Tuesday Tales is a weekly blog featuring diverse authors who post excerpts from their WIPs based on word and picture prompts. Today our prompt is the word great. The snippet is from a paranormal historical romance with a heroine named Audrissa. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.
From a squat solitary candle, tallowy shadows hovered within the hut. With their pulsing dance, they reminded Audrissa of wild chained beasts aching to be untethered. Dusk at the dark of the moon always made her nervous. Biting her lip, she peeked outside the rickety door to make certain no curious village urchins lurked about, spying. Then she closed the door and lowered the bar.
With a threadbare apron tied around her waist, Old Tildy busied herself at the table getting things ready. Her voice came out papery and brittle. “Bring me the chicken, gal.”
Careful not to let the slippery innards slide onto the floor, Audrissa carried the saucer of liver and gizzard and set it down on the clean but weathered table. Her fingers clasping the table’s edge, she waited for the magic. Each time, she learned something new. Maybe soon she’d get to perform the ritual herself. At that thought she couldn’t stop herself from pleading. “Can I toss the bones tonight?”
Old Tildy cackled, her grizzled hair floating like loose wool. Then, cocking her head to one side, she seemed to reconsider. “You turn fifteen with the next moon, don’t you, gal?”
Moths fluttering in her belly, Audrissa nodded. “If your figuring is right, I do.”
“That will be time enough for you to start your casting. Well enough?”
“Yes ma’am, well enough.”
Tilting the saucer, Old Tildy trickled a few drops of the fresh blood into her scrying bowl. She piled the casting bones in her gnarled hands and clasped her hands to her breast, muttering a few foreign sounding words. She inhaled, and with a deep exhale she released the bones. The next minute she shrieked.
Audrissa jumped. “Odin’s toes, what do you see?”
The old woman trembled as she yanked off her apron and covered the scrying bowl. She set her big knife on top. “Hush your swearing, gal. A stranger comes.”
Hoofbeats drummed on the road, louder, and then stopped out front.
Audrissa hurried to stand by Old Tildy.
When the loud knock sounded, they edged together toward the door. Old Tildy called out. “Who is it?”
“Lord Ramby’s man. The lord orders the girl Audrissa to the Great Hall. She is to sup at his table tonight.”
Thanks so much for stopping by. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.
Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Paranormal Fantasy Romance