The First 750 Words

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Taking Vengeance

Taking Vengeance by M. K. Theodoratus

Synopsis:

Fiction – Fantasy

Melancholy haunts Mariah, once a hero of the Rebellion that saved the Far Isle Half-Elven from genocide. The people have grown fearful of Mariah’s great elvish powers and shun her. Linden, the ruler, fights with her constantly over how the Marches should be governed.  Her sorrow grows when Ashton, her partner, uses spying on their southern enemies as an excuse to avoid her fights with Linden, his brother.

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Taking Vengeance
Once Upon a Late Spring Evening
When All Was Quiet
In the Marches of the Far Isles
1597
I
VsmlTak Veng Cover     Mariah lifted her arms over her head, stretching to feel the full impact of the retreating gale.  If only we could sail away from our troubles like our daughter!
Tired from a day of mediating petty disputes for her holding, Mariah stood on a promontory over-looking the churning eastern sea.  The wind whipped her unbraided chestnut hair around her head. The gusts tempted her to ride the buffeting air currents without keeping her pointed ears tacked to her head out of sight.  The illusion of freedom teased the weight of time from her thoughts.
For a moment, she thought of removing her shirt to feel the wind against her unbound breasts but changed her mind.  The thought held no allure without Ashton.  When alone, they often sailed the air currents making love, their souls merging until their bodies glowed and sparked with their co-mingled power.
Her mind reached out to caress the tether between them.  Ashton was angry.  Her lips tightened, but she couldn’t help him.  They had agreed to live apart.
     “Mother, where are you?”
     Her daughter’s silent cry riveted Mariah’s attention away her own discontent.  Norie and her family should have set sail by now.  Unexpected pain invaded her mind as she sought out her daughter, only to catch a dim glimpse of her own hall far to the west.
     “Ambush.”
The thought was a bare whisper before the connection between them went dark.  Mariah transferred home to find her daughter bleeding on the floor.  A harpoon pierced the babe in her carrypack and opened a gaping wound across Norerah’s back until it embedded under her shoulder.  Her reddish-brown brown warrior’s braid fell across the blood soaked rag rug the two had stitched together during the long winter’s nights.
Kneeling by the expanding stain, Mariah struggled to remain calm.  She took a deep breath as her fingers traced the path of the harpoon barb.  Using the elfish magic that made her a skilled healer, she mentally probed the broken ribs and lacerated flesh as she sought the source of pulsing blood.  She needed to stop the flow for Norie had already lost too much blood.
Mariah took deep breaths to stay calm.  The aftermath of battles always crippled her thinking.  She forced from her mind the mocking memory of her elder son sprawled on a battlefield pierced by arrows.  The healer had no time to soothe that wound to her heart.  Only a thread tied her daughter’s life to this world.
Twisting her hair into a knot with bloody hands, Mariah bit her lip.  The Summerlands can’t have her.  I refuse to give her up to the Fates!
Closing her eyes, she knew death would still be gloating when she reopened them.  Fear and anger beat in rhythm with her heart.  Abandoning her pride, Mariah called for the help she needed to save Norie.  “Nurtana, to me with your kit!  I need your help.”
Her friend’s ring-mate, Wintel, answered.  “My, my, aren’t you in a jolly mood, love.  You haven’t felt so snarly since Linden refused to allow the rangers live away from the camp.  Do you need my help too?”
Wintel, who was as prominent a healer as his partner and a strong ally in Mariah’s constant fights with Ashton’s half-brother, mentally embraced her, hugged Mariah close as few others in theMarches would dare.  Wintel’s calm touch soothed her anguish a little, but Ashton’s arms would have comforted her more.  Mariah shook her head.  She needed to concentrate on Norie.
“I sent some of my new cleansing potion with Nurtana.  There’s more if you need it.  May the Fates be kind.”
“Blazes!  Who had the balls to attack Norerah?  Did the Suthrons violate the treaty or was it the Drummers again?”  Nurtana named their enemies to the north and south as she appeared in Mariah’s hall, her healer’s kit slung over her shoulder.  “Do we need Wintel’s skills too?  He’d leave his herbs for this.”

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Bio:

http://www.mktheodoratus.com

Snarly elves are my specialty. My scattered reviews consider my take on elves —  different, even though conflict over magic-users vs normal humans is a cornerstone of my story lines. Other people think my Half-Elven stories are fast-paced, exciting, and have engaging characters.

Fantasy has intrigued me since I read the comics, the Oz and Tarzan books as a kid. As a teen, I discovered A. Merritt, Leigh Brackett, and Fritz Leiber among other fantasy writers in the paperbacks at a hardware/junk store. British children’s fantasy writers like Lloyd Alexander, Susan Cooper, and Molly Hunter reinforced my interest. It’s no wonder I write fantasy.

Writing became a habit with me when my sixth grade teacher had us write a story for English. First I hated it, grumping all the way, but  then, decided I liked creating worlds. I have been writing ever since though most of my scribbles are lost in the detritus of time.

I started writing in the world of the Far Isle Half-Elven in the early 2000s when I became intrigued about the effects of population genetics on an elf/human population. The stories were complicated because the elvish characters endured for over 400 years while generations of humans died. Some think Mariah is the character I identify with … but it’s Renna who succumbs to human aging who interests me more.

 

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