[EDIT: The long weekend has confused me so much I thought it was Sunday already! I’m a day early! Well good to be ahead of schedule for once… 🙂 ]
Well that week went quickly. I’ve had a slow and frustrating week as far as writing goes. My baby has been staying up late and I’ve been falling asleep putting him to bed, and missing my work time. The long weekend is giving me a little time to catch up.
Last week’s snippet introduced you to Lyria, one of my main characters. Today I’m posting a section from the scene where Lyria meets Zara, Essena’s niece, whose care she’s entrusted with…
For more snippets, or to participate and post a short section of your WIP, check out the Facebook group here.
Wishing you all a happy Easter.
‘I have a task for you,’ Essena’s voice was grave.
Lyria’s heart raced. Finally, she wanted to say. It was all she could do to stop from grinning.
‘This is Zara, daughter of Kirin,’ the old woman continued.
Lyria nodded. She had heard of Kirin. He was Essena’s elder brother, head of a powerful Varin that occupied the stretch of river adjacent to the slums, on the far side of the City. All Varin guarded their reputations jealously, but Kirin’s was almost legendary. He had stolen from Kings, assassinated High Priests, and he ruled his family group with a grip like a crab’s pincer.
‘Kirin is experiencing… some troubles at present…’ Essena began.
Lyria raised an eyebrow. She could see that Essena was hesitant, seeking for the right words. This was a woman who never said anything other than exactly what she thought, regardless of the consequences. It was why her people trusted her so completely.
‘A challenger,’ Lyria said, not wanting to prolong the conversation. ‘I’ve heard.’
‘What you may not have heard is that the challenger has signed a blood pact to take Zara. Kirin felt it might be suitable for his daughter to spend some time elsewhere, until matters are… settled.’
Lyria glanced at Zara. If the girl was perturbed by the price that had been set on her life she did not give any sign of it. Her eyes and mouth danced with laughter. Her posture was confident, unafraid.
‘I’d like you to make her feel at home. Make sure she has what she needs. She will not be travelling ashore for some time so I would ask you to stay with her. Whatever you can do to keep her amused…’
‘Oh Essa, I’ll be happy just to get to know my family better. My father always speaks of you so warmly. I know it sounds silly but in a way I’m happy that this has happened, that I’ve been sent here. My life was becoming rather dull…’
Essena nodded and allowed a gentle smile to touch her lips.
‘Nothing like a blood pact to liven things up,’ Lyria muttered, and Essena frowned and turned.
‘I hope you feel capable of undertaking the task assigned you?’
Lyria swallowed. ‘Of course. But… was that it?’
Essena’s gaze became steely. ‘What were you expecting?’
‘I just… I thought that maybe you were calling me because I had been chosen.’
‘You think this is not a choosing? I entrust you the care of my blood?’ Essena shook her head and looked away.