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Friday Snippet – The Fire Within

Originally published at Joely Sue Burkhart. You can comment here or there.

I haven’t done a snippet of the novella, The Fire Within, for quite a while, so I thought I’d share a little dream sequence. Dreams aren’t just simple sleepy-time visions in this world, as you will see. Darius is the High King of Shanhasson, the throne stolen from the legitimate blood line through murder and treachery. His sister, Eleni, talked him into letting her travel to Keldar to seek allies, where she plans to escape. War approaches Shanhasson, and Darius is desperate enough for more troops that he allows Eleni to flee. She’s never far from his influence, not when he can walk in her dreams with his dark power. She seeks sanctuary with Zahak and/or his brother, the leader of his tribe.

She walked on blood-red sands swept across a blasted land riddled with ravines. A full moon blazed down in the velvet sky, lighting the strange landscape. Ahead, a twisted black Spire pierced the sky. She wanted to run as far away from that Spire as possible, but it sucked her ever closer, her feet heavy and dragging through the sand.

Something in her blood stirred at the sight of that dull-black rock, like worms wriggling in a corpse.

At that thought, Darius appeared, walking across the cracked ground as though he were emperor of the world. She waited for the familiar flood of adrenaline, the rushing of blood in her ears, the vicious clenching of her stomach. Yet all she felt was a spreading warmth in her veins.

Tea. Fire Tea.

Keldar is a hard land.

She remembered Zahak, the feel of his arms sliding around her as she fell. The raw silk scent of his skin, dust and spice and sweat and man. He

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