Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Cherished Destinies and the Saga

For some weird reason, my blog absolutely refuses to let me put spaces between my paragraphs. Can't imagine why it won't. But there you are. So please bear with me.
In the forest behind the pale blue dome where the Browns lived on the edge of Lost Market, Arano slouched against the trunk with his long legs stretched out on a broad limb high in a malzhal tree. Some of his dark braids caught on the rough bark when he shifted, scratching his bare back on the trunk. He cocked his knees and his gray sharda slithered along his legs, bunching in a soft pile of fabric at his crotch. He idly picked at the iron-hard glittering black wood with his flicknife while he mulled over all that he knew about the disrupting changes coming to the peaceful valley.

It was barely spring but he foresaw a turbulent summer and fall. His recent series of visions were nothing like the others he’d had since he was a small child. Those were mostly minor disturbances. Simple non-life-threatening things. Llyon falling out of a tree and breaking his arm. Eppie getting lost in the woods. Wrenna twisting her ankle.

His last few visions were dreadful and destructive. If there was real truth in them, then Arturo was in terrible danger. They had argued violently for the first time since their birth over twenty years ago when Arano tried to convince Arturo not to go hunting at the Far Woods. Then Turo had angrily stalked off, determined to prove that Arano was wrong. In his soul, Arano knew he wasn’t wrong and he grieved for the ordeal he was helpless to prevent. Violence, danger and change were coming to the valley and there was nothing he could do except share his visions and hope someone would listen.

Without warning, a terrifying shriek screamed along the mental link he shared with his twin. Before he even realized it was happening, Arano had dropped from his perch and was drumming through the woods to Lost Market, intent on reaching Arturo.

Arano! Arturo pleaded. Help me!

I’m coming! Fight, Arturo! I’m coming!

Arano hit the river bridge at a dead run, pounding across the wooden span in half a dozen strides. By the time he reached the far edge of the training field, Llyon and Tyger had caught up with him. Far behind them, their father and Dai trotted as fast as they could, knowing that they had no hope of keeping up with the younger men.

I’m coming, I’m coming, I’m coming… Arano mindlessly repeated his assurance, a desperate mantra against the terrifying fear that Arturo wouldn’t survive long enough for them to reach him.

As Arturo’s shrieks for help grew fainter and weaker and finally degenerated into mindless chaos, Arano poured on more speed, all the while adjuring his twin to hold on, to fight, to stay with him.

At the edge of the Far Wood, several men silently waited. Arano and his brothers recognized the guardian warriors and halted long enough for him to demand, “Where is he?”

Shadrach Bell, the towering powerful son of the Bell’s Corner clan chief, didn’t try to detain him but merely picked a man to escort them into the heavy forest. Time enough for intervention when they saw exactly what had been done to their sibling.

Not far into the woods a circle of men stood guarding a blood covered bundle sprawled on the forest floor. Arano’s heart stopped. Then he moved to the “thing” that was his twin and dropped to his knees next to his head. When Llyon would have touched Arturo, he stopped him.

“Don’t touch him yet,” he ordered sharply. “He’s not stable enough to tolerate anyone’s touch.”

“What would you have us do, Arano?” Llyon’s frustration and rage were clear. “Let him die?”

“No! But if you touch him before I link with him, he will die! There is nothing but chaos inside his mind,” Arano whispered desolately. “Nothing but chaos.”

Tyger jerked Llyon away from Arturo restraining him by wrapping his strong arms around him and nodded to Arano. “Do whatever you need to do.” Then he buried his face in his twin’s fiery braids and held him close, knowing they were feeling the same ferocious fury.

Yanking his sharda off, Arano spread it on the ground near Arturo’s head. He knelt as close to Arturo as possible and gently, oh so gently, moved Arturo’s head to his lap, knowing that of all the senses, the sense of smell was the most primitive. And the deep, musky scent of skin was the earliest scent imprinted on a child. Let Arturo be surrounded by his twin’s scent. The reassurance of their shared scent would reach him on the deepest level.

When Arturo’s head was cradled in his lap, Arano placed his palms on each side of his brother’s face, fiercely blocking out the terrible bruises and bloody damage and dived into his mind. It was far worse than he had feared. Pain and terror swirled in a chaotic whirlpool of despair and longing.

Sternly suppressing the urge to scream from the anguish, Arano linked with his twin and began to create order from the chaos. I am here, he whispered. Arturo, I am here. Nothing will touch you now. I will let no one hurt you. I am here.

He pushed deeper into true rapport, the mind sharing usually reserved for bond mates because of its naked intimacy. Rapport, where there were no secrets. No hidden longings. No private dreams. I am here, he whispered. I will always be here.

With startling abruptness, Arturo whimpered and went limp.

“Now,” Arano urged softly. “Heal him now.”


Yesterday, Amarinda left me in a pickle with Ethelred...

“You are from King Ethelred?” The man turned and looked at her with hope in his eyes.

“Um, ah…okay,” Emmeline murmured deciding to go along with what he said until she could think of a better plan.“What news do you have?”

“Ah, yes, news…the King is well.” Emmeline said as she dodged incoming arrows. “He got a new crown that he’s mighty pleased about and the Queens is…”

“Damn it woman you know what I need to hear.” The man’s voice was filled with anxiety. “Did you bring it?”

It? Crap, what was it?

Well, what was I to do?

“Tell me, woman! Did you bring the flour for the singing hinnies?”

“What? Are you mad?” Emmeline demanded. “What is this singing hineys you’re talking about?”

“Hinnies, woman, hinnies. Dinna ya know anything?” Frustrated, he beat his fist against the stone wall. “The men are hungry! What have ye brought to eat?”

Emmeline whipped out the eight golden carrots. “If you have a peeler, then I can prepare these,” she said craftily.

“Peeler? What’s a peeler?” The man was rapidly coming to the conclusion that his strange visitor was completely insane.

She sighed. Men were so stupid. Did they know nothing of importance? “Tell me how to find the kitchen.”

He stared at her in astonishment. “How would I know? D’ye think a man would know where the kitchen is?”

A soft poof alerted her to the new arrival. “Emmeline, Emmeline. What are you doing?” Zoltan chided. “Did you miss me?”


“What do you have there?” he inquired, staring at the Golden Carrots clutched in her hands.

Immediately, she stuffed them behind her back. “Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Now, I have to go.” She plunged down the closest stair well, intent on leaving Zoltan far behind.

“Wait!” The man on the battlement called. “What about Ethelred? What did he say?”

“Nothing!” she shouted back.

“Crap!” The man stared at Zoltan in dismay. “When they called him the Unready, they were right!”

“Where is she going?” Zoltan asked, ignoring the man’s complaint.

“Why the kitchen, man. She’s looking for something called a peeler…”
Don't forget to stop by Amarinda's place at where she'e interviewing author, Brynn Paulin. And then find out about the art of kissing from Kelly at Blessings on your day!


  1. Excellent excerpt and hallelujah and pass the gin I don't have to respond to the blog serial next

  2. For the life of me, I cannot get this stupid blog to format! ARGH!

  3. Bloody blogs - they have a mind of their own....not rational like human beings

  4. It's got spaces between the paragraphs, Anny:) Stop worrying:)

    Loved the installment this am...

  5. Two more days!!!!!! (sorry, getting a little excited, here.)

  6. Me too!!!!

    And Anny, if we ever switch up the saga order you are so going to pay for this.

  7. Cherished Destinies...Wow, sounds like a wonderful read!

  8. Here's a hint, Kelly. Singing hinnies are something to eat.... no, no, get your mind out of the gutter, girl.

  9. Hey, Kelly, I think switching up the saga order is a great idea!

    You've been at it for a while now. Time to reverse!