A rider thundered along the track as if the very hounds of hell growled and slavered at his heels. Fiery rivulets of light streaked across the midnight sky. The air fizzled and spat and the heavens howled in despair. Now the rain came as horizontal shards biting into his skin. On he rode, driven by the horror of what lay behind him.
The rutted track came to an abrupt halt. The walls of the castle loomed large. Through smoky arrow slits, faint lights glowed. He clattered across the drawbridge, the beat of his horse’s hooves ringing in his ears. Manoeuvring his way through the small gap between the creaking oak gates, he fell from his mount. Though his skin was lathered with sweat, the man’s belly churned with an icy terror.
“A great host approaches!” he croaked, his voice, barely audible.
From the guards nearby, a frantic shout rent the air: “The English are coming!”
The ashen-faced household stumbled from their beds. Standing in tight-lipped silence, they looked to the chatelaine of the massive fortress of Kildrummy.
To be continued …