Saturday, 24 December 2016

A Christmas sneak-peak at Book 4

Happy Christmas, readers! While Book 4 is so far away you'll be sad if I guestimated, here is a little snippet to thank you for your support and encouragement this year, and to help assure you that after that horrific cliff I left you dangling from, the story does go on. This piece comes from the prologue of the as-yet-unnamed Book 4.

Please remember that this is a veryveryfirst draft and is entirely liable to change and (hopefully) refinement over the course of the writing and editing process. Enjoy! Xxox

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They arrived at the doors of the operating room and Miranda paused to catch Renatus as the gurney went on without them. His tight, worried eyes widened as he realised he was to be parted from his apprentice, even briefly.
“No, Miranda-”
“Renatus, you need to get it together,” she told him, calmly but firmly. Aristea disappeared inside the theatre with the other medical staff. For just a moment, Miranda and Renatus were relatively alone – they mightn’t get another such chance. “Tell me what happened to her. Lisandro?”
“I need to-”
“Renatus,” Miranda snapped, trying to focus him. His attention was beyond her, following the girl he could no longer see. “You aren’t going inside my sterile operating environment looking like that.” She pointedly glanced over him, and he seemed to notice the blood on his own hands for the first time. If possible, he paled further, and she worried he might faint. She waved quickly in his face to recapture his attention. “You can see her again in a moment. You’ll scrub in, like everybody else. Tell me what we’re dealing with. How did this happen to her? Was it Lisandro?”
He was so lost, but he nodded quickly, trying to gather to himself the words she needed from him.
“She saw him before I did, and she ran… She wouldn’t stop, she wouldn’t let me stop her,” he explained hurriedly, “I tried. We couldn’t Displace. Otherwise I… He hit her with…” He gestured after her helplessly with his bloody hand. “I don’t know what it was. We’re wasting time.”
“Where were her wards?” Emmanuelle asked with a frown, arriving after having deflected the nurse. Renatus turned to her with blank, empty eyes.
“She let them down,” he murmured miserably. Aristea’s Wards instructor stared at him.
“She what? You let her into that situation without wards?! Why–”
“I told her, I swear.” Renatus looked like he didn’t know what else to say. “She was shielded – she shielded everyone – and then, I don’t know, she dropped them. This is all my fault,” he concluded aloud, pulling away and stalking a few paces down the hall, pressing his sticky hand to his face in distress and leaving a feral smear of blood before he could realise what he was doing.
He was right, they were wasting time. Miranda grabbed his arm as he paced back past her, staring with dread at his hands.
“Can you help us heal her?”
The look on his face was nothing short of broken. She gathered there was a huge story there she’d never heard, but now wasn’t the time.
“Renatus, you’re no good to anyone like this,” she said flatly, not caring if she sounded insensitive. What was the point of a superpower like Renatus if he was shedding magic everywhere indiscriminately instead of concentrating it on a task as significant as this one? “Get a hold on yourself. There’s raw magic in your apprentice’s flesh. We,” she indicated Emmanuelle with a nod of her head, “can close up those wounds but you need to pull that spell out.”
He was so white. He swallowed. Visibly pulled himself together. “Whatever you need.”

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