Corn World = Cornwall
Long Doom = London.
Until he met Sasha, he’d thought Cerridwen the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen. But Sasha filled his dreams now. What young man wouldn’t want to touch her, make life with her?
All his friends back in Hailing must be envious, knowing that he’d left on a manhood test with Cerridwen and Trevly. They didn’t know he would venture beyond Corn World and go all the way to Long Doom. He imagined the day he’d return and tell about his adventures. They’d welcome him back with cheers—like a hero. Hugo bent and selected cover for the women’s roof.
Maybe he’d never come back from this adventure. Britland was huge. His mam would miss him, so he’d better make sure he grew up fast and survived. Didn’t want her grieving. Nah. Drop those dark thoughts and concentrate on the future.
With full arms, he made his way back towards the strip of trees behind the beach. Hugo the Magnificent—had a nice ring. He broke through the cover and strode up to Boris. “Show me how you secure these. You only need to tell me once. I’ll do the job from then on all the way to Long Doom.” Yes, Hugo the Magnificent.
“Weave them through the frame like this,” Boris said.
Hugo followed the older man’s lead. “How old are you, Boris?”
“I’ve seen about twenty-five winters now.”
“I’ll bet you can tell some stories.”
“Nothing to tell, really. Aron’s the one for stories.”
Hugo finished the task. “We’ll have plenty of time when you’re ready to share.”
“I think you’ve grown a bit since I first met you.”
Hugo swelled with pride.
Boris scratched his head. He looked wild since Aron had chopped off his long hair. Before that, he’d kept it tied back. Now his curls stood out like a hedgehog’s spikes. Boris cocked his head and held still. He sighed, then pulled two branches under each brawny arm all the way back, with Hugo following to pick up leafy twigs.
Boris dumped his load at the campsite. “Rashio,” he called. “Are you there, Kirk?”
Hugo dropped his armful and listened.
A figure moved towards them, arms clutching more wood. “Will I do?” Aron asked. Tall and handsome with a shaven chin, he flashed a wide smile.
Boris chuckled. “It’s always good to know where you’re prowling. But I wonder what the Stormy boys are up to.”
Aron grinned. “You do? I can only think of one place they might have strayed to.”
Puzzled for a moment, Hugo realized what the man meant. “I’ll go and check the beach.”
“Don’t go blustering after them like a wild boar with a wasp on his tail,” Boris said. “You don’t want to send all the animals for miles around off in the other direction. I’m hoping for a nice hare or two for supper.”
“That sounds like a job for me,” Aron said.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah. Everyone strolls through the forest while I do the real work.”
“Right.” Hugo the Meek slunk off. Wild pig indeed. He’d better listen to Boris though. He approached the beach with care. Lucky he didn’t run ahead yelling. There, behind some dense cover, Rashio and Kirk crouched, peering ahead. His chance to surprise them enticed him to tread with silent steps. They didn’t turn. He could have whooped with joy. Hugo the Stealthy.
* * *
Link to Golden Submarine, showing the two previous novels here.
Available today at Amazon.com here.
Also at Amazon.uk here.
Do you have a special remembered person?