one person, but he stood past caring who listened to this confession. He switched to Ròmanaiche to make it. “I was angry beyond all capacity for reason. I chose to act while in that state, and that was wrong of me.”

Please forgive me!

He couldn’t bring himself to voice the plea.


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