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Snippet

Well, sort of.  This is more of a deleted scene from “Lost Children“.  I tried to fit it into the book, but it never seemed to want to lay down and roll over for me, so I left it out.  Maybe it’ll get re-used at some later date.  It hasn’t been polished at all, but I hope you like it.


Elissa slipped into the meeting hall. Kara, half asleep from Ruarin’s concoction, fussed at the ache in her gums, but soothing words from the older woman lulled her into quiet once more.

“And now, child, let us see where your life will lead you,” Elissa whispered as she stepped across the dark hall.  At a wave of her hand, several lamps next to the cauldron burst into life, bathing the swirling sand in golden light.

Elissa, still cradling the infant in her arms, reached into the cauldron and gently laid the baby down on her stomach.  She took up a pinch of the fine dust and sprinkled it over the child.  Continuing the sweep of her hand, she muttered a spell, causing the dust to stir anew.

“This is the ash of Hadash, with all of the memories of our people,” she said to Kara.  The little girl looked up at her, a line of drool running down from the corner of one mouth.  “With it, we shall see where your fate lies.”

The dust mounded up in three places, then began to coalesce into recognizable shapes.  The mounds formed into a sword, a hammer, and a gryphon.  The figures moved about the baby, then settled into a semi-circle in front of her.

“These are the symbols of our lives,” Elissa whispered.  “The sword is for a warrior, the hammer for a craftsman.  The gryphon, symbol of our family and of all of the Chanani, is for our leaders.”  She gently ran her hand over the soft curls of dark hair ringing the child’s head. “Choose, Kara, so that we may know what you will be.”

The baby looked about at the figures arrayed around her, her dark eyes fixing on each of them as her neck wobbled from holding up her head.  Elissa made a small gesture, and the figures began to parade in front of the child, each one pausing for a heartbeat in front of her before moving on.

The child watched the hammer pass without reaction.  As the sword passed, the child belched, causing its ash to scatter a bit.  A gentle smile crossed Elissa’s face at that.

Finally, the gryphon strutted to stand in front of her, and with a squeal, Kara reached for it.  At her touch, the dust fell apart, leaving behind only a puff to fall onto her hand as it passed through her chubby fingers.

Elissa picked the baby up and held her to her breast.  Carefully, she stood and turned back toward the door.

“Good, good,” she said to the baby.  Kara’s head slowly descended onto Elissa’s shoulder as she walked across the hall.  “I suspected you’d have power, but now we know.”

The matron waved her had back toward the cauldron, snuffing the lamps and plunging the room back into darkness. Kara, for her part, had fallen fast asleep before they reached the open door.

“You will have much to learn,” Elissa said as she pulled the door to the hall closed behind her, “but in time you will follow your mother’s path.”

4 Comments

  1. Hate it when that happens… Sigh… Stuff that got left out of book 1 is now going into book 5 if that is any consolation…

    • I have several ‘good idea’ files that have things that aren’t working now, but might in the future.

  2. suz

     /  June 19, 2017

    Oooo! I like it very much! Just make sure Elissa is waving her hand, not her had in the 2nd to last paragraph. I know, not polished…
    I enjoy any thing that helps to tell the rest of the story.

    • This is actually based on something I’ve seen in a few families. On their first birthday, you place the child in their high chair. You put a rosary, a hammer, a book, a knife, and a few other things indicative of future professions in front of them. The first thing they reach for is supposed to show what they will be as an adult.

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