Monday, January 11, 2010

Pesky Vikings - Teaser Tuesday

All right, so there I was, just having a weird dream. Nothing new in that. We'd had taco casserole for dinner and highly spiced food seems to trigger very vivid dreams. I didn't remember much of it when I woke up, apart from one tiny bit. A sad, wounded man being tended by a woman. There was more to it than that and it stuck with me when I woke up. By the time I emerged from the shower, I had the germ of a story. After a few hours of research, I had more of a story. So much more of a story that it had teeth and it wouldn't leave me the hell alone, even though I have three completed novels in various stages of revision, not to mention three, count 'em, three unfinished. But, no, this pesky viking won't leave me alone, even though there's no spam, egg, sausage and spam in this house.

So, here it is. Rough as a viking's beard. The opening bit of the latest idea.


Angharad thought the man in the reeds was dead. She bit her knuckles and stared at his bloodstained tunic and at his right foot. It trailed in the cold, peaty water of the beck, glowing dead white while it bobbed in the rain-swelled current. Angharad’s heart pounded when she spotted the broken Danish sword in the crushed and bloodied grass beside him.

“Elfled?” She called to her shepherd, fighting to keep her voice even. “Can you come here please?”

The raid had been on a homestead to the east three days before. The Danes had come with weapons and threats and been sent packing by Athelwulf’s men. The old man claimed they’d all been accounted for. The dead man beside the stream gave lie to that claim. Angharad looked at him, surprised that he didn’t look like a demon. The man’s pale cheeks were clouded by a few days’ growth of beard and the cool breeze moved through his brown hair. She decided that he had not been ill-favored in life.

“Poor man,” she whispered.

His stillness made her bold. It wasn’t the first time Angharad had seen death, but it was the first time she had seen the result of a violent one. She knelt on the grass beside him and wondered what he’d been like when he was alive.

“Mistress?” Elfled, a stray lamb tucked under his arm, blundered through the reeds. “What is it?”

“A dead Dane,” Angharad told him. “I suppose we’d better bury him.” She sat back on her heels. The dead man’s pale cheeks were scattered with very fine freckles. A bluebottle wandered across his parted lips.

Angharad waved the fly away. He couldn’t have been dead that long or there would be more flies.

“I don’t think he’s dead, mistress.” Elfled, still holding the lamb, knelt beside her. “His eyelids moved just then.”


  1. Freaking.


    Drop everything else and write this one for me. Like, now.

    XO, me. :-)

  2. Woohoo! Sounds like you're off to a good start there! Vikings - awesome. :-)

  3. This is just full of awesome, Sue. It reminds me of Kay's Lasst Light Of the Sun. The voice is just great.

  4. Sue!!!!!! I love it. Love, love, love it. And I am mad you stopped there! This is great stuff, go vikings, give us some more!

  5. Very excited to see where you go with this.

  6. I LOVE this! Especially since it has vikings! I sense that Angharad is a kickass already, and I can't wait to see more of this one. Wonderful job, as usual!

  7. Can't wait to find out who the "dead" viking is and Angharad sounds awesome. Love your description and opening set up for this - definitely makes me want to read more. Isn't it great, how dreams sometimes can inspire such great writing ideas?

  8. Jeesh, what is it about vikings?

    Thanks, peeps. I'm glad you like it. I'm having fun with it.

    I'm actually blown away by your comments!


  9. Vikings! Vikings! Vikings!

    Lovely descriptions, and I like the sort of soft tone of the heroine. You have SO many ideas, woman! :)

  10. Nice opening... way to suck the reader in. good desc. of the 'dead' Viking...

  11. This is really good. The opening was powerful. I can't wait to read more. you are so damn prolific, all your ideas are always so well done.