Generally I love coming up with something for SwiftFicFriday. It’s a writing prompt where we get 4 hours and 150-300 words to use in response to a prompt. This week we had the phrase “There’s been a change of plans.” I stared at it for a bit and came up totally blank. So, deciding I would skip this week, I turned to working on my WIP, Seeking the Path, in an attempt to get it done before my editors kill me. Lo and behold, I suddenly found myself writing about that very prompt in my WIP without meaning to. So, tonight you get a two for one deal–a quick flash response to the SwiftFicFriday writing prompt and a sneak peek at another scene in Seeking the Path.
The Hand of Fate
“There’s been a change of plans. It seems that those infernal raiders have reached the village ahead, and given the way the smoke looks, it just happened. Lucan and I will ride ahead. We need to know what happened. But we can’t risk you.” Captain Eranis never once looked over at Maroshek as he spoke, but the tension in his body told Maroshek the man did not like what he had to say.
Lucan took up the thread of words next. “There’s a path through the hills about a mile
from here. You’ll take off from here, head toward that hill,” he gestured to a hill off to their right with an oddly shaped crown. “On the far side you’ll find the path. Ride hard, but keep your horse to a canter at most or you’ll never make Fiernala. We’ll see you there, understand?”
So many words fought inside Maroshek’s head that he struggled for a moment to form any of them into a coherent sentence. “But what about you both? I’m not abandoning you.”
“You’re not abandoning us, Lord Maroshek.” Captain Eranis using his title that way sounded odd to Maroshek. “You’re following the duty your family has upheld since the founding of Ocalan—to protect House Phoenix. In order to do that, we need to ensure any raiders in the area do not come after you. That is our duty.”
Maroshek choked on the emotion warring in him. Part of him screamed to rail against what Captain Eranis said. These two men had become something more than members of his father’s guard. Glancing at each of them told him they detested this as well. Yet, he knew Captain Eranis was right. He was the one who needed to make it to Fiernala, not the Captain nor Lucan.