Once again, here is the list of blog participants so you can visit them and see what they have done. This is a great way to get a feel for the author's writing style, and maybe find a new read in the process.
Kayla Curry (Host)
S. M. Boyce
A. F. Stewart
Tami Von Zalez
Danielle-Claude Ngontang Mba
Without further ado, here is the new Lunula scene:
In The Hands of Fate
It seemed impossible, but there it stood before me. A bent and twisted tree, grown completely horizontally so its branches and leaves hung like the fingers of an outstretched arm. And in the middle of town square, too, its base bursting from the thick gray stone like the granite had been nothing but a layer of parchment between the tree and its sideways grasp at life.
Bent to the side as it was, it barely reached the waist of the small, brown-haired girl who stood behind it. Her golden eyes commanded my gaze, unflinching. “Do you wish to know?”
I adjusted my pack on my sore shoulder, trying to ignore the fire in my feet and legs from three days of relentless travel on foot. Reaching my next assignment in Lord Rhys’ province had been fraught with disaster. And here I stood puzzling over a bizarre piece of fauna. “What, about the tree?” I asked.
She shook her head, and from the pocket of her dirty gray smock, she pulled a handful of amber stones. “Your fate.”
A sour taste filled my mouth. With hooded eyes, I mumbled. “I already know that one. Thanks, though.”
Before I could move on, she stretched her hand out, pleading. “Your essence flows from your every breath.” Her eyes, the color of the stones in her dingy palm, widened further. “It calls to the blood of the earth beneath us.”
I didn’t bother to disguise my derisive expression. “Really?”
“Please,” she gestured to the trunk before her, and I noticed for the first time that a valley of some sort had grown into it. The dip, like a naturally formed bowl in the body of this strange plant, had also been marked with carved letters. “I can read it.”
I was the only witch in one hundred years. Only one other possessed the magical gifts of the Fates, and he was hopefully many hundred leagues from this place. So I folded my arms, raising a brow patronizingly. “Are you the witch, then?”
She gave me a knowing smile. “No. But the magic of the Fates, it runs through every living thing. In some things stronger than others.”
I barely stopped myself from rolling my eyes. “So you will tell my future with your tree.”
“Hold the stones,” she encouraged, offering them to me again.
There were seven of them; the number of Fates. I let her deposit them onto my palm, and I curled my pale fingers around them. They felt cold against my warm skin, which was heated from the scalding, summer sun above. When the stones had seeped some of the warmth from my body, the girl gestured for me to drop them in the basin.
When I did so, they clattered into the trunk, settling quickly. Despite my reservations, I leaned forward to peer at the result. They looked like rocks in a tree.
The girl bent close to the stones, jutting her pink, lower lip out. “You have greatness on your shoulders.”
Ignoring my impudence, she continued. “You have weighted your stones, your fate, on love. It will be the greatest triumph of your kind,” her amber eyes lifted. “It will beget a glorious future.” When I said nothing, she continued, “And I see death. A most certain, but noble death.”
“We all die,” I said, my voice suddenly hoarse.
“But not in the warlock’s hands,” she replied, straightening.
I stared at her for a few moments, and then flipped her a copper coin. “Very entertaining, thank you.”
She caught the coin, but her eyes, those golden orbs like the unblinking, searching gaze of a night owl followed my retreat. “It is your children we will thank. They will usher forth a new and prosperous way of life.”
With one last, perplexed scowl I left her standing with her tree in the courtyard. I did not want her words to affect me, but they pierced my mind with every step I took. In the warlock’s hands. My worst of fears had been preyed on by an urchin with a log. Shaking my head, I tried to set it from me. It was only an act. Just a trick.
Besides, I thought with a smirk. No matter what she might have guessed of me, there would never be love in my fate. The smirk faded. Not ever.