Thursday, March 21, 2019

Don Travis: The Mountain, Part 3 of 3 Parts

Don Travis: The Mountain, Part 3 of 3 Parts: dontravis.com blog post #329 Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons As I said at the end of last week’s reading… what else is there for Har...

The Mountain, Part 3 of 3 Parts


dontravis.com blog post #329

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
As I said at the end of last week’s reading… what else is there for Hargis to learn about himself? Let’s answer that question.

*****
                                             THE MOUNTAIN                         

Saddened by this desertion, I resumed my journey, once again finding the going rough through the narrow rock confines connecting them.
Somehow, I was not surprised to see someone straddling the pathway in the middle of the next lea. This was a sturdy youth of my own age, and his stance held a measure of menace. I tightened my hold on my hickory staff as we met.
“You are Hargis of Rodenbury?”
“Aye! And who are you?”
“I am Ayeth of the Mountain.”
We examined one another in silence for a few moments. He was fully as broad as I and of a height. His jerkin was open, giving a glimpse of heavy muscles. Here was a formidable young man. And handsome, too, I noted with surprise. Such things were normally beyond my ken. He bore a resemblance to Donneth, yet without his soft ways.
“You met my sister, Gwyndolyn. What did you do to her?”
“Why, I did nothing, man! We swam together, and I departed.”
“But you slept with my sister, Gwinnyth.”
“We but shared blankets; her virginity is intact.”
“My brother, Donneth, what did you do to him?”
Abruptly, I closed my mouth, stymied for an answer. “Ask him,” I finally said. The words sounded weak.
“Nay, I ask you,” he said, bristling. His anger made him more comely. “Did you spill seed between you?”
I stood silent, unable to admit what had happened.
My silence was his answer. He grew impatient at my mute state. “Now, you will take my seed.”
I found my tongue quickly. “Nay, that’ll not happen, Ayeth. You’re not man enough to force that issue.”
He shrugged out of his jerkin, revealing a powerful torso. “Aye, I’m man enough for you, Hargis. And I’ll fight you to make my point.”
“And if you lose?”
“I will not lose. But if I do, you have safe passage. You’re a cobbler, are you not? If I do not beat you, I’ll give you leather enough to make you feel rich.”
He paused to allow me to shed my pack and my doublet. His eyes raked my chest and shoulders, measuring his opponent. Then he closed on me suddenly.
I met him confidently. The quarry is a hard way to earn a living, but it provides certain advantages. Daily, I had moved masses of rock for four long years. I was as hard as one of those stones and as strong as any man I’d ever known.
But somehow in these mountains, Ayeth had found his own source of strength. We grunted and groaned, swaying in the middle of the path, each seeking to throw the other. Finally, he managed to fling me against a tree. Instantly, he was upon me, but I moved aside and fastened myself to his back like a tick on a dog. We rolled on the ground until he dislodged me.
I do not know how long we battled, but it was long enough to weaken me. His attacks seemed less vigorous, but then so did mine. At length, we fell to the ground again with him atop me. I felt the strength go out of him. He lay inert, his long form flowing down the length of me. I stopped my own struggles; we lay face-to-face, sweating and panting. His brown eyes studied me for a moment before he lowered his lips to mine. Surprised, I permitted his intimacy.
“You want me, Hargis. Admit it,” he gasped.
“A-aye.”
“Then it will be on my terms.” He recovered faster than I.
“Aye. On your terms.” An eagerness seized me that left me weaker than my struggles.
He stood, swayed for a moment, and then steadied himself, legs apart, hands on his hips. I rose to my knees and reached for him. He stayed me with a hand on my head.
“Are you sure, Hargis?”
In answer, I pulled him closer. At length, he lay back and spoke. “Tarry awhile with me,” he said in a deep voice, a smile on his face. “We will clean ourselves and rest.”
Besotted, I nodded agreement. We ate of roasted pig in easy companionship, although we spoke little. As for me, my mind was taken with seeking answers to profound questions about my actions since entering this strange place. What had happened to me? Why had I acted as a man for one man and accepted another?
As evening arrived, it became clear that I would remain the night. We cleaned ourselves in silence before retiring. He seemed absolutely placid; however, I was skittish as a newborn colt. And in a sense, I had been reborn. When we finished, he turned to me.
“I will return shortly.” With those words, he was gone. I had begun to contemplate desertion before he reappeared out of the darkness lugging a bundle of hides.
“What is that?” I asked in relief.
“Leather for the cobbler. I did not beat you, Hargis. You fought me to a standstill, though you surrendered peacefully enough. Nonetheless, I did not beat you.”
There was leather to supply me for several lunations. I would not starve when I arrived at Dag Durgess.
As we spread our blankets side by side, a question rose to mind. “Will you be here when I rise on the morrow?”
“Nay. I’ll be gone.”
“Will I see you again if I return this way?”
He sighed. “You’ll not return. A man is given only one quest along this trail.”
“Quest!” I exclaimed. “I am on no quest. I go to seek friends on the far shore.”
He turned to me, his eyes glowing in the darkness. “Perhaps you were on one without the knowledge. It happens sometimes.” He interrupted my response with a hand on my chest. “I would have my way again. Are you willing?”
“Aye,” I answered slowly.
“Are you certain?” At my nod, came to me as no man had ever approached me before this time. His searching kiss addled my mind as he lowered me to the blanket. His hard, muscled body covered mine.
He smiled in the darkness, and his strange question anew, “You are sure. You are certain.”
“Aye! Beyond doubt!” I exulted. “Love me!”
That he did, driving me crazy with new feelings, new sensations, new desires. He exhausted me more thoroughly than had our struggle on the trail. And the force of our exertions left us exhausted and draped over one another. His heart thudded against mine as our breathing eased gradually.
“By the Gods,” I exclaimed. “What did you do to me, Ayeth?”
“Showed you how it could be, Hargis.”
“Never have I experienced such a thing,” I whispered against his ear. “Is it love?”
“Aye, a love of sorts. Not a love for me, but a love of discovery. This thing we have done is magical, is it not?”
“Aye. Sheer magic! Come with me on the morrow.”
“I cannot, Hargis. I must remain here in my home.”
“Surely what we have must be preserved. Come with me.”
“Would you stay with me?” he asked calmly.
“I-I want to. But…but there are those who await me.”
He kissed me gently. “As there are for me here. But the night is not yet passed. There’s loving to be done yet.”
He spoke the truth. Totally exhausted, I lay in his comforting arms through the depths of the night. In the quiet of the darkness, I thought back over my three days in this mountain.
“Where are we?” I asked suddenly. “What is this place?”
“I thought you knew,” he said. “This is the Mountain of Sure and Certain Knowledge.”
Magically, I slept. On the morrow, there was no sign of Ayeth’s existence. I would have doubted it myself, save for vivid mental images of our coupling.
The rest of the trail out of the mountains was as easy as had been the entry. I emerged onto the foothills and viewed a broad plain that led down to a blue sea.
I turned to look back at the mountain, once again made hazy by a thick mist. The trail was real; the mountain was a solid substance. Yet I doubted that many who took this way walked the same mountain I had crossed.
My true nature suddenly clear in my own mind for the first time in twenty summers, I gave silent thanks to four, fair supernatural beings as the worm of uncertainty departed my chest, leaving me free of disquiet for the first time in ages. Refreshed and filled with a new resolve, I and turned east with firm footsteps toward my goal. To Dag Durgess where Dirkston anticipated my arrival before the Festival of the Harvest Moon.


*****
And now Hargis knows his true nature. His life in Dag Durgess is apt to be quite different from the one he led in Rodenbury. But he should be far happier understanding himself and his desires. Good luck to him.

Abaddon’s Locusts, the fifth in the BJ Vinson mystery series, received several positive reviews. I hope you’ll consider buying a copy. If you do, please post a review of the book on Amazon. Each one helps… as do letters to the publisher.

Now my mantra: Keep on reading. Keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it.

My personal links:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donald.travis.982
Twitter: @dontravis3

Buy links to Abaddon’s Locusts:


See you next week.

Don

New Posts are published at 6:00 a.m. each Thursday.


Thursday, March 14, 2019

Don Travis: Don Travis: The Mountain, Part 1 of 3 Parts

Don Travis: Don Travis: The Mountain, Part 1 of 3 Parts: Don Travis: The Mountain, Part 1 of 3 Parts : dontravis.com blog post #327 Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons I’d like to try a short sto...

The Mountain, Part 2 of 3 Parts


dontravis.com blog post #328

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Ready for the second installment of this medieval story? First, let me point out something obvious to the historians among you. Given the setting and the time, it is doubtful that Hargis and his two friends could read or write. But allow me some poetic license, okay? You will recall from last week that our hero met and rebuffed a beautiful young woman on his travel over a mysterious mountain. 

Here we go, trekking with Hargis over this strange mountain trail again..

*****
                                                                THE MOUNTAIN                         

The pathway ahead became far more difficult. Rocks torn from the slope blocked the way at times. Late afternoon found me panting and sweating at the edge of another beautiful park and mentally kicking my bum for refusing to sample the beautiful girl on the back trail. Mindful of the refreshing bath earlier that day, I knelt at the side of that same mountain stream and washed away the day’s grime before partaking of the cool water. As I started to rise, I froze. Standing on the opposite shore where the stream was at its narrowest, was a slender youth.
I issued a challenge from sheer surprise. “Who is there?”
“A friend,” came a clear, light voice. My words had galvanized the figure to action. Gracefully, the stranger leapt the stream and strode to meet me. “My name is Gwinnyth,” said a gamin mouth set in a gamin’s face. It was another girl…or woman, if you prefer. Younger than the other but looking strangely the same except for being slimmer and wearing her dark hair cropped close to the head in a strangely pleasing manner.
Introducing myself as a traveler on the way to the far coast. Offering me sustenance, she walked up the stream in a strong, boyish gait to a fire merrily burning in a carefully constructed rock pit. A hare simmered in a spit over the flames.
As she carefully offered a meal of charred flesh on a broad green leaf, she set about questioning me. I responded good-naturedly.
“I am Hargis of Rodenbury, a cobbler on my way to the eastern shore to visit two boon companions from my past.”
“You go to seek your beloved?” she asked. Her small head sat dainty upon its slender neck.
“Nay,” I protested quickly and then paused at the thought. “Mayhap you have struck upon a truth. There is a fair lady awaiting on that shore.”
“One? You spoke of two?” she said, nibbling at a hare’s leg on her own leaf.
“The other is a youth. Nay, he’s a man by now. I keep remembering him as I saw him last these three summers past.”
She looked up with interest. “He is fair, as well?”
“When last I saw him, he was as beautiful as his sister.”
“Then likely still he is,” she said nonchalantly. Suddenly, she eyed me frankly. “You have traveled far. You will spend the night with me?”
There was no doubt of her meaning. Her dark eyes examined me from pate to boot with the same disconcerting frankness as had Gwyndolyn. Fresh from that sweet temptation, I reacted with excitement.
“And where do you bed down for the night?” I asked through a tight voice.
“Why here, of course,” she replied.
“Have you no home?”
She glanced at me with puzzlement. “The mountain is my home.”
“Have you never been off it?”
Again, she looked perplexed. “There is no other place, at least in this world,” the small mouth proclaimed firmly.
“Then from whence do I come?” I asked with a smile.
“The other world,” she responded promptly.
Delighted at the provinciality of this woman-child, I rose with a laugh and proceeded to wash myself at the stream. As she had no blankets of her own, I allowed her to snuggle against me as we settled by the campfire. She made no objection when I lay close behind her.
Strange that I should be so excited by this slight woman when I spurned the voluptuous Gwyndolyn. Nevertheless, I responded to her. I reached around and fastened upon a rounded breast with a rigid nipple. Aye, I’d take this one for all her boyish, coltish ways.
Suddenly, a loud noise at the edge of the glen drew me to my feet ready to meet any danger. A lilting laugh eased my concern.
“Tis only a stag drawn to the fire and bolting when he caught our scent,” she said. Thudding hooves in the far brush confirmed her opinion. “Come back to our bed,” the girl pled.
And I did, but my ardor was deflated, the desire gone. I turned my back to her, and resting my head on my arms, I wondered at the fragility of my need. My heart raced, but it was from the interruption, not the wanting.
Her words startled me. “Are you sure?” To my muttered affirmative, she added, “Are you certain?” I made no further reply but fell asleep.
When I woke the following morning, Gwinnyth was gone. It was as if she had never been there except for the ashes in the fire ring.
Easing my hunger from the dried stores in my bag, I washed up and was soon on my way through this strange place. Once again, strewn boulders blocked my way in the steep part of the trail, forcing me to do some climbing. At mid morn, I reached the crest and looked eagerly to the east. There was nothing to see except for the broad seaward slope of the mountain and a haze in the distance. It was as if what the pixie Gwinnyth had said was God’s Truth. This mountain was its own world.
Resolutely, I set upon my trek again, finding the going faster on the downhill trail. The sun had long passed overhead before I paused to take sustenance again in a broad highland meadow like others I had left behind. There was no rushing stream to my left, but doubtless there was one somewhere nearby.
As I munched on tasteless dried goods, the hair on the nape of my neck bristled. Carefully, I leaned casually against the bole of a tree. In the periphery of my vision I caught sight of the gamin. She had followed me.
“I see you,” I said gruffly.
“And I see you,” came the reply, surprising me by the timbre of the voice. It was lower, masculine.
The figure stepped forward, and I saw that it was not Gwinnyth, but it could have been from the closeness of the resemblance. The pixie face was slightly larger, and the chin was male, the upper lip showing a faint line of down. This was a boy.
Confused, I stammered. “H-have we not met before?”
“Nay, I’ve not set eyes upon you before, although I wish I had. You are long on the trail?” the adolescent voice asked.
“Some days,” I responded.
“Come with me, and I will show you a welcome surprise.”
“I’ve a way yet to go. I’d best—”
“Tis but a short distance. And you will be pleased.”
Intrigued, I followed the youth into the forest. My eyes fastened upon his lean figure, discerning muscles playing beneath his rude clothing. I was brought to think of Gwinnyth walking before me in her feminine, boyish gait. This youth walked in a manly way tainted by a girlish grace. Confounded by my interest, I was glad when he came to a halt and gestured.
“See! There it is!”
He pointed to a dark, green pool from which steam arose. It was one of those natural baths heated by the earth. A thing much coveted for reasons of health.
Confident that I was intrigued, the youth abruptly shed his clothing and stepped into the water. I could not help but notice his dark nipples, lean belly, and ample manhood. He grinned as he took note of my observance and then sat in the pool with a curiously feminine flourish.
Suddenly tired, I stripped naked and entered the pool, taking a seat facing him. His eyes had examined me closely throughout the entire process.
“You are a lot of man,” he said as we faced one another in the hot, soothing water. Having no reply to that, I asked his name. “I am Donneth,” he responded.
“Some time back on the trail, I met someone who favors you strongly,” I said.
“Ah, that must be Gwinnyth.”
Comprehension dawned. “She is your sister?”
“Aye. I have sisters. And a brother. And you are Hargis, are you not?”
“How did you know? Oh, I see. You have spoken to your sister.” I colored abruptly. Had she told of my lack of interest.
A hand on my thigh interrupted my thoughts. I flinched.
“Have I offended you?” the youth, who I now judged three or so years my junior, inquired. “I simply sought to offer… friendship.”
“Where I come from men do not touch men in such manner,” I said gruffly. Yet in truth, I was not offended.
“That world must be a horrible place,” he said simply and leaned forward to gaze into my eyes.
“That world is your world,” I snapped.
“Nay, not mine! This is my world. Where I can offer my friendship as I see fit.” The hand came to rest on my thigh again. I made no protest. To my surprise, I responded to the touch.
“Stand so I can see you. Please!” he purred.
Whether out of perversity or a need arising from casting aside two attractive women, I complied and stood with tendrils of hot water cascading off my body, my suddenly exposed parts cooling in the mountain air.
You are beautiful!” Donneth murmured. Still shocked by my reactions, I agreed to remain with him for the night.
I slept with Donneth beside the comfort of a fire, and before sleep came, he reached for me. Pausing only to ask, “Are you sure?”
“Aye,” I responded. And after he drew me to orgasm, I asked if he would accompany me on the morrow, but he could not comprehend departing this world of his. At my dawn awakening, he was gone. As with Gwinnyth, there was no sign he had ever been here.

*****
Wow! Hargis of Rodenbury is learning things about himself. A beautiful young woman throws herself at him, and he rejects her. A tomboy excites his interest, but he allows noises in the forest to cool his ardor. But he goes all the way with a young man. What else is there to learn? See Installment 3.

Abaddon’s Locusts, the fifth in the BJ Vinson mystery series, received several positive reviews. I hope you’ll consider buying a copy. If you do, please post a review of the book on Amazon. Each one helps… as do letters to the publisher.

Now my mantra: Keep on reading. Keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it.

My personal links:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donald.travis.982
Twitter: @dontravis3

Buy links to Abaddon’s Locusts:


See you next week.

Don

New Posts are published at 6:00 a.m. each Thursday.


Thursday, March 7, 2019

Don Travis: The Mountain, Part 1 of 3 Parts

Don Travis: The Mountain, Part 1 of 3 Parts: dontravis.com blog post #327 Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons I’d like to try a short story in a slightly different vein. It’s a stor...

Don Travis: The Mountain, Part 1 of 3 Parts

Don Travis: The Mountain, Part 1 of 3 Parts: dontravis.com blog post #327 Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons I’d like to try a short story in a slightly different vein. It’s a stor...

The Mountain, Part 1 of 3 Parts


dontravis.com blog post #327

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
I’d like to try a short story in a slightly different vein. It’s a story of discovery but told in the language of past centuries. The setting if mythical, the story mystical. I hope you like it.

*****
THE MOUNTAIN

“Be ye Hargis of Rodenbury?”
The harsh voice pulled me from my cobbler’s stand. A broad, rough-hewn man of middle years stood straddle-legged, hands planted on hips.
“Aye. I am Hargis,” I answered uncertainly. He had the look of the law, but in these times, the ruffians dealt such misery in the kingdom sheriffs were necessary, I suppose. My mind scampered over my last few days, searching for offenses committed. None came to mind.
The stranger’s face eased its stern frown. “You have knowledge of Lavena and Dirkston of Dag Durgess?”
“I know them,” I answered with a broad smile. “You have news of them?”
“Aye,” the man replied, accepting my indication to take the seat opposite me in my small stand at the edge of the market. Normally, it was a stool reserved for those who bring me custom; however, he was welcome to it if he could refresh my knowledge of my two childhood friends. He gave the loud sigh of a heavy man happy to relieve his feet of weight.
“I’ve but returned from Dag Durgess; my boat docked at early light. I searched for you in the rock quarry but was told to find you here.”
“I worked the quarry through the last high summer, and then found a master who taught me to cobble. But where did you see my friends? How are they doing?”
The man held up a hand. “Hold! Don’t bury me with questions. Before we sailed, a fair youth hailed me and asked if I was bound for Rodenbury. He prayed that I deliver a missive to a big lout called Hargis. Marveling that a lout could read and write, I agreed. Then a pretty vision stepped to his side and handed me a message, as well. They introduced themselves as brother and sister, which was needless wind, since one could have been the other—give or take a few changes.”
“Aye, they are twins. Born of the same mother in the same birthing bed, one after the other. He first, and then she. They are well?”
“Doubtless they advise of their estate by these,” he answered, holding aloft two sealed documents. “They looked well fed and decently hosed. Spoke like my betters; acted the part, too, although there was nothing offensive in their demeanor.” He heaved himself to his feet. “Tis time to be about my business; I’ve accomplished theirs. May this day in the next Year of Our Lord find you well, Hargis.”
“And you, sir. Thank you for your kindness.”
Lavena’s letter reflected my recollection of her. Small neat letters formed precise words conveying exact thoughts. She told of her work as seamstress at the nearby Manor and her brother’s position as gamekeeper at the same. Their parents were in health. They were well-favored in their lives and content, except for missing their childhood playmate. She closed with the words ‘All love, Lavena’. No mention of swains or would-be-beaus. No hint of wedding vows. Nothing to tell me if she was still a maiden not yet promised.
Aye, and Dirkston’s missive, which I eagerly read, reflected him, as well. Bold letters carelessly formed yet conveying straightforward thoughts. He liked his job, loved his family, and chased the girls. His message closed with ‘faithfully’.
I pictured the two as they were some three years past when we all had seventeen summers. Lavena was tall for a girl and possessed a heart face crowned by curly golden tresses. She had budded long before either of us and had the bearing of a woman while we were yet striplings. The rock quarry had begun putting muscle and a man’s form on me, although Dirkston still had the look of a boy. They were both beautiful. Her beauty was feminine, his beginning to emerge from androgyny.
I reread the last lines of his letter. “Oh, how I long for you again! You would not believe Lavena. She’s the rose of this town, as I am its thorn! I catch my share of looks from the girls, let me tell you. The Festival of the Harvest Moon looms hard on the horizon. It is a wild time. Wicked…without being evil, if you take my ken. Anything goes. We could have a grand time together were you but here.”
Seized by an acute yearning, I cast around with a speculative eye. My parents had gone to The Lord, and there was nothing to keep me here, certainly not this little stand. A man can cobble anywhere. And while I had improved my station in life, there was a disquiet, a longing eating at me at odd moments.
Two fair images floated in my mind, and I made a small game of trying to decide which I missed the most. Lavena held the calm and ready wit of the pair, yet I missed Dirkston’s rough and tumble and his odd moments of intimacy as we shared important secrets of childhood.
It took three days to sell off my meager collection of things not required to set up business anew. The effort reaped barely enough to keep body and soul together during my trek, but far less than the price of a berth on a ship. One master gave my strong body the once over and offered passage in exchange for seamanship. I eagerly accepted but grew so green with mal de mer on the dory ride to the boat that he sent me back to shore in disgust.
Thus it was that I set across our island kingdom by foot, and being a cobbler, I was superbly shod. My remaining belongings strapped firmly to my back, my stout hickory staff in hand, I turned my face to the east and took the first of countless steps.
The freshness of being on the road fell off my eyes quickly. By the end of the first day, I was tired and sore. A twelve-month away from the quarry had softened me beyond belief. I slept beside the road, one eye open for riffraff and highwaymen and the like. In truth, I half hoped for a set-to with miscreants to stir my blood.
Days passed as I paced along watching a distant mountain loom larger. At the foot of the thing, the trail forked. The well-trod road turned north while a faint path led into the mist-shrouded mountain. There was no question in my mind that the path over the mountain was far shorter than the highway. Nor was there doubt as to which I would take. The direct route would gain my goal quicker. With hardly a pause, I strode resolutely eastward toward the distant sea.
The mountain trail was easier than expected. This must be some sort of a pass through the hills. And he heavy fog I'd encountered earlier had cleared away. At times I walked with sheer stone walls on either side; at others, I broke out into pleasant forested meadows. In the second of these, I halted at the sound of singing.
A rushing stream sparkled through the trees on my left. Quietly, I left the trail and made my way to the edge of the forest. Spread out below was a glade of such beauty and peace that it took a moment to focus on the young woman singing as she stood ankle deep in the water. Clad only in a thin shift that clearly revealed the long legs and darkened mysteriously at her pudendum, she removed garments from a small basket to beat them against a broad, flat rock. Her back was to me when she bent to the water and rinsed a linen. I grew aroused as her shift tightened against her buttocks. Realizing she was aware of my presence, I boldly stepped through the brush and marched down the slope.
“Hail, master,” she called gaily as she turned to me, not in the least disturbed by my presence.
“Mistress,” I returned the greeting.
“You travel the high trail, I see. Tarry awhile. I do not see many travelers. Where are you bound?”
“Dag Durgess on the eastern sea. Before I’m done, I will have crossed this kingdom from shore to shore.”
“Kingdom? What kingdom?”
“Why this kingdom. This very place where we stand.”
“I know nothing of kingdoms. Just this mountain.”
I laughed disdainfully at this pretty lass’ ignorance of the outside world. “The Great King will be surprised to learn we are not of his realm.”
“Perhaps so, but enough of this. You’re tired and require a refreshing swim in my brook,” she declared. Laughing gaily, the beautiful young woman strode a few paces up the shore to plunge into a deep pool. I stripped to my trousers before joining her.
The water pasted her thin shift to her flesh, and at times glimpses of the dark nipples hiding beneath stirred my excitement, but she turned and swam away. I raced after her. As she rested against the far bank, I rose to my thighs in the water. Her gaze raked my torso frankly, and I flamed with unseemly pride in my build. The quarry had laid a slab of muscle over my breasts and pulled my sides into a narrow waist. My corded arms had never been a matter of interest until now. She reached out and touched them gingerly, cooing over their strength.
“What is your name?” I asked for something to say.
“Gwyndolyn,” she answered, dropping her eyes shyly, an artifice if ever I’d seen one, since she had boldly examined me mere moments before. “And yours?”
“Hargis,” I answered. “Hargis of Rodenbury.”
I cannot explain what happened next. Gwyndolyn loosed all her feminine wiles on me, which is as it should be since she was a female, but the sidewise glances, the feigned modesty, the teasing with fluttered eyelids cooled my ardor. Of one thing I was absolutely certain, never had such alluring female flesh been so available, and never had I desired it less. Abruptly, I stood, the water running in rivulets from my body.
“I’ve a long way to go,” I said firmly. “Best be on my way. The bathing was welcome. For that you have my thanks.”
She made a small moue of disappointment, standing in the water to give me a look at everything blurred only by the sodden linen shift. “Are you sure? Are you certain? So few come up this path. I get lonely. I would make your stay worthwhile.”
“I am sure,” I replied, the sincerity of my tone surprising even me. Retrieving my clothing and staff, I set off down the trail without looking back.

*****
What’s with Hargis of Rodenbury? A beautiful young woman throws herself at him, and he goes mountain climbing. Let’s withhold judgment until we see what happens in the second part of the story.

Abaddon’s Locusts, the fifth in the BJ Vinson mystery series, received several positive reviews. I hope you’ll consider buying a copy. If you do, please post a review of the book on Amazon. Each one helps… as do letters to the publisher.

Now my mantra: Keep on reading. Keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it.

My personal links:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donald.travis.982
Twitter: @dontravis3

Buy links to Abaddon’s Locusts:


See you next week.

Don

New Posts are published at 6:00 a.m. each Thursday.


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