Concluding 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 performed a knife dance, and finished by flinging the knives into the table in front of Mabb. As she catches her breath, a slow handclap starts behind her.
"Bravo!" She recognized Kurt's voice behind her. Other pairs of hands joined in, growing, filling the air with a thunderous cadence. In this culture, a slow handclap is a sign of respect. Shayla's mission preparation reasserted itself. All the cultural differences she'd absorbed settled once more into the forefront of her awareness. She breathed again and lifted her head.
As Shayla leaned forward to retrieve the blades, Mabbwendig murmured, "You full of surprises, Master of Circuses."
"The Knife Dance is a holy and private meditation," Shayla whispered. "You know traditions, you must know that to commission it for public spectacle commands a blood price."
That’s it! This is my last WeWriWa post for now but I’m sure I’ll be back at some point.
It’s been a busy and very tiring couple of weeks. The week before last, I was in Ottawa for a project workshop. Traveling to and from there from Victoria is pretty much an all-day affair. Luckily I missed the ice storms before and the wind storm since. Last week my work calendar was full, just catching up.
On top of regular stuff I organized a Smoothie Day at work, and gave a talk at the Victoria library, which I think went well. I just have one more talk to give next Thursday which I still have to prepare for this weekend.
But the sun is out and I might find time to sit on the deck as well. We’ll see.
Reminder: Ghosts of Innocence is still on special offer, down from $3.99 to just $0.99 in all major e-book formats. And if you enjoy that story, the sequel, The Ashes of Home, was also published last month.