CirclesLike a long skinny insect with many legs the caravan creeps over flat, dun-coloured land. A bowl of clear blue encloses us above. We’re only about half a day out of Aquila, City of Eagles, skirting the edge of the desert. The road is packed sand and stones, a decent surface for riding and for the oxen and wagons, but there’s nothing much to look at – scattered ragged bushes and spiny plants. Dust rises and tickles my nose. Sweat gathers under my cotton tunic, and the leather of my riding breeches chaffes my legs. For the last year or so I’ve mostly been wearing skirts and loose robes. I fumble for my water skin, squeeze out a couple of mouthfuls.
But before we could take another step the man reached the child. “Out of my way,”he yelled. “I’m in a hurry.” And then he shoved the boy knocking him down, and marched on without a backward look.
The boy hit the cobblestones and lay there, though he didn’t let go the rope. The donkey pulled harder dragging the child over the bumpy ground. Father reached the spot in an instant. Laying down my saddlebags, Father righted the boy with one hand and with the other he grabbed the donkey’s rope.
“Are you all right?” I asked. Blood oozed from scrapes on the boy’s arms and legs. “I have bandages.”
“Thanks,” the boy said. “Don’t need more help.” His eyes flicked here and there as if he expected someone to arrive and scold him.
The book is available on Amazon and Kindle as well as from the author https://www.facebook.com/RegineHaenselwriter/