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An excerpt and I might be in trouble again
Just when you thought this book was all about me, here I come with the next part of our excerpt, and guess who stars in it?
If you guessed Sarn, my Papa, then you’re right! And here you thought he’d let me lead a book all on my own. But nope. He slid in to steal the scene and probably the whole book too.
That’s just how he rolls. After all, everyone knows it’s the quiet ones you have to watch out for, and he’s pretty quiet.
That’s why I ask him so many questions. Sometimes I even get answers. The rest of the time, he just hugs me until I stop asking questions he doesn’t want to answer.
But I’m not the only one asking him questions these days as you’ll see in today’s excerpt.
I know what you’re thinking. “Ran, what about the next book in the series? What’s Melinda writing right now?”
I want to tell you about it. I really do, but I got pulled into something, and I have to fix that situation first before my Scribe, Melinda, finds out about it. If you’re a member of our Patreon, then you know what I’m up to my cute little ears in. (Please don’t tell Melinda!)
If you’re not, but you want to know what trouble I’m in, then join us!
Your presence might calm the Scribe down after this past weekend’s shocker. And I know what you’re thinking. “But doesn’t Melinda write the chapters?”
Yes, she does, and she knows some of what I’ve been doing. But she’s also really busy between work and the podcast and getting ready for her cousin’s wedding in three weeks. So she’s not paying close attention to me.
And that means I have three weeks to get the story back on track before she notices what I’ve been up to. Eek!
Send good thoughts! I’ll leave you with my Dad in this excerpt from Shards For Our Gift while I go wrangle some fictional characters and try to get them back on track. Wish me luck!
—Ran, Sarn’s son and sidekick
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By Melinda Kucsera
It Shouldn’t Bind Me (Part 1)
Sarn couldn’t see anything except darkness. Go away. I need to see. But there was no light of any color, just darkness without end or shape. But there should be light. Why aren’t my eyes glowing?
“Papa! Don’t worry. I’m coming,” Ran said, and his voice echoed.
“Where are you, son?” Sarn scanned the darkness, but there was no sign of his son. Nor did he hear the boy’s footsteps, and Ran wasn’t a quiet child. But the boy didn’t reply either. Doesn’t he hear me?
Sarn reached for his magic to banish this darkness, but it didn’t come. Where’s my magic? He would have stared at his hands in horror if he could see them. Wasn’t his magic inside him?
Yes, it was. He felt its presence like a covered flame within him. Why wasn’t it responding?
A flash of memory provided a clue and a question. “Are you mad at me again?” Sarn recalled talking to his magic a while ago. That was a recent event, wasn’t it?
Yes, it was. Why did I talk to my magic? When the answer came, he felt weak and would have collapsed if he was standing. But he didn’t think he was because he couldn’t feel the ground under his feet, and he always felt its presence, even when wearing boots and thick socks.
Am I lying down? Why would I be? As Sarn cast about for a reason, a dull ache in his belly and back throbbed, and he felt again the sharp bite of the blade stabbing him. Missing once was an accident. I should have stopped the second stab. But he didn’t. I was tired and my magic was too. Where are you, magic? Why won’t you answer me?
A green light kindled in the dark, and the light divided into a roughly man-shaped cloud, shining in the dark. But it didn’t shed any light on his surroundings.
“Why didn’t you come when I called?” Sarn couldn’t tell if his magic stood across from him or floated above him. Everything was so topsy-turvy. Or maybe it’s just me. My head’s spinning.
“Why couldn’t we fight him?” His magic leaned forward as two brighter spots appeared in its face, and they stared at him like a pair of pupilless eyes.
“You’re talking about Hadrovel.” Sarn closed his eyes. He didn’t want to see that man’s face or remember his return. “He’s gone now. We never need to deal with him again.” That was all thanks to his sister, Sovvan. I owe her for that.
“Yes, him. Why couldn’t we resist him? He controlled us, and we didn’t like it. We want to know why.” His magic sat beside him, illuminating a bed, but nothing more.
Fear choked Sarn, and he couldn’t breathe for a moment. I can’t black out. I must get a grip on the fear and get out of here. When the constriction eased, he reached for his head map, but nothing happened. His magic just sat there, waiting for an answer.
“Am I in the infirmary? Answer me. That place isn’t safe for us.” Sarn tried to sit up, but a glowing green arm shot out and stopped him.
“No, you’re not in that place.”
“Then where are we?” Sarn glanced around, but his magic still didn’t light anything more than the bed, and him lying there.
“Somewhere safe.” His magic waved away that concern. “Why couldn’t we resist him? We belong to you, not him. He shouldn’t have any power over us. Why did he have that?” His magic leaned forward until they were almost nose-to-nose.
“You couldn’t disobey him because I couldn’t.” Sarn dropped his magic’s fiery green eyes.
“Why couldn’t we? Answer us!” His magic banged his fist on the bed, but the mountain didn’t shake.
Sarn covered his magic’s glowing fist, blotting out some of its light. “Because I made a promise. I didn’t want to, but I had no choice. I wanted my brother to go to school, and that was the price.”
“No. You promised another man, not that monster. We hate him.” His magic shook his glowing green head.
Either Sarn was imagining it or the glowing man sitting at his bedside was starting to look and sound like him. I must be imagining that. He rubbed his eyes. “Yes, that’s true, but I also promised to obey anyone that man told me to obey.”
“Yes, we know this. We’ve been with you for many years, and we were there when you promised that. But it shouldn’t bind us. Why did it?” His magic shot across the room and reformed by a window.
—Ran, son of Sarn, writing on behalf of my Scribe, Melinda Kucsera
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