Here’s a bit from my fantasy trilogy, SAGE. In this scene, Brina, the Waymistress (like an abbess), has just refused to let Corvina visit with her sister-in-law, the true ruler of the country. Corvina has left a present for her sister-in-law, which Brina is inspecting. Oh — “alicorn” means unicorn horn. I didn’t make it up.
A Reptile In Human Form
excerpt from SAGE
by Marian Allen
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.
Well, well, equivocation and semantics assuredly have their uses.
Brina went to the cupboard and brought back a large velvet bag and a small one.
Corvina had been told the Station had few pieces of alicorn, had demanded them, and had been sold them. She had not been told that the Station also possessed artifacts made with alicorn; she hadn’t asked for them, and so the Station still possessed them. Brina opened the larger sack and lifted out a chalice, the inner cup inlaid with wafers of alabaster, mother-of-pearl, white marble, and alicorn.
The Waymistress emptied Corvina’s phial into the cup. The pieces of alicorn turned an oozy-looking black where the liquid touched them. Within the minute, though, they had regained their milky sheen.
Brina tilted the chalice, so that the liquid touched wafers of alicorn it hadn’t touched before. They remained pure. The cordial itself smelled less cloying, and had a clearer look.
The Waymistress lifted the chalice as if to drink from it, but did not drink. Instead, she emptied the cup into a nearby pot of aloe, wiped the cup clean with a cloth, and threw both cloth and cordial bottle into the fire.
“Oh, dear. I seem to have broken Sorcha’s lovely gift…”
I’m still hoping to migrate my site to the new server. So far, all is going exceedingly ill. Pray for me.
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Your character is asked to pass along a gift they think is highly suspicious.