I’ve been tagged three times for the 77-7 meme, in which one goes to page 77 of one’s work-in-progress, counts down seven lines, and copies and posts the next seven or so lines. Then one tags seven other authors.
Having been tagged three times, I’m posting 21 or so lines from Book 2 of the SAGE trilogy, BARGAIN WITH FATE.
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BARGAIN WITH FATE, Book 2 of SAGE – excerpt
Slowly, Mistress Brina untied the bundle, unwrapped it, and held it in her hands.
It was a cordial bottle, cobalt blue, etched with the arms of the House of Sarpa: a lion standing on his hind legs, front claws extended, looking back over his shoulder.
“Shifty beast,” the Mistress said. She jiggled the stopper, breaking the red wax seal, and opened the bottle. She sniffed at the bottleneck and at the stopper. “Burnt sugar.” Brina capped the bottle again, her eyes unfocused, her fingers twiddling on the desk-top.
For ten years, the old Waymistress had waited, hoping to see Landry over-reach himself, while the Way insisted she accept each day that he did not. Appeasing the House of Sarpa by keeping the last of the House of Onagros under ward had seemed so practical… so simple. If Landry established right of rule, cooperation with him now might buy the Way some tolerance in time to come. If Landry toppled, the House’s shelter of the rightful heir of Onagros (renunciation or no renunciation) would glorify the Way in the eyes of the people.
Still, such philosophy in the face of Landry’s inferior rule had not been easy. Brina remembered a tale told by the storyteller, Farukh, involving a unicorn, a snake, and indirect deliverance. It would have taken a duller mind than Brina’s not to see Layounna in that story, and herself in that unicorn. But what more must she do to wake Sorcha from her lethargy? Flirt with snakebite?
Which brought her thoughts back to her recent visitor. If ever a reptile lived in human form, Corvina was that reptile. Those unicorn stories of Farukh’s…. Alicorn and poison made a pair, so often. And Corvina wanted all the Station’s alicorn, the same day she asked to give an over-sweet elixir to the throne’s true heir.
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Seven authors whose work I recommend are:
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Someone is given a questionable present.