Wednesday, November 23, 2016

An Excerpt from Chapter One

Greetings, my dear readers! The High Holidays have come and my world has reached Warp Factor Plaid.

I wanted to write something clever and insightful about plot twists, but that will have to wait until next time. Therefore, I am going to leave you all with another excerpt from my book. This bit is from Chapter 1 (The prologue bits can be found here: "An Excerpt From My Prologue"), though it is not the entire chapter. Enjoy!

“Tsk.” chided his oldest sister. “You shouldn’t have taken so long. I’ve nearly burnt your dinner.”
Llewellyn bustled about the open hearth that sat in the center of the large circular room. A large cast iron kettle was nestled within the glowing coals alongside a covered clay baking dish. A copper kettle hung from a cast iron hook looped over a bar that spanned the diameter of the pit. Two andirons cast in the shape of spreading trees were anchored in the raised masonry that encircled the hearth while the reaching branches supported the cross bar. A generous column of steam from the kettle plumed upwards into the inverted brass funnel that comprised the chimney to be carried away through a series of channels and flues carved into the rock by the molten rock of the extinct volcano.
Llewellyn was taller than him. Actually, all four of his siblings were taller than he was, favoring their mother’s side of the family while he tended towards the traits of his father’s family. Athletic as a child, her once lithe form was now curved with the weight of having borne three children of her own. Ever the matriarch of the Mawr siblings, she had insisted on providing a meal for him and Oona at least once a week since Branwen had been taken. Darby suppressed a laugh when Llewellyn cursed after burning her fingertips on the kettle. He decided against telling her that she was just as likely to burn the dinner with or without them.
Dinner progressed quietly as Darby and Oona suffered through the main dish of Mung fish. Looking very much like an algae covered log with rudimentary fins, it tasted more of lake water than of anything savory. Darby watched as Oona picked absently at the portion on her plate, elbows on the table, her head propped against her free hand. He had just lifted his fork when he heard Llewellyn cough slightly.
“You know she doesn’t like Mung, Llew.” He said without looking over.
Llewellyn shifted in her seat. “I don’t see why.” She replied cooly. “Kewen loves it.”
Her husband Kewen was from one of the fishing families that lived down on the lake. Mung fish was only one of the peculiar traditions that he had brought into the family. To anyone else, it would seem that Llewellyn was simply being supportive, but Darby knew his sister better.
“Sparks,” she said firmly, clacking her fork down onto the wooden plate. Darby scowled at the nickname. She was the only one left in all of the Brehon society who insisted on still using it. “She has to learn to start accepting things she doesn’t like.”
 Darby glanced over to Oona and found her studying her plate with great intent. She had, however, stopped stirring the contents of her plate. Her hands lay flat on either side of the plate while her hair had fallen forward hiding her expression. Darby knew his daughter as well and could easily see how this exchange was going to end.
Yet, before he could move to diffuse things, Oona slapped her hands against the table and shouted, “My mother is not dead!”
Llew’s cheeks colored and her gaze hardened. “How could she possibly be?” she replied in a level voice edged with anger. “If she had lived, she would have come back by now.”
Darby sprang up, tipping over his chair as he rounded on his sister. Llewellyn glared back at him with a look that dared him to defy her. “Löre’s Breath!” he shouted!
He didn’t get any farther. Before he could say anything more, Oona pushed away from the table and ran up the stairs. The slam of her door burst his rising anger allowing it to leach away within a few breaths. Llewellyn blushed and then looked away.  Darby sagged against the table hanging his head as he fought to marshal his thoughts.

“Go home, Llew.” He said finally.

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