It seems that autumn is finally at the door, although I know one can never be totally sure. Weather is chaos after all. Still this is my favorite time of year! (And, no, it’s not because I’m fond of pumpkin spice – I actually don’t like it in my coffee.) But still a brisk cool morning after a slightly longer night just feels exhilarating.
Last week I started sharing snippets from Quest of the Dreamwalker. We met the captain, Mason Khoury, now let’s meet our heroine. Cara is a meek young woman who, at the start of the novel, doesn’t even have a name. Her father merely calls her Daughter. As you will see, he’s not really a warm fuzzy kind of father.
“When she opened her eyes, Father stood before her. Reith Carter’s death had restored the old man’s power. His face was fleshed out, his hands smooth, his height restored. And there was a dangerous gleam in his eye.
“What mischief have you done, girl?”
She shrank back in the chair, the book sliding from her lap as he leaned down with a cruel smile. She didn’t need her gift to tell her Father was not himself. Sometimes the ritual did this. He would become another man for a time, often a violent one. And at such times, she feared him with good reason.
“What have I done?” she protested, stalling for time as her heart pounded like the wings of a bird against the cage of her ribs.
“Do you deny consorting with prisoners?”
She knew the question was a trap. Neither a confession nor a simple lie would placate him, and she froze.
“Well? Answer me.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“You can do better than that. C’mon, lie to me,” he hissed. With a flick of his finger a whip of flame lashed her arm, raising a blistered welt and making her cry out in shock.
“In the dining room, I heard a voice,” she whispered, hoping to placate him with truth. “I was curious. You saw me. But I left when you told me to.” Tears dripped from her lashes. His nearness was suffocating.
“That wasn’t hard,” he said, drawing back. “Was it?”
She shook her head slightly, not trusting his sudden ease.
“It was the red-haired one, wasn’t it?” he said as if refreshing his memory, though she doubted he needed to. “A strong man, indeed. I’ll enjoy killing him.” Then her father gripped the arms of the chair, trapping her in her seat. “But I think you’ve neglected a part of the story.” Little angry curls of smoke rose from the fabric beneath his hands to dance between them.
“There’s nothing more to tell,” she said weakly.
He slapped her cheek and gripped her chin with hot fingers, forcing her to meet his glare. His breath was foul.
“No?” he asked. “Then who is Mason Khoury?”
Thank you for coming by today. I hope you enjoyed this little piece of Quest of the Dreamwalker. Next week, we will meet the third member of our triad, the defiant huntress. Look forward to seeing you then. Enjoy the weather and stay safe, everyone!
Also if you didn’t get here via Facebook, be sure to check out the Snippet Sunday Facebook group for other writers and their works. You’ll find some real gems there!
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