Written during nerd camp- so summer of 2006. Despite being unfinished, this piece received a fair bit of critique from the instructor and several rewrites.
“We’re not going to make it.”
She could hear the soldiers’ whispers as they marched down the road. Lyssa scowled. It could hardly even be called a road – really more of a dirt track – but it was the most direct route across the Basin, so they had turned away from the Great Road North to march through this Gods-forsaken country.
The whispers continued. “The northern pass is still hundreds of miles away! By the time we get there, Ravenna will have fallen!”
Lyssa glanced back to see if Raoul had heard the whispers – and from the grim set of his mouth it was clear he had. Lyssa surveyed the troops surreptitiously, trying to locate the source of the whispers.
Movement in the ranks of the Third Company caught her eye. “The King’s Mastiffs” had absorbed the soldiers sent by the king of Brantau, a sworn ally to Oloris but known to be fickle in his loyalty. Their leader, a loathsome man Lyssa preferred to avoid, turned to his companions and sneered. “Ah, no! Under our most illustrious general, how could we possibly lose?” The men guffawed, clearly enjoying this joke at her expense.
Lyssa looked down at her saddle, cheeks burning, as these men made a mockery of her command and her own soldiers refused to speak in her defense.
Scowling, she kicked her horse into a gallop, distancing herself from the soldiers and all their mutterings.