Monday, 13 January 2014

Monday Morsel: Stranger In the Mirror

Welcome to the Monday Morsel feature, where I share short extracts from the first draft of my adult epic fantasy/fantasy romance, In the Company of the Dead

In this scene, our main character has retreated to his suite after an altercation with his captain and his aide, who quite frankly think their lord is losing his wits. As they part ways, the captain admonishes Lyram to clean up his act and shave, leaving our hero wondering why he allows his captain to get away with such insubordination.

* * *

Lyram’s razor blade sat on the washstand next to a pitcher of water. He dipped a finger in and shivered at the icy chill. Nevertheless, he picked up his razor and the silvered glass and examined his jaw.
Coarse blond stubble coated his chin and cheeks. How many days since he’d last shaved? He didn’t recall. What caught his eye, though, was the way his hair hung raggedly about his face. When had he cut it? Hacked it off with a knife, more like. Bloodshot blue eyes stared back at him, mocking. He dropped the razor. It clattered into the washbasin as he placed the mirror down with more care and turned away.
But above the desk, as mocking as his reflection, hung the portrait of his younger self, clean-shaven and staring imperiously with clear eyes out of the canvas, his shoulders squared and cloak flung back to reveal a sword. A solitary portrait, and years old now. The more recent painting he’d left in the capital.
That one had Alharne in it.

 * * *

Thanks for dropping by! Don't forget, this is a first draft, and as such won't be perfect. If you like what you read, and are so inclined, show your support by leaving a comment, and In the Company of the Dead will be available in the future. I aim to have the first draft finished by the end of March. If you'd like to sample more of my writing, check out my novella Confronting the Demon.


More about In the Company of the Dead:

Lyram already crossed a prince, and now he finds himself on the brink of crossing a god. 

Son of a duke and second in line for the throne, Lyram is exiled to a lonely castle after assaulting the crown prince. When a hostile army arrives to besiege the castle, he believes the prince wants him removed – permanently. 

As though answering their prayers, Ellaeva, the Battle Priestess of the death goddess, arrives unexpectedly. But she has not come to break the siege. Instead, she is in pursuit of a necromancer of the evil god of decay. When misfortune after misfortune befalls the beleaguered defenders, Lyram realises the necromancer is hidden within the walls, sabotaging the very defence.

Against the backdrop of clashing gods, Lyram must fight to save himself from the political machinations of his prince, and the dread plans of a necromancer. But as the siege lengthens, he realises the greatest threat may come from another quarter — a woman sworn body and soul to a god tempts him to pay a terrible price.


Unknown said...

I'm intrigued by the excerpt. He feels like a man at the end of his rope. I'd definitely be interested in reading more.

Marina Fin said...

Hey, sounds like a short story I once read! Funny how our shorts so often seem to want to grow into novels, isn't it?

While I'm here I'll say hi, just because I can. Haven't been able to comment on your blog for months. IE kept giving me an error message about your site forcing my browser "to use legacy mode", and there was no comment box. Now I've switched to Chrome I can see it again.

Ciara Ballintyne said...

Hi Marina!! Can't even remember how long it's been since we spoke. I read that short story the other day and cringed. It's not terrible, but it's not great either. The story is worth salvaging though!

That sure sounds like good old Internet Explorer...

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