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 previously 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.
Mabb has been tormenting a series of unfortunate individuals among the hundreds of people crowding the hall. Shayla rescued one of them from humiliation but in turn is expected to provide entertainment. She has chosen to perform a knife dance to music from a popular opera.
Slash left, slash right, right again ...The sword and the knife weaved patterns about Shayla's body. She was oblivious to her audience now, fully immersed in the dance, and the story of betrayal and quest for revenge.
The music's tempo quickened. The sword spun in the air above Shayla's head while the knife pointed an accusing finger of steel at Mabb.
Shayla leaped and pirouetted from one side of the central aisle to the other. She whirled ever closer to the high table, blades an almost invisible blur about her face. She now danced mere feet from Mabb, who sat wide-eyed with palms down on the tabletop as if she were pushing herself away from the dervish in front of her.
As the music climaxed, on the final beat, the knife and the sword flew from Shayla's hands and buried themselves an inch from Mabb's outstretched fingertips.
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