Excerpt from Daughter of the King
Such a hard choice today. So many excellent passages to choose from. As the author, I have to say this, but seriously, I'm having a difficult time choosing just one.
The passage I have chosen occurs when Gid and Teomner hide their men, and the Lamanite army marches right past them. You know the part I'm talking about. Something about this story of the stripling warriors has always, always intrigued me. Though, to be honest, the part about their mothers has generally annoyed me—I don't know why, but I think it is because there is so much, so muchly much much more (thanks Dr. Seuss) to pull from the story than yeah, yeah, a bunch of guys listened to their moms. I mean, there is the "awe, that's cute" factor because what girl doesn't want a stripling warrior with a mom tattoo on his arm for her very own? After he grows up and his voice changes of course… But I just think this story is not meant for a pat on our backs Mother's Day, but for children (and I mean children in the broad sense). Well, um, anyway, here it is. A long one again. Sorry—sort of.
After a moment, I saw Darius returning. I smiled as he slowed his pace when he passed the chief captains and perked up his ears.
He hurried back over to us. He tossed a water skin to Jarom, who caught it easily.
"Teomner's spies have seen the armies. Helaman is fleeing in this direction as planned and they are traveling very quickly."
Gideon called his men to attention.
"Fall in as close to the west wall of the ravine as possible. The armies are approaching quickly and will be upon us within minutes."
"Come with me," I said to Darius and Jarom, and I led them to stand beside me in the small column.
I expected a little bit of confusion, but all the men fell quickly into rank facing south. Gideon came down the lines and divided each unit into two lines and urged them closer to the wall.
Building anticipation rolled through the ranks as we waited, and a muted excitement ensued when we heard the faint footsteps of our brethren. But before we heard them, we felt them. The ground rumbled around us, and I stared up at the top of the ravine wondering if it would fall down on us.
"Nervous?" Jarom leaned down to ask in my ear.
I craned my neck to look up at him over my shoulder. "Not really," I said honestly. "Are you?"
He grinned and gave his head a hard shake.
"I'm more nervous about the ravine wall raining down on us than about Ammoron's armies," I admitted.
"Are you scared for Zeke?"
"I'm not going to talk to you about Zeke," I told him.
"So he's still mad at you?"
"I didn't say that."
"You didn't have to. I know how it is."
It was such a dumb conversation to be having right then. I curled my lip and glared at him. Then I rammed my elbow back into his gut.
I got a good hit, but he just laughed.
"Zeke is your brother. Doesn't that evoke some loyalty from you?"
He leaned down again, and this time he whispered into my ear. "Not when it comes to you."
Darius looked over at us. "What are you talking about? Is something wrong with Zeke?"
"Besides his attitude, his personality, and his ugly face?" Jarom asked. "No."
Nobody said any more then because the sounds of the army neared. They were indeed moving quickly. We all ceased talking and made an effort to shift nearer to the ravine wall, though this first army was supposed to be our own.