It’s been a hectic week all round in the lead up to moving house. The removalists are booked for Tuesday 31st, I’ve finished up at work and I have a lovely house to go to. I will be able to have all my books with me and somewhere to keep my artwork and calligraphy set up all the time, and a writing desk. Now comes the hard work of packing everything up and catching up with so many wonderful people I won’t be able to see so regularly anymore.
In the meantime, I have finished the post edit read through of Mine to Avenge and it goes back to the publishers this coming week before I leave. They will be working on the proofs while I move and settle in, so the timing has all dovetailed together in the end.
Please enjoy the following extract from Chapter 32 of Mine to Avenge:
Constantine, along with his comrades, was caught up in the day-to-day battle for survival. However, internally he was fighting another equally bitter war.
From the beginning, he blamed Alcandor for what had happened to Helena. He never wanted to see Alcandor again. But, occasionally, a still, small voice of reason whispered to him from his conscience: If only I’d done my duty. If only I’d found a match for Helena. If I’d done that, she would still be alive.
He found these whispers too painful to bear, and one day they were almost the death of him. An army colleague found Constantine holding his army pistol to his head. The shock of being caught in this situation made him waver. Perhaps there was another way to silence his conscience.
As he had trained his body for battle, so, now, he began to ruthlessly train his mind to stifle his conscience. Each time the whisper spoke from the depths to condemn him, his soul cried back: It wasn’t my fault … Alcandor will pay … Alcandor is responsible.
Occasionally, Constantine found that his mind seemed to empty itself of pain and memories, and become more fully engaged with the external war he was occupied in. However, when this happened it alarmed him. He didn’t ever want to forget that day. This war he was now fighting for his country was only to be the prelude to a much longer war—one he knew he must eventually fight for the honour of his sister. This conflict was but a training ground.
He needed to feed his growing bitterness, and whenever his thoughts strayed away from those past events, he deliberately took them captive again. He entertained, nurtured and fed his memories until they tormented him and sated him at the same time.
Eventually, he no longer had to tease or trick himself to remember. The memory became his constant companion, bringing both pain and a strange and eerie comfort. The memory fuelled a burning purpose within—a purpose that warmed him, keeping him alive and wanting to live, during that angry, frozen winter.