Thursday, April 9, 2020

Thursday's Fifth Scene Moon Summoned #MFRWAuthor #BWLAuthor #Fantasy #Romance

Twilight darkened the sky before Ashiera found a hiding place in a dark alley doorway. The stench of rotting fish and the brine-laden air made her swallow against the burning fluid that rose in her throat. Rustling noises brought a prayer that none of the alley’s denizens would attack her. She dozed, woke and dozed again. Memories of the past rose in broken fragments, but each time she woke, she found more pieces were joined.
Sieper. Bits of the things she’d heard years ago in the marketplace were remembered. Rumors of his ability to read the weather surfaced. How could he possess such a talent? The Mistress touched women, never men. Did he serve the Lord of Shadows? He’d spoken of ownership and of her as being a reward from the Cabal. Had Sieper been one of the men who had lurked and awaited the arrival of the gray priests?
She sighed. Would she ever regain all the memories of the time before her capture?
She rolled the too long trouser legs and used a scrap of cloth torn from her gown as a belt. The sleeves of the shirt hung well below her hands and she pushed them up. How fortunate she’d been to find Sieper’s clothes on the line. As she’d fled through the alleys, she’d peered into the streets. The few women she’d seen had been escorted by one or even several men.
While she waited for true dark, she fingered the scar on her wrist. Her hand flew to her mouth and she stifled a scream.
An obese man, head shaved and scalp oiled, faced her. He held a metal rod with a serpent curled around the staff. A globe of swirling mist topped the rod. Her body trembled. The evil in the priest’s thoughts nauseated her. The serpent raised its head. The fangs bit into her wrist and sent molten fire through her veins. An endless scream echoed in her head and she sought darkness as she had before.
When Ashiera emerged from the place where night was eternal, a few stars shone in the sky. A pale sliver moon had risen. She struggled to her feet and exercised muscles stiffened by the cramped position.
Flee. Leave the city.
The urgency of the command made her lose all caution. “Who are you?”
The Place of Choosing. You must go there.
“Where is this place?
In the Shanara Mountains.
As she left the wharf area, she slid from shadow to shadow. Now and then she heard footsteps, but whoever walked the streets moved with the same caution she employed. Finally the waterfront lay behind and she strode along a broad avenue where the Seat of Judgment stood behind a high wall. The Seat was no longer a refuge since the gray priests resided there now. Shepas barked warnings. Several times she froze and fought the urge to run and, perhaps draw attention to her flight.
At last, she reached the market near the north gate. Guards in gray uniforms trimmed with waxy yellow marched two by two in front of the gate. Was she trapped? Was there no way out of the city?
She slipped between two stalls and slid beneath a peddler’s wagon. The cold of the rough stone cobbles seeped through her clothes and made her shiver. She leaned against one of the wooden wheels and, despite her discomfort drifted to sleep.

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