Welcome to this week’s edition of Tuesday tales, the blog where books are born. Each week a select group of authors share their work in progress with you, by providing a scene inspired by a word or picture prompt. This week’s word is BRIDGE. I used a variation of it. Be nice! I’m continuing with my historical romance, The Price of Courage, Book 2 of the Canadiana Series.
As soon as the others joined him, they approached the house, quickly bridging the gap between it and them. Could animals have found their way inside? Lucien had seen it happen before, and a man would have to be a fool to ignore such danger. Abandoned houses and sheds made excellent substitutes for caves.
“Mon Dieu, Seigneur,” he cried, jumping back as if he’d been stung. On the porch, hidden by the woodpile and snow, lay the frozen body of a young man, his throat slit ear to ear, almost decapitating him. It couldn’t have happened too long ago; otherwise the wolves would’ve been here.
“What is it?” Yves asked, musket drawn, rushing to his side and peeking around his shoulders. “Sacrament, maudite merde,” he began a string of French curses that would earn him a full year in purgatory. “Les bâtards. They did this. You know it and so do I.”
Before Lucien could answer, Okwaho raised his palm to silence them.
“Listen,” he whispered.
A low, muffled keening, came from inside the house.
Lucien raised his finger to his lips and stepped through the doorway. Yves followed closely as did Okwaho. It was almost as cold inside the house as it had been outside. Lucien swallowed. The place had been ransacked, the furniture, meager as it was, tossed around. The cupboards were emptied, the few wooden trenchers and cups tossed onto the floor next to the kettle and overturned pots. From what Lucien could see, not so much as a sack of dry beans remained in what must’ve been a large family home. So where were the rest of the occupants?
Another whimper, louder this time, similar to a pup’s cry. Slowly, he moved toward it, looking into the corners for its origin. The third time he heard it, he realized it was coming from under the overturned table. With Yves’s help, he righted the heavy object and moved it away, expecting to see a body, but instead, he saw a rag rug covering what must be the door to the root cellar. Horror filled him. Someone had tossed a helpless animal into the darkness and left it to die.
“Find me a light,” he said, his teeth gritted in fury.
Yves opened his pack and removed his flint, lighting a piece of wood from what must’ve once been a chair.
That’s it. What do you think the men will find in the root cellar?
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