Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly blog hop where participants post eight to ten sentences of their writing. You can find out more about it by clicking on the image.
Continuing a chapter from Ghosts of Innocence, Shayla has stolen the identity of a new high-ranking Imperial appointee, Brynwyn bin Covin. She’s been met by a soldier (Kurt) from the Imperial Palace Guard, who’s escorting her to the Palace. They have just stepped outside while Shayla’s baggage is loaded into the car. Kurt spotted a row of punishment stalls across the square, and Shayla realizes the crowd will expect her to inflict some pain on the prisoners there.
Shayla sorted through her money and selected a small silver coin. This would be a heavy jolt. Prisoners occasionally died from neural stimulation, despite the safety limits built in, but her briefing notes had been very clear regarding Brynwyn's harsh views on duty and discipline. She had to stay in character.
"Leave my mommy alone!"
Shayla looked down, surprised, at the tiny bundle of fury pummeling her with minute and ineffective fists.
One of the duty guards pulled the child away. He raised his fist to cuff the young boy, but Shayla held up a cautioning finger. The guard bowed his head. "As you wish, Magister Summis."
When we moved to Canada, everyone talked about the long winters. “Not so,” we said. “We’re settling in Victoria, BC where people move to to escape the winters.”
Thing is, Victoria isn’t geared up to deal with snow like the rest of Canada. Most winters we’ve been here we’ve had snow, but it’s always been one dump, one day of traffic chaos. Then the roads are cleared and things settle down. It all looks pretty for a couple of weeks then it melts.
Last three years or so we’ve seen a change in the pattern, to snowfall spread out over multiple days causing fresh problems every day. This past week is a case in point.
Friday I happened to be working from home, catching up after my trip to Ottawa that I mentioned in my last post. During the day, about 5cm fell which I cleared from the driveway before Ali got home. Sunday night the storm hit. About 30cm which closed the highway that night. We dug ourselves out in the morning and I managed to get into work by mid-morning. It takes the three of us somewhere between 2 and 3 hours to shift that amount of snow from our long driveway.
Very scary drive home Monday in near-whiteout conditions. Lots of cars abandoned by the side of the road. Ali and Matthew were home (schools closed) and cleared the drive for me. Tuesday morning - another 30cm overnight and another 2-hour workout to dig ourselves out again. Wednesday was fine, but slippery slushy stuff started falling Thursday. Not much, but enough to be dangerous - probably more so than a proper snowfall. Our drive opens out near the bottom of a hill, and even crawling down at less than walking pace I couldn’t make the turn into the drive. The car just slid sideways. Managed to correct and carry on down to the bottom, then came back up and reversed into the drive. Yes, scary. Another brief workout Friday morning before getting to work.
Looks like we’ve got a reprieve for the coming week, with the possibility of more to come next weekend. We’ll see.
Of course, I’m still thankful to be living in relatively mild Victoria. Much of the country has had it a lot worse, so I can’t really complain. Wherever you are, I hope you’re staying warm and dry and safe!