Before there was the novel, there were the stories...

by Nan Hawthorne, who also writes under Christopher Hawthorne Moss, Books and Stories b ChristopherHawthorne Moss at

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Road To Paris: Getting On With it

At the Breton's camp, Mixail stared at Falni frankly astounded. "What? No, really? Shannon O'Neill?"

Falni eyed him warily. "Aye. You know him?"

"Not personally, but I know some of his music. And my brother knows him. That is, if Elerde is still alive."

It was Falni's turn to be dumbfounded. She finally was able to speak. "Elerde? You mean, your brother is Elerde of Léon?"

Mixail eyes sparkled. "How rich. You know my brother."

Falni shook her head. "No, that all happened before I met Drivvid. O'Neill I mean. Last I heard the Queen sent him away. Rory told me he went north."

Mixail chuckled. He took a swig of the bottle. "I'd heard that. Lord how I would have liked to be a fly on his horse's butt when she told him. He always was a jackass, my little brother."

"You are the older? That means... oh, I remember. You lost the family's estate and Elerde had to become a mercenary."

Mixail's eyebrows went up. "We both did. That's how we wound up in England. We got hired by some thegn in Kent. But I was never much of a soldier. Elerde finally gave me my half of the money and sent me packing. I have been here and there ever since, doing this or that. But I kept tabs on old Buddy Boy as well as I could. The whole bit with that Saxon queen was delicious. I didn't know he had hit in him."

"She's half Celt."

"Who?" he asked.

"The Queen. Her mother was a Briton."


"What do you mean, you didn't know he had it in him?" she pursued.

He thought for a few moments. "He has glacier water in his veins. Not blood. He is as cold as one of your North Sea cod." He looked up at her. "Is she, the queen, very... um.. attractive?"

Falni shrugged. "If you like that sort of thing. All royal and elegant and that."

He was looking at her with interest. "Do you like that sort of thing?" he asked in an amused voice.

She looked back at him blankly.

"Never mind. So she is the icy type too."

"No, she's warm enough. I hear they used to read Roman love poetry together." Falni took the bottom and finished off all but the dregs,.

Mixail suddenly threw up his hands and roared with delighted laughter. "Roman love poetry! Oh my God, I can't stand it!" He fell sideways and literally rolled around in howls of laughter. "Help! I'm dying!"

She looked over at the guards to see if they would think she was doing something to their master. The two slaves looked wide eyed, but the guards just went on playing knucklebones. They must be used to this.

Mixaail finally stopped laughing and sat up, wiping his eyes with the back of one hand. "Oh my God. That is priceless. So old Mr. Dignity has a soft side.. That's wonderful." he sighed. "Well, with that, my dear, I am going to call it a night." he whistled and gestured one of the soldiers over. "Better restrain her for the night. But no touch, understand?" He looked back at Falni. "They will tie you well but not brutally. I can't afford for you to take a hike on me. Besides, there is a lot more to tell, both you and me. Good night."

And with that the Breton lord tightened his cloak about him and curled up against the log to sleep.

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About the author

Nan Hawthorne now writes under the name Christopher Hawthorne Moss. You can contact Christopher at .