Welcome to a Week of Excerpts

(Day 2)

The Missing Shield is epic high fantasy but it still has a little bit of everything, so today I thought I’d treat you to a bit of mystery from episode #3 (A Perspective of Death).

The realisation shocked Solancei and in the blink between blinks as fogs cleared from her mind, she saw past the soft illusion and caught a notion of chaos in the way the tiles seemed to caper all around her as though pulsing with life. Without reason, the sight frightened her and she ripped her hand from the wall and walked on faster than before then – concerned now to note how easily her eyes seemed to catch this swirl or that, to be instantly drawn from thought or body if she allowed it.

Eerie feelings ruling her, she walked on. Just walk. Don’t look at any one place for too long. Just walk. But the patterns were so intricate; how could one not admire them? It seemed criminal. At some point, blues and reds were introduced too, making the odd angles and smooth circles seem positively huge in the flickering torchlight, and still the swell of tiles continued to increase: underfoot, overhead, at the corner of her eye.

Tens, then hundreds, perhaps thousands – the patterns grew, undulating and expanding, filling the rough-hewn walls to bring ceiling and floor into one, now almost closing the gaps of raw wall to make her feel like she’d been swallowed into the bejewelled belly of a leviathan.

It was obscene. Solancei closed her eyes every time she passed a torch. Meandering madness traipsed at her heels; a never-ending labyrinth of colour and form waited like camouflaged wraiths to reach for her spirit, and if caught…

Solancei opened her eyes and realised they were already open. She’d stopped in the middle of the corridor, her gaze plastered onto a particular burst of colour with a spiral of mosaic working outwards from a centre point only to twist into five separate strains that went each their individual way: up, down, across the floor…

Should I go back? The idea beckoned. I could go back; not all the way but just until I re-discover the first purple tile-

She blinked the tears from her eyes. Surprise followed. It hurt to do so. She should go back; find the purple tile. The very first one…

But she was too tired and her mind baulked. At the centre of something she’d once known – or maybe she did not yet know it? – there was something that told her not to be tricked. A feeling that she was being influenced and with it came a sneaking sense of the supernatural.

Bewildered, she shook her head, gathering her mind through the Veranto. She did not want to go back! She was looking for a way out! Why would she go back? Something was not right! How far had she’d walked since that first tile caught her eye? Forever? A week? A good long, flecking age?

She looked around with a shiver. Really looked. Insects climbed her skin – or at least it felt like it – though nothing could be seen.

It stopped. A stillness void of life followed. The mosaics surrounded her like gems and precious stones, encasing her on all sides like the sequins on one of Iambre’s exotic dresses. They drew her mind and eye; they could not be escaped, and yet they seemed to have lost their allure all of a sudden, quite as if someone had pulled away a glittering curtain to reveal all the unknown flaws in a painting she had once found perfect. It was still an example of remarkable artistry – but it was no longer divine…

If you like to know more about Solancei and the peculiar circumstances she’s knee-deep in, you can check out the series via this link – https://www.amazon.com/L.-L.-f/e/B07B8K4J6S