It’s two weeks to Thief Eyes‘ release day, and five days until the deadline for the sagafic/sagacraft contest, and it’s also Teaser Tuesday, and for once I thought about posting a teaser before it was some other day instead. This is from pretty early in the book, and I don’t think it contains spoilers, but I’ll put it behind a cut anyway, for anyone who’s a purist about such things. (If you’re not reading through lj and are highly spoiler sensitive, this is where you want to stop reading.)
I clutched Mortimer, the stuffed brown wombat no one but Mom knew I slept with, and let soft sleep wrap around me, hoping for once I’d sleep without dreams.
Yeah, right. Just because I’d traveled thousands of miles and not slept for two days, what made me think the universe would give me a break?
I dreamed of a gray tower of toy blocks, stacked on a golden hillside. Dandelions had rooted in the blocks and gone to seed. Little white-and-black birds perched on their heights.
I dreamed of a bow made of fire. Someone drew the bowstring back, and a burning arrow arced through the air. The arrow struck the hillside; the ground shuddered and gaped open where it fell. More flames leapt up from beneath the earth. Birds screamed and fled. Blocks caught fire as they tumbled to the ground.
The flames leapt higher, turning into grasping arms that were made, like the bow, all of fire. I ran, and as I did I felt something catch beneath my skin. I knew then the fire was in me, not the earth, after all.
The acrid stench of smoke filled the air. “You must never run from sorcery,” a voice yelled, but I just ran faster, struggling to breathe through the smoke, while my skin melted away and my bones crumbled to ash–
I bolted upright in bed, sweat pouring down my face. Something burned in my hand–I opened my eyes and saw the small silver coin, engraved with its pattern of circles and lines. I flung the thing across the room. I’d left it in my jeans last night. I knew I had.
I sat there, gasping for breath, trying to shake off the nightmare. Sweat plastered my T-shirt to my skin. “Just a dream,” I whispered. Slowly, the fear that burned through me faded. I had nightmares all the time now. Usually they were about Mom: Mom being kidnapped, Mom falling into a ravine, Mom being stabbed or shot or simply getting lost and calling my name. By day I told myself Mom had to be all right, but at night I dreamed about every possible awful thing that could happen to her.
Mom hadn’t been in this dream, but I still had that stomach-aching, hands-trembling, after-nightmare feeling. “Just a dream.” I kept whispering so I wouldn’t wake Dad.
Want another teaser? The wonderful folks at Late Bloomer Online put up a very different excerpt, that will seem a little familiar for anyone taking part in the sagafic contest, as part of Sneak Peak Saturday a couple weeks ago.