Fantasy for you Glen Coco…And none for Gretchen Weiners. Bye.
Traitors releases at the end of October. The best month – first, because legitimate queens are born in October:
And legitimate authors, sometimes.
And it marks the end of my writing year, because I need October through December to carefully plan the New Year’s resolution I intend to care about until exactly January 17th, and ignore for the rest of 2019.
October is also the wonderful month when I’ll have the honor of submitting Four Part Fiction to Fantasy Hive. This has given me the opportunity to write a side story for Traitors I’ve been toying with for a while.
My story editor has had the MS for a few months. It’s surreal to get four or five-hundred-thousand words into a series and not recognize something you wrote, no matter how long ago. But there it is
Here is an excerpt of that early stuff I forgot – mostly for everyone who’s cheered me on, to show them I did something more with my time and their encouragement than make ridiculous history-meme tweets.
Our queen has been unfaithful in her king’s absence, and while the Law of Tainn protects a woman with child, it doesn’t protect her a moment longer.
“Drag her to the yard.” Raulfe turned on his heel.
His men fell on Iona and did as they were ordered: dragged.
Iona screamed, panted, and fought them with her shoulders. It was no fight at all. They took her from the bed, dislodging the mattress from its ropes.
“I want to see my father! My father! My mother…I love her. I love…” Her words raised to long, unintelligible sounds of anguish. She raked at Coran with pinned arms as she passed.
Coran folded her hands, Lady of the Bedchamber and nothing more. She fixed the mask of her face.
She followed. Silhouettes held beyond the doorways; no one interfered. No courtier dared be seen, pinned to this moment in a way Raulfe might recall later. She followed through the great hall where the painted faces of dead kings watched from their canvas, impassive while Iona’s shrieks rang from the arches and split the ears of all.
Coran followed, separate from the moment as a drop of oil in water.
Iona jibbered, and faded as they passed into white light beyond the gates. She hung between her captors like meat wrestled by two starving dogs, a terrible omen.
In the inner bailey her afterbirth delivered, fell and tangled in the train of her nightrail, staining the white of the linen, the snow. It dragged along provoking Raulfe’s hounds. They snapped at the cloth, her legs, flipping their heads in the rhythm of predator killing prey. She was only freed when the guards pulled, and her gown tore. Their onslaught stumbled her; she cried out the agony of wrenched arms and a broken body, and wept.
Coran exhaled, her breath raising in the cold like the first tendrils of smoke from a devastating fire. She looked to Raulfe, King of Auldearn, and made another tick mark on her list.