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Saturday, October 31, 2015

Cave of the Red Horse

November Sale
RED MAGIC, Book 1 of the Magic Colours series: 
 $.99 at most e-book retailers:
The enigmatic, treacherous Rossmann shows Caterina a magical place, one that he has known since his childhood...

His tone was encouraging--and his light was receding--so, having no other choice, Caterina dropped to her knees and followed.  After a few twists and turns of scuffling, claustrophobic crawling after his outline, she saw him get to his feet.  When she reached the same spot, he extended a hand to help her up.             

The candle flickered. Caterina saw that they were at the bottom of a dripping, and, except for the dim candle light, utterly black, fissure.  Rossmann was turning, shining the candle on the walls, seeking and finally finding the mouth of yet another hole.    

"Inside of this one is what the old ones painted.  It's just as I told you the night Star dropped her foal.  You‑‑of all people‑‑must see."

"What?  I thought you were showing me an escape."          

"It's through here."  On hands and knees, neatly balancing the light, Rossmann disappeared again.      His enthusiasm for the tour they were making seemed high, innocent.  Cat swallowed back her fear, got down on her knees again and awkwardly followed him.   

After a blessedly short crawl, she found Rossmann and the light again.  He had already got to his feet and held the candle high.     

As soon as Cat looked up, she forgot her fear.  The walls of this tiny space were covered with paintings, paintings of animals.  The colors were bright and fresh, the execution spirited.    She recognized cattle, elk, deer and horses, but besides these more ordinary creatures, there were animals she'd never seen before.  One, very large, was bulky, furry and seemed to be sporting a trunk.  "An‑‑an‑‑elephant?"  She'd had to make a brief mental search to find the name of the creature.  "Here?  On these plains?"           

"Yes," Rossmann answered.  "So it seems.  It must have been much wetter then.  Elephants are very big, you know, eat very much."    

"Have you seen elephants, Herr Rossmann?"

  "Yes.  They are wise, perhaps the wisest of creatures, and they are very, very dangerous to their keepers."      

"Where did you see them?"   

His small bright eyes turned on her, dark and sardonic.  "In Africa," he said.      

"I thought these lands were your home place."        

"They are, but I've traveled." The mystery of Rossmann seemed never ending. 

Cat returned to studying the beauty and energy portrayed on the walls, tried to ignore the persistent unsettled feeling she'd had from the moment they'd entered the cave.        

Among, and sometimes atop, the gamboling animals were hand prints, spirals and squiggly lines.  In spite of the fresh, bright colors, Cat instinctively felt that this had been painted a very long time ago.

"This is the Cave of the Red Horse," said Rossmann.  "It's a place a woman with your gift should see."    

He raised the candle high and threw light upon a painting Cat hadn't noticed.  Almost directly overhead, a huge red  horse galloped.  A long legged foal was in full stretch, close by its mother's side.    

"Oh!  She's beautiful!" Cat exclaimed.    

After a moment, Rossmann's eyes lowered from contemplation of the ceiling. 

"Yes.  She's the guardian of the cave, the center of power.  Long ago a witch lived here.  It was said that if a man took her, he'd be a Lord with many sons, many cattle and horses.  If her magic resisted him, though, he must die..."      


Red Magic
$.99 / November

http://mizging.blogspot.com (Ginger Simpson)