Sand, Sea and Stone Excerpt: A Kestra Chapter

I just had a little visit with Kestra, heroine of Deadly Troubadours. She’s doing well. I’ve certainly missed having her voice in my had these past few months and really enjoyed diving back into her chapters.

Here is a little sample of where she starts. I wouldn’t say there are explicit spoilers for Deadly Troubadours, but there are certainly hints to how her chapters ended.

Even after scrubbing off the blood that had spattered her face, body and hands the odor of the smokes still clung to her. It was another part of this night that would not be so easy to clean off.

The other aspect was now she had no home. She was adrift. It would be impossible to return to the simple life she had shared with Xia. Sure, it had been a life marked by challenge and violence and the eventuality of having to live with allowing her very body to be purchased for the pleasure of another, but it had also offered her companionship, a place to be, a place to belong. And now she had nothing.

‘But what if,’ an unbidden voice asked deep inside her ‘What if you returned? What if you begged to be taken back? Tiberius is a powerful man. He could have the body hidden. He could provide for you if you do as he asks, if you promise to be good.’

Kestra hated that voice. She knew it came from the part of her that was scared and weak. She hated that a part of her, however small, would be filling to live the life and perform the role that was expected of her at Pho’s. She almost spat on the ground in disgust at that part of herself, but decided she didn’t want to waste the water the spit represented.

And so she walked just to keep warm, keeping to the packed earth that she knew to be the path towards town from her excursions to the Circle Dance.

Slowly the sun began to rise. Golden streamers of light began to push back the purple night sky while slowly dying it the bright blue of day. There were few clouds in the sky and Kestra suspected that the days heat would be a powerful one, but heat was something that she had grown used to. She would welcome it after the chill of night.

She wondered what she would be able to do to support herself. She had some biscuits, dried fruits and even some salted meats but while those would keep her stomach full she knew they were not the most nursing of meals. She had water and would be able to refill from the public fountains that could easily lead to sickness. To ensure her health she would need to find a way to earn coin, but all she knew was fighting. How would she be able to negotiate that skill into something that would purchase her bread.

Then Kestra had a thought that stopped her in her tracks. Did she even know the proper words for this area? She knew the tongue of her family and others of the cold northlands, but few she met could speak that. There was the whispery words she spoke with Xia, but even fewer seemed to grasp that speech. Then there was the common language of the Circle Dancers. Kestra had always assumed that was the common speech of this region, but what if it wasn’t? What if making the Circle Dancers learn a useless language was just another way of controlling them?  That would be one way for the masters to lighten their hold over their slaves. She knew she had recognized the chants of the audience of the Dances, but maybe that was part of the sport?

Her heart was beginning to beat faster. What had started as a stray thought was beginning to sound like it could be the harsh reality.

If you really want to see the whole of what’s been written for this cahpter, I guess you can look over the screen shot. And you can see I hit my daily goal of 1000 words. And the total word count so far.

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