This is a two day blogfest where participants (click on the picture on the left for a complete list of all involved) are asked to post on day one the first fight scene in their WIP (old or new, the choice is up to you). The second day (tomorrow) is devoted to the first kiss scene. The scenes do not have to be from the same manuscript but mine will be. They will, of course, be from Effigy.
There are many fight scenes in Effigy, verbal, physical and magical. But the very first one is between two secondary characters, Darian Coileáin and his wife, Rhoswen, as they argue over the fate of their eldest daughter, Haleine (the novel's main character). Enjoy...
Rhoswen didn’t notice Cathal as he left the room. Her eyes were locked on Darian.
“What arrangements?” Rhoswen asked when Cathal had gone. Her cheer from earlier has disappeared. “Why is he here?”
“The king sent him with a letter.”
“The king sent him,” Rhoswen said. Her voice showed she understood the implications. “Why? What does Nathan want now?”
Darian held out the parchment. “Our daughter.”
Rhoswen crossed the distance between them and snatched the parchment from his hand. While she read the king’s letter, Darian walked across the room to look again at his daughters. They sat together on a bench, the younger reading aloud from a book. He looked away when he heard Rhoswen gasp. She still gripped the letter but appeared to be reading it through again. How many times would she do that? Would three be enough or would she need three times more?
“No,” she said finally. “Nathan cannot do this. Haleine is already promised. She’s to be married to his own son.”
“That will not happen now.”
“This will not happen,” Rhoswen said, shaking the letter at him. “You cannot allow it.”
“This will happen. It is happening and I cannot stop it,” Darian said. “The king wants this. He wants Haleine for this.”
“Well, he can’t have her.”
“Of course he can have her. It’s already done.”
Rhoswen shook her head. “Make all the arrangements you want. I won’t let her be sent to that place. I won’t let her be married to that man.”
“That man is the crown prince of Lira.”
“Yes, and I know all too well what is said about him,” Rhoswen said. “For eighteen years, Darian, you fiercely guarded that girl from all threats and now you’re willing to just give her over to him? To that?”
“Not willing, no,” Darian said.
“But you’ll do it anyway,” Rhoswen said, “because you have always given the king what he wants.”
“We lost Mireille because Nathan wanted this godforsaken land that still fights against you and now we’ve lost Haleine because Nathan has no daughters of his own. What will he demand next? When does it end?”
“No,” she said. “This isn’t happening. There has to be a way— there has to be someone else. Haleine isn’t the only girl in his kingdom. He can—“
“This is an honor,” Darian said. “Nathan chose Haleine to honor us.”
“Well, I don’t want it. He can keep his honor. I’ll keep my daughter.”
“No you won’t,” Darian said. “She was never yours to keep. She has always belonged to the Maoilriains. I know you do not want this but the king—“
“I’ll not call that man my king,” she said, “and if you do this, I’ll not call you my husband.”
“You may do as you wish,” Darian said, forcing himself to say the words. “It won’t change this. The king has decided, madam, and we will obey.”
“You are no better than a slave,” she spat.
Darian sprang forward and took the letter from her. He tore it in half and then half again before throwing the pieces to the floor. Rhoswen watched them fall before kneeling to pick them up.
“That is true,” he said. “And you are no better than a slave’s wife but our daughter will be queen.”
Rhoswen stood and lifted her head to reveal her tears. Darian placed his hand on her cheek.
“It’s not so very far away,” he said.
“Only the other side of the ocean,” Rhoswen said as she walked away from him.
“She is your daughter. She is my daughter,” Darian said. “She is strong enough for this. She is strong enough for anything she may find there. She’ll not be lost.”
“No. Just given into the hands of a monster.”
Rhoswen stopped in front of the fire and dropped the pieces of parchment into the flames. Neither of them said anything as they watched the king’s will burn.
“I do not want this,” Rhoswen said when it had been reduced to ash.
Darian nodded. “Pretend.”
That's going to do it for me today. Be sure to tune in tomorrow when I reveal the scene in which my main characters share their first kiss... Oh, and go check out the other participants. There's some very good writing to be found out there...