Here’s an excerpt from another work in progress. This is from a short book (novella) I’m working on called The Nightingale’s Angel. It follows the exploits of the Eldara twins Ingrid and Ashley during the Crimean War in the 1850’s. I hope you enjoy this sneak peek.
Ingrid banked and swooped lower over the field of battle, the wind sweeping past her wings lifting her up as she soared. The Valkyrie sought a particular individual on the British side at the Battle of Inkerman, a man who had served with honor and bravery. He made the ultimate sacrifice by leaping into a desperate struggle between a comrade and a pair of advancing Russian soldiers. His action had saved his friend’s life but had exposed himself to the advancing bayonets of the enemy. He had perished but also accomplished his goal, to save his friend’s life. The Valkyrie’s wings flared as she alighted on the ground next to a shimmering figure standing next to a fallen soldier. He looked to his left as she approached but his expression of sorrow did not change and he looked back down at the body at his feet.
It was late evening over the battlefield at Inkerman. The field between Shell Hill on the Russian side of the lines and Home Ridge, where the British 2nd Division held their lines, was littered with dead and wounded as the evening fog began to settle after a day of hard fighting. Ingrid thought the view spectacular as she had soared over the carnage. Many men had distinguished themselves that day, earning themselves a place of honor in the afterlife. Some called their next life Valhalla, others Heaven, still others final enlightenment. It was a place where those who distinguished themselves during life found themselves escorted at the end of their days.
“Corporal Calvin Smith,” Ingrid began, her voice low but heard over the raucous calls of the carrion birds. Your service today was noticed.”
The young British corporal looked over at her, now standing next to him. “I don’t see Cawley’s body here. The last I remember I saw him driven to his knees before two Russian soldiers. I tried to stop them from slaying him. Did I succeed?”
“You did, Calvin,” Ingrid replied. “David Cawley will grow old and die surrounded by a wife, children, and grandchildren after a long and fruitful life. He will name his eldest child Calvin after you. He will tell everyone who will listen about you, the man who saved his life here at Inkerman Field.”
“And I?” The soldier’s shade asked looking her way again.
“You will sit at a table of honor in my Father’s house reserved for all those who served their comrades honorably in battle. There you will await the day of final battle. when you will be called upon to serve with your new comrades to defend the light against the darkness.”
Ingrid watched as he thought on that for a moment and then gave a nod of affirmation. She invoked her one of her runic tattoos and opened a portal there before the shade. The doorway to Valhalla began as a pinpoint of light that expanded outward to form a perfect circle nearly seven feet across. The light and warmth from the other side could be felt by Ingrid and she knew that even the incorporeal shade could sense it too.
“You only have to walk through to take you place with the heroes of all time, including the heroes past, present, and future,” Ingrid said. Her wings flared wide and she gestured towards the portal. “It will only open this once for you. You must decide, Calvin.”
Calvin looked at her and smiled. The light from the other side shined on his face and he turned and took a step through the circular opening to the next world. The moment he stepped through the portal, it winked shut, leaving the Valkyrie alone again in the valley. She cast her senses around and then with a mighty flap of her wings, launched herself aloft to return to her search of the lost on the battlefield below.
Check back here on the blog often as I’ll be sharing other sections from this book as I go through and edit it. The plan is to release this around October 1, 2016.