This just in! …Well, this in last night, but I didn’t see the e-mail until this morning, so we’ll consider this one hot off the presses: Today’s the day that We the Authors of the One More Day anthology, in Order to form a more perfect Union… no, wait, I’m getting off track. J. Taylor Publishing didn’t tell us to draft a Constitution, but what we do get to do is share a tiny taste of our stories with the world at large!
That is swell, and that is kinda inconvenient, ‘cause I already had a blog post I was about to put up when I saw the news. Oh, well. First rule of improvisation: “Yes, And”. Take what you’re given and run with it. So you’ll all just have to read my intended post of awesomeness another time, for today, I give you the opening few hundred words of my “One More Day” contribution, “A Morrow More”!
* * * * *
Lorrel lifts his gaze from his writing desk as the autumn breeze and I enter his tent. His glossy black lips smile before his dark brow furrows. “Good morrow,” he says. “Word from the commander?”
“Good morrow,” I say. “Only this.” I step forward to present him a small square of old cloth.
Lorrel folds and sets aside the cloth already on his desktop, the patch I’ve delivered now taking its place. He opens the desk’s shallow drawer, extracts a broad-tipped painter’s brush, and removes the tie holding his hair in a knot at the nape of his neck. As he slides the brush through the sleek black waves hanging free just above his shoulders, it takes immense effort on my part not to blatantly gaze.
I have yet to lose my fascination with Inkborn hair.
Or Inkborn movement.
Or the king’s part-Inkborn son.
The brush now coated, Lorrel sweeps the bristles back and forth across the face of the cloth before him, and the fabric quickly begins to stain—save, of course, for the sections treated with a solution specially devised to withstand the oils of Inkborn hair. In moments, the once-hidden message is plainly visible, unstained lines forming the words, The war is over.
Lorrel lifts his chin, his mouth twitching toward a smile like the one spreading unchecked across my own face. “This is old news, word-runner.” If he means to sound reproving, the twinkle in his eyes spoils the effect.
“And, yet, it is good news,” I say, wishing it were my place to throw my arms around him in shared victory, shared relief, shared love.
Standing, he comes around the desk and clasps my hands, my needle-pricked little fingers lost in his strong and sinuous ones. Not the embrace I wish for, but a touch I relish. “Yes, Raeve,” he says, voice weighty and warm. “It is good news. Every bit as good this morning as when first delivered two days ago. For a moment, I feared you brought word to contradict it.”
I shake my head happily. “The old word stands. The Vale is won. Your company turns toward home tomorrow.”
His liquid black eyes search my face. “And what of you?”
“That will depend,” I say, my meaning as carefully encrypted as our military’s textile code, “on what the Crown may require of me.”
“Less of you than of me, perhaps.” His gaze drifts past me toward the wind-fluttered tent opening and the castle of Likanstone—a long day’s travel beyond.
* * * * *
“…Yes?” you prompt me. “And?”
Well, that’s all you get for now, guys! For the rest of the story, you’ve got to wait ‘til the anthology’s release on December 2nd! But if you simply must have One More Taste of the book before then, you can go get your fix via my fellow anthology authors, who’ve got excerpts from their own stories cropping up on their blogs, too. (: Need a refresher on their names? No worries: It’s all in the blurb.
What if today never ends?
What if everything about life—everything anyone hoped to be, to do, to experience—never happens?
Whether sitting in a chair, driving down the road, in surgery, jumping off a cliff or flying … that’s where you’d be … forever.
In One More Day, Erika Beebe, Marissa Halvorson, Kimberly Kay, J. Keller Ford, Danielle E. Shipley and Anna Simpson join L.S. Murphy to give us their twists, surprising us with answers to two big questions, all from the perspective of characters under the age of eighteen.
How do we restart time?
How do we make everything go back to normal?
The answers, in whatever the world—human, alien, medieval, fantasy or fairytale—could, maybe, happen today.
What would you do if this happened … to you?
I’d love to hear your thoughts! How’s the opening of “A Morrow More” strike ya? ^^