Today's guest writer is LeAnna Shields, and she is bringing us a chapter of her novel, The Alestrion Chronicles: Slaves Redeemed.
Excerpt of The Alestrion Chronicles: Slaves Redeemed:
The Silent Performer
The clouds overhead threatened snow that day, but did nothing to stop the natives of this forlorn little moon from coming out to see the show. One lone man towered above the crowd, his seven foot height, snow white hair, and glowing teal eyes affirming the fact that he was no native. He sneered, shaking his head at the state of the tents that had once been a grand sight. Now the once proud flags were tattered, the royal blue fabric patched with scraps of cloth, and what was not patched was filthy. It’s hard to believe the Hygiene Commission hasn’t shut this place down. The scents of fried bread and sweets filled the air, mingling themselves with the unappetizing smells coming from the animal cages.
The man flipped up the collar of his plain leather coat to ward off the icy chill of the wind. This is where the captain’s tip on where to find the high king’s granddaughter has brought me? Hard to believe she would be in a dive like this? Kicking a can that someone had left on the path, he walked into the darkened tent. The show was beginning. Finding a seat between a three-headed Re’ab and a scaly, water breathing Glornark, he sat down on a wooden bench that gave a threatening creak.
The excitement was palpable as he gazed down at the center ring. A spotlight highlighted a lone figure, waving for silence. The ringmaster, wearing a long velvet overcoat and silken top hat, continued to motion for the audience to quiet down. “Ladies and gentle beings!” he shouted as the crowd seated themselves. “We humbly thank you for allowing our great show to appear before you today. We hope that our entertainment brings a smile to your hearts and many laughs to your spirits. Now for our first act…” He pointed upwards with the spotlight following, “We direct you to the top of the tent… The wondrous Salin and her cardonian poles!!!”
The stranger looked up and saw a girl about the age of twelve dressed in a glittery, low-cut gymnastic uniform and plumed headgear. She was standing ready to walk across a series of metal poles only wide enough for the ball of her foot.
Look at those support field generators! How long has it been since they’ve been replaced? The clanking and whirring of the two rusted servo-motors merely blended into the ecstatic cheers of the audience. They shuttered, sparked, and smoked as the field they produced wavered in and out of vision, causing the poles to either lean or stand up right.
The crowd held its collective breath as the girl jumped out to the first pole, then from one pole to another. The audience gasped, some closing their eyes with horror as she reached the middle, but missed her landing place. However she managed to grab the pole with split second timing and performed a series of spins and flips before pulling herself back up onto the pole. Then she resumed her graceful leaps and flips to the opposite platform as if nothing had happened. Her performance over, she turned her back on the ecstatic crowd and disappeared without taking a bow.
* * *
After the show, the stranger walked among the ragged tents searching for where the entertainers dressed. His pace quickened when he heard shouting and the sound of a whip crack. Stopping at the corner of a trailer he saw the ringmaster towering over the girl with a buggy whip in his hand. Since the show she had changed from her costume into a tunic and pants made from bits and pieces of drab scrap cloth.
“You completely botched that show and you expect to have the privilege of sleeping indoors?” The threatening crack of the buggy whip echoed in the still air. The ringmaster was about to lower the whip again, but this time aimed at the girl.
The outsider grabbed his wrist. “How dare you, Sir! This child hasn’t done anything to deserve being beaten!”
Reeking of alcohol, the ringmaster turned and snarled, “I can do anything I maknel please with my property.” Snarling with anger and hatred he picked up a shackle made of white metal in his gloved hands and placed it on the girl’s ankle as she whimpered softly.
Check out the The Alestrion Chronicles at: http://griffinpilot.webs.com
LeAnna Shields grew up and lives in Colorado. She went to public schools until high school and then chose a home school out of Chicago called Christian Liberty Academy Satellite School. Home school is where she excelled and learned to write. It was fun for her to write fan fiction about Star Wars. During college she started this series, Alestrion Chronicles. She has put much love and hard work into it. Hope you enjoy it as much as many of us have.
Website for LeAnna Shields: