Shifting Sands is going quite well. A bit slow, but that’s half my fault and half the fact that I can’t type very quickly. I am working on remedying both problems. But I’m excited about the story and everything is going well…
Who wants snippets?
If you have any helpful criticism (though I don’t know how you possibly could without the rest of the context the snippet is in), feel free to leave it in the comments. Enjoy.
Sandstorms almost never came to Kathos.
“Are you okay? Let me help you up.” Claire squinted and looked up to see a someone wearing bright green. A hood covered most of his face and a pair of goggles protected his eyes. A Sand-Wizard and judging by the voice, a man. His hand was outstretched to her, waiting for her to grab it and pull up. Even though she had always been awed by these people and had wanted to see them in action, she hesitated before taking the Sand-Wizard’s hand. She stood up and gasped as a fresh spasm of pain burst in her ankle.
“Come with me.” The man put one arm around Claire’s shoulders to steady her. She put an arm around his shoulders as best as she could; he was about a foot taller than her. With his help, Claire limped toward a building.
As they walked, Claire noticed that there wasn’t any sand blowing around them. She looked up at the Sand-Wizard. He must be the reason the sand stopped, he was controlling it. The man glanced at her and their eyes met. She blushed and turned away.
Claire’s parents had hidden her from the Ministry. They didn’t believe in the Hingut religion, but to say so or to try to leave the cult was almost asking to be tortured and possibly executed. No one could leave. No one could doubt. Anyone who tried was made an example. Claire’s parents were considered lucky that all that had happened to them for hiding her was that she was just given to the Ministry.
Lucky? To have their daughter taken from them forever?
“But Claire Mariel,” the High Priest smiled again, “This is an honor— the biggest honor a novice can ever hope to receive. Why wouldn’t you want to do this?”
“Because I’ll die. Please, is there no way someone else can do this or that I can buy my way out?”
“We all die eventually. This is just an honorable way.”
“With all due respect,” a hint of iciness edged into her voice, “this is still a death sentence, no matter how you try to hide it in all your talk of honor. The Chosen still dies, no matter how you dress it up and gloss over it.”
Claudius stood in front of her, arms crossed and a frown on his face. This was her first chance to get a good look at him. His hair was dark brown, a striking contrast to her blond. They both had gray-blue eyes, but hers were merely overcast skies while his eyes were already infused with the storm. His face was angular and his shoulders broad. The impression he gave Claire was strength.
And irritation. Claudius was definitely irritated with her.