Continuing 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, and is confronting her again in the cavernous staff dining hall.
Shayla was forced into upstaging Mabb at the start of the meal. Skipping ahead a few paragraphs, Mabb is making her displeasure felt.
From time to time, Mabb's voice rose above the hubbub. "Yama, hair looks like rats' tails."
A wide-eyed girl looked like she'd been slapped. She stared at Mabbwendig, lower lip trembling. A lustrous river of immaculately-groomed hair hung to her waist.
"Shave it off." Mabb waved her hand dismissively. "Farouk, rose beds in Fountain Court are a disgrace. Tomorrow, you personally inspect and groom each plant. Emperor must have beauty to look on while he works."