Snippet Sunday #5 – The River’s Dark

It’s Sunday! The day when writers participating in Snippet Sunday share short sections of their stories for your perusal and entertainment.

Mine is from an early draft of a fantasy novel I’m working on, The River’s Dark.

First a quick recap: In last week’s snippet, my main character Lyria made a difficult choice to leave her brother Bray, who’s fallen gravely ill, in the care of Zara, a girl she hardly knows and who Lyria is not sure she can trust.

This week’s snippet follows fairly closely on: Lyria has found the healer, Wade, an old man who moves much too slowly for her liking, and has alerted him to Bray’s illness. She’s about to discover something devastating.

Hope you enjoy, and please let me know any comments below! As this is a draft, your feedback is a great help and may influence future versions. Exciting, right?

For more great snippets or to take part and share your work, pop in to the Sunday Snippets Facebook page.

Thanks for reading 🙂


‘Barely breathing you say,’ Wade frowned as he wiped his hands meticulously, finger by finger, until the white cloth was stained dark red. ‘And can you tell me, how long ago did these particular symptoms begin?’

‘I don’t know. An hour? We went to the City this morning and he wasn’t feeling well when we got back. So I made him some tea and –’

‘Tea? What sort of tea?’

‘Fairbane. I brew it up for him when he needs it and it helps his breathing.’

‘Foolish child! Fairbane is an accumulative and very powerful. It should only be administered by someone trained in the healing arts. How much did you give him? When was his last dose?’

Lyria flushed. ‘I brewed three spoons of leaves and added a little powdered root in. He had a similar dose three or four days ago. And another five days before that.’

Wade tutted, and began to load bottles and jars into a large box.

‘Carry this. We must move quickly.’

Lyria swallowed. ‘Is it… my fault?’

Wade did not look at her, but kept organising his things, his movements suddenly efficient and focused. ‘Next time – if we are granted a next time – bring him straight to me.  I don’t know why you didn’t in the first place…’

Lyria felt tears sting her eyes. ‘I didn’t want Essena to know,’ she said.

‘And so you risked his life? Because you didn’t want Essena to know? Well she will know about this, you can be sure of that. I only hope we are not too late.’

30 thoughts on “Snippet Sunday #5 – The River’s Dark

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