I was so proud that I had managed to get through the Christmas season without getting sick. It seemed like almost everyone I know had managed to pick up some kind of bug, but I remained unscathed.
…Until a few weeks ago, that is.
I swear, I must have spent at least half of February in my pyjamas, curled up in bed, or in front of the TV. I even worked my way through three seasons of Xena. I still have this annoying cough that won’t go away, and I seem to have this new desire to take naps. (And I am not a nap person.) It hasn’t exactly been great for my writing productivity, but somehow I’m still keeping my head above water.
Legends of Lasniniar: A Deadly Wind
It seems fitting that I released A Deadly Wind this month, seeing as it involves a plague. (Obviously, my suffering is not quite on the same scale.) It actually came out a couple of weeks ago, but I’ve only gotten around to blogging about it now.
Family relations can be a complicated business.
Although Linwyn and Golaron are twins, they don’t always see eye to eye, and their father’s blatant favoritism of Linwyn doesn’t help matters. But now a plague has come to Belierumar, and the twins may be the only ones who can save the city–if they can return with help in time.
This 7,900 word fantasy novelette adventure takes place a few years before Soul Seeker from the World of Lasniniar Series.
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“Lady Linwyn!” The woman grasped Linwyn’s stirrup and looked up at her with pleading eyes. “Please, you must help my son.”
Golaron maneuvered his gelding to stand on the other side of the woman, sandwiching her between them. His posture was wary. He shot his sister a questioning look.
Linwyn gave him a wave of reassurance, focusing on the woman. “What is wrong with your son?”
“He fell ill two days ago.” The woman was nearly sobbing. “A fever has taken him. He will not eat, he will not drink… He only lies on his pallet and moans. The herb woman tried to help, but there was nothing she could do for him. I cannot afford a healer… Please, will you come look at him?”
The woman was trembling. She appeared to be on the verge of hysteria. Her clothing was threadbare, but clean. Linwyn looked to Golaron, who shrugged, mirroring her own reaction. She didn’t see how visiting the young boy would help, but she didn’t have the heart to turn the woman away.
“Take us to your son,” she said in a gentle voice.
The woman smiled through her tears and nodded. “Thank you. Thank you!” She trotted ahead to lead them in the direction of her home.
As Linwyn expected, she took them to one of the poorer quarters. The streets narrowed, and Linwyn and Golaron were forced to ride single file. The woman looked back frequently as she led them, as if to reassure herself they were still there. They eventually arrived at a small house that was crammed between two others. Linwyn and Golaron dismounted. Golaron whispered something to his gelding. Linwyn suspected they were orders to keep her mare safe from anyone who might try to steal her. She and Golaron followed the woman into the house.
The sour stench of sickness overpowered her as soon as they crossed the threshold. It combined with the sweet fragrance of incense, which had been used in an attempt to freshen the air. The interior of the small house was a single room with a window overlooking the street. A crude kitchen lay toward the back beside a curtained area that was presumably where the inhabitants slept. The woman led them through the rough curtain. A single pallet lay inside, dwarfing the small boy who lay upon it.
Linwyn cringed in sympathy. The boy’s skin was waxen and covered with a sheen of sweat. Despite the warmth of the home, he shivered and moaned in his sleep. His ribs and bones protruded beneath his skin. His mother rushed to his side with a low cry, lifting a cloth from a basin beside the pallet to bathe his face, crooning softly. The boy’s eyes fluttered open for a moment. His gaze was vacant and glassy, his eyes sunken in their sockets. Linwyn and her brother crouched nearby, watching.
Linwyn cursed her own helplessness. This was nothing she could fight with sword and shield. What did the woman expect them to do?
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