This week on YA we are looking at Mother’s Day favourite reads. Well my mum didn’t actually get much time for reading. She was a quiet gentle soul with a quick wit and a loving heart. Had she had the time between raising us six children I feel sure she would have gone for a gentle romance without the spicy bits. But, no matter what was offered, if it was written by one of her own then, to her it would have been the best piece of literature in the world. Roll-over Shakespeare!!!
They thundered down the stairs of the old farmhouse and into the kitchen where Robby’s mother was preparing breakfast. Her dark hair was pulled into a ponytail at the nape of her neck. Like Abigail, she was small, thin and deceptively frail looking. The kitchen was hung with Christmas decorations and in the corner stood a Christmas tree decorated haphazardly with garish ornaments and angel hair.
‘Morning you two.’
‘Morning, Helen, Abigail said. ‘You’ve been busy! Like the tree!’
‘You do? Helen’s dark blue eyes so like her sons widened. ‘Really?’
‘Yes. But I wouldn’t read too much into that, I don’t have very high expectations after living aunt Amanda’s attempts at tree décor, especially after the ‘little darlings’ are finished helping.’ Abigail said grinning.
Helen looked from the tree to Abigail and narrowed her eyes, ‘I think I’ll still take that as a complement.’ She turned back to buttering toast. ‘You’re up early this morning. Going for a ride?’
‘Err, not sure yet,’ Robby said. ‘Maybe not. I think we might just put them in the field for a few hours leg stretch. Where’s dad?’
‘Out seeing to that cow. He’ll be back soon if you want him for something.’
‘No, just wondered. Do you want the riding school ponies turning out too?’
‘Leave Dancer in, I’m giving Andrew a lesson later. You can turn the others out though.’
Robby splashed water on his face at the sink and ran a comb hastily through his dark hair.
‘I wish you wouldn’t do that in the kitchen, Robby. And I really think your hair needs cutting. What’s this sudden fancy for letting it grow?’
Robby exchanged a quick look with Abigail. Most Talcorne in the city of Moilana wore their hair long. And, as he was now entering his first year as a bonded Talcorne he had decided to follow suit. He could hardly share this with his parents however. He shrugged vaguely and mumbled something around a piece of toast he had grabbed from the table then headed for the door.
‘Abigail, aren’t you going to do something with your hair?’
‘Like what?’ Abigail shrugged, ‘What can I do that will make a scrap of difference? Besides, is it worth doing battle with it just for the horses and hay and stuff?’
This week on the Carnival we get to post something from our Work-in-Progress. I have taken an exert from the second book in the Dragon World series. The Missing Link will be out later this year. Enjoy.
I have put links to other members at the Carnival so you can browse some other great sites and get a taste of their current work.
Frenzel’s urgent promptings woke Robby next morning. Alarmed he flung the blanket off him showering the forest floor with the fine dew that had collected on it. His breath ballooned before his face in heavy clouds. The sun barely penetrated the thick canopy and in the cold light Robby was aware of a second dragon standing next to Frenzel.
Karen’s dragon seemed to have shrivelled since the loss of his human. His once golden hide now looked a dirty brown. The dark eyes that had held the sparkle of a night sky were faded and dull.
Abigail stepped past Robby peering into the gloom behind the dragons.
‘Kayne? Is Karen…’
‘Karen is dead,’ Kayne said. ‘I am soon to join her. I go to seek the revenge that is mine then we will be reunited. But first I am to give Robby these.’
He dropped a small bundle at Robby’s feet. Robby unwound the dirty cloth and from inside he withdrew Karen’s whet-stone and empty scabbard.
‘She said to tell you that you are ready. That Maltore is never wrong and that your success will bring honour to your comrades and their commander.’
‘But…’ Abigail started to say but Kayne was not waiting for an answer, he began to turn away.
‘Kayne, wait,’ Robby said stepping forward. ‘There is something more you can do for us if you would.’
As he said it he felt Frenzel’s shock and disapproval. Robby deliberately avoided looking at him and concentrated on Kayne.
‘I wait only to join my bond-mate. I go to find revenge and nothing else interests me,’ Kayne said and began to walk away.
Robby stepped forward and touched Kayne on the shoulder. Kayne flinched as though stung, he spun around and an angry fire leaped into his eyes. Abigail gasped and her hands flew to her mouth.
Frenzel leaped to Robby’s side. ‘Robby you must not touch…’
‘Touch another bonded dragon without permission? I’m sorry, Kayne, but I had to make you listen. This is really important.’
The fire died in Turco’s eyes and he furled his wings.
‘Very well, you have my attention.’
‘You seek revenge and death for the loss of Karen. I understand that, believe me I do. But, Kayne, there’s a far better way to get revenge than in losing your life killing a few goblins,’ Robby paused and took a breath.
‘Help us get Dimble back.’
The fire flashed again in Turco’s eyes and a low growl rumbled in his chest. ‘I will not go with you! My part in this is over!’ As he spoke smoke mingled with the breath billowing from his nostrils.
‘I’m not asking you to come with us,’ Robby said quickly, ‘all I want you to do is to go back to Moilana and tell Lord Whickstaff what has happened. He has to know, it’s really important.’
Turco looked unmoved and Robby continued,‘We have to succeed in getting Dimble back, Kayne, there’s more at stake than Dimble’s life. We are a part of something else, something…’ Robby groped for the right words, ‘something bigger,’ he said helplessly. ‘The Evil-One believes the Four are a threat to him. We defeated him once but I believe… I know… there’s worse to come. And he knows that somehow we will be his greatest threat. I think he took Dimble to destroy the Four and prevent an ancient prophesy being fulfilled. A prophesy that says it will be the four which play a major part in his defeat. We need you to help us stop that from happening. After that you can revenge Karen’s death in whatever way you think fit but stopping the Evil-One seems a pretty good revenge to me.’
Robby waited holding his breath. He had to get word of the attack to Whickstaff. It was vitally important. If Kayne said, no, then there wasn’t any other way he could do it. Kayne stared at him unblinking his faded eyes searching his face. Then he turned away and this time Robby did not attempt to stop him.
With a low growl Kayne said, ‘Very well. I will go to Moilana. I will tell Lord Whickstaff what has happened. Then we shall see.’ Without a backward glance he slipped into the forest and disappeared.
Abigail blew air out of her pursed lips. ‘Robby! What on earth did you think you were doing? That could have been really… really….’
‘He would have been justified in tearing you to shreds,’ Frenzel said. ‘He has just lost his human. For another to touch him….’
‘I had to take the risk.’
‘But why? What’s so important about Whickstaff knowing?’ Abigail asked.
Robby shrugged. ‘Whickstaff said we had to get word to him at any cost if anything went wrong.’ He paused as he fastened on Karen’s scabbard and tucked the whet-stone into its pouch. ‘I think it’s time you told me and Frenzel, what it is you’re hiding, Abigail.’
‘Why did Cravell take Dimble, apart from destroying the Foursome I mean. Why Dimble? Why not Frenzel? Or even me or you? And why keep him alive? Why not just kill him?
‘And don’t say you don’t know because I know you do!’
Abigail narrowed her eyes, ‘I wasn’t going to. I might be many things but I’m not a liar.’
‘So, you do know then!’
‘I… I have a pretty good idea why it was Dimble but what taking him is supposed to achieve I have only the vaguest of ideas.’
Robby waited as she shook out her blanket and started to roll it up.
‘Well,’ he demanded.
‘What is your vague idea!’ Robby said through gritted teeth.
‘I’ve already explained this to you; it’s is not my secret to share.’
‘Even now? After all that’s happened. You’re still not going to tell us?’ he yelled.
‘What if it is the very thing that will help us get him back? How are we supposed to help him if we don’t know what we will be facing? It’s like groping around in the dark when we could light a candle! You have to tell us, Abigail.’
Abigail threw down her blanket, ‘Robby McRoss, you are behaving like a… like a bully.’
'We need to know…’
‘And you will, just as soon a Dimble is ready to tell you!’ and with that she mounted her horse and rode off.