Because this blog is used to post literary works in installments, I highly suggest consulting the BLOG ARCHIVE to the right side of the screen, which will enable you to start at the beginning of whichever piece you care to read.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Part I: Excerpt from "Song of the Blood"

The drum beat with her heart; her bare feet sounded its rhythm on the hardwood stage. She could feel the music burning through her veins; with every gasping breath her lungs seared. She spun, rolling her head and stretching her arms, then rotated her hips sinuously, sinking lower to the ground as the thick muscles in her thighs burned.

She danced. Deliberately and yet without thought, she threw her body to the air and the power of the beat, letting the tones catch her and resonate through her. It hurt: it burned, it scorched and stabbed and sliced and she didn't want it to end. It had to, though, she knew-- and even now her movements became more frenzied as she sensed the closing and pushed the last of her strength into the final movements.

Finally, blissfully, mercifully, torturously, the music ended. The last beats were stroked from the drum, the bow eased slowly across the fiddle's strings, and she rose from her deep curtsy with exhausted grace.

The room exploded in applause, and Sera gasped as identity flooded her awareness and she struggled to calm her racing heart. She had forgotten who she was, had forgotten that she wasn't alone, had forgotten that she performed: forgotten all but the music and her soul's command to respond, to dance. Her eyes darted around the crowded tavern as she recalled her surroundings, and willpower alone kept her from fleeing out into the rainy night with all haste.

Instead, she assumed her best semblance of serenity as she turned to the musicians and curtsied to them as well, bowing her head in gratitude for the dance, swept one last curtsy to the crowd as if she had meant all along to be the evening's entertainment, and accepted a hand down from the stage. Among the crowd, she dodged questions and admirers and gave in at last to her panicked impulse to run.


The man in the shadows, seated at the back corner of the tavern, watched her. His cold grey eyes noted the lovely girl’s frantic gaze and rapid flight with interest that was not lost to his companion. The other man, smaller, with full red hair and a neatly trimmed beard, tipped back his tankard and watched his friend over the rim as he sipped.

“It’s her, isn’t it?” He asked quietly as he set the mug down and wiped his mouth.

For a moment, he feared his partner wouldn’t answer. Finally, however, the larger man grunted what he took to be an affirmative. “What do you see?” The first man demanded, his cold eyes not leaving the stairs.

His companion obediently closed his blue eyes and focused his sharp mind on the future, pushing his energy into the Sight that was his line’s gift. The larger man waited patiently, until the seer finally opened his eyes with a sigh. “It’s time,” was all he said.

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