Blood Line - Secrets

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Fifteen-year old Aaron Hawke has reached adulthood standing astride two medieval worlds: that of mortal man, and that which mortal man condemns, fearing both who he is and what he is becoming. Cursed from his birth to mysterious parents and forced to conceal a sorcerer’s nascent power, Hawke does not believe his fragmented life can get any worse. But he is not the only one with secrets. An enemy, powerful beyond the young man’s imagination, planted the seeds of his death long before he was born - and the harvest is near. As the reaper attempts to claim his prize, Hawke is catapulted into the treacherous darkness of the world he fears, not knowing if he will ever again see the light. Surrounded by lies, betrayal, and death, and at the risk of his soul, the battle is joined. But neither he nor his foe has counted on the beast.
Blood Line – Secrets is set in the 14th Century in the remote Whele Fell of Northumbria, England near Hadrian’s wall. Long abandoned by royal decree, the Fell was feared as the hideout of cutthroats and the spawning ground of ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggedy beasties. Only the very brave or very foolhardy dared ventured there.

Table of Contents

1

Submitted: January 21, 2019

Copyright 2017   CHAPTER 1 Northumberland, England   1399 A.D.     Aaron Hawke crashe... Read Chapter

2

Submitted: January 21, 2019

CHAPTER 2   The weathered sign above the door of the Cutler’s Shard displayed a broken cutlass and an inscription: EST’d... Read Chapter

3

Submitted: January 21, 2019

CHAPTER 3   The village of Thorneburcke had seen little change in more than a century. Its narrow, rutted roads, lanes, and ... Read Chapter

4

Submitted: January 21, 2019

CHAPTER 4   Three penny chunks. Two of the three slices were of the king’s left side: an ill omen. Yet Aaron couldn’t he... Read Chapter

5

Submitted: January 21, 2019

CHAPTER 5   Arbogast! Aaron’s eyes rolled up as a single word pierced his thoughts. He grabbed the table to keep from ... Read Chapter

6

Submitted: January 21, 2019

CHAPTER 6   The wolf licked the last sweet smudges of the old rabbit’s blood from her gray snout as the sun crawled into t... Read Chapter

7

Submitted: January 21, 2019

CHAPTER 7   The Cock & Bull Public House was the biggest building in the Burcke. It measured thirty-by-forty feet, plus a st... Read Chapter

8

Submitted: January 21, 2019

CHAPTER 8   Musky deer scent floated through the mist, reminding Darakhshan that her balmy days of quick kills were behind h... Read Chapter

9

Submitted: January 21, 2019

CHAPTER 9   Xerxes’ sensitive nose tickled with the lush scents of wet locust and cedar, of hare and squirrel, the sweet s... Read Chapter

10

Submitted: January 21, 2019

CHAPTER 10   Beneath a clouded, dimming sky, the hunters reached the iconic pillar that stood in the shade of an old oak in ... Read Chapter

11

Submitted: January 22, 2019

CHAPTER 11   Bleeding to death would have been merciful compared to facing the master of the forge. Frederick would have a c... Read Chapter

12

Submitted: January 22, 2019

CHAPTER 12   Bam-bam-BAM! Bam! Streams of sweat dripped from Frederick Hawke’s face. The smith paused in his assault and s... Read Chapter

13

Submitted: January 22, 2019

CHAPTER 13   Thorneburcke and its 317 citizens lay in the Cheviot Hills, on the eastern edge of the Fell of Whele, barely a ... Read Chapter

14

Submitted: January 22, 2019

CHAPTER 14   Only the hardiest fish and turtles swam in the lake’s icy depths. Hovering over the flat western rim of the v... Read Chapter

15

Submitted: January 22, 2019

CHAPTER 15   Mitford Hubble led his weary, rain-drenched stallion into the barn as he scratched his scruffy, water-soaked be... Read Chapter

16

Submitted: January 22, 2019

CHAPTER 16   Albert Chapman and Hubble sat silently at the table in the Chapman’s quarters behind their shoppe. An ancient... Read Chapter

17

Submitted: January 22, 2019

CHAPTER 17   The overwhelming flood, the swirling trees, and the enveloping mud confounded the agonized beast. Lightning spl... Read Chapter

18

Submitted: January 22, 2019

  CHAPTER 18   As the gray light darkened the western shadows, the shocked animals scurried to higher ground, glanc... Read Chapter

19

Submitted: January 22, 2019

  CHAPTER 19   As the first drops of sunlight dripped through the morning fog, Lucie could crawl no farther. With e... Read Chapter

20

Submitted: January 22, 2019

CHAPTER 20   Aaron awoke in a sweat, wallowing in guilt and asking himself, What if? What if he had gone with Freeman? What ... Read Chapter

21

Submitted: January 22, 2019

CHAPTER 21   Rather than lose her company, Aaron stayed his thirst and allowed Madeline to lead him down Spillbury Lane wher... Read Chapter

22

Submitted: January 22, 2019

CHAPTER 22   The brief overnight rain had ceased and the morning blossomed with sun and scattered, puffy clouds. Ethyl F... Read Chapter

23

Submitted: January 22, 2019

  CHAPTER 23   Toby headed off to join his father at the Freeman house. Aaron could not bring himself to go along, ... Read Chapter

24

Submitted: January 22, 2019

  CHAPTER 24   Aaron and Madeline turned out of the Spillbury Alley and crossed the South road into Gopher Alley. T... Read Chapter

25

Submitted: January 22, 2019

CHAPTER 25   Most of the shoppes were situated close to the market square, which abutted the village green. A half-dozen all... Read Chapter

26

Submitted: January 22, 2019

CHAPTER 26   Better safe than kiss a Scotsman and be cursed. Even Georgie, himself a Scot, heartily agreed with the old sayi... Read Chapter

27

Submitted: January 22, 2019

CHAPTER 27   Candles flickered through cracks in closed shutters as memories, mostly cold ones, drifted through Simon Hawke... Read Chapter

28

Submitted: January 22, 2019

CHAPTER 28   As expected, Simon found the dimly lit barn to be a noisy confrontation between man and iron. The scents of sea... Read Chapter

29

Submitted: January 22, 2019

CHAPTER 29   The steaming pottage was thick with peas, white beans, cabbage, leeks, and oats, with chopped bacon and lots of... Read Chapter

30

Submitted: January 22, 2019

CHAPTER 30   The scattering clouds opened a broad window for the moon to pour out its silvery blessing on the Burcke, spatte... Read Chapter

31

Submitted: January 22, 2019

CHAPTER 31   “Bad graggler. Want sleep.” Hawke’s eyes snapped open to blackness, feeling like two bags of wet sand... Read Chapter

32

Submitted: January 22, 2019

CHAPTER 32   Simon was not happy as he neared the ruins of Killmarnock. He had failed. In another time, he would not have re... Read Chapter

33

Submitted: January 22, 2019

CHAPTER 33   Frederick still snored in his corner of the room when Aaron got back to the cottage, wishing he had let Simon l... Read Chapter

34

Submitted: January 22, 2019

  CHAPTER 34   Aaron sprinted to the devastated, smoking barn. While the limestone walls still stood, the roof was ... Read Chapter

35

Submitted: January 22, 2019

CHAPTER 35   Who’s next? Maybe I can kill someone. Alone in the barn, Aaron sat on the broken ridge beam cradling his ... Read Chapter

36

Submitted: January 22, 2019

CHAPTER 36   Golfrith choked as the highwayman’s boot slammed into his ribs yet again. His jaw went slack and his eyes rol... Read Chapter

37

Submitted: January 22, 2019

CHAPTER 37   Aaron dropped his splitting head back onto the sweat-soaked pillow and shivered as his mother’s headstone cir... Read Chapter

38

Submitted: January 22, 2019

CHAPTER 38   Sherwyn Riddinghouse’s daughter, Michelie Rodham, spotted the human wreckage stumbling a jagged path up the S... Read Chapter

39

Submitted: January 22, 2019

  CHAPTER 39   The Hawke men rarely hosted guests. But their home had lately become like a faire with comings and g... Read Chapter

40

Submitted: January 22, 2019

CHAPTER 40   Golfrith was no more than blanketed in the straw, enjoying a nightingale’s aria, than the sound of hooves sta... Read Chapter

41

Submitted: January 22, 2019

CHAPTER 41   Maud looked up from her spinning wheel with a smile on her face as the men entered the weaving shoppe. “Uh oh... Read Chapter

42

Submitted: January 22, 2019

  CHAPTER 42   Ellond greeted him with a warm smile. When he didn’t see one returned, he quickly stepped aside an... Read Chapter

43

Submitted: January 22, 2019

  CHAPTER 43    “You lie,” Lucie growled, trying to sound tough. She curled her tail up on her back in its... Read Chapter

44

Submitted: January 22, 2019

CHAPTER 44   “Why did this happen? I’m a good squirrel. I don’t deserve this bad stuff.” “Good has nothing to ... Read Chapter

45

Submitted: January 22, 2019

CHAPTER 45   Each heavy footfall on the loose rocks had been a gamble for Violet. Several hours after the rising sun had dar... Read Chapter

46

Submitted: January 22, 2019

CHAPTER 46   Everybody ate eggs, mostly boiled, and many Burckers raised chickens. Nearly every day since she was seven, Mad... Read Chapter

47

Submitted: January 22, 2019

CHAPTER 47   Dozens of armed men and their horses gathered around Ellond on the green next to the old pillory, now overgrown... Read Chapter

48

Submitted: January 22, 2019

  CHAPTER 48   Georgie ripped the scratchy hood from Madeline’s head. “Simple, what about these daisies?”... Read Chapter

49

Submitted: January 22, 2019

  CHAPTER 49   As they rode into the forest, Aaron’s head buzzed as if he was bring attacked by angry birds, bomb... Read Chapter

50

Submitted: January 22, 2019

CHAPTER 50   “Another one,” Simple growled, his sword in his right hand, a half-eaten pear in the left. “What they wan... Read Chapter

51

Submitted: January 22, 2019

CHAPTER 51   The rich scents of honeysuckle and wild rose wrapped around them, brightening even Aaron’s somber mood as the... Read Chapter

52

Submitted: January 22, 2019

  CHAPTER 52   “Port your blades.” Plank blinked, adjusting to the dim light as he stepped back into the cave. ... Read Chapter

53

Submitted: January 22, 2019

  CHAPTER 53   Simple and Georgie led the wounded men more than a hundred paces to a thick growth of gooseberry bus... Read Chapter

54

Submitted: January 22, 2019

CHAPTER 54   Having gorged themselves on nuts, the squirrel and the dragon had slept like a pebble and a boulder respectivel... Read Chapter

55

Submitted: January 22, 2019

CHAPTER 55   An hour later Lucie reached the bottom of the mountain, numb with despair and fear, alone and empty. The only f... Read Chapter

56

Submitted: January 22, 2019

CHAPTER 56   Orion waved his sword at Ursa the bear. Undaunted, the spectacular beast hurdled sleeping Draco the dragon and ... Read Chapter

57

Submitted: January 22, 2019

  CHAPTER 57   Aaron was sure his heart had stopped. His eyes could not blink. His tongue could not move. As the pe... Read Chapter

58

Submitted: January 22, 2019

CHAPTER 58   She called herself Margaret, but the town folk assembled on the village green called her Maggie. Padraic knew t... Read Chapter

59

Submitted: January 22, 2019

  CHAPTER 59   Lucie wondered where monsters went when they died. She knew that squirrels went into the sky and twi... Read Chapter

60

Submitted: January 22, 2019

CHAPTER 60 Suddenly, a red squirrel popped through the stones, hunched and sniffing with its tail curled in a question mark. Gryffyn... Read Chapter

61

Submitted: January 22, 2019

CHAPTER 61   Thunder pounded in Aaron’s chest. He swallowed to keep from choking. His vision blurred. “Fuscari’s e... Read Chapter

62

Submitted: January 22, 2019

  CHAPTER 62   Birds chittered and chattered in the dense canopy as the Cranmer twins’ horses picked their way th... Read Chapter

63

Submitted: January 22, 2019

CHAPTER 63   Madrych’s face drifted through Aaron’s thoughts in the same eerie cloud that Freeman’s had. He swore he w... Read Chapter

64

Submitted: January 22, 2019

  CHAPTER 64   With tearful relief pouring over them in warm waves, the dagger-mates fell into each other’s arms.... Read Chapter

65

Submitted: January 22, 2019

CHAPTER 65   Garwulf lay face down on the ground, spitting dirt out of his mouth and wiping his burning eyes. He reached for... Read Chapter

66

Submitted: January 22, 2019

  CHAPTER 66   Aaron wiggled the sleeping squirrel. She didn’t move, so he shook her again. “Honestly,” M... Read Chapter

67

Submitted: January 22, 2019

CHAPTER 67   The dagger-mates retreated toward the downslope. Toby knocked one on its neck. Aaron swung his club at the near... Read Chapter

68

Submitted: January 22, 2019

CHAPTER 68   Aaron refused the dragon’s offer of a ride, and followed it through the crushed trees and down the slope to a... Read Chapter

69

Submitted: January 22, 2019

  CHAPTER 69   “My brother once was a good man. He could jest unlike any other man I had ever known, but he was c... Read Chapter

70

Submitted: January 22, 2019

  CHAPTER 70   Garwulf lifted his hand as the scout wolf dashed down the trail toward them. The other wolves made w... Read Chapter

71

Submitted: January 22, 2019

  CHAPTER 71   Bearing her pain and her burden, the weary dragon rumbled through the forest, reaching the river a m... Read Chapter

72

Submitted: January 22, 2019

  CHAPTER 72   Garwulf felt the squirrel’s heart beating against his stomach as he reached Thorneburcke’s north... Read Chapter

73

Submitted: January 22, 2019

CHAPTER 73   Peeking from behind the buckthorn bush on the north side of Garwulf’s cottage, Gripe was shocked to see dead ... Read Chapter

74

Submitted: January 22, 2019

  CHAPTER 74   Garwulf had had it all planned. On the following week, he was going to invite Aaron on a pilgrimage ... Read Chapter

75

Submitted: January 22, 2019

  CHAPTER 75   Thorneburcke’s able-bodied men had assembled. They were armed and prepared to wade into the fray, ... Read Chapter

76

Submitted: January 22, 2019

  CHAPTER 76   The dragon’s dripping head shot up over the wall like a giant fist and snapped at the shocked cobr... Read Chapter

77

Submitted: January 22, 2019

  CHAPTER 77   “I will be alone,” Aaron muttered. With that he turned and walked back into what remained of Gar... Read Chapter

78

Submitted: January 22, 2019

  CHAPTER 78   The dragon was too large to enter the Hawke home without destroying it, so Aaron marched in and push... Read Chapter

79

Submitted: January 22, 2019

  CHAPTER 79   Sunlight peeped through the shutters, splattering puddles of yellow across the pale young lady. She ... Read Chapter

80

Submitted: January 22, 2019

  CHAPTER 80 Simon’s fever was gone. After checking on him, Aaron patted Frederick and Albert on their tired backs and wen... Read Chapter

81

Submitted: January 22, 2019

  CHAPTER 81   Ten minutes later, with nearly all Thorneburcke’s residents surrounding the village green, the you... Read Chapter

82

Submitted: January 22, 2019

  CHAPTER 82   Pushed by a cool August breeze, the shire sheriff, Sir Ingram Blatherwick of Tynemouth, and five dep... Read Chapter

83

Submitted: January 22, 2019

  CHAPTER 83   “Did you have a hard time finding me?” “Good question, Mother. I’ve never been here befo... Read Chapter

84

Submitted: January 22, 2019

  CHAPTER 84   Aaron had spent the night on the banks of the Read River, watching the ever-changing current, listen... Read Chapter

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