Meet Marissa

Posted: June 7, 2014 by writingsprint in Fantasy
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

dancing girlBefore tonight’s sample from Shadow and Shade, I wanted to remind everyone that it’ll be available as a free download for Kindle as a special promotion tonight and Sunday only.

I hope you love it. If you do, leave a cool review, and spread the word! THANK YOU!

Logan’s nostrils caught the thin trace of a smell on the breeze that didn’t quite belong. It was like smoke, but sweeter, like pine needles. He looked around carefully, then noticed that Laik wasn’t sitting in his usual place. “Who else is coming?” Logan asked.

Laik frowned. “What makes you say that?”

“You usually sit over here,” Logan said, gesturing to his right. What was that smell…Logan thought it was…incense?

Yes, that was it. There was a missionary in the village from the lands past Wood’s End who always smelled that way. In good wind and settled mind, he could pick up the scent a mile away. The missionary’s second home, his ca-pel—Woodlanders couldn’t say chapel—usually reeked of it. Logan frowned. There was no way Laik would have spending time in Jon’s chapel. “Who else is here?”

Laik’s looked back over his right shoulder and raised his voice. “He knows! You can come out now!” Unmindful footsteps cracked the branches and kicked over stones behind Laik. “My friend, this is Marissa. She arrived in the village a few days ago, and I thought she might enjoy a little hospitality.” Logan drew his gaze to the girl who walked out from the shadows. His eyes widened.

Marissa moved fluidly, gracefully, like someone more inclined to dancing or a stroll than hard, sweaty work. She didn’t notice that her skirt was close enough to catch on the fire, or if she did, she didn’t care. Marissa was a Southlander, like the missionary. Her eyes would reach just above his shoulders, and they were a lustrous shade of nearly black brown. They had the flicker of the wisdom that Laik’s seemed to have. Her skin was lightly tanned. He followed the line of her nose to her lips, from her lips to her neck. Her rounded cheekbones and chin had the mirthful hint of a smile. Marissa’s hair was brown, lighter than his, with scattered strands of red in there that spiced it up. It was brushed away from her face, letting him see the delicate curve of her ears.

The kerchief that the missionary’s daughter and wife always wore dangled from her hand. That explained the incense. “So you’re Logan,” she said, speaking passable Woodlander. Logan smiled as she sat down in Laik’s usual place.

“Did he tell you that?” Logan asked.

“You’re the mystic, not her,” Laik said. “How else did she know?”

Logan tossed a stone at him. “Don’t be a pain,” he replied. He looked at Marissa, then asked Laik, “Did you bring it?”

“Never forget it.” Laik produced a short, wooden flask of his father’s wine from behind his back and tossed it over to him. All Woodlanders made fruit wine as a social drink, but Laik’s father made it with a stronger taste, and usually a better kick.

Logan asked, “Slug, Marissa?”

“Guests always first,” Laik added.

She cocked her head, and yes, a mirthful smile appeared. Logan also had the impression that not only was she an experienced drinker, but she might be a challenge to drink under. There was a mischievous look in her eyes: we’re smarter than we look, but don’t tell anyone. That way we can get away with more. That kind of look.

Photo credit: Cuadros y Lienzos
Used without permission


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