The Shiny New Idea is on the back burner because someone else already has a published book which has the same kind of bad guys I wanted. Back to the drawing board and a hunt for a new villain. I already have some ideas but they can wait.
So, it's back to Angharad and Fin up in the wilds of 9th century Cumbria. This week, Fin has recovered, more or less, from his unfortunate encounter with a boar. It's Angharad who's about to get into a spot of bother.
Usual caveat applies, rough as a cat's tongue but less smelly (I hope).
Angharad gathered up the reins and glanced back at the house. Fin stood in the doorway, The sun found copper in his hair. His quiet smile made something inside her turn over. For a moment, she considered forgetting about the breached wall but she knew she wouldn’t be long and the brief absence would make the rest of the day all the better. Angharad smiled back surprised how much she wanted him.
The stallion skittered sideways across the grass. Angharad sat deep in the saddle and nudged him forward. He tossed his head and snorted, sending silver clouds of vapour drifting into the bitterly cold air. She knew he was spoiling for a race and, if the ground hadn’t been hard, Angharad would’ve indulged him. Instead, she kept him at a bone-jarring walk and wished she’d taken the mare.
“He’s a bit of a handful this morning, mistress,” Elfled observed.
Angharad looked with envy at the shepherd, happy on the half-asleep pony. “He is.” She dropped her hands and pushed him forward, hoping he would lower his head. Instead, he squealed and bucked. Angharad tightened her hold on the reins, shaken by the buck. She smacked his hindquarters with the stick and held on when he bucked once more. His high spirit replaced by a squeal of temper. He spun around, his ears flat against the side of his head.
“Bastard.” Angharad struck him again. “Settle down.”
The stallion reared.
Angharad clung to the saddle and prayed he wouldn’t topple over. The coarse hair of his mane whipped across her face when he plunged back to earth, tucked his head between his forelegs and bucked. The saddle was no longer beneath her, the reins tore away from her cold hands as Angharad was flung sideways.
This is going to hurt.
Angharad wondered, before she slammed onto the ground, whether Fin would be angry because she didn’t take the mare.