I just hit publish on the kindle version of my short story Morrighan and I’m so impatient that I’m literally sitting at my computer compulsively clicking refresh hoping that it’s gone live in the last five seconds. And, finally it has!
So, why did I decide to publish a few short stories? Well, because I’m still working on the edits of The Winter Princess I wanted to share something instead of appearing idle to the publishing world. And hopefully build up a bit of a readership along the way.
The first story, Morrighan, deals with a retelling of the Arthurian Legends from Morgan le Faye’s point of view with a paranormal twist.
Here’s an excerpt from the story…
The wind whipped through her hair, tossing the dark strands over her face and obscuring her vision. High above the sea, on the rocky crag the aerie was full.
Nemain settled on Morgan’s shoulder; the bird’s talons digging into the soft leather pauldron. She had become so used to it now that she didn’t even wince as the bird took its time hoping about on her shoulder before settling down.
As she turned her head and looked Nemain straight in the eye, the bird cocked its head to one side, its beady onyx eyes staring back at her. “Where are your sisters?” Morgan asked.
Nemain cawed once before raising one wing upwards, just as two more birds few in, circling once around Morgan’s head; the beat of their wings echoing in her ears. Badb and Macha landed one after the other on the leather gauntlet that covered her left arm from her fingertips right up to her elbow.
Smiling, Morgan gave a brief nod to each bird in turn. As she picked up the reins in her right hand, she nudged the dapple grey gelding on with her thighs, while being careful as she navigated her way down the steep path, that that had been worn into the cliff face after years of repetitive use and headed across the field for home.
It was true that she could have spent all day up at the aerie, looking out at the sea below while observing the hatchlings, but Morgan knew if she did she was only putting off the inevitable. That eventually she would have to see Arthur, and while she quite enjoyed the solitude, in having only the birds for company, she feared his wrath more.
Arthur, like most fey, was deathly afraid of birds, ravens in particular. It was said to see one was a bad omen, to lay eyes on three signified one’s own death. So superstitious was Arthur that when he and Morgan had been presented the murder of ravens as a wedding gift he’d threatened to spill their blood then and there in the reception hall.
What had been seen couldn’t be unseen, however; Arthur was destined to die.
Had it been anyone else but the Queen of Camelot’s kin that had presented such a gift to the newlyweds, the lives of Badb, Macha and Nemain, wouldn’t have been spared at all.
Pressing her thighs to the gelding’s flanks she worked him up to a trot before she gave the animal its head and allowed him to lengthen his stride until he was pacing at an even canter. Spying Arthur not far from the castle she brought the horse under control, knowing full well what was in store for her, should feathers wind up shedding on his clothing.
Bringing the ravens out of the aerie at dusk was not entirely wise, but Morgan was never one to play by anybody else’s rules but her own.
“Those creatures belong in the aerie not out here by castle walls,” Arthur said facing her.
“And fey belong in children’s story books,” Morgan spat.