It’s the second round of picture flash fiction. As usual, I’m staring at it and wondering what to write 😉 Only one thing pops to mind. A piece out of the my on-going serial or trilogy. I haven’t really decided how it’s going to progress, yet. It’s epic in my mind, so…
Anyway, we’re taking a jump into Red Sky Dawning. Sorry, it’s going to be just a snippet out of the blue , but it’s more of an aside to the novel. You can read the first four chapters by clicking on the link to Free Reads in the nav bar it you wish. Otherwise, here’s a bit with Aelwyn…
Aelwyn looked up from the pages she’d been scouring and glanced at the door to her chambers as the thick, wooden slab swung inwards. Her brother’s personal guard, Captain Tarn, stood in the opening, his armour gleaming in the bright light. His distorted shadow stretched out across the floor, reaching towards her like a wraith.
She placed the tome down on the small table beside her, then slowly rose. She nodded, glancing over the man’s shoulder. “Captain Tarn.”
The man shifted on his feet, gazing around the small room as if expecting something to leap out at him. “Cane has requested your presence in the throne room. If you’d please come with me.” He motioned to the corridor and adjoining staircase.
“Aern is King of Aldhaven, not Cane. I don’t take orders from him.” She crossed her arms over her chest. “If my father wises to see me, he can summon me, himself.”
Colour rose high on the man’s cheeks as his hands fisted at his sides. “Your father is ill. His time here is quickly diminishing. Besides, you know that Cane speaks for him.”
“What I know is that my father is currently dying from a disease I could cure if he’d only ask.”
Tarn glared at her, pursing his lips together as if simply being in her presence sickened him. “You know you are forbidden to use your dark arts.”
“Since when is healing someone evil?”
“Since it was abolished centuries ago.”
Aelwyn shook her head. “You mean since my grandfather had every healer within the kingdom killed. If my mother were alive—”
“Your mother died bringing you into this world.” Tarn took a step forward, one hand lifting to rest on the hilt of his sword. “That should be proof enough that you weren’t meant to survive.”
Guilt and pain settled unforgivingly in her core as tears stung her eyes. Why she even bothered to try and reason with anyone was a mystery. Only her brother had ever seen her as anything other than a monster. As someone worthy of love.
She forced herself to swallow around the ball of emotion stuck in her throat. “Are you so sure I’m the reason she’s dead?”
Tarn frowned. “How could there be any other reason?”
“Perhaps you only see what others want you to.”
“I see perfectly fine.” He motioned to the cloak lying across the back of a chair. “I suggest you wear your cloak. It’s quite cool outside. I’ll wait for you in the Keep. Don’t keep me waiting, Princess.”
Aelwyn sneered at the man’s back as he marched out of her chambers, not bothering to close the door behind him. Not that she’d expected him to. Respect wasn’t a virtue many bestowed upon her. And she’d only be wasting her energy if she lamented that fact.
She walked over to the chair, gathering the red fabric in her hands. A gift from her brother. One of the few possessions she actually coveted. The soft garment eased some of the tension bunching her shoulders as she wrapped it around her, lifting the hood to cover her head. Not that it would hide her identity. Her father’s soldiers would recognize the cloak—know it was her. But at least it would spare her having to see their reactions as she walked down the corridor. Shield her from the blatant hatred that would follow her every step. And all because she was different. Because she’d been born with a gift long since condemned.
She was bigger than this. Stronger. And when Aelrik finally became king, she’d show everyone how wrong they’d been. How Cane was the monster who dwelled with the castle walls, not her.
She sighed. It was a dream at best. Even if Aelrik freed her from her tower, she knew her people would never embrace her power. Never trust her or see her as anything other than an abomination. That regardless of where she slept, she’d never truly be free.
The sides of her cloak fluttered in the wind as she walked along the stone path. Tarn waited at the entrance to the Keep, his face pulled tight, his back stiff. She paused just long enough to draw herself up—mask any pain that still lingered inside her. She’d play her part. Bide her time so Aelrik didn’t have to suffer on her behalf. But it wasn’t a role she’d play forever.
And that’s it for me. I seriously have nothing else. But go visit the other ladies.