Here is a little snatch from the almost completed chapter 20 - Rivalry
I relieved Graêl of his burden and rubbed him down with a piece of cloth dipped in the water trough nearby; he nuzzled my hand in thanks.
I said, “At least someone around here likes me.” and stroked his neck.
When I was done and Graêl was comfortable, I headed back to speak with my wife again. I knew she was angry with me and I was lost as to how to fix it or make it just a little better. I entered a very silent house and wondered where all the children were. Just as I was about to bellow that I had arrived, my mother ambled out of her room. When I saw her, bent with age and with a full head of gray hair, my heart stung and I hurried over to help her to her yak fur.
“Most honorable mother, what happened? Why are you bent over like this?”
She smiled at me and said, “I am simply growing old. I have raised many sons and a daughter. You did not think I would be young and spry forever, did you?”
I smiled back and said, “No. But I didn’t think age would take you so quickly. I have only been gone…” I began to count in my head.
She interrupted and said, “Almost two years, my son.”
Two years! How could that be? I was just home a few months prior! I tried to give voice to my thoughts but she cut me off again.
“Twenty months you have been gone. Tolui is almost two years of age. He has never even seen you. Börte grows more withdrawn and sad every day. I am hoping your return will bring her life back. I believe she thought you abandoned her forever.”
My heart hurt in that moment. Pain that began in my chest poured through my body and spiraled outward from that central point; I began to shake. What pain I had caused my wife! Where did my twenty months go? I choked back my tears and looked at my mother with remorse in my eyes.
She touched my face and said, “Many men make mistakes. I knew when you left that you would be gone from us for a long time; Börte refused to believe me and held on to her thought that you would return within a few days. When a few days turned into a few weeks, and a few weeks turned into a few months, she began to wilt like a flower. I fear that if you had stayed gone much longer, she would have died of a broken heart.”
Temujin may redeem himself but you will have to read the book to find out how. Ha!
I hope you are all enjoying the excerpts and snatches thus far.
Until next time, WRITE ON!