“Right. We’ll have plenty of time to get into position and observe their movements. I’ll loiter outside the council’s meeting place and see what the dynamic is there. You keep an eye on the merchants. Got it?”
“You do have a plan for distracting them?”
“I’m trying to decide between about five right now. I’ll make the other four backups.”
Chroma smiled. “Good luck.”
… More The Hundred Foot Drop of Klima — Scene 13
“They have one bargaining chip, and that’s the alliance we want,” Chroma said, examining the vegetables they’d been given. Most were whitish or brown roots served cold, others cooked mushrooms. “That’s an all-or-nothing. Each side loses that bargaining chip as soon as they reject us, or the other side swoops in and takes it. That’s what gives us the power. They can’t deny us our alliance without losing us entirely.” … More The Hundred Foot Drop of Klima — Scene 12
Chroma held one edge of the tray and spun it lightly counter-clockwise. When the swing had twisted as far as it would go and threatened to spin back the direction it had come, Chroma thrust her hand out to grab it. She scanned the available fruits now in front of her and picked a plump purple one.
“I think the idea is that when you pick a bigger one, you’re less likely to bite off the whole pepper,” Flor told her. “And the game gets steadily spicier as we dwindle down to the small ones.”
“You seem surprisingly fine, Flor,” Chroma commented, “for having nearly died twice in one day.” She took the largest bite of the purple fruit as possible. Her face twisted in pleasure at the peachy taste, quickly turning to curiosity and then to panic. She held a hand to her mouth, as if about to spit something out, but ended up swallowing (both the food and large gulps of air).
… More The Hundred Foot Drop of Klima — Scene 11
“I once met an astounding quintet of upstanding councilwomen in the South,” he began. Mawnco felt his facial muscles relax with interest as he realized that Hiyee may have actually gathered untold Rain Riddles in his travels. “Each had a single pet, and no two councilwomen had the same type of pet. You’ve seen all these pets before. Each of the five pets was a single solid color: white, green, yellow, red, and violet. They are not dyed, and they are always seen together except for the red one, which only appears when all but the green one disappear. The yellow one cannot be seen at night. The councilwomen must revive this pet from the old one every year in the South Season.” … More Rain Riddles (Flood Thieves Chapter 9)
He genuinely wanted these two to pass the Bloodkooma Rite of Age. If they did, they might retrieve an Escopu egg. As a Chosen Child, he had never received an initiation ceremony during first puberty, as Patcha and Kooteeck would when and if their quest was completed. The ceremony for Bloodkoomas was quite different; instead of enduring a physical change to represent their transition into adulthood, they had the opportunity to find an Escopu egg, the ultimate sign of redemption. Or so the legend went. … More The Chamber of Sleeping Flame (Flood Thieves Chapter 8, Part II)
“Why should we care about what’s forbidden? Think of how they treat us here! Would a chance at peace not be better?”
“Better than food, than shelter, than an education?” The taller demanded, “Would risking burning be worth it? You must have lost too much blood in that garden, but I trust Master Awkaseesa. She wouldn’t need to riddle you with such scars if you would do as you’re told. It does not take very much intelligence to do as you’re told.”
… More The Chamber of Sleeping Flame (Flood Thieves Chapter 8, Part I)
“You know, I do apologize if the funeral song seems ill-timed now. I wasn’t aware that your friend was injured.”
No, I think the song was for you, Kooteeck thought threateningly. But she held her tongue in her mouth and her fist at her side. She knew nothing of fighting, anyway. It would be more effective to just leave the man in the dirt.
“So rude of me not to introduce myself. My name is Hiyee.”
“Isn’t that a woman’s name?”
“It’s anything you want it to be, young lady,” he said, seeming to not detect the insult. “It’s my apodo. My full name is KuyuKoosee Hiyee Ica Mex. But everyone calls me Hiyee.”
“What did you do to earn a name like that as your apodo?” Kooteeck wondered, somewhat dreading the answer.
“Well, you see I once had a sister by the name of Hiyee. The poor girl had a set of twins with eyes just like hers. She tried to hide them, but one look and everyone knew they were Bloodstealers. She tried to darken their glasunes and even blind them, but it was no use.”
… More Hiyee (Flood Thieves Chapter 7.75)
“The Bloodkoomas have been taken to where that life resides,” the Escopu growled. “If you find them and do not join them, they will kill you. If you do not find them, you will die. I can take you to the, and spare your life. Do you really want to die for mankind when its age will soon catch up to it? Don’t be stupid, Chosen Child. You have been raised to serve the gods and your ancestors, but soon they will all be powerless compared to those who remain alive. You can be a king in the new age. All you have to do is exactly what I say.”
Mawnco’s skin crawled at the Escopu’s words. He refused to even consider the possibility that they were true…except that the Escopu obviously knew where the Bloodkoomas were. … More The Night Panther (Flood Thieves Chapter 7.5)
“Shh!” Mawnco cut her off as they came to a sudden stop, and all at once everything was silent. Although they lacked breath, they did not dare give away any hint of shallow breathing. Absolutely nothing stirred, though the distant grunts of the searchers lingered.
“What do you think it is?” Mawnco said in the darkness as the starlight vanished once again.
“Think what is?” Patcha wondered.
“That! On the ground.”
“I don’t see anything because I don’t have a torch,” Areesee snapped back.
Then the cloud cover shifted again, and a sheen of light caught Kooteeck’s eyes. Mawnco was some ways ahead of where the three girls pressed up against the walls of a long-hall, standing over a small puddle that had accumulated in a muddy patch of ground where the cobblestones broke in the street. Kooteeck saw nothing special about it, and it certainly did not emit any light besides the reflection of the star-shine. Except that the puddle was a deep indigo color.
“Calm down, Mawnco, it’s just a puddle,” Patcha assured him. “But there seems to be an inconsistency with what color it should be and what color it is.”
“The ink!” Areesee announced.
“And next to the ink…?” Mawnco offered hesitantly. The girls’ eyes wandered to see a large paw print beside broken glass. … More The Flood Thieves Chapter 7: The Chase
The Janpee stepped atop the Chakana, his sandals making dull thuds against the marble as he climbed to the top tier. He placed a red bead on each semicircle around the hollow square. They began to glow with the fading light, and suddenly the green splotches of the marble began to glow bright as fire. Once the tablets were all glowing orange, the Janpee collected the beads and threw them into the hollow center. He stepped down, and indicated for the four to ascend.
Patcha and Kooteeck followed Mawnco and Areesee’s lead, quickly climbing the slippery, but surprisingly lukewarm, tiers. Patcha gasped at the top when she saw that the hollow center now swirled with orange mist, like the silt of a fiery river. Areesee, without hesitation, dropped down into the mist, and disappeared. There was no sound to indicate a person hitting any sort of ground. Patcha felt her stomach clench. There was no sign of her at all. She had never seen magic of this sort in all her life, nor heard tales of it. … More The Flood Thieves Chapter 6.5: The Fields of Innocence