“Aggy heard a soft wail roll towards her. The sombre wave of grief swelled with a hundred cries. It flowed through her heart and threatened to swamp her soul. It was a communal plea for an end to suffering. The keening of the deprived. It took all Aggy’s courage to hold her position and bear witness. She couldn’t, wouldn’t breathe again, until the sound receded.
As it ebbed away, she caught her hand tremoring. Her surroundings started to tilt so she clung on to a metal trunk to steady the world. It was scratched and dented, like the face of the defeated old hag she’d spied in the mirror of late.
The bawling wave peaked in the distance and began its return journey.
How can I do this? It’s too much, so many gone.
They had lost two thirds of their population in the Master’s last attack. What remained of her people had assembled in a camp, well outside the ears and eyes of the city. It was time to honour them all.
As the mourning wail approached its zenith, Aggy knew she couldn’t avoid her duty any longer. Ceremonial smoke wafted into her tent. Aggy took three short puffs on the bitter air.
Come on get it together, Aggy they need their Alpha.
She picked up the small bowl of white chalky mud, dipped her hand in and ran three fingers across her forehead and down her cheeks. She stood to full height, buttoned her long military coat and took a calming breath.
Alpha stepped out of the tent.”
This extract is from Letters from the Light my debut scifantasy novel that celebrates strong women and explores identity. Do you wear masks in tough times? How do you transition between roles?
Who are you, really?
Launching December 15.