An Excerpt of When Fate Dictates, a Scottish Historical Fiction and Fantasy Novel
Simon spooned a large mouthful of lamb stew hungrily into his mouth. Swallowing hard he rested his elbows on the table, his chin cupped in the palms of his hands, his eyes surveying me quizzically. I put the cloth I was folding down and looked back at him.
“Why do you stare at me so?” I asked.
“I was just thinking Corran that you don’t look yourself somehow. You look...very sad,” he said, a frown crossing his brow.
I forced a smile, knowing it would not reach my eyes. “No Simon, I am not sad, just thinking over our travel plans,” I lied, hoping he would accept my explanation.
The truth was that I felt overwhelmed by a paralyzing feeling of fear. My mouth was dry, my heart raced, the palms of my hands were damp and in the pit of my stomach I just knew that the road ahead was not the right one for us.
I looked around the front room of our house. It felt cold, I thought dimly, but
then I remembered that was because we had no fire burning. Why would we need a fire? We were leaving today. The bags and chests we had neatly packed lay against the wall, waiting to be piled onto the carriage. The rickety old stairs stood as though nothing had changed, but in my mind I could see the room above them. Cold as the day we arrived, bare and empty as the fireplaces. The treasures we had found in the chest returned to storage and the lid firmly closed on this chapter of our lives.
I watched as Duncan climbed awkwardly onto his Daddy’s lap and as Simon lovingly put his arm around his son to help him; how he scooped some meat onto a spoon and then fed it to the little boy. Their movements were slowed to my eyes. I felt as though I were in a dream, watching my life through a hazy fog of detachment. I could hear Simon and Duncan but their voices carried an echo of distance. The knot of fear in my stomach tightened, my fists clenched and I realized I was holding my breath. Something was very wrong! My eyes darted frantically around the room, searching for the source of my fear, but everything looked as it should.
Instinct took my eyes to the door, seconds before a loud thunderous bang came from behind it. There was a scraping and clanging of metal as I watched the door fall in before me. I stared in horror as the march of Red Coats trampled over the oak door and into our front room.
Simon was on his feet, pistol in hand, Duncan beside him crying. He pushed the little boy away but Duncan clung to his father’s trousers. Simon was shouting, but I could not hear the words, he raised his pistol and held it steady at the mob. I ran to my little boy and grabbed him, pulling him away from his father. He fought wildly, kicking and screaming for his Daddy as I closed my arms around his little body, holding him tightly against me. I backed under the stairs and into the far
corner of the room as more Red Coats stormed the room. They had their pistols fixed
on Simon. They were shouting orders, he was shouting back and then I heard the shot, saw the smoke from the pistol and the room went quiet as Simon’s body hit the floor.
‘When Fate Dictates’ by Elizabeth Marshall
Elizabeth Marshall Writes
‘Dying‘, on a mountain, Corran is mysteriously saved from death by a Highland Stag. Confused, alone and frightened, she makes her way back to the village of Glencoe, and comes face to face with one of her enemies, Simon Campbell, a Red Coat, deserter and traitor. With her family massacred and her village destroyed, Corran trusts the fugitive when he offers to help her escape the village. Plans to flee the
country are brought to an abrupt end by Simon’s old enemy and fellow Red Coat, Angus. Pursued by Angus and seeking answers to the many questions in their life, Simon comes into the possession of a Campbell crystal which leads the couple through time and into modern day York where a final confrontation ends their conflict.
‘When Fate Dictates is now available for download on Kindle - Here