Here’s a new excerpt from Sons of Alba, book 3: Son of Courage. On his way to the town of his birth, Uilleam contemplates the prophetic visions he’s had.
Uilleam’s eyes took in everything around him – each unfamiliar rock jutting from the heather, each copse and spring and weathered standing stone. They followed the coast west and north, closer and closer to Lachlannach territory. Closer and closer to Uilleam’s past, and to his future.
As they travelled, sleeping rough on clear nights, accepting the hospitality of crofters along the way when it rained, Uilleam found himself thinking more and more of the answers that awaited him in the sod-covered longhouses of Thorsbjorg.
His visions grew more intricate, more clear, and yet more confusing. He still saw the village, but now he overlooked it from a rocky crag, where two men fought near a bloodstained altar stone. Men stood all around, goading on a Lachlannach man as he trounced a smaller, dark haired man who looked to be a slave. Outmatched, the slave succumbed, and died.
As Uilleam watched, the slave’s blood spread out, soaking into the ground. Out of the same earth, a building rose, growing like a tree, and became a church, crowned with a cross. Inside the church lay a book with a jeweled cover and pages that shone like jewels.
The pages blew in a wind, a wind that came from the sea. In the harbour, longships with big square sails stirred, their dragon-shaped prows rocking with the waves. And by the proud, fierce carved dragon, Uilleam stood, gazing out over untold leagues of heaving ocean.
Then the dragon’s head listed to one side, and the longship was broken on a string of rocks, and Uilleam lay on the strand, pale and soaked. A girl walked along the strand, her pale hair flying in the wind, her blue eyes wide as she spotted him. She ran to him, hovered over him, and suddenly he was seeing with his own eyes, seeing the face of the Lachlannach maid.
“My name is Wilhjelmr Alfarinnson,” he said in the Dansk tunga, shivering. “I come from across the sea.”
“Kara,” she said. “Welcome to Vasthammar. You’re lucky to be alive.”
So Thorsbjorg was not his ultimate destination. Wherever this Vasthammar was, he would leave his mother and go there alone. And neither would he find the flaxen-haired maid there. He should have told his mother, he knew. But she rode along wrapped in a cloak of silent sorrow, and it didn’t seem right to add to her burden with new cares.
And so he kept his seeings close, so the visions of blood and storms would trouble no one but him.
As always, please feel free to share any comments that might help polish my writing! 🙂