Authors: Leslie Ann Moore
“There are those of our people who do know ways through what we call the Shihkat Fens, but I’m not one of them,” Ashinji said. “No, we’ll have to go around.” He sounded weary and resigned.
“Eventually, we must try to get horses,” Gran said. “Fadili will have to leave us soon, and then we’ll be on foot. Without horses, this journey will take too long. We wouldn’t make it to Sendai in time.”
“I still have some money which I’ll gladly give to you,” Magnes offered. “It’s not a lot, but we should be able to bargain with a farmer or two for some nags.” He looked up at the moon’s position. “We have a few hours before the sun comes up. You all try to get some sleep; I’ll keep watch.”
Magnes settled on the front bench of the wagon to await the sunrise, while the others found what space they could in the back. Soon, the chirp of crickets and the slow sounds of people sunk in slumber were all that disturbed the quiet of the night. Magnes felt tired, the kind of tired that comes from an emotional as well as a physical place. Tonight had been harrowing, and yet, they had managed to win free with the help of an ally and a huge amount of luck.
Just how much longer our luck will hold...that doesn’t bear thinking on right now.
His thoughts turned to Jelena.
My little cousin…a princess!
He tried to imagine her joy when she and Ashinji were reunited.
Gods, how I wish I could be there to see that…to see you, dear cousin, and hold you in my arms once again, but I know it’s not possible, at least not for a very long time.
I swear on my life, though, I’ll do everything I can to see that your husband gets home safely to you and your child.
He turned his eyes heavenward.
“Please,” he begged to any gods who might be listening,
let us all come through this and be together again some day! Is that too much to hope for?”
The gods, if they heard, did not answer.
Leslie Ann Moore has been a storyteller since childhood. A native of Los Angeles, she received a doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from the University of California. She lives and works in Los Angeles, and in her spare time she practices the art of belly dancing. Griffin’s Daughter is her first novel.
Book One: Griffin's Daughter (01/2007)
Book Two: Griffin's Shadow (02/2009)
Book Three: Griffin's Destiny (02/2010)