The following is a modified, unedited excerpt from the forthcoming epic fantasy novella "Universal Warrior: The Ring of Asarra".
What was supposed to be a routine patrol of the city's borders resulted in the deaths of three people, one of whom was on the road to recovery. Now, in the after of a terrible, unexpected end, those who witnessed the passing are left to deal with the aftermath.
Lightheaded, dizzy and in utter shock, Maeghan took two steps back and fell to her rear, spellbound by the corpse. She wanted to cry, scream out, but a ball had wedged itself in her throat, making even breathing a chore.
She coughed, collapsing her head into her hand. “This is an evil night.” She mused darkly.
For a moment, Kres didn’t speak. Leaning against the far dresser at the foot end of the table, he also found himself enthralled by the body. “I don’t understand,” He breathed, “I just don’t understand. How can this one be gone? A moment ago, we were all talking and then...how can this be?” Maeghan shook her head. With moistened eyes and cracked voice she replied, “I don’t know.”
“What do we do now?”
Maeghan sighed and pushed herself to her feet. “Well,” she began, trying to remember the next step and distance herself from the event, “We have to tell Nootau. He needs to know.”
“What about the parents?”
Maeghan shook her head, wiping her eyes. “No.” She stated, “No, our friend was one-half Sier, and honored those traditions. We will do the same by not bringing bad news by moonlight.”
Kres nodded. “Okay, but we should at least tell Nootau.”
“You go ahead.” Maeghan nodded, “I need to see a friend.”
Maeghan shook her head, exasperated, “Please, Kres. You go to Nootau. This is something I must do.”
“Alright.” Kres finally agreed. “Let’s meet back here in ten minutes.”
“Twenty minutes,” Maeghan requested, “I need just a little time, please.”
Kres nodded. He then turned to the dresser behind him, bending over and opening the lower drawer. He pulled a long, white sheet forth and closed the drawer. As Maeghan approached the head of the table, Kres flung the cloth over the body.
Maeghan caught the corners of the sheet and the two allowed the sheet to gently cover the corpse.
They both took a brief moment to acknowledge the loss, and then Maeghan exited the infirmary first and headed to the right, towards a particular residence. It was her direst wish, at that moment in time, to be granted a respite from the presence of death.
UW: The Ring of Asarra will be released November 3, 2014. Keep following for updates.
Born and raised in Northern California to two parents who did the best they could, and really screwed up anyway. After sampling juvenile delinquency and teen parenthood I graduated to homeless nomad, trekking through the United States for eleven years and having many, many grand adventures. Following a brush with death and adulthood, I settled in the midwest and accepted a sentence at a day job where I learned how to sell myself and telecommunications. Following a disastrous marriage, I relocated to Eastern Washington, and for now, that's where I am.
I turned to writing in 2008 and I've been making a go of it ever since. Still learning by screwing up, I started to find success in 2016.