“‘Well, here goes.’
Roger’s cheerfulness rang false to my ears, but I smiled at him in return. I clicked my tongue at my horse to encourage it – and me – and together we stepped off the last of the grassy land on to the sand.
There was no jolt, no faltering, no misstep, no sinking feeling. The sand beneath Caesar’s hooves was as firm as the turf had been. Before us the sandy ripples left behind by the retreating tide were sliced through by myriad tracks of foot-, hoof- and wheel-prints, but none was more than a fingernail deep. If the hollow drumming of marching troops on the grassland had given way to a softer, denser, sandier sound, it was scarce noticeable. The tumult of creaking wheels, jingling harness, rowdy laughter and cheering song that had accompanied the troops the previous day masked any change underfoot.
Had I expected muddy chasms to open up as soon as we set foot upon the Sands? Perhaps. My dreams overnight had been full of such terrifying holes and hollows, and since the guide’s warning, my fears had only worsened. But now I breathed again, and drew the fresh salt air, slow and deep and calming, into my lungs.”
3 days to go …
Alex Marchant is author of two books telling the story of the real King Richard III for children aged 10+, The Order of the White Boar and The King’s Man, and a third in the sequence, King in Waiting, which continues the adventures of the young members of the Order in the following years. A fourth book, Sons of York, will be published 26 June 2022.
Alex is also editor of Grant Me the Carving of My Name and Right Trusty and Well Beloved…, two anthologies of short fiction inspired by King Richard, sold in support of Scoliosis Association UK (SAUK).
Alex has also published a standalone timeslip novel for readers aged 10+, Time out of Time, relating the adventures of Allie Turner through a doorway into history found under layers of old wallpaper at ancient Priory Farm.
Alex’s books can be found on Amazon at: