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This snippet from SAINT SANGUINUS takes place when 6th century Welsh warrior Peredur was a boy of thirteen.
Already the 'man' of the family for five years after his father fell in battle, Peredur finds himself at odds one day with his mother when his plans clash with hers.
I took her blows as bravely as I could, but I was also angry and humiliated.
When she left off hitting me, I turned on her, accusing Mam of treating me like a baby. Then I did something completely unconscionable. I shoved Mam and said, “Don’t ever strike me again, woman!”
The look on her face shredded my heart, but I couldn’t go back on what I’d just said, or I really would be a child unworthy of beginning my training with the sword master. Instead, I stormed out of the hut and ignored the sound of tears in her voice as Mam called after me.