I’m back with the start of a scene from my first book, Ghosts of Innocence.
Shayla has stolen the identity of a newly-appointed senior public servant, and infiltrated the Palace in disguise. She has already fallen foul of her new boss, Mabbwendig ap Terlion, Master of the Emperor’s Domestic Household, but has since kept out of Mabb’s way while she establishes herself in her new position.
Shayla joined a flood of people streaming into the cavernous staff dining room. A wall of sound, the voices of hundreds of people, seemed to squeeze her chest. The air was heavy with the remnants of the day's heat and the scent of cooked meats steeped in pungent sauces. The senses combined to form a suffocating blanket around Shayla's head.
Am I doing the right thing? Her eyes burned from fatigue, but there was no turning back. After Shayla's brush with Mabbwendig yesterday, she knew she could no longer put off this moment.
Three rows of long tables stretched away left and right, broken by an aisle ahead of her which led to the center of the room. Three more rows of tables filled the far side. To her right, a more lavishly appointed table sat apart, under the frowning portrait of Emperor Julian Skamensis.
Note - both Ghosts of Innocence and Tiamat’s Nest ebooks are still on sale at $0.99 for a few more days.