Welcome to this week’s Tuesday Tales, the on-going blog where a select group of authors share scenes from their works in progress with you. Each week, we write to a prompt, be it a picture, like last week, or a word, like this week. Posts are limited to 400 words for Word Prompts.
I’m continuing with my historical novel, The Price of Courage, Book Two of my Canadiana Series. This week, the word is DEBUT. In English, the word means entrance, inauguration, first attempt, but I’m going to cheat, and use the word in French where it means beginning, since I honestly couldn’t figure out how to use it in the story any other way. So, Mea Culpa.
“C’est le début de la fin. Seule, j’en peu plus.” Huguette watched the child scamper up the ladder to the loft, fighting the tears crawling down her cheeks. “I have excellent hearing, monsieur. If the wolves do not get us tonight … Without food and weapons to defend ourselves, we will perish long before winter passes. Perhaps it would have been kinder to leave us in our early grave.”
“That’s nonsense. If this is a beginning, it’s one of a safe and happy future for you and your children, and as far as being alone, men are like rocks along the shore in this colony. You’ll find another one, a better one. You’ll see.”
Yvette returned with a small, reasonably clean sheet and handed it to her mother before hurrying back to her own seat. Huguette tore the linen into strips.
“You’re a long way from home.” Lucien wound the bindings around her ankle, making sure the bandage was tight but not constricting. “The Mi’kmaq live on the other side of the river.”
“I came to the land of the Montagnais six years ago,” she admitted, her voice filled with sorrow. “My man was a soldier given this centime in exchange for his services. He has papers from your king.” She raised her chin proudly.
Lucien tied off the bandage and replaced her moccasin, aware it would supply additional support.
“How’s that?” He sat back, hundreds of questions buzzing in his head.
“Much better, thank you.” She stood, took a few tentative steps, and sat once more.
“I don’t understand why your husband left you like this.” Lucien struggled to hide his fury.
“Méderic Bouchard was not perfect, but he was a good man. He did not do this to us, nor did his cousins. Monsters came out of the storm, six Frenchmen far worse than any Wendigo I could ever have imagined. Their leader did this, although when one of his men tried to stop him, he cut him badly.”
“What happened?” So the Méderic Bouchard he’d met was an imposter.
“Please, can it wait until the children are asleep? Empty bellies will make sleeping hard enough for them.”
“I promise no one will go to bed hungry tonight. Those men won’t get away with their crimes.” Lucien stood and grabbed the wooden bucket on the counter. At the moment, he was ashamed of his countrymen. “I’ll get more water.”
That’s it. Don’t forget to check out all the other posts on Tuesday Tales.