“The Sacrifice”: Part nineteen

IMG_2140 ~The Sacrifice~ IMG_2136


Part Nineteenth: The Guide

Velvet came to a complete stand-still, whinnying in distress as Gimel tried to urge her forward. Sir Richard pulled Jael to a halt and sat watching his guide’s fruitless efforts. Could this really be the best horse the King had in his stables to send? They could not even get it up the mountain. Well, that made it a smart creature, if nothing else. This was madness. He did not even know for sure if he was going to be able to get Jael—an experienced warhorse—all the way up to the dragon’s lair.

Velvet nervously started walking again, at last, and they continued up into the foothills winding around trees. Sir Richard could not see the dragon’s lair, but the sky was hazy with smoke around the mountain-peaks. He knew the horses could sense the danger and were uneasy—especially Velvet, who had probably never seen a dragon and did not even know what she was afraid of, poor creature! Cyrus could smell it in the air too, but the German Shepherd walked quietly beside his master steed, with only the barely-bristling hair along the back of his neck showing how tense he was.

They came at last to the end of the foothills and looked up at the sheer mountain-sides. The monster’s cave was fully visible at last, high above their heads, at the top of a cliff. A horrible place for a fight—at least when your opponent was big enough to fling you off the edge.

“The horses cannot get up this,” Sir Richard said, looking at the steep path upwards, to the left of the cliff-face. He wondered if the dragon had made the narrow trail.

“I know,” Gimel answered. “We’re not going that way. We’re going partway around the mountain and climbing up from behind the lair. It’s less steep, and we might surprise the dragon. Come!” He lifted Velvet’s reins, but she reared suddenly and turned back towards the foothills, breaking into a gallop in spite of all his efforts.

Sir Richard swung Jael around and followed the terrified horse back the way they had come. He found his guide in the foothills; Velvet standing and quiet at last, except for her heaving breath, but trembling all over. “She will not go further, Gimel,” the Knight said quietly.




“The Sacrifice”: Part eighteen

This part was very hard to get right, but I think it turned out well!  I’m so excited we’ve gotten this far!

IMG_2140 ~The Sacrifice~ IMG_2136


Part Eighteenth: The Sword of Ereth

Why was the King alone, yet surrounded by empty chairs? One of them had probably been for the Princess, and the other might belong to a prince, or another princess; and the other impressively adorned one that matched the King’s must belong to the Queen. But where was she? Probably still in bed, Sir Richard realized. It wasn’t even six. Though all this hurry would most likely be in vain: if the dragon was going to kill her, he could hardly be expected to wait four and twenty hours, could he?

“You are the Knight of the Eagle, who came to the Gate yesterday?” King Cedric asked. The knight could not accuse him if he sounded tired and uninterested.

Continue reading “The Sacrifice”: Part eighteen

“The Sacrifice”: Part seventeen

Better late than never, right?  Sorry I didn’t get this up on Friday, we had a lot going on!

IMG_2140 ~The Sacrifice~ IMG_2136


Part Seventeenth: If

Abadalyx released his crushing grip on the Princess’s arm and brought his forepaw mercilessly down on her shoulder, hard enough to force her—as he intended—onto her knees beside the small stream that flowed over the edge of his rocky porch. “Drink!”

Penelope gulped water from her cupped hands, relishing its cool freshness on her dry throat. It more than made up for a sore shoulder and knees—as well as her ruined garments. She wondered how such mushy ground could have hurt her knees so badly, as she glanced down at her muddied skirt. What had induced her to wear white? Oh well, it wasn’t like it mattered much how she looked.

Continue reading “The Sacrifice”: Part seventeen

“The Sacrifice”: Part sixteen

Sorry I haven’t been posting very much lately!  Life just gets busy.  Spring is obviously here, ’cause I’ve been outside a lot, taking pictures. 🙂

Anyway, The Sacrifice.  Which I hope is more interesting than my rambling!

IMG_2140 ~The Sacrifice~ IMG_2136


Part Sixteenth: In A Hurry

Five o’clock in the morning.

Sir Richard stalked down the inn’s dim, silent hallway; Cyrus trotting at his side. He wanted to run, but then his cloak might flare, and his sword had to stay concealed. The landlord was walking quietly about the main room, sticking daisies in small, clay pitchers on the tables in the main dining room. Hearing the stairs creak, he turned as Sir Richard came in. He opened his mouth for a good-morning-how-did-you-sleep, but the knight asked his first question before he could begin: “Where is your king?”

Continue reading “The Sacrifice”: Part sixteen

“The Sacrifice”: Part fifteen

I’m really excited about sharing this part–for reasons that I think you’ll figure out soon.

IMG_2140 ~The Sacrifice~ IMG_2136


Part Fifteenth: The Story

Excuse me, sir, are you going to stop here?”

“Yes, lad, thank you.” Sir Richard swung himself out of the saddle and handed Jael’s reins to the stable-boy. “What about my dog?” he added, noticing Cyrus hesitating between his master and the horse he had followed all day.

“You can take him in with you, if you want.” The boy shrugged despondently. “They don’t mind.”

Sir Richard whistled to Cyrus and walked inside, wondering why everyone here was so downcast.


“A sixteen-year-old girl came into the inn’s small kitchen carrying a basket of eggs. She set it down on the round table in the middle of the room, and brushed wisps of curly, chestnut hair that had escaped her bun out of her face.

“Alicia!” the cook called from the other side of the large kitchen. “Go see if the stranger-knight wants his dinner yet.”

Continue reading “The Sacrifice”: Part fifteen

“The Sacrifice”: Part fourteen

Just F.Y.I., I calculated wrong at first, and I think we’ll actually finish The Sacrifice by late May.  Sorry about that!

IMG_2140 The Sacrifice IMG_2136


Part Fourteenth: Breakfast

Penelope closed her eyes again and rolled over. What was the worth of getting up? Her throat burned with thirst. The floor of the enclosure was scattered with rotting leaves, but they were not enough to mask the hard stone of her chamber. Her every muscle ached. She had spent so much time preparing to die, the idea of living had never even occurred to her. Really, if she had known, she would have brought water—or a pillow. Or a hairbrush, she thought ruefully, opening her eyes and brushing loose, gold strands from them.

Continue reading “The Sacrifice”: Part fourteen

Who is a God like You?

Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance?  You do not stay angry forever, but delight to show mercy.  You will again have compassion on us; you will tread out sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.  You will be true to Jacob, and show mercy to Abraham, as you pledged on oath to our fathers in days long ago.

-Micah 7:18-20

“The Sacrifice”: Part thirteen

IMG_2140 The Sacrifice IMG_2136


Part Thirteenth: Something Wrong

Sir Richard shaded his eyes from the setting sun. They were almost to the city. They would reach it before nightfall if they kept going.

“Come on, Jael, we’re almost there,” he said, running his fingers through his horse’s ivory mane. “I know you’re tired, but we shall have a real bed and a real stable tonight if we get there. Good girl!” he encouraged as the dappled gray mare moved to a faster gate. His German Shepherd, Cyrus, started running to keep up with the trotting horse. He knew both animals were tired from the long trek through the mountains, but they understood what it meant to stay in a city.

Continue reading “The Sacrifice”: Part thirteen