Today the Dragon Wins

"Today the Dragon Wins" offers information from Fantasy Author and Professional Editor Sandy Lender. You'll also find dragons, wizards, sorcerers, and other fantasy elements necessary for a fabulous story, if you know where to look...

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Sandy Lender is the editor of an international trade publication and the author of the fantasy novels Choices Meant for Gods and Choices Meant for Kings, available from ArcheBooks Publishing, and the series-supporting chapbook, What Choices We Made.

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Saturday, December 02, 2006

Charlotte Anne's Departure from Arcana
(an unwritten scene from Choices Meant for Gods)

Charlotte Anne shivered, settling her nerves and reflexes as the waves of nausea passed. She had to find a way to bring her bouts of morning sickness under control before she got back to her family’s farm. She wasn’t ready to face her father. She wasn’t ready to tell him why she’d been sent home from the school in Arcana.

“I’m not ready to tell him about you,” she told her stomach.

As if drawn to her voice, every shadow in the Rochest Forest now turned its attention on the girl. She winced as if they’d touched her.

But she was sensible. Even if dark spaces glowered at her here, angered at the way she’d defiled this place of seclusion, she knew that the morning suns shone back in the clearing where she’d left her traveling companions. Surely daylight lit the sky beyond the canopy above, and creatures like demons or trolls only came out at night. “We have nothing to fear from the forest in the day,” she whispered, stroking her stomach slowly, lovingly, as if she’d already figured out how to be a mother.

She thought she had nothing to fear from the wispy shadows that wavered like faeries’ wings across the rustling leaf litter and rocks. Nothing to fear from the breeze that brushed across her like fingers lifting her hair, like a goddess hissing a warning in her ear. And it did feel like a warning.

She froze in place, kneeling on the dirt like a condemned man awaiting...awaiting…awaiting the sound of a snap as a twig broke beneath a boot. The ring of metal as a sword left its scabbard.

She jumped to her feet. And when she spun to face whatever beast had come up on her, the heel of her slipper met the puddle of her sickness. She felt her balance falter. She would have screamed out if not for the shock in her throat. She hit the ground with a thud that jarred her teeth, and she imagined the baby within her started to cry.

“No noise,” the man hissed. He was suddenly around her, strong arms confining and bulging muscles binding. The sword blade felt both hot and cold against her neck, but it didn’t bite into the flesh as she expected. Yet his hand gripping and ripping her hair to hold back her head hurt like lightning bolts.

“Your death is supposed to look like an accident,” he said. “But I’ll make it as painless as I can.”

She gulped. “My baby…”

“Sorry, Little Girl.”

She felt him push her, felt the ground rushing toward her, felt her temple make immediate and violent contact with the rocks.

And that was all.

The man arranged Charlotte Anne and Greer’s bodies next to the mangled buggy. One of the horses was sacrificed in the farce as well. When he finished his work he climbed out of the ravine to collect his payment from Mister Kessel, and then rode his own mount back toward Candlewood to join the Dreorfahn Army marching that way.

(This scene is merely alluded to in the forthcoming novel Choices Meant for Gods, which should be released from ArcheBooks Publishing sometime in March 2007. It will be available by ordering it through your local bookstore or through, B&, etc.)
"Some days, you just want the dragon to win."

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Blogger Rich said...

"Charlotte Ann" - an almost Bronte-esque name, isn't it?

1:11 PM  
Blogger theauthormike said...

Hey Girl, you been watching the beastmaster again? Sandy, I do love the way that you write and you hook me into another genre.


2:19 PM  
Blogger unwriter said...

I like this. You do create the suspense.


6:13 PM  

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