Rather than posting from works in progress, today is a quick look back:
Most of the lights in the house were off, but Kit found the gloom more comfortable than the gingerbread warmth of normal light. She made her way down the front hall by feel.
“Hey, Terri?” she called. She found the wood handrail into the living room, trying to shake off a weird sense of tension, as if someone were looking over her shoulder. “I want you to meet…”
The sensation deepened as the shadows gained color, a blur of muted hues that closed in and hit her hard. A fist smacked her chest and her body went awry in response, arms flying, spine cracking into the rail. She howled; her second muscles coiled in readiness, all wild animation and adrenaline poisoning. Instinctively, she tried to place where her attacker stood. Something slammed into her left leg.
She twisted with it, trying to roll over the blow, but a flare of pain sent her mind screaming – not the tendon, not when it had taken so long, not when another pull could damage it permanently – and she surrendered, collapsing in a puddle on the steps. A long white-gloved hand caught her chin and knocked her head back against the rail. Hooded grey eyes played over Kit’s face, neutral, assessing. She saw a flash of metal out of the corner of her eye and flinched. The point of a knife replaced the hand.
“I know what you can do,” the woman said. “The first false move will be your last.”
Flow, Chapter Three
From Taming The Weald, after Keryn has discovered a mysterious girl in the Weald, a small woodland maintained on her space station:
On the walk to her quarters, Keryn talked about her community in the station, the school, the beautiful views of the void—she didn’t have the heart to tell Verdant there was nothing else out there. The station was the only remnant of civilization in a galaxy shattered long ago.
Halfway home, she wondered aloud, “How do you know our language, if you’ve never been out of the Weald?”
“I hear people talking when they walk past,” Verdant said, “and the trees talk to me, too. They teach me words you no longer use.”
Keryn shook her head, deciding not to correct the girl. Obviously, living in the Weald had confused her understanding of what was real and what was imaginary. Most children grew out of that at a younger age than Verdant's.
In a ruined fortress in Stone Unturned (Unburied Treasures anthology), our narrator uses her powers to divine its past:
I knelt on the dividing line between cracked, mossy tiles. “Givesan, Hawk of the Heavens, Father of Humanity, open my ears … open my heart.” I sang the prayer, letting the melody shape itself. It was new with each Sounding. “Carry me under your wings as you carried our mother, through islands and nations of time.”
The ruined hall began to shrink, transcended by music that was more than sound. I continued my prayer.
“Tilasta, Wolf of the Deeps, Mother of Monsters, be merciful. Leash your fury. Grant me passage through the unknown. Keep close to your breast the evils you bore, more potent than those of humankind …”
Harmony and light. My senses filled with memories of a blazing hearth and a thousand candles, fur rugs sprawling across the polished white stone to trap the heat … the press of hundreds of ghostly bodies, most of them elegant and erudite, but also the scampering of servants whose lives history would never remember.
The theme of the strongest memory carried above the bustle. I focused on it.