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Nandar, Isle of Shadow: Chapter 1Chapter One : Eclipse and Destiny
Urila Aizavian stood up and stretched, kneading the small of her back with one hand. The silver sun of Everarda was sinking toward the distant horizon, its lengthening rays painting the landscape orange and red, and she gathered up her tools and headed home. Almost all of the rice-ﬁeld had been planted, and Urila was proud, having done most of the work herself. Undoubtedly, this was why her parents had still not seen to her marriage, despite the fact that she was one-and-twenty years of age: She was the youngest of eight children, her parents’ dotage was fast approaching, and they hoped to have someone remaining in their home to care for them. The other ﬁeld-workers called out to her and to one another, some bidding good-day, others grouping together and heading for the tavern in town.
Urila’s close friend and age-mate Malisa moved over toward her, nodding to the west. “The wind is changing,” she said.
Nandar, Isle of Shadow: ProloguePrologue : To Dance with the Fates
Kamiras viela Malithos plucked absentmindedly at her vermilion-fringed sash, then irritably dropped her hands to her sides when she realised what she had been doing. Fidgeting was not a habit she wanted associated with the head of the Anifeira Order, stewards of Fire magic. Tanilela, standing a few steps to her left, arched an eyebrow but said nothing.
“Where is that man?” Kamiras burst out, clasping her hands behind her back and beginning to pace before the ornately-carved goldwood desk. “He agreed to an audience with us, and is seven minutes late! He, who tolerates tardiness under no circumstances! I swear, when he gets here, I’ll—”
“You will do nothing,” Tanilela said coolly, “since we all know how much you value your position.”
Kamiras whirled around with a huff, twitching the lacy shawl on her shoulders despite the fact that it needed no adjustment. “It’s just that
Portal to Twilight: Chapter 1CHAPTER ONE : The Door
(Marissa Giles’ narrative)
I lowered myself into a chair in the living room and stared numbly out the window. The bright sunlight and ﬁne weather outside—rare enough in this part of Oregon at this time of year—seemed to mock me. Why couldn’t it be raining?
Suddenly I jumped up and bellowed in fury and frustration. I heard my voice crack and degenerate into wailing sobs that racked my body, and I collapsed to the ﬂoor and lay there, howling. It was not until several hours later that I awakened, immediately realising that I must have cried myself to sleep, and looked at the time. My younger siblings would be getting home from school soon, and one of them needed to be taken to soccer practise. I rubbed a hand over my face and smoothed back my hair, feeling muzzy and disjointed, but somehow cleaner, refreshed. At least I had done my crying, and could be strong now for my little siblings.
My parents had run into complicatio
Portal to Twilight: ProloguePrologue
She was sitting in the ﬁnal exam of her East Asian History and Culture class when the police came asking for her. There was only a single question left, so she scribbled in the answer and dropped the test on the professor’s desk before following them into the hall.
“You’re Marissa Giles?” one of them, a woman with a short French braid, asked.
“Yes, that’s me. Is something wrong?” Sure, I’m not perfect, she thought, but I haven’t done anything to warrant arrest. Have I?
“We have some bad news,” she said, in a calm and neutral voice that still boded the worst. “There’s been an accident.”
“An—an accident? Where?”
“This morning, on Route 97, just west of Crater Lake, there was an avalanche triggered by snowmelt,” she explained, as Marissa’s heart raced and her stomach sank. “We’ve just ﬁnished identifying the dead.
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