3. Spoils of War - Theodred
Theodred's disquiet turned into dread as he beheld the unmoving bundle the Rider extended.
Only years of fostering an iron will kept Theodred's hands from trembling as he took the bundle. He unwrapped the rough burlap with less-than-practiced fingers, fearing what he would find beneath.
The coarse fibers burned his skin; the blood on the fabric repulsively sticky to the touch.
The child's face was peaceful, if bloodstreaked. Sorrrow welled in Theodred's chest, and he drew one gentle finger down her cold cheek.
She jerked in his arms, opened her mouth, and wailed.
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