Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Space Between

Free - 82 pages


An excerpt from the fantasy anthology "A Prayer for Dead Kings and Other Tales", "A Space Between" is a dark story of passion and murder (unintended and otherwise). Charan and Jalina, sibling heirs to the throne of empire, share a bond of blood and a dark secret — both of which threaten to destroy them when their father is killed…


Steel flashed as she spun away from him, his own knife in his hand somehow. They locked guards at the first strike, then Jalina was fading back, footsteps splashing clumsily as her blade slashed past Charan’s neck. He slid to let it miss him, parried the next blow, returned with one of his own that she caught and twisted past, behind him suddenly.

Where Jalina crouched, her eyes were bright with the fear he recognized.

“I knew it would end this way,” she whispered.

Charan’s hand was shaking, the battered blade of his knife weaving points of bright fire in the half-light. He tried to trace back the two dozen heartbeats just past, but his sight, his mind and memory were the same blur of red.

He had drawn on her, he thought. But he wouldn’t have. Couldn’t have. The evenlamp was in the water behind him. He had dropped it in expectation, needing to free his other hand for balance. Impossible. He shook his head, saw his sister flinch in expectation of another strike.

The feeling he had ever been afraid to name rooted deep in his chest. He felt the scent and the sight of her overwhelm his memory.

He felt the pain that her words made, felt the fear in her that was the knowledge that her brother had tried to kill her rather than lose her. The knowledge that he would try again. He felt the weight of the knife in his hand…

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