Castle Keepers Tales: Book 1 – Catriona Wheatcroft
Quarter Castle Publishing
Genre: Fiction-Short Story-Fantasy
Published: October 12, 2012
ISBN (eBook; approximately 5,620 words): 978-0-9880624-8-1
FREE read everywhere but Kindle
Although forbidden to read scrolls without permission, Catriona couldn’t help herself and approached the table. She glanced at the open door to the outside, looking for any sign of Sari. There was none.
A Loss too Much to Endure. Magic wielded by experienced hands can sometimes lead to disappointment; in the hands of a novice, it can be devastating.
Destiny Governed their Lives is a short story that ties into the Castle Keepers series. Many of the characters who appear in it also appear in Shadows in the Stone and Scattered Stones.
Follow Diane Lynn McGyver into the Land of Ath-o’Lea and live the fantasy.
About this Short Story
Diane began the Castle Keepers Tales to share extra stories about the characters who appear in The Castle Keepers novel series. Each is a stand-alone story, often telling a tragic event that happened in the past, before the first book, Shadows in the Stone. Through these stories, readers can better understand the characters and appreciate a little more of why they act as they do. We are all products of our past and pivotal events shape us into whom we are. These stories are not spoilers for the books, but enhance them. If a story does prove to undermine the enjoyment of a book, I’ll make note that the book should be read first. Otherwise, enjoy these tales without worry.
Suddenly, people in the crowd ahead screamed. Catriona looked up to see four large horses galloping down the centre of the street. The male riders wore armour and wielded swords. They swung at innocent bystanders too slow to get out of their way.
Catriona watched a citizen fall victim to the blade. She felt like screaming but covered her mouth. She had to get home, but she needed to pass the horses and fighters to do so.
Pushing her way towards the nearest shop, she fumbled along the sidewalk, hoping to keep the wall of people between her and the intruders. Others had the same idea and soon, she found herself shoved in the direction of the street. She staggered forward, looking for a chance to escape.
Finally, she came upon an alley. After tripping over a woman who struggled to keep her child near, she managed to flee into the passage and behind the stores. As she ran, the noise of the commotion faded in the distance. Terrified the fighters might rein their horses in her direction, she ran blindly past several buildings until she tripped over a wooden crate.
Picking herself up and pushing her skirt into place, she looked around to see how far she had come. “Barker’s Leather Store,” she said, out of breath. “Almost home.” She turned to run, but an unknown force abruptly shoved her against the side of a wall.
“Luvly. A beautiful woman with something I want.” The dwarf who held her was barely tall enough to hold the dagger to her throat. His unkempt beard covered most of his face but could not hide the gaping hole created by two missing front teeth.
Panic stricken, Catriona stared at the man. She felt the cold steel against her skin and tried to stay as still as possible. “Wh—what do you want?” she stammered.
“Whatever you have.” He grinned. “A few coins, a ring, a pretty trinket. If you have it, I want it.”
Catriona swallowed hard. She possessed only the small ring her mother had given her for her birth celebration and Sari’s scroll. “I don’t really have anything,” she said, almost in tears. “I don’t have any coins.”
“Everyone has something,” he said, spraying warm spit on her chin. With his free hand, he poked around her shawl. When he felt the bulge, a smirk spread across his face. “Ah, everyone has something.”