Hi everyone. I’m sorry I missed last weekend but decided to visit my daughter in Pittsburgh on Valentine’s Day. When I returned home, I no sooner wrote the ending to Wild Boys than I started working on a follow-up, this time featuring Sam as he revisits the Canyon of Souls. I don’t have a marketing plan yet and if anyone has experience or advice in publishing short stories, please share. I’m considering using Wild Boys as the series title with a description of each vignette as the story title, i.e.
Charlie Wolf and the Seer
This will be the last snippet I share from this work and next week will begin sharing from Nell, a full length novel I’m working in.
Lozen’s spirit guide had sent her to this gathering place of the Ancients. As directed, she’d drawn together the leaders of four Apache nations to name a guardian for the sacred cave hidden inside the sandstone cliff.
But the ritual had barely begun when she’d detected the presence of the spies. Gray Wolf’s son she knew by story. He’d ridden with his father at the Sand Creek massacre and fought to rescue the Indians under attack. She had no quarrel with the Kiowa half-blood though she’d brought him and the other two striplings to the Indian meeting, expecting to anoint the sacred place with their blood.
She moved from the son of Gray Wolf to the next boy in line. When she met the blond youth’s gaze, Lozen’s lips curled in a half smile. She admired the sculpted features of the halfling not yet a man, expecting to find fear lurking within when she probed his mind. Instead, she found violence. Before he could strike, she dusted the fire with powder, sending new tendrils of smoke twining around him, binding his will…and hers as well.
A FEW MORE LINES
Ayeeee…… Lozen shook her head to clear her sight, startled by the old soul peering at her through the eyes of the white boy. The smoke tendrils coalesced into one, then two, then many faces hovering protectively over his shoulder.
The seer didn’t like what she saw. She wanted the caves to be guarded by an Apache warrior. The chosen one was a pale faced boy. She pulled her knife, enraged by the idea of entrusting the young viper with this place of dreams.
But she couldn’t strike. What she intended as a blood sacrifice, gazed from old eyes, judging her instead. The will of the Ancients forbade it, fusing two futures, the cave’s secrets, and the boy’s destiny, into one.
“And you?” Her question snarled from her, almost a hiss as her anger spilled over the clearing, infecting the other warriors. “Did you also come for a woman?”
“Heard you were magic.” He spoke in English, his speech slurred as he pointed at the tendrils weaving in front of him as if he saw what she saw and that explained everything.
Lozen’s hostility melted when he smiled wryly and paid her homage in her native tongue. “Thought you might be able to make me smart as the wolf,” he motioned at Gray Wolf’s son, “or pure of spirit,” he nodded at the young warrior with red hair.
Lozen clutched the white boy’s chin and locked gazes with him as the Ancients swirled in the air above, favoring him with their presence. Behind them, the drumbeat grew louder, echoing off the canyon walls as a gust of wind sent sparks skittering into the air.
Thanks for stopping by. Have a wonderful week!
Hello everyone. On Ground Hog Day, the wood-chuck in our neighborhood could not have seen his shadow because it was raining, then sleeting, then snowing all day and not once did the sun peep out. So… spring, right?
Today, I’m sharing another snippet from my boys-to-men story I’m calling (for now) Wild Boys . At the end of the snippet I’ve placed the concept pic of an adult Charlie Wolf, as he is the hero in the full length western historical romance titled Wolf’s Tender. (Available now).
“Release them,” Lozen ordered. The braves stepped away leaving the McCallisters to face her alone. Up close, the priestess looked like a grim-faced warrior. Though Apaches surrounded the boys, the painted braves wearing war-bonnets were less frightening to Charlie Wolf than their seer.
Her form wavered as he gazed at her, reforming into a comely woman and becoming almost transparent, before drifting toward Charlie. Then, adding confusion to his already chaotic senses, the sturdy flesh and blood figure reappeared standing before him.
“Shunkaha, Son of Gray Wolf, why do you come here?”
Charlie remained stoic on the outside; but inside, he flinched as Lozen’s question thundered in his ears. The witch had never met him and shouldn’t know his identity.
“I’ve come to barter for a woman,” he answered trying to appear relaxed.
A Few More Lines
It seemed a good answer, easier than trying to explain to the seer that he’d hoped seeing the great Lozen would help him make sense of his divided life. Now that he actually stood before her, nothing came from him but his half-recognized longing for a woman of his own.
No doubt their Apache interrogator would interpret his need as a weakness or consider his reason a lie. On the other hand, Charlie Wolf did want a woman and planned on taking a Kiowa wife as soon as he acquired enough Indian ponies for a trade.
Releasing a rich, husky sound that floated through the night, the witch laughed, inviting the men of four tribes to share her mirth at Charlie’s excuse for spying on her.
“You brought white eyes to our sacred place. Why should I not kill you where you stand?”
“I brought blood of my blood to bride hunt with me,” he answered. In retrospect, it didn’t seem like such a good idea. His foolish attempt to blend his two worlds might have gotten his cousins killed.
“Gray Wolf set his feet on the path to your destiny when he took the white woman from her tribe. There will be no Apache wife for their son.”
Charlie Wolf showed the witch no emotion. Nevertheless, her soft-spoken words resounded around the campfire, an edict among the people of four nations. If they survived tonight, Charlie figured his bride hunting had been curtailed before it got a good start.
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