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Rolfin's Orb
Book 12 -
Chapter 4

      A ray of sunlight broke through an opening in the top of the yurt. Fiona felt it warming her face. She opened her eyes and rolled over. “Elspet, wake up. Callum,” she said, sitting. “Callum?” She could see he wasn’t on his bedroll.

“What is it, Fiona? Where are we?” Elspet looked around. “I wasn’t dreaming. We were captured by the Mongols, weren’t we?” She threw herself back on her felt blanket.

“Not only that, Elspet, but Callum is gone. They must have taken him after all. How did they get in here and take him without us knowing? We must have been sleeping soundly. Get dressed. We’re going to find him.”

Fiona and Elspet put on their warmest things. The night before, Genghis Khan had some coats and hats brought to the yurt for them. They marched over to General Khasir’s yurt and pulled the flap open. Elspet stayed outside. “Oh, you’re here too, Genghis Khan. Where is Callum? He’s not in the tent. What have you done with him?”

General Khasir was about to slap Fiona across the face for being belligerent, but Genghis stopped him once again, smirking at the girl. “Fiona, as you like to be called, it is not wise to barge into another’s ger unannounced. I hope you will be more respectful of this from now on. As for Callum, he is being trained to be a warrior. If you and your friend refuse to become my wives, I will have Callum slaughtered. I do not like to torture and maim, but be assured he will die.”

“You wouldn’t dare. You are just like they say in history books. I thought you might be different, but you’re not. You’re nothing but a beast.” Fiona shouted, her voice muffled by the walls of the yurt.

“Remove her.” Genghis ordered one of his guards to take her back to her yurt. guard grabbed Fiona, who kicked and punched, as he carried her under his arm. When another guard saw Elspet, he picked her up and tossed both of them into their yurt.

Fiona screamed loud ear-piercing shrieks. “Fiona, settle down. Stop that shouting.” Elspet stood with her hands over her ears.

Fiona stopped. “I’m so angry. He makes me furious with his orders and commands. Who does he think he is anyway?”

“He’s Genghis Khan, one of the greatest leaders and warriors in the history of mankind. You’d better start remembering that, Fiona.” Elspet saw a tray. “Look! They’ve brought us some food. If we want to escape, we need to be strong and healthy. Sit here next to me and let’s see what there is. How often can people say they shared a meal with Genghis Khan.”

Fiona took some deep breaths. “All right. I think I’ve calmed down now. Still…”

“Let it go, Fiona.” Elspet picked up some of the food. “There are some wild onions, wild apples and cherries, juniper berries, hazel nuts, and some sort of edible fruit. It smells like a pine. It must flourish in those regions. Have a glass of fresh milk, Fiona.” She took a sip. “Even though it’s warm and tastes kind of funky; it’s probably from a goat or some strange animal that we’d rather not know about. There are some cheese curds and even plain yogurt. We can mix the cherries and apples and hazel nuts in with it. The yogurt is probably sour by itself. I am not sure what this meat is, or how it was cooked.” Elspet examined it by sniffing and nibbling. “Not bad.”

“I heard them talking about it. They make fires with horse dung and whatever other type of dung they find about.” Fiona reached for a wild apple.

“You mean they cook with animal poo?” Elspet put the food down.

“Yes, but they don’t eat it. They eat mutton, horsemeat, gag me; marmot too. I think a marmot is like a big rat. Sounds delicious, doesn’t it.” Fiona burst out laughing.

“Rat roasted over horse poo. Yummy.” Elspet sighed. “I’ll stick to the other stuff and leave the meat.”

“I’ve tried to pay attention to things so we can plan a way of escape. This entire camp is spread across a valley and the hills around it are stony. There are guards everywhere around the camp, keeping their eyes open for the enemy and for us. At this time I can’t see a way of escape without being caught and then who knows what Mr. Khan will do to us.”

“What about Callum? How are we going to rescue him? I’ll not leave here without him,” Elspet said.

“I suppose I will have to make myself invisible again and go look for him. You stay here. If anyone comes and asks where I am, tell them I had to go to the bathroom.” Fiona winked and disappeared. “I’ll be back soon.” She left the yurt and walked around a few of the others. When she heard hooves, she turned in time to see Genghis Khan and his generals riding off. They were shouting to each other, but too far away for Fiona to understand what they were saying.

Fiona moved from yurt to yurt, peeking inside, but Callum was nowhere to be found. Maybe he’s further past the tents. She trotted to the outer edge of the yurts and saw him. He was dressed in battle clothes, with armor and weapons and a helmet.  Another man, his trainer, was throwing Callum around like a stuffed animal, tossing him high into the air. Callum always got up and tried to fight back. “Way to go, Callum. Don’t let him bully you.”

She walked up to him. His legs were shaking and his body trembled from pain. “Callum.” Fiona whispered. Callum turned around and didn’t see anyone. “Callum, it’s me, Fiona. I’m invisible. Don’t say a word. Stay here and do as you’re told and I’ll be back shortly to rescue you.” Callum nodded and charged at the other man. Fiona ran off towards her yurt.

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