In The Wind's Eye
Click on image to enlarge.
by Charlotte Boyett-Compo
Category: Romance/Historical Fiction
Description: Captain Sinclair McGregor has spent two years in the frozen hell of a Yankee prison camp. His life as he once knew it has been destroyed by the War. Returning home to Savannah to find his fiancee' married to his worst enemy and his ancestral home sold for back taxes to the same man, he knows a despair darker than the depths of the Abyss.
eBook Publisher: New Concepts Publishing, 2011 2011
eBookwise Release Date: November 2011
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [630 KB]
Reading time: 412-577 min.
To the weary man riding slowly beneath the hot Georgia sun it was a day of colors.
Thick orange dust clung tenaciously to the emerald green kudzu. Deep purple wisteria wove its way along the pale brown split-rail fence posts. Here and there, patches of spiky pink blossoms stood out in the early afternoon light as the rider passed tall, lacy-leafed mimosa trees. A striking red cardinal darted out from among the scrub oak branches standing hunched over the silver-shot river and dove gracefully into the shimmer of the blue sky.
Colors, the rider thought as his tired eyes took in the passing scenery, are such a balm to the senses. Colors put reality to life and bring peace to the heart. A riot of colors, a profusion of sensual delights catching the eye, can go a long way in easing the ache in a man's soul, no matter how lost that soul had become. How long, he wondered, had it been since he indulged his delight in colors?
Four years, he remembered with a wince. It has been four long years since he had noticed any colors other than Confederate gray, Federal blue and blood red.
He forcibly tore his mind away from those vicious, brutal hues and concentrated instead on the pale yellow of a field of dandelions.
The cicadas were tuning up and he pulled back gently on his mount's reins. The roan came to a halt, nickering softly as it bobbed its head, and there was stillness on the road save for the clicking of the cicadas.
Just as his world had been leached of the pigments that once had colored it so richly--the pastel elegance of silks and satins, the royal hues of velvet, the imposing grandeur of white cotton shirts crisply starched, champagne-colored brocade embossed with lustrous embroidery of golden thread--so too had gentle sounds also disappeared to be replaced with roaring cannon, crackling rifle fire, the screams of dying men.
"Don't think about it," he said aloud.
The soothing sound of the cicadas reached into the rider's battle-scarred soul and he hung his head, tears gathering at the edges of his glazed brown eyes.
How gentle that sound--how much like home. But the reminder of days past when he had sat on the veranda of WindLass alongside his brothers and listened to just this monotonous chant, brought other memories as well and he heard ghost sounds that hurt him deeper than any shot driven into his body.
Laughter--the tender tinkle of beautiful young women and the hardy guffaws of brazen young men.
Music swirling about the dance floor in patriotic abandonment--the glorious strains of Dixie swelling the heart and underlining the fervor.
Firecrackers exploding in the night air--the ominous precursor to the earsplitting boom of battle.
Ivonne's voice--her soft drawl with just a touch of French rhythm to entice a young man's passion.
The rider's chin came up sharply and he pushed away such thoughts with an angry shake of his head. What good were memories when they tormented worse than anything the Union prison guards ever could have conceived?
"Don't think about it!" he repeated through gritted teeth.
Lifting a pale hand to his road-dirty face, the rider plowed trembling fingers through a scraggly crop of limp brown hair. His grip tightened in the lank curls and he tugged brutally, trying to tear the memories from his head.