Category Archives: Snippets

Snippet Sunday: Before & After

Snippet Sunday: Before & After

      Today’s excerpt comes from my current WIP: WT: Incandescence. But we’re going to do things a little different. I’m going to post a super-short piece from the First Draft. Then, a tweaked and edited version from Draft Two.
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From the First Draft


      Forgive us, Father, for our trespasses tonight. You know we would not do this, had we any other option.
      It sounded like a feeble excuse to her own ears, but OLDLADYNAME knew it was a balm to soothe Hannah’s conscious for the girl was concerned. Possibly, she was more worried about jail time than her eternal soul, but OLDLADYNAME did not ask. She was content to know that the children she had raised were resourceful enough to survive and honest enough to care that they had broken-in to someone else’s home.
      Night had fallen and the forest was remarkably quiet around the trailer – that or the insulation was more noise-proof than she would have presumed. Now that she had been able to wash her hands and face, drink until her belly sloshed, and then satiated her hunger on some stale saltines, OLDLADYNAME felt her confidence returning.
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From the Second Draft


      “..and we ask you to forgive us, Father, for our trespasses this afternoon. You know we would not do this, had we any other option.”
      It sounded like a feeble excuse to her own ears, but OLDLADYNAME knew it was a balm to soothe Hannah’s conscience, for the girl was concerned. Possibly, she was more worried about potential jail time than about her eternal soul, but OLDLADYNAME preferred not to ask questions to which she did not want to know the answer. She was content to know that the children she had raised were resourceful enough to survive and honest enough to care that they had broken-in to someone else’s home.
      “Bless us with sweet dreams, and send your angels to protect this home tonight.”
      “Also, thank you for the beans and crackers,” Hannah said. Scrunching up her face, she stirred her portion of supper with a broken saltine.
      “That too,” OLDLADYNAME added, casting a disapproving glance at her. “Amen.”
      They sat around the table and ate their cold meal with little conversation. OLDLADYNAME supposed the children were just as wrung-out as she – though probably not half as physically exhausted.
      Night had fallen and the forest was remarkably quiet around the trailer – that or the insulation was more noise-proof than she would have presumed. Now, sitting here with freshly washed hands and face, having drunk well-water until her belly sloshed, and satiated her hunger, OLDLADYNAME felt her confidence returning. Some how, they were going to be okay.
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      And that’s it for today’s snippet. What did you think? Comments, questions, suggestions appreciated – let me hear about it below!

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.

Snippet Sunday: The Ghost of Adina

      Sorry for the late post, but at least I made it!

      Today’s excerpt comes from my current WIP: WT: Incandescence. It is from a scene in Part One and gives a bit of background on Grandmama Adina Torovaldi neé Goritelli, the family, and alludes to a great secret OLDLADYNAME hides in the deepest part of her heart.
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      Her hands shook with the palsy of age as they lay flat upon the beautiful, handmade quilt that covered her from breast to toe. Brown age spots were speckled across the paper-thin skin, thick, blue veins were nearly visible as they wound across the backs of her palms toward her fingers. Those had once been long and graceful; she had played the piano and the flute in her younger years. She had danced too – classical ballet – and sang, though not well.
      A faint smile played across wrinkled lips; the ancient woman tending gently to one who, while also old, was a babe in arms by comparison. With a steady, delicate touch, the elder began to ply a paddle brush upon the long, steel-colored locks of the younger woman. She lay her free palm upon her granddaughter-in-law’s brow, stroking the fevered flesh and murmuring soothing words as softly as possible.
      Adina Torovaldi neé Goritelli was in decline. She had not danced in a decade. Not since a tragic accident had claimed her daughter, Alyssa, her son-in-law, Benjamin, and their unborn child. Not since her husband, Iacomo Torovaldi, had succumbed to a broken heart upon hearing that his dear little Lyssie, their only daughter and the child he shamelessly favored, was dead. If her memory served, and it usually did, Adina’s mind had begun slipping away the day of Iacomo’s funeral though it had not gone into a full downward spiral until a year ago, spring. Alzheimer’s, they called it today. In her day, people went senile, lost their marbles, had bats in their belfries or were a brick short of a full load. It seemed crueler somehow, giving it a real, scientific name. But then, what about the disease was not cruel? A sickness that robbed a body of its memories, personality, loves and dreams and hates and fears – of everything that made them unique. In the end, as it was with sweet Adina, they were little more than a shell. A husk requiring round-the-clock supervision and care.
      “Sit up, dearest,” she coaxed Adina into a seated position so that she could brush the entire length of her hair. It was like silk, for they still treated it with great care as she would have wanted. She remembered a very special day, many decades ago, when she had combed and twisted and teased it into a magnificent curls. Such a beautiful bride, the old woman reflected, gingerly separating Adina’s hair into sections and creating two long plaits such as a schoolgirl would have worn back in her own youth. She supposed that children did not often wear twin braids anymore, though Hannah had, and the thought made her inexplicably sad.
      “The bad days are coming.”
      OLDLADYNAME gave a start, hands freezing mid-motion, and looked around. Directly across the room was a low bureau with a wide mirror that swallowed most of the wall. In it she saw her own reflection – an olive-skinned prune of a woman with more than one-hundred two years of life behind her – and that of her late grandson’s wife. Adina sat before her, those lovely violet eyes vacant and rheumy, with her hands limp upon her lap and her thin legs straight out, a pair of chopsticks beneath heavy blankets. As far as she could tell, neither of them had moved and she knew that she had not spoken.
After a heartbeat or two, the jolt of fear faded. Wrapping her arms around Adina, she began to rock back and forth and croon tunelessly. Though she told herself that she was trying to calm Adina, in her heart she admitted that it was her own pulse that was racing.
      “The bad days are coming.”
      The voice belonged to Adina, yet it was alien in a way that could not be explained away simply because it had been so long since she had spoken. OLDLADYNAME scarcely believed it had come from the frail form of Adina, so rich and strong was the tone. It was as if those five words were untouched by the age that had wracked Adina’s body and mind, leaving her a ninety-pound shadow of her former self.
      “Now, what do you mean by that, my love?” OLDLADYNAME asked, watching Adina’s face in the mirror.
      “You know.”
      Those two words sent daggers of ice into OLDLADYNAME’s ancient heart and she turned her gaze away from the image, busying her fingers by returning to the simple, repetitive motion of braiding Adina’s hair.
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      And that’s it for today’s snippet. What did you think? What awful secrets does OLDLADYNAME (tee-hee) harbor in the murkiest depths of her old heart? Comments, questions, suggestions appreciated – let me hear about it below!

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.

Snippet Sunday: The Forge

      Today’s excerpt comes from an old ‘character sketch’. There is more to her story, and perhaps at some point, I will edit the whole thing and see what comes out. For the moment, I just thought I’d share ‘The Forge’.
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      Her earliest memory was of the Forge.
      Distant, metallic clanking grating on her sensitive ears. Searing heat in the darkness. The hiss of a red-hot blade thrust into a cooling pan and the eerie bloody glow of the forge. The gaping maw of that same forge, horrible with flaming breath and the sour-sweet scent of ebonmoss burning to maintain the fire.
      She was aware that she was not alone, curled like a kicked puppy in the corner, her long, coltish legs drawn up to her chest and arms wrapped around her shins. There was the monster at the anvil, beating the spirit of the metal out of it as he bent raw elements to his will. He bellowed at the apprentince boy, one tenth his size and no more than ten years of age, and raged at the metal to assert himself as its master. There was another like her, though despite her keen vision she could not see very well through the dim, smoky, cavern, and she did know who it might be.
      Vaguely, in the farthest reaches of her half-dead mind, she recalled a handsome woman with hair like a hearthfire, all golden orange and gleaming in candlelight, who had held her to breast and stroked her own hair to comfort her. Those days were gone, why and how, she was not sure. With dim recognition she found herself fingercombing her own filthy mane of firegold locks, so dingy and caked with grime as to be more gray-black than orange-yellow.
      “Brat!” The monsterman at the forge growled. When the other did not stir and she felt the burning cold of the monster’s black eyes upon her. She leapt to her feet and nearly spilled to the floor again, weak from hunger and faint with exhaustion. Timidly she half-crawled half-walked, her fingers brushing the ash laden floor to ensure that she did not tumble forward, toward the massive iron anvil. He barked something in some rough tongue and the apprentice, who was nearly as anxious in the monsterman’s presence as she, stepped forward and braced himself, taking hold of her. Immediately, she was overcome with terror and though she had no idea what was coming, her arms flailed and she kicked for all her young body was worth.
      The monsterman spat a curse and threw his tools down furiously. In an instant he was upon her, her nostrils filled with the thick, rank stench of man sweat, sulfur, and whatever half-rotten meal he’d eaten that day. His hands were enormous, each as large as her head, and when those iron-hard fingers closed around her thin arms, she was sure that he would kill her. He would shatter her bones in his bare grip and then dash her skull against the wall and let the red and grey bits slip down until they made a splut on the rough stone floor.
      He slammed his fist into her chin, snapping her head back on her and then tossed her, barely conscious with a mouthful of blood, to the floor. She was crushed beneath the thick, filthy sole of his boot, her cheek mashed to the stone, his heel digging into her spine so hard she was sure it would snap. And then he was howling at the apprentice boy, who returned to thrust a tool into the burning mouth of the Forge. Her tears and screams fell upon deaf ears as the monsterman yelled impatiently and the apprentice cowered, whimpering.
      From the corner of her eye she caught sight of the other like her, a vicious scar marring a proud, handsome face. One elongated elven ear was cruelly sliced from its head and the left eye had been put-out by the same blade that left its mark across its face. There was a glimmer of recognition as one fine curl of glimmering firegold slipped down, hanging limply before the terrified hazel eyes. Mother! And the memories flooded her being in that single moment. Home, safety, warmth, love. The stern gaze of her father as he showed her how to hold a wooden sword and the comforting embrace he gave when she skinned a knee in her feverish climbing of trees. The handsome face that was all things to a child, a mother’s smile and tender ministrations. She knew only a heartbeat of anguish as she saw what the butchers had done to ravage her mother’s face, and recalled in the blink of an eye the chaotic destruction the Raiders had brought upon the tiny village in the trees. Young eyes had seen her father gutted like a pig for the spit, her elder sister raped and then her throat slit and her dead body abused still further. She had watched them dash her infant brother’s brains against the Heartwood, the clan’s sacred tree.
      But in the next moment her young body was lanced through with agony. The scent of burning flesh pushed past the monsterman’s foul odor to filled her head. Her vision burst into a field of white, as hot and searing as the branding iron he ground into her shoulder. The pain was such that she could not even cry out, that the tears dried in her eyes and her struggling went still.
      Only after the monsterman yanked the iron away, leaving a hideous, red mark in her flesh, did blessed oblivion finally take her.
      When she awoke, there was no memory left in her head of the tender home she had once known, nor the brutal destruction of it. The loving visage of parents and siblings was torn from her mind by the excruciating heat of the branding iron and whatever hope may have bubbled forth from one so young was smashed beneath the weight of the thick iron slave’s collar that coiled around her neck when she awoke.
      They had stolen everything from her; home, family, freedom. The girl had nothing to cling to in the steaming, fetid hell they had thrust her into… Nothing except for the name given to her at birth.
      Calithiewren.
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      And that’s it for today’s snippet. What did you think? Comments, questions, suggestions appreciated – let me hear about it below!

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.

Snippet Sunday: Satiating the Appetites

      Welcome to Snippet Sunday on PP.net! Today’s excerpt comes from the project alternately referred to as Rudabet and Queendom, neither of which are titles so much as identifiers. Anyhoo – this is from a chapter deep into Part One featuring one my favorite characters, Abeterus. He’s a naughty man. There are adult themes in the following snippet. Consider yourself warned.
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      A pair of exquisite young women, one with brilliant red hair and a second with hair as dark as jet, busied themselves at his table, setting out a feast for his supper. The delectable scents of roast duck and spicy tomato bisque wafted across the table to him and he sighed in pleasure.
      A fruitful day had given way to what he hoped would be a fruitful night. There was food enough for two or three; fresh, dark bread with herbed butter, a wedge of horrible-smelling but delicious soft cheese, a mix of roasted winter vegetables, cubed and salted, the piping hot soup and of course, the duck. Abeterus was tempted to call the red-head back, to connect the freckles upon her flesh with his tongue and to spend himself, tangled in that vivid mane. He refrained and instead, dug into the food with relish.
      He had been called to a war council at noon and been privy to all manner of preparations for the coming attack upon Baidra. Despite his status, General Abeterus had remained mostly silent during the long discussion. He had endured tedious objections from old, done men who lacked the spine to return to the battlefield; worse than them were the young men who should have been eager to grab glory but instead, whined about leaving their wives’ beds or the distance or the weather. Who waged a war in Winter, anyway, they had cried, bleating like sheep, the Campaign could wait until Spring or Summer. To his surprise, the Emperor had been most insistant that they conquer Baidra as soon as possible. He had mentioned the possibility of naming his bastard son, Iaokobas, as a governor once the island belong to the Empire. No one objected, least of all Abeterus who had suggested the idea to Lelivia, but from the expressions upon some of the other generals, not all of them appreciated the idea. After the debacle that Laravor’s eldest bastard had caused a decade ago, the thought of any of the Emperor’s bastards with any sort of power was worrisome.
      Arescovar was dead now, but he was only first of seven known bastards. Oriola, the simpering, spineless beauty, had been the second born and was her father’s spitting image. Lelivia had kept the girl close when she was young, but married her off as soon as she flowered. Iaokobas was mere months older than Laravor’s eldest legitimate son, and seemed a decent sort, but he had only been granted short visits at court by his sickly, over-protective mother. There was another girl after Iaokobas, Giaoxa, who was black-eyed and comely, but she and Alektos had been caught in a compromising position two years ago, and she had been married off immediately. Abeterus was not convinced that Giaoxa’s toddler, Fuarius, was sired by her sudden husband and not by her half-brother, but he supposed it mattered little. Neither Giaoxa, nor her son, would ever sit the Imperial throne.
      A fourth bastard was called Palinos, and was Giaoxa’s full sibling. He was a handsome youth, but callow. Fifth was another girl, too young to marry, and last, a young boy whose mother had given him the preposterously presumptuous name of Laravon, as if he were a legitimate child who deserved the familial moniker.
      Abeterus chewed thoughtfully on a greasy mouthful of duck, wiping a dribble from his chin, and concluded that his plans were in motion and for all intents and purposes, managing quite well. His eyes flickered toward the door. Soon, Laravor would be abroad again with a long, perilous campaign ahead of him. There would be no lack of opportunities for an assassin’s blade to find his back, for a drop of poison in his wine, to smother him with one of the fine, silk-covered pillows on his featherbed. For one blissful moment, Abeterus imagined he were the one holding that downy violet pillow, the fringe spilling through his fingers as he gripped it in fists gone white from the exertion. Then he took another bite of his supper and sat back in his chair, licking his fingertips.
      He would have to resign himself to allowing a cat’s paw to relish the actual deed, instead spending the next twenty years of his life ravishing the Emperor’s beautiful blonde widow. It was a worthwhile trade-off.
      With a frown, Abeterus cast a gaze at the window and watched the setting sun linger in the western sky. It was getting late and his expected guest was increasingly tardy. Suddenly the dinner he had so eagerly devoured turned to a brick in his belly and Abeterus pushed his chair away from the table. What could be the delay? Had they been discovered? Was the conspiracy over before it even began?
      A soft knock sounded on the door and the General motioned for the meek little slave boy to open the door. A tall figure stepped through the door, enveloped by a plain brown cloak of roughspun. Abeterus took immediate note of the silver-shot leather boots and loose-fitting red silk trousers peeking out from beneath the cape and shook his head.
      “You’ve a lot to learn, boy.”
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      Whew! Who has a lot to learn? A co-conspirator is about to be revealed! I’m actually very excited to get back to work on this piece. The full outline is complete and more than half of the first draft is done as well. So, what do you think? Comments, questions, suggestions, requests? Let me hear it below!

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.

Snippet Sunday: Gruesome Discovery

      Today’s excerpt comes from my current WIP: WT: Incandescence. It is from a scene in Part One in which our sibling protagonists have just heard a weak cry for help in the distance. Naturally, being the good kids they are, Mike & Hannah immediately try to help.
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      They crashed through the foliage. Hannah slipped on some wet leaves and stumbled on behind him, but he did not dare stop for her. Not for anything. That voice – the child it belonged to – needed help.
      Suddenly he found that his boots were crunching upon gravel rather than underbrush. He stopped short having at last found the source of the cries.
      About one hundred yards up the narrow gravel road there was a head-on collision. Hannah moved to dash toward the wreckage, but Michael held her back, observing for a long moment. There as no steam, no smoke, no audible dripping or frankly, any sound but the increasingly minute sobs of a child. Motioning to her to stay put, Michael approached slowly and was physically sickened by the carnage.
      A little red, open-topped Jeep – not so different from his own, though perhaps ten years older – had exploded against the grill of a monstrous, jacked-up four-by-four Ford. So had its occupants. Whoever had been driving the Jeep was now a brownish-red splotch of gore upon the dash. Michael was not sure if it were all damage from the crash or if the scavengers had feasted on the remains. The front passenger was not quite as bad off, though equally as dead, for her limbs appeared to be in tact and her torso had not been smashed as thoroughly. Unfortunately, her face was horrific, bloody pulp. One eye, a pretty blue one, dangled obscenely from the socket. The other was gone entirely.
      Had he eaten in the past twenty-four hours, he would have lost his stomach contents there on the side of the road.
      “Stay back,” he groaned, heaving again. Then he mastered himself and drew the collar of his shirt up over his nose and mouth.
      There had been a third passenger in the Jeep, but the young man had been ejected and lay sprawled across the hood of the Ford. He had lived long enough to soil himself despite compound fractures of both arms that left disturbingly white edges of bones jabbing up through the bloody flesh. Or maybe his bowels had released as he died, Michael really was not sure how it worked. Maybe he exsanguinated, Michael found himself thinking as he edged closer to the door of the truck, looking for the child. A massive puddle of blood had pooled beneath him and dripped down to the gravel road. After years of watching CSI reruns, Michael knew that a human being could not lose that much blood and survive.
      Surprisingly – or not, if you happened to be a fan of heavy-duty American pick-up trucks – the Ford appeared to have suffered only minimal damage. Though the front bumper was crushed and the hood dented, both were superficial. Michael imagined that if he had needed to, he could have started that beast up and driven it away. He thanked God that though he needed a vehicle, he was not in such dire straights that he would even consider removing the bodies and climbing in.
      “Mike? Did you find him?” Hannah had remained back, as directed, but she was leaning to one side as if she could get an angle to see inside the Ford. He shook his head at her, laying his index finger upon his lips, then turned back to the truck. On tip-toe, Michael moved around to the driver’s seat.
      The woman was dead but seemed unmolested by the wildlife, perhaps because her window was raised and her door closed. Michael could not immediately tell how she had died, but the livid bruise upon her right temple may have had something to do with it. He could not see though the tinted windows into the back of the extended cab, so he worked his way around the bed – in which he saw a shovel, a pick-axe and a wheel-barrel along with a lawnmower and other gardening implements.
      The passenger’s door hung an inch or two ajar and there were obvious, limping tracks leading north from the road. For a moment or two, Michael considered trying to follow the person, who was likely local and knew the way out of the woods. Then he heard a weak cough and his heart sank – that did not sound good.
      Cautiously, Michael peeked into the front seat and then opened the passenger side door. The child in the back perked up slightly, coughing again and asking for his Mommy. With the utmost care, Michael climbed over the seat and gave the kid a once-over, looking for obvious injuries. He found none.
      “It’ll be okay, kid, shush now. I gotcha,” Michael cooed, unfastening the seatbelt and trying to remove him from the complicated straps. The boy felt cool to the touch and gave no resistence as he was pulled from the carseat; Michael would have felt better about it if he had cried and bit and kicked.
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      And that’s it for today’s snippet. What did you think? Too much? Poor kid. In my original outline, he didn’t make it. Somehow, in the actual writing of the scene, Hannah refused to let that happen and managed to save him. For now. Comments, questions, suggestions appreciated – let me hear about it below!

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.

Snippet Sunday: A Fool Indeed

      Welcome to Snippet Sunday at PP.net! This week’s excerpt comes from my current WIP, WT: Incandescence and features a 102-year-old great-great-grandmother tromping through the wilderness with her descendants, Michael & Hannah.
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      “Ah, you had to be there, I guess,” she fanned herself, still giggling at the memory of Giacomo fainting dead away there on the side of county road three-twenty-three. It was strange how there were some moments of her vast years which were crisp and clear as one of those high definition television sets, yet others were foggy at best.
      Now, as she walked in silence beside her great-great-grandchildren, [OLDLADYNAME] glanced back over her shoulder. She could hardly make out the clearing from this distance, even knowing exactly where it lay. It felt as if they had been marching through the forest for hours, days even. Her arthritic knees were screaming with each step, though she voiced no complaint. The head of her cane wore an imprint into her palm and though she switched hands from time to time, the pain followed, like glass grinding into the knobby joints of every finger on either hand.
      It occurred to her that she really had no idea where they were headed. East, Michael had said, away from the carnage. The sun sets in the west, so we just have to head in the opposite direction.
      Although that was prudent, [OLDLADYNAME] did not see how walking in a straight line, possibly into the deep wilderness of wherever they were – because they had no idea where the inexplicable event (that was how they had chosen to think of it, rather than discuss it in earnest) had dropped them.
      For all that she had lived in Washington her entire life, [OLDLADYNAME] has not terribly familiar with its many regions. She had been born in Seattle and lived on the penninsula – near the coast – ever since. Her geographic knowledge of the Eastern half of the state was allegorical; things she had read, or seen on television, or been told, but nothing she knew from experience. In fact, she reflected as she limped alongside her grandchildren, both of whom had shortened their long strides to accomodate her ungainly pace, she could not even remember the last time she had crossed the Cascades.
      Tromping through the forest at one-hundred and two years old was a foolish idea, she decided. She had begun to wheeze, sweating despite the cold, and her feet felt swollen inside her shoes. She hated to be a burden to the children, but there was no choice. A forced march with no water, no food, and no idea what had happened or where they were was terrible.
      “Dafuzina, please,” she croaked, stopping to lean against a sturdy Ponderosa pine. She had not spoken since the last stone was set upon Adina’s makeshift grave and it scratched her throat and wounded her pride, to have to beg now. “I need to rest.”
      Hannah, proving herself more empathetic than she often seemed, rushed back to her side and helped her to sit down. [OLDLADYNAME] felt old for the first time in many years. She had always been hale, healthy as a thoroughbred with strong eyes and more endurance than she had ever needed. There had been an appendectomy when she was in her fifties and of course, some of the typical ailments of age, but she had hardly been sick a day in her life and even childbirth had been fairly easy for her. Today she felt as if all the aches and pains and illnesses she had avoided in the past century had been dumped upon her at once.
      She was afraid that she would die.
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      Yes, I have omitted the old woman’s name in the snippet. Mostly, because I am waiting to hear back from my beta readers to see if they think it should remain or be changed. But otherwise, what do you think? Comments, questions, suggestions – let me hear them below!

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.

Snippet Sunday: Sociopathic Tendencies

Snippet Sunday: Sociopathic Tendencies

      Today’s snippet is the opening of Chapter Three from the first draft of a WIP with no title just yet. I’ve referred to it alternately as Rudabet, after the protagonist, and Queendom because it features one. Either way, this chapter introduces Reeve Elsvet and she is a real piece of work.
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Chapter Three

      The hall was damnably drafty as the Reeve of Echo Bay held court. A line of petitioners stretched the length of the room and it was all she could do to refrain from rolling her eyes and heaving a sigh. Another dull, interminable afternoon wasted, she thought, turning her gaze toward the great doors at the back of the chamber. After fifteen years chained to this seat, Elsvet could tell the time of day from the light that filtered through the cracks no matter the season nor the weather. Just now, it was past noon, and she had been dispensing judgement since dawn.
      She could smell the mid-afternoon repast being set out in the anteroom, hot bread and butter, mulled wine, roast beef with thyme and basted carrots. The scents triggered memories of finer feasts and for a moment, she was a child again, marvelling at the spun sugar confections, the candied fruit pastries, braised duck, suckling pig, the puddings and mashes flavored with half-a-hundred exotic spices from places she had never even heard of, and of course, the wines. Pale gold from Gallis, deep burgundy from northern Nabarais, rich claret from Hollir and her favorite, the slightly bubbly champagne from Estros with its delicate pink color and natural sweetness.
      “…Lady Elsvet?”
      The trilling, nasal voice of her Scribe, Gunildor, interrupted her idle thoughts and dragged her, kicking and screaming, back to reality. He tapped a finger against the parchment page she held in her hand. “The guildmaster would like to request an extra twenty bushels of flour be made available to them, from the city’s own mill, to help offset the losses they took during the flood last month. Is that acceptable to you, Lady Elsvet?”
      She paused a long moment, tapping a long fingernail to her lips in a pose of exaggerated pensiveness. Best to appear thoughtful, she thought, schooling her expression and staring down at the Guildmaster with critical brown eyes.
      “Petition the seneschal on the morrow,” she said at last, standing. “If he believes we can spare the flour, then the matter is settled.” Before Gunildor or the Guildmaster could object, Elsvet lifted a hand. “Enough. I am weary. We are adjourned for the day.”
      “But, Lady Elsvet,” Gunildor began, chasing after her. The small man stumbled over his plain brown robes, struggling to match his short stride to her long-legged one. Though she was well aware of this, Elsvet did not relent, forcing him to practically run to keep up. She flung the door to her dining room open and breezed across the tiled floor, assaulted by the scents of her dinner. With a grunt, she threw herself into the plush chair at the head of the small table, one leg looped over the arm of the chair.
      “Lady Elsvet,” the scribe tried again, shuffling through the armful of parchments. “There are several vital petitions left that absolutely must be adjudicated today. For instance-”
      “Gunildor, enough! I am done listening to all these ridiculous, droning feeble-minded fools. They plague me day and night! Lower our taxes, Reeve, give us flour. The Lost Men in the forest are stealing our sheep, Reeve, send your guards in to rout them.” Elsvet scooped a fresh, hot roll from the platter and tore it open. “I am sick to death of whining petitioners. The floods were terrible, but would they not be better served if they toddled off to rebuild their hovels rather than stink up my Audience Hall?”
      Gunildor ducked his head, hiding his expression behind a veil of stringy brown hair. Though he had served the Reeve of Echo Bay for only two years, his time in the position eclipsed all five of his predecessors by at least six months. He was accustomed to her fickleness, her tempestuous nature, her queer, quiet calms and even her occasional fits of rage. Yet somehow, she still surprised him from time-to-time, usually when her utter lack of empathy reached a new low.
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      And that’s that. Hope you enjoyed it. As always, please comment, add suggestions, questions, whatever you have to say below. I look forward to next Sunday, when I should have a snippet from WT: Incandescence ready to share.

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.

Snippet Sunday: Light Of Lun

Snippet Sunday: Light Of Lun

      What follows is the first of (probably) many snippets which I hope to post here. It is the opening of Chapter Two in the first draft of a project my partner & I began a couple of years ago. Its current working title is The Light of Lun, but I can almost guarantee that that will change. I apologize in advance for the naughty language – but if you knew this character as well as I do, you would not be surprised by it. *grin*
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Chapter Two

      Snow smothered the land, crushing grasses and flowers with its heavy,
white girth. It weighed down the boughs of naked trees and heaped upon
bushes and hedges until they split beneath the onslaught. It blurred
out the graceful lines of the buildings and left everything looking
like unwieldy, awkward clumps of white mud. Piles of dung.
      Steaming, hideous piles of shit.
      She hated the snow, despised the cold, abhorred ice. She fucking
hated the confining clothes that she was forced to wear to protect
delicate flesh from its black, frozen touch. She hated this land,
hated the necessity of it; she hated that her brethren had taken to
using ice and cold in all its destructive forms against their wayward
enemy.
      Eyes like chips of the bluest sapphire surveyed the surrounding area.
Nothing moved. The blizzard that had obscured the moons all night
seemed to have buried everything and everyone – a solid, heavy, white
coffin that had closed upon the entire world. She snorted at the
thought. Everyone except me. And, she allowed glancing to her left,
her, I guess.
      She was a hunter and needed no heeled-shoe bitch chasing around
behind her, killing her stealth and announcing their presence with her
dramatic looks and the flash of her jewel-tipped staff in the cold
sunlight. Yet here they were, a team, a pair…partners.
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      And that’s a start. Hope you enjoyed it. Any comments? Suggestions? Requests for more? Let me know below!

Love & Rainbows,
P.P. <3