Here is an excerpt of my fantasy novel that I am working on at the moment. It will be book one in a possible trilogy, yet there is no title for it yet; not even a working title. I better get working on that. Why is it so hard for me to come up with fantasy novel titles, I have no idea. Well, enjoy and tell me what you all think!
Chapter 1
The castle’s white spires appeared over the hill as Barak rode in line with the other scouts. His black stallion was still as lively as it was at the beginning of the three quarter day march that morning. His short sword hung at his left side, slightly bumping against his leg with every step the horse took.
Heavy cavalry was at the front with scouts on the left and right. Pike men followed, two lines deep. Spearmen marched behind, five lines deep. Next came the swordsmen with the archers behind. Last, was the light cavalry, ready to fight if the army were to be attacked from behind.
Celeph, Barak’s seventeen-year-old son, would have been by his side if it were not for the situation with him and the king’s daughter, Rebekah. Something had formed between them in the past six months, little to Barak’s and Keira’s, Barak’s wife, knowledge.
Rebekah and Celeph had snuck out almost every night to the Pool Forest, a forest with small lakes throughout it that were as blue as the sky, to spend a few hours with each other. The king, who was not very strict on rules, was totally fine with it when he found out, but what happened one night of the seventh month of the year that made him think things had gone too far. Celeph had, somehow, made his way, unnoticed, into the king’s daughter’s bedroom. A servant had walked in a few minutes later finding them, kissing. It was nothing serious, the servant had said, but the king would have none of it. As a punishment, he forbade Celeph to go anywhere with the army. Instead, he was assigned to the stables to care for the military horses.
It was now the tenth month of the year, which meant Celeph’s punishment would end soon, maybe in the next couple of days. Soon he would be riding along side Barak to battle once again.
“Lost only four hundred to them,” Lisid, a scout who Barak had known since the first day of training said as he rode to Barak’s left.
The battle at the city of Levil was more of an easy job than the scouts who had rode ahead of the army before the battle had thought. Granas, the man who had been exiled to The Griffon Cliffs for trying to make unwanted peace with the people of the Fiery Forest, had sent a sizable force of Large Men — most people had decided to call them giants even though they had no giant blood in them — to attack Vendil, the main trading city of Calumas.
Within one and a half days after the siege began, the king received word from the city’s overseer. An army of seven thousand had been sent to lift the siege. The battle did not last for more than an hour before Granas’ men fled the battlefield. That was two days ago. The army had started the march back home yesterday and they would be arriving in a few minutes. Barak could now see the full castle and the cities near it. Groups of people poured out of the cities’ gates, waiting for their loved ones to return home.
His family would be waiting also, hoping to see him again.
Chapter 2
“Daddy’s home! Daddy’s home! He’s here!” Kesia yelled as she ran down the stairs, almost tripping.
Keira would have told her eight year old to slow down, but she was too occupied worrying Barak would not be coming home this time. She had fought the feeling ever since her husband had left to go fight for the first time in a year.
He will be fine; stop worrying, she kept on telling herself. It didn’t help much.
Jaras, her twelve-year-old son, sprung up from the table, knocking over the chair he was sitting in. He did not bother picking it up, but ran straight to the door.
“Hold it!” Keira yelled before he could push it open. “Wait for me.” She put her put her shoulder length, black hair up in a bun and then grabbed Kesia by the hand. Her daughter held her straw doll by the arm with her other hand. She would never go anywhere without it.
Keira signaled Jaras to open the door and exited the house. A soft breeze made its way through the city. Kesia’s blonde hair flew all over. The little girl did not bother fixing it, because she didn’t want to let go of either Keira’s hand or her doll.
They entered the main road. It was packed with men, women and children making their ways towards the main gate. The king had made it that the people with family in the army were the first in row to watch for them when they returned from campaigns. Keira finally got to the front row, Kesia on her right and Jaras on her left.
As they waited, Keira stayed silent, eyes fixed on the mass of men and horses crossing the plain. The scouts were always on the sides of the heavy cavalry, which was always at the head of the army. Keira had made it a point to remember that.
The voices of her children and others seemed like an echo in her head as she kept on telling herself Barak was in that mass of marching bodies. Yet, some of her doubted that she and her children would ever see him again.
Five minutes turned into ten, ten turned into fifteen; finally, the army arrived. The general gave the orders to disperse as grooms rushed forward to take care of the horses. Keira saw Celeph as he fed a large stallion a few apples.
She looked around, searching for her husband. She did not see him. Her heart pounded against her chest and she began to feel light headed. Her feelings were right. Barak was dead. Tears swelled in her eyes and made their way down her cheeks, chin and neck.
Suddenly, someone grabbed her from behind. She gasped and swung around. There was Barak, smiling, blue eyes gleaming.
Keira let out a cry of joy and threw herself on him, kissing his face, lips and neck as he did the same. They held each other for a few minutes before they let go.
“Daddy!” Keira swung her head around to see Kesia and Jaras run past her and jump into Barak’s muscular arms. He kissed them both on the forehead and then set them down.
Her husband looked at her with gleaming, inquisitive eyes. One of the main things why she was attracted to him eighteen years ago. He stared at her for a long time. What was he thinking? She received her answer after that thought.
“What’s for dinner?”
Keira scoffed and started laughing, as did Barak and Kesia and Jaras. “Let’s go home and see what I can make for you.”
As Barak just swallowed his last bit of ham, Celeph came home. He greeted Barak and kissed his mother on his cheek. He then made a plate of bread, ham, grapes and cheese and sat across the table from Barak.
“Where’s Jaras and Kesia?” he asked over a mouthful of bread.
“Don’t talk with your mouth full, Celeph,” Keira told him. “They’re up stairs in Jaras’ room, playing.
Barak got up, set his plate in the dishwashing tub and sat back down at the table. “How were the stables today?”
“Better now that we cleaned them, thankfully. Can’t imagine doing all that having it smell the same.” He sat his fork down and said, “The king decided that tomorrow is my last day of stable duty. After that, I’m back into the army.”
“You know how I don’t like you talking about that in front of me,”Keira said, washing a wooden cup. Barak looked at her. She never liked the idea of either of them being in the army, but she understood it was what kept the family going. “I’m going to need you to go to the market to get some cheese, walnuts and melon for me soon, okay, Celeph?”
“Yes, ma’am,” Celeph replied.
Kesia screamed from upstairs and she ran down the stairs. “Mom! Jaras took my doll!” Tears streamed down her cheeks and snot ran from one nostril.
“Jaras!” Keira yelled as she wiped Kesia’s face with a cloth. “Give Kesia her doll back, right now!” She turned to Celeph and said, “Take your sister. They need to be separated.”
Barak watched Celeph as he put on his tunic and walked out the door. Kesia trailed behind him, doll in her hand.

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