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The Silurian is Art
The story of King Arthur like you have never read it before!
Brilliant, daring, unique and unconventional, if this is you, then this is your book... The Silurian, Book One recently received an "Honorable Mention" in the 2007 London Book Festival literary competition.
Hundreds of years ago in a land ravaged by fierce clans, where only the strongest survive...a Legend of the People was born. From the historic tales of King Arthur comes a raw, riveting and passionate series of novels by author L.A. Wilson, who breathes fresh new life into this spell-binding story.
Set in the real world of Dark Age Britain, The Fox and the Bear is non-traditional epic, told in a first-person narrative by Prince Bedwyr, the Fox, the man closest to Arthur's heart. This story is an amazing journey into the past, where social order was kept by the sword, loyalty and the desire to be free. Free to survive, free to live, and free to love without restraint.
Through Wilson's powerful story-telling...a whole dramatic world of love, hatred, war, betrayal and loss is created and viewed through the exotic and passionate eyes of ‘The Fox.' From the first book 'The Silurian: The Fox and the Bear," to the tenth installment, "Last Man to Avalon," this work is destined to become a literary classic, defining a new age of reading and establishing a new genre.
The enemy had not yet come into full view, but waiting, heart pounding, I saw a clumped group of painted pony-riders come around the bend. And as soon as they did, Cai’s unit attacked, heading a charge to the rear of the riders to cut them off from the main body of enemy and began taking the riders down. Most of the mounted Picts immediately tried to escape by fleeing down the road, but Cai’s men were too fast; our horses bigger and faster and they were run down and hacked to pieces in an instant. Cai’s Roman warhorse was so big I saw him scatter then trample the riders who fell under him; Arthur certainly knew what that felt like, having been a victim of Cai’s horse himself.
I looked at Arthur and wondered in a flash what he was seeing; was he seeing that way he told me about? With that intense clarity, making him see rocks as big as boulders.
Only I saw Cai’s men running down and destroying what cavalry the Picts had. As he did, Gareth moved to block the head of the main body, rounding the bend. What I saw was nothing but a rabble of untrained warriors, half naked, no armour, no helmets, only small shields, spears, swords, knives, a few archers; nearly all of them tattooed and screaming. They broke left and right, but the right flanks checked themselves when they saw us stationed above them on the hillside.
That was when we charged downhill, slamming into those screaming Picts from our hillside position. We split their chests with our spears, my ride so powerful I saw the first one I hit burst like a fruit; he had no idea what had happened to him and I wheeled and turned and rode in again, losing all fear. Once the battle was on, my fear fled like the men I rode down; smashing my shield into a man’s face, spearing another through his throat, turning back up the hill for another charge, and still the mass of them, ugly with fear and rage seemed huge and it was near impossible not to become trapped within their swarming numbers. We broke the charge and regrouped up the hillside, only to charge down again. Just ahead of me, Arthur was splitting skulls with his sword, bounding over dead bodies on horseback.
Far ahead again the Snake was holding the left flank, though the Picts on that side were already breaking and scattering for the hills, while behind us, Gareth and Cai were charging the head of the main mass.
We were forging ahead across the right enemy flank in a cutting line, when we broke out into free ground, no enemy; they had all fled up the eastern hillsides and most had gone over the top, probably not expecting to find a defensive force there to meet them. Medraut’s side chased them down.
In front of me, Arthur turned back, rode to my side and cried, near breathless, “Bedwyr, go over to Medraut’s side. Look, most of the enemy have fled that side, but keep moving south, join with Cai when you reach the bend in the road and wait for me there.”
“But what about you?”
He didn’t answer me, but gave orders to some of the others coming up to join us; “Ride down those escaping Picts! Kill them, then ride back to join me and Cai!”
A band of Picts were fleeing north for home ahead of us and our men heeled after them.
Arthur turned back to me, “I need Medraut back; he’s gone after those in the east. I want you to bring him back before he gets himself cut-off and wiped out, but don’t engage in fighting, just bring the bastard back in again, join with me and Cai, do you see?” He pointed back down the road towards the south with his spear.
I turned to look; he said, “Only about forty of them left - hurry!”
He gave me a shove and I turned and rode downhill, galloped over the flat land before the road, crossed the road and made for the eastern hills, where the main body of Picts had fled.
They had all scattered, some north, the rest east, with Medraut chasing them down. When I crested the hill, I saw the Snake’s band had surrounded a small band of Picts and were riding in and out, killing them.
I called out, “Medraut! Retreat! Follow me!” He didn’t hear me so I rode in closer, cried again, “Medraut! Retreat! Arthur wants you out of here!”
He heard me that time and turned to face me; his own face covered in blood and he looked near insane with killing-lust.
He cried back at me, “Fox!” then pointed towards my back. I didn’t see it, I only felt it, felt something hit my left upper shoulder, where I caught a quick glimpse of a Pictish warrior fleeing wildly downhill; the bastard had jumped me from the higher ground at my back.
But the thing that hit me felt like my shoulder had been crushed between steel armour plates, so heavy it took the breath out of my lungs and I dropped my spear, gave a gagged cry of pain and slumped over my horse’s neck, feeling everything in me burn, my chest; I thought I had been pierced by a spear from behind and I dropped and lay on the grass, gasping, rolling back and forth and crying out; my left arm had gone limp and I couldn’t move it. I felt then the hot wash of blood running down the inside of my tunic sleeve. Through the pain, I saw horses hooves galloping past me and I tried to get to my feet, head spinning and my arm loose and weak. I couldn’t explain it, it felt like my bone had broken and when I looked, I saw the head of a knife sticking out of my left upper shoulder; it was fully embedded down to the hilt. Instinct told me to pull it out, yet when I took hold of the handle, the pain was agonising and as I tugged, sweating heavily, I found the sodding thing wouldn’t move. I knew from training days that I could make it much worse by trying to remove it myself.
Somewhere through the pain I guessed that that blade had somehow lodged in bone and if I tried again to remove it, it could shatter my shoulder forever. I left the thing where it was, knowing I needed help. So I stopped, breathed, groaned and dropped to my knees, praying that I wouldn’t be caught out there by the enemy; but as I looked around me, I saw nothing, no-one. A strange silence covered the land, but I knew I had to get back onto my horse and – and nothing. I slumped as I tried to stand. I got up again, grabbed a hold of the right front pommel on my saddle and tried to pull myself up; blood was dripping off my fingertips.
The pain; I groaned again and wanted to vomit; then my grip slipped - I was sweating so much I couldn’t take a hold on the pommel. Though I lost strength, somehow I managed keep on my feet, but only for a moment, where I slumped to the ground near my horse, wishing someone would come and find me. And I was terrified of being caught by Picts; they would rip my guts out if they found me. Once more I got to my feet, but I couldn’t get up on my horse, so I would have to walk. My lungs began burning and I couldn’t swallow, so I turned and picked up my spear right-handed and started walking back south, using the spear to lean on. I walked for what felt like an age, coming over the hill and seeing before me a mound of bodies, some still alive, most dead.
And by then I believed myself dying; I knew I couldn’t keep walking that way, as I could feel blood running down my back, under my armour. I could not walk straight; I tripped over a body and slumped to my knees, fell then onto my right side and lay there like a dying Pict.
…sometime in a dream I felt a hand on my face, touching my face. I think I had fallen unconscious and I was waking. Above me the Silurian – relief flooded me.
I heard him say, “Pick him up now; gently.”
I felt a wave of pain as he and some others helped me up onto a cart to take me back to the village; though I wasn’t alone in the back of that cart. Beside me was a pile of our own dead. I knew they were ours because of the way they were dressed, their shields over them, their swords in their hands, but I couldn’t look at their faces. I didn’t want to see who they were. Arthur jumped up into the cart beside me and took hold of me, held me in his arms, holding my blood-soaked hand in his, taking away my fear, because if I died then, oh goddess, he was all I wanted to see as I left him; the touch of him; he took what little breath I had left out of my lungs.
He said, “It’s not that bad, you only feel weak from loss of blood. We can’t get the knife out until we get back to the village. Took me ages to find you from out of all these dead, I would never leave without you, would never in all the world leave you.”
I felt the cart rocking us as we took the south road, lulling me, rocking me to sleep as I listened to his voice. “Fox, I had to break Medraut’s skull for not staying with you, or at least sending someone back to find you. I broke his skull. Now all these others here...”
I said, “Am I dying?”