Written by Jayden Woods, Edited by Malcolm Pierce
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“And this year the king and all his witan decreed that all the ships which were worth anything should be gathered together at London, in order that they might try if they could anywhere betrap the army from without. But Aelfric the ealdorman, one of those in whom the king had most confidence, directed the army to be warned; and in the night, as they should on the morrow have joined battle, the selfsame Aelfric fled from the forces; and then the army escaped.”
–The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, Entry for Year 992
Even the lazy pigs stirred to life when Alfric and his men came riding over the hills. The hogs rolled and squealed, bobbing up and down on stubby legs as they ran around in mass confusion. The dog barked, lifting wiry haunches from the dirt to point his muzzle and boom his howl of alert. The horizon undulated as the ealdormen’s cavalry sliced black silhouettes against the iron gray clouds. Chills raked down Golde’s skin as she watched, though the breeze brushing her pale hair blew with the warmth of spring.