Last year I stepped outside of my comfort zone as it pertains to my writing. Although I am partial to fantasy novels, I penned a short story written in first person, a point of view I have never tried. Please enjoy the following excerpt from 'Lily'.
The pounding startled me, the echo like thunder booming down the length of Jeshion Hall, the hall of my prison. The doors tall and thick as much a prison door to me as any gated rail. The wood, carved from times long past and aged beyond memory are my bane, the shield of my overlord. The echo announces the coming of the king, my captor, my jailor, my undertaker.
He arrives late in the day, not his usual pattern by any means. My captor does keep as close to a regular schedule as possible. As Jeshion Hall is by its nature a formal seat, it has its own traditions in spite of the whims of the throne’s current occupant who has been my jailor for my embalmed eternity. The sun’s arc has long since passed its apogee as I am rewarded with a glimpse of his robes, flowing and distinct as the stillness of the airs are marred by his movement.
I can tell he is tired by the withering lines of his face. He looks far older now as sleep eludes him. It is a long war he has presided over; the ravages of time and the death of his son have muffled his roar. Is the Lion losing a step? How much does he have left to protect his pride? His walk once powerful and steady now hesitates. Will his eyes find me this day? Will his troubled heart reach out and suffer upon me?
“How does this day treat you, mongrel?” His steps soft cover the last tiles as he approaches the dais. His voice belies his steps; strong for his years.
I nod as I cover my legs with my arms hiding the dirt that covers me. My feet hit the chipped edge of the large slab that rises slightly giving me traction to push my body against the stone wall. Its coolness radiates through my thin rags against my skin. I have not addressed him in five years to the day, the day before the Heustrol, the day his son was lost in battle. His tears fell to my skin as he whipped me in his furor. I cover the scars in his presence.
“What say you, chieftain?” His lordship turns and spreads his robes as they fall across the arms of the gilded chair perched high on the marble slab. My lord is quickly seated as his gaze stares down the length of the hall.
“I bring tidings of battle on this festive day.”
“It is no day for celebration to me.”
“We are in Heustral, my lord.”
My ears turn to the sounds of the new voice and the gathering of sounds that now permeate throughout Jeshion Hall. An instant before my eyes fall upon his crimson robes the memory I have pushed to the back of my mind explodes into view. I cannot hide deep enough in the shadows of my corner to escape his cruelty. His eyes find mine hidden in the darkness as he throws a glancing sneer toward me before addressing the king. His retinue surrounds his person as warrants to his importance. His robes though lightly soiled from the fields of war pale only in comparison to those of his lord.
Lily is free to download for your Kindle reader or tablet Friday 1/18 and Saturday 1/19.