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Monday, January 3, 2011

Part II: Excerpt from "Song of the Blood"

 Upstairs, Sera struggled to change out of her sweat-soaked clothes with hands that shook. She loved to dance, but it wasn’t safe and she knew it. How could she have let herself be so stupid? She berated herself mentally as she frantically set about packing her few belongings. She should never have stayed in the tavern when she found out there were performers that night—it didn’t matter how hungry or cold or tired she was! For when she heard music, invariably it captured her, inescapable, and she was unable to disobey until the dance had run its course. She forgot herself completely, helpless to do anything but allow the music and her bloodline to turn her body into a living, moving work of art.

Fey-touched was the technical term for the enchantment, handed down through her family’s lineage for generations, but she called it a curse. The inevitability of it infuriated her, but more than that, it was dangerous. Most of the world had forgotten that the myths about the Duresk line were based in fact, but not all of it. Far too many people had been in the room—someone had to have noticed the attention she drew to herself, both with her prowess and her reluctance. The Warlord’s spies could be anywhere. She had to leave at once.

Donning her shawl, she slung her backpack over her shoulder and ran for the door.

Before she could reach it, the door flew open! It slammed against the wall; two men stormed in, and Sera gasped, letting out a shriek of alarm as they advanced on her. She backed away, but there was nowhere for her to go—the window was shut, and she’d never get it open before they reached her even if she cared to brave the three-story drop.

Losing her head completely, she dropped her bag and darted between them, fleeing for her life. Her desperate bid for freedom was to no avail; they reached out for her, too fast to avoid, each of them seizing one of her arms in a vice-like grip.

Sera opened her mouth to scream in earnest, clawing at them, and found a hard cloth ball shoved between her teeth. Working with silent efficiency and ignoring her pitiful attempts to struggle, they bound her arms behind her, her legs together, and the gag behind her head. Finally, they divested her of her few weapons, searching her writhing form thoroughly, and the larger, black-haired man threw her trussed body over his shoulder. The smaller man picked up her bag, and they ghosted from the room. Within a minute, no one in the outside world even aware, Sera’s hard-won freedom had been stripped from her, and she found herself a helpless prisoner.

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