Another response to a RocNaNo Challenge. This one is to write about a road trip with at least three people who are all getting on each other’s last nerve. I managed to work characters from my Herongarde trilogy into here.
A road trip with a 14th century air!
They rode in formation. Trey and Balayn rode side by side at the head of the line. Orrin drove the wagon with a two-horse team behind them. His own great war horse was tied to the back corner of the wagon and followed along dragging his hooves. Dean and Hanna brought up the rear.
They had been on this road for two days. Hanna had thought they’d be there by now. Her hips were hurting and she wanted to stop. She groaned. “Are we there yet?”
Dean looked at her and smiled.
“Almost there,” called back Balayn. “Not so far now.”
Hanna rolled her eyes. Dean chuckled.
“Quiet,” growled Orrin.
“It’s beyond those woods,” said Trey pointing at a stand of trees that must have been two miles away.
“Not so far,” said Balayn.
“Sure it is. I’ve visited Lord Donnal many times,” said Trey
“Aye. And how long ago was that?” retorted Balayn.
“Quiet,” growled Orrin.
Balayn rolled his eyes and shook his head.
“And how often have you been here, cousin?” demanded Trey. “When last were you here?”
Balayn turned in his saddle and pointed at Trey. “I do think your memory is tainted. I was here just last summer.”
“And we’ve been ‘almost there’ for half the day!” growled Trey.
“Quiet!” barked Orrin. “Quit your childish quarreling.”
Dean grinned at Hanna. “After all, tis only a few meters from here,” he said in a low voice. Hanna giggled.
“What? What is that?” howled Trey.
“Nothing, my Lord,” said Hanna softly.
Dean snorted, coughing to mask his laughter.
“What do you find so funny?” demanded Orrin, twisting in his seat and glaring back at Dean.
“Nothing, my Lord,” he said, failing to hide his smile.
“Children, all of you,” groaned Orrin. “God save me.”
“You wouldn’t know your arse from a hole in the ground,” cried Balayn.
“I know exactly where we are, and we turn up there.” Trey gestured emphatically.
“Last you were here was ten years ago,” growled Balayn.
“But before then, I was here monthly,” said Trey.
“Maybe the mountains moved, my Lords,” offered Dean.
“You know, that could happen,” said Hanna frowning thoughtfully.
“Quiet you, Dean,” snapped Balayn.
“All of you!” shouted Orrin.
“What we need is a song,” said Dean. “That will raise our spirits.”
Trey laughed. “Oh God, not another song!”
“Dean, be quiet,” snarled Balayn.
Orrin put his face in his hand.
“What is that song about Stewball, Hanna?” said Dean.
Hanna’s horse cocked an ear toward Dean. “Yes, he’s talking about you Stewie,” said Hanna.
“How does it go?” said Dean.
“Just shut up, Dean,” moaned Balayn.
Hanna began singing Peter, Paul and Mary’s song, Stewball, the namesake of her tired old mare. “Stewball was a race horse.”
Dean joined in. They both began to sing loudly.
“Will this never end?” moaned Orrin.
Trey laughed and began to sing as well.
“Oh stop it, Trey! Where are we?” interrupted Balayn.
“I know exactly where we are,” snapped Trey. “We turn up there.”
Stewball tossed her head. She seemed to know the song was about her. Hanna gave her a nudge and they trotted past Orrin in the wagon, still singing.
“Aye! Get back in line!” cried Orrin.
Hanna passed Balayn and Trey, Stewball prancing high.
“And way up yonder, ahead of them all,” she yelled back.
Dean howled with laughter. Trey and Balayn continued to argue. Orrin shouted for everyone to just be quiet.
Hanna broke off her singing abruptly. “Aye,” she cried. “Looka-here.” She pointed at a banner blown over behind a small stand of trees. The arms of Lord Donnal were embroidered in the fabric.
“Aye, finally,” said Trey. “See, twas right here!”
“Oh, get off, Trey,” muttered Balayn.
“Back in line, Hanna,” barked Orrin.
“Aw gee,” mumbled Hanna. “Can’t a girl have some fun.”
“I heard that Hanna,” muttered Orrin.
“I’m getting in line,” Hanna replied.
“Good then. We should be there within the hour,” said Balayn.
“Heard this before,” said Dean.
“Oh God,” said Orrin. “Not again.”