Happy Saturday, everyone! We are celebrating the awesome fall weather by making seasoned-salted pumpkin seeds and pecan pumpkin cake, and drinking pumpkin spice lattes (well, my sister is — I’m a salted caramel mocha person). In case you need something to read while you sip your own PSL (or SCM, or CM, or YMCA…) have a snippet from my Sirens story, Threshold, where Navrin’s coming-of-age ceremony is about to go badly awry. (Heh heh heh. Er, that is, poor guy.)
(Apologies for the block-quote font — all those periods in the middle of sentences are actually commas.)
Inata darted to join the group, nervous energy in every motion she made and five small cream-colored balls on her open palm. They each grabbed one, even Eisa, and began rolling them between their hands. It was their surest protection against the Between’s most sinister weapon. Against teeth and claws and venom they had armor and weapons and traps, but against the song, only wax.
When the substance was warm Navrin broke it in half and stuffed a piece inside each ear while fear and elation waged their usual war inside him. It was coming, the song, the song and the Between, and then his kill, his chance.
In the muffled silence created by the wax he watched his father grab two enchanted swords–illegal, just like everything else they were doing this evening–and lead Eisa to a tall, ruined tower at the edge of their line of traps, the remains of an outpost long since abandoned. At its base he planted the weapons some ten feet apart, Eisa at their center, and a miniature shield sprang into place around her. She waved from within the silver dome and Navrin returned the gesture only to realize she was waving at Rokat.
Anger, jealousy, disappointment–
And then there was a crack like glass shattering against stone, so loud he could hear it through the wax, and a shadow beyond the sphere, massive and black.
His heart leapt and he brushed his hands against his knives again before reaching up and pretending to press the wax further into his ears. Instead he dislodged it just enough that he would be able to hear it when it happened….