I’m very excited about draft III of Heart of Hope so I had to share the first scene. For those of you who have read drafts I and II, you’ll see that HoH is finally growing up. 🙂
How had it come to this? Knees and hands in the dirt, her arm stinging from the strike of a whip, Avalyn watched the cart holding her mother roll away.
Tears streaking her face, Rhea gazed back. Unable to raise her hand, bound to the cart she called out to her daughter,
Her cry was met with the back of a soldiers hand to her face.
“No!” Avalyn pushed herself to her feet and ran after the cart.
“Stay clear.” The mounted soldier holding the whip warned, but Avalyn didn’t care.
“Let her go!” Avalyn reached for the cart. The braided leather of the whip met her hand, wrapping it around her wrist. Yanked away Avalyn once again found herself in the dirt of the road.
“I said stay back!” The whip fell again. As it fell across her back, Avalyn screamed. It fell again, and again. Finally it stopped.
“Let that be a lesson to you not to mess in the affairs of the Lord Regent.”
The whip cracked over her head, echoing in her ears. As she watched the soldiers and the cart disappear down the road Avalyn sobbed. Her back throbbed and she felt warm blood beginning to soak her dress. Tears blurred her vision, her sobs racking her body but it only mad the pain in her back worse.
She was suddenly aware of the people watching her. Villagers gathered to observe the spectral. She tried to rise to her feet and stumbled. Someone caught her.
“Av,” Avalyn looked up into the face of her cousin, Esten. “I’m sorry.” His shaggy blond hair shadowing his brown eyes. He placed her arm over his shoulder, supporting her weight. She hung her head and let Esten carry her away.