To be honest I didn’t know what I wanted to write this blog post about. There were a lot of things swirling around in my head and I honestly didn’t know what I wanted to write this one on so instead I wanted to give you guys a sneak peak into one of the stories that I am currently working on. It’s going to be a collection of short stories and this is one of them. Enjoy a little preview.
She was cold but never shivered. From a distant part of her mind she was curious at the thought of being cold when she was sitting in the sand of a desert. She knew faintly that she wasn’t actually cold. The sun was beating down an impressive rhythm on her back, pushing her knees deeper and deeper into the burning sands. The metal laurel in her hands was burning her but she still felt cold.
This cold was different from any that she had ever experienced before. When the Winter Court brought their cold, it was a slow nipping that turned to a harsh biting and numbness; it was painful and then it stopped. This cold gripped her heart, it spread through her veins with every beat. The steady progression thrummed through her, turned her tongue to stone and her thoughts to molasses. Everything was cold. And that fire that she held in her body, the fire that made her magic, dimmed and flickered.
A hand caressed her face, and a face she knew as well as her own came into view. Azaziah’s brown skin and long features slowed the cold, stemmed it, but the cold crept through her. His handsome familiar features were soft, that hard line of his mouth caught in the white of his teeth. His hand brushed the grime and dust from her cheek and she slowly dragged her eyes to meet his. Warm brown met brilliant amber and then he spoke:
“I’m sorry.” Her lips twisted as if she was trying to chew on the words. Sorry. Sorry implied fault, like he could have done something. But she knew just like everyone else that there was nothing that could be done. She twisted her lips again and then spoke.
“There was nothing that you could have done,” her voice caught her by surprise. The lilting, dancing tones of her voice reduced to a sluggish, hoarse crawl. This voice was not her’s yet it came from her throat. Azaziah didn’t comment on it and just brought her into his arms. They stayed like that for awhile, kneeling in the sand. And when the sky turned dark they pulled apart to stare at the stars and the broken moon.
“It seems the Night Court has begun their mourning,” she observed. She still felt detached, a passive participant in her own life. Azaziah got up and offered her a hand to rise but she ignored it choosing to lay out in the sand.
“My liege, it is time for you to return to court. It is not befitting of you to be here.”
She scoffed. “Already back to being my servant, Zazi? Couldn’t be my friend for a moment longer?”
She could feel the air become dead. Azaziah had a strange ability to change nothing of his demeanor but change the atmosphere around him. It served her husband well none too long ago.
“I am your bodyguard and servant first. Your friend second. It would be better for you to return to the palace. You’ll be safe there,” Azaziah countered in an even tone.
It was logical. As the remaining monarch, she needed to be safe. She thought about returning to court. The dress of black and silver she would don and the festivities she would sit through, a silent spectator as mourning queen were solemn and quiet; a grim reminder of the life that ended while partygoers drank the alcohol and ate the food she payed for. She thought of the peasant funeral that she witnessed once. A Fae woman bawled loudly, throwing herself into the ground with her grief. Her grieving was ugly and barbaric but the thought of sitting still and not being about to weep almost broke her.
“No. I will stay here,” she declared, her eyes briefly flickering to Azaziah before returning to the stars.
“But my liege, the court will be awaiting you. You will have much more responsibilities now that the king has passed.” Another logical argument but logic ran out the window with rainbow wings when her brother was foolish enough to challenge the throne. She gave a light shrug that shifted more sand into her hair and ears.
The gritting of teeth could be heard. It was a sound so familiar she could have laughed. Always so formal and obedient. So by the rules. “As captain of the guard and your personal bodyguard I must insist that you return to the palace.” She let herself look at him. His ebony locks melded with the night but his black and silver wings shivered, a night sky full of stars attached to his back. She had always believed the Fae of the Night Court had the most beautiful wings.
“No. I refuse.”
“Yes. I am your queen. I am Queen Sorcha Fiore, Matron of House Fiore and your legie. And I wish to be alone right now.” Her voice while still hoarse was even. The air stilled again. Sorcha had never used her rank against him before, it was a first, a change. She could feel something inside of her fracture and break, but Azaziah’s face never changed. He nodded.
“Of course my queen. I forgot myself.” And then he was gone blending into the night he was born to. She turned her eyes back to the stars.
And that was when the fire that she held in her body, the fire that made her magic, dimmed and flickered.
And then finally went out.
This is a short preview of one of the short stories in the new book that I am writing called The Dust of Time. I’m not sure when it will come out but it will…eventually. Tell me what you think.
(The above image is not mine and is not going to be featured in my book.)