Here’s an ‘unedited’ sneak peek at my Young Adult Fantasy novel…no title has been chosen as of yet!

ship

1

‘Only a fool would chase after a myth.’

‘Women’s minds are too fragile to withhold the knowledge of medicine.’

The doctor’s voices weighed down Christine Arrawood’s mind as she stepped up onto the wooden ramp that led to a ship with large white sails.

She knew the idea of boarding a ship of men wasn’t the best idea she ever had. She glanced behind her at the familiar market place bustling with people. The vendors shouted their wares as people strolled by smiling and flashing their gold coins.

Passed the market, rows upon rows of brick buildings huddled close together creating the center of the kingdom of Ashleigh. The King and Queen lived in the intimidating stone castle beyond the brick buildings. The stone structure hovered over the kingdom like a mother bird with its nest. Christine’s gaze lowered down to the houses and to the far left. The top of a chimney stained with black soot made her heart ache. She knew her mother has been bed bound for almost a week with her youngest sister Melanie tending to her. This caused several chores to be ignored. She was the first of many who have suffered a fever before becoming ill.

Wishing she didn’t have to leave her sister behind to tend to their ill mother, the young woman took another step forward with the line of men. She pulled her bag up onto one shoulder before glancing down at her baggy pants and top. Luckily, her neighbor the Wilton’s, had a son and he hanged his clothes to dry last night.

The breeze rose and tussled her tunic after tickling her neck. She cried this morning after asking her sister to cut her lovely brown locks off. She peeked at her bounded breasts before the breeze calmed. With each breath, she could feel the tight wrap she made out of her sheets last night, hold firmly against her body making her chest flat as a man’s.

She exhaled. I need to do this.

“Board the Crystalia swiftly now!” She lifted her eyes to stare at the captain’s second mate he called Amos.

His wiry blond hair was pushed aside by the salty sea breeze as his wide gray eyes landed on her for a moment before taking in the scenery of the kingdom for himself.

Christine inhaled and caught a whiff of freshly baked bread. Her heart pined to once again bite into a fresh loaf and sit up near the palace so she could stare down at the village. Her thoughts wouldn’t usually linger on the idea of marriage since her sixteenth birthday last month, but it would conjure thoughts of her future and where she would fit in with society. Her mom worked as a seamstress for the royal family. Her youngest sister revealed her skill of baking at the young age of twelve.

The young woman glanced down at her bag of jarred herbs and felt her shoulders sag as if the bag gained in weight.

Women were frowned upon for practicing medicine. She noticed her skill with gardening at a young age when nothing else brought her joy. She remembered her mom fussing over her dirty outfits until she finished her years in the school room. With the help of a few friends she was able to bribe a few doctors to allow her to read their books on medicine, including herbal remedies. She devoured one book after the other, hungry for knowledge-hungry for more. She knew at that moment, this was her calling, this was her sole purpose in life.

She stomped up the wooden ramp and turned on one heel to gaze upon the only place she has ever known to be her home and ignored the chinking noise of glass jars from her bag.

The doctors didn’t believe in my work until I proved them wrong…Her neighbor’s husband grew ill one evening and with a few simple herbs she learned to crush and mix with warm water for him to drink, he danced around the next day.

Rumors spread of her abilities and as her popularity among the kingdom grew, so did the jealousy of the doctors. A few months ago she was asked to assist Dr. Crossthatch, an older man with a heart of gold. It wasn’t until her mother fell ill did she have to resign with him temporarily until she returned with a serum.

Christine took a step towards the side of the ship as the boat swayed. Her body tried to rock with the boat while she gazed upon the kingdom becoming a dot among the sunny horizon.

There’s no turning back, I have one week. Don’t worry mother, I’ll save you.