by Jeanette O’Hagan c 2014
Another Tamrin Tale
The horn blasted from the front gates of the palace, shattering the stillness of the morning. The dogs in the royal kennels erupted into a flurry of barking and a flock of mountain doves went wheeling into the eggshell blue of sky. Rokkan’s stomach clenched. He leant against the blue roan’s withers, counting the blasts under his breath. As the second long note faded away, he let his breath out and rubbed Eclipse’s velvet nose. His stallion nickered and blew into his ear. ‘Not Father then, Eclipse.’
Not that he had really expected his father to rush back from his impromptu hunting trip once he got the news of Lakwi’s illness. Despite a couple of anxious nights, Rokkan’s little sister was recovering well under Anna’s ministrations. Gripping the brush, he pulled it in long strokes through Eclipse’s coat. The horse’s flank quivered as the burs amassed on the morning ride snagged the bristles. His dogs, Tracer, Rivet and Grip, lying under the railings, thumped their tails in a slow rhythm. Two blasts meant a Markan, but which one? Ah well, never mind. Bitjanan could deal with it. This was the first moment he had had to relax since little Lakwi fell ill.
Rokkan turned his head at the clatter of hooves on the pathway. A handful of warriors trotted around the corner of the tack room…