The Priestess Prophecy

Friday, June 13, 2008
Anybody like a taste of the first chapter of The Priestess Prophecy? Well, here it is. Enjoy!

Familiar threads of ice wound up Ara’s spine. She tried to force them down. She may as well have pummeled the wind. They twinned out, spreading across her back. No. Not here. Not now. Time slowed as the ice took her belly, her shoulders. Her brother turned, his face lost its smile. His gaggle of friends, not understanding, watched her with mixtures of concern and confusion. Vines of cold snaked up her throat. “Tenan!” she managed a warning cry before the vision sucked her in.
Cold and hunger gnawed at her. She would have cried, had she the strength. As it was, she whimpered softly—mewing like a sick kitten. Her body would not obey her commands. Whether because of the cold or for some other reason, she could not tell. Before her was an insurmountable white barrier. It served as her prison as well as her fortress. Beyond the barrier, trees—tall and straight as giants—stood as her sentinels. But strangest of all, the barrier moved.
The vision slammed shut, thrusting her back into her world, leaving her fourteen-year old limbs trembling. Slowly, sounds trickled in, as if from far away, “Ara? Ara? Answer me, Ara.”
Her head thrown back, she gasped before slumping in her brother’s familiar arms. His flesh felt like the sun against her winter skin. She swallowed against the sharp remnants of hunger the vision had left. As the cold began to fade, to grow bearable, she blinked and her furry vision managed to focus on his worried face. “Tenan?” she croaked.
“Is she alright?” a voice asked. She flinched as an unfamiliar hand brushed across her arm. “She’s freezing!”
She shook her head, trying to order her scrambled thoughts. She had to get away. Away from them. Before they realized what had happened. What was still happening. Smells suddenly returned to her. Baked earth, smoke, hot wool, Tenan.
His arms tightened around her. “She’s fine. She just needs a moment.” Draping her arm over his shoulder, he scanned the faces of the villagers surrounding them. “Move,” he hissed
Ara forced her wooden legs to stir. He half dragged, half supported her across the empty green of the village square. Underneath the shade of the Hallowed Tree’s vast boughs, he hauled her down beside him. She watched as Tenan’s friends slowly dispersed. Did they understand what had just happened? Her eyes fluttered shut. If word spread that she was Gifted, how long before the Assassins found her?
Unstopping his waterskin, Tenan held it to her lips. She tipped back her head and didn’t care that it gushed over her cheeks and down her shirt. It tasted of her family’s cold well and leather. The familiarity helped.
“Better?” Tenan asked.
She nodded. The reckless rush of her heart had steadied, and the ice that flowed in her veins was thawing. “Another moment, and I’ll be all right.”
Without taking his gaze from the people in the distance, he grunted sourly. “I warned you, Ara.”
She squeezed her eyes shut, hating how different she was. Her golden skin. Her lanky build. Her curious eyes—brown, flecked with green in the iris. But most of all, she hated her Gift. “You won’t Father?”
Tenan scoured his hands over his tender beard, as if to cleanse himself of her corruption. “I never do. But try not to have them anymore.”
The houses topped with split-shingle roofs and vegetable gardens seemed so out of place with the turmoil inside her. Nothing hinted of the danger Ara had just placed herself in. “I’ll try.” But in truth, she tried every day, and the visions hadn’t stopped. The distant villagers never had to worry about a Kanovian Assassin’s blade cleaving soul from body. Their cares rarely went past crops or wares. Tenan handed her the waterskin again. She took it grudgingly.
“There you are!”
She choked. Her father lowered his head like a charging bull. He always did that when he was angry. “I have been looking for you two for over an hour.”
Tenan’s grey eyes shot her a look, one she was all too familiar with. The one that said ‘let me do the talking.’ She was more than happy to comply. “Ara got hot, I found her some shade.”
Her father surveyed the waterskin in her hands and his head came up slightly, a sure sign that his anger had come and gone as quickly as a doe in flight. “Next time, find shade closer to where I told you.” He held Ursha’s reins out for Tenan. The mare was heavily laden with supplies. “You two head out, I’ll be along shortly.” He turned back toward the village.


Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...