Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Milestone Blogfest

My apologies! I forgot to put up my entry for the Milestone Blogfest, which officially took place on Saturday.
Donna Hole is hosting a Milestone Blogfest today. You can pick anything you like that represents a milestone for your characters. I chose Faldur and Marenya's first kiss.

I'm not really into kissing scenes, so this was tough for me to write. They are at an all-night feast. It is tradition to stay up until the sunrise, but she is too tired from dancing and has fallen asleep against his shoulder.

(PS I'm still working on this, so consider your internal editor duly warned.)

Faldur listened to Marenya’s breathing as she fell asleep. When her head began to droop, he eased it onto his lap. She looked more like a child in her sleep, more as he remembered her always being. In the quiet coolness, the memory of his close call with the nightstalker came pressing back on him. It was always that way. No matter how hard he tried to forget, the moments played themselves over and over in his mind, robbing him of both peace and sleep. He closed his eyes and behind the lids saw the lion gathered to pounce, felt its blood on his face, the crushing pressure. He couldn’t breathe. He was helpless, pinned.

He opened his eyes again and shook his head like a dog shaking off water. He must not fall asleep, for then he might dream and cry out. He didn’t want to explain, didn’t want Marenya to know all that took place outside these walls.

At last he saw through the doorway that the first pink light had begun to seep across the sky. The other guests stretched and stirred, moving outside. He waited as long as he dared, then shook Marenya’s shoulder.

“Is it morning?” She sat up abruptly and blinked.

“Yes. Everyone’s gone outside.”

They walked out into the cold stillness of the garden, and up the steps to the wall. She shivered, and he wrapped his arms around her, for he had forgotten to fetch their cloaks. Below them everything was sparkling with snow and a pinkish golden light, clean and new and perfect like the first morning ever dawned.
The first edge of the sun’s bright disk appeared above the trees. Mel began to sing the song of the morning, his voice clear and strong.

Now the morning sun has woken
Its warm rays the earth caress

Other voices joined his.

Night is gone, the day is broken
Gone all shadows and distress

Something stirred in Faldur that he hadn’t felt in ages. It had been so long since he had known anything but the company of other Rangers, the cramped, smoky barracks, bad weather, worse food, watchfulness and danger, that he had nearly forgotten what it was like to be an ordinary hanor. This night had lifted the lid of a box long-closed and he was helpless to shut it again.

Mountain, river, field and forest
Their true colors glowing bright

Marenya was in his arms – soft, warm and still a little drowsy. They were standing behind everyone else. No one was looking at them. He bent his head down to hers and she looked up in surprise. He kissed her, their breath mingling in the frosty air. At first she froze, startled, but then responded with a sweetness that made the earth tilt strangely beneath him.

Light of Heaven, shine before us
Showing hope, and truth, and right

When they drew apart at last, she gazed into his eyes with the same devotion he had seen in Pelwyn’s face when she looked at Mel.

All at once, Faldur realized what he had done, and cursed himself.


  1. Oh boy! I love the twist at the end. Does her devotion scare him?

    I love the line:
    "their breath mingling in the frosty air"

    and I love the visual imagery of the pink sunrise against the white snow.

    Beautiful excerpt!

  2. This is a beautiful scene.
    I understand Faldur better.

  3. Thanks, Aubrie and Elaine. The purpose of this "prologue" is to elaborate on Faldur's character, since many of my readers had trouble connecting with him when I started the book later in the story. What I did was go back a few months, tell the beginning, and then jump forward with the action. It's not a offically a prologue, but it feels a little like one because of the time lapse that occurs.

    People say that you should start the story in mid-swing, but this was one instance where I felt some explanation was critical.

  4. I agree with Elaine. A beautiful scene... and I'm so rooting for these two.


I apologize for the word verification. I hate it, but the spammers made me do it.