February/”What Fire Is”

(ETA: Link fixed now! Sorry about that!)

So working on this book has distracted me from putting stories up on my web site for longer than I’d intended, but I’m back now, and February’s story is “What Fire Is.”

This is the third story I’ve written set in Mercedes Lackey’s Velgarth (it appeared in Moving Targets and Other Tales of Valdemar, and the first one in which I ventured beyond Valdemar’s borders, to Valdemar’s enemies in Karse to the south. (Story is rated PG and may not be appropriate for younger readers.)

That was heresy, and we both knew it. If I repeated her words to Conor, Cara might be the one who burned. Though my mother said there hadn’t been a burning in our village for a long time, not since before Conor had come here.

Either way, I knew well enough I wouldn’t repeat anything. Yet still I said, defiant, “I’m not afraid of fire.”

“I am,” Cara said. “So promise. By Vkandis’ light.”

(It’s interesting rereading this story after working in the world of Bones for so long, because in ways both like and unlike Liza’s world, Karse is such a very harsh place.)

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