From My Earlier Novel

I am finding I am more private than I guessed.

These last weeks when I’ve been posting so little I’ve been slogging through some new thoughts and projects that I am uncertain of, and so feel no desire to write (publicly) about them.

And just because I’ve suddenly become…touchy about my current novel, I felt like showing a clip from an older work.  I’ve mentioned this one before, that it grew out of a single image from a dream.

This clip comes right after a wicked magician entered the girl’s room by magic and found her ready to defend herself– to his surprise.  His brother’s magic extradited him, but not before the girl stabbed him with the knife from under her pillow.

Sherizalli still knelt, holding her breath and staring at the place Raquile had stood the moment before.  Strong magic was involved here, no question.  Now what was she going to do?  She could feel the pounding footsteps before she actually heard them.  Some of her brothers were coming.

They burst through her door in various stages of undress.  KeLar had been in the pack, but once the frontrunners had forced the door and came piling through, KeLar was the first to reach the edge of her bed.  Sherizalli held the curved blade out for him to see as the last vivid traces of blood retreated to the tip and disappeared like mist in the sunrise, making the whole incident seem more nightmarish than ever.

Looking at the eager and curious faces Sherizalli felt her courage falter for the first time since she awoke under the weight of those strange eyes.  How could she explain a scream that wasn’t hers, from a man (a man!) who was no longer there, and blood that didn’t stain?

And then there was this terrifying sense of certainty: that doom would shortly be invading their known world.

She gripped the knife tightly, disciplining her breathing so that no one but KeLar could even tell she was still distressed.

“I must have had a dream,” she said, her voice steady.  “I’m afraid I have nothing here to show you.”  She spread her hands, palms-up, before her.  The curved blade balanced for a moment in her open right hand and began to fall.  Without thinking, Sherizalli made a grab for it, as it slipped, hilt first, to the floor.

KeLar was just quick enough to stop her.  Catching her wrist just before she clenched the blade, he asked, angrily, “What kind of a fool are you?”  He had noticed how white her palms were, how pale from the unconscious clenching of tension.  She hadn’t been able to hide it.  KeLar, at least, knew something had happened here.  He threw down her arm and dropped to his knees, looking into the dimness under her bed.

This scene is fun/funny to me because I know exactly where it came from: the label printed on every. paperboard sheath of the knife set my husband got for his 30th birthday: Warning! Do not try to catch a falling knife.  Extremely sharp. etc. etc.

I couldn’t help feeling it was more self-promotion than anything else.

The “certain doom” bit feels cheesy, but it is Sherizalli’s only corner of control/awareness that the magical fellow who showed up in her bedchamber was about to (essentially) nuke her kingdom. I’ve decided it’s because I’m middle-class, but I can’t. stand. utterly blind attacks; things in which there are no choices for the main characters.

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