I’ve gotten emails from a couple of interested publishers. Contracts even. Still considering. Meanwhile, I’ve started “The Griffin War”. Starts out innocently enough: a woman burying her parents.
“Fiera watched the body of her mother slowly disappear. One-by-one, the villagers placed their stones on the woman that bore her and, until that morning, had brushed her hair every day. Her father lay nearby, under his own pile, settled from the week’s earlier rains. Rains that had come too late for her parents. Now Fiera was alone. She bore her grief in every pore of her body. Yet, she stood by and did nothing. Even as leery villagers filed past, offering condolences, even as the neighbor woman, who sometimes entertained soldiers, took her gingerly by the waist and guided her home to a table long with meager offerings of food, even then Fiera could do nothing. With her parents’ death just days from each other, it was as if she had died, too.
The bereaved eagerly ate and occasionally came to her, offering their sorrow, but mostly they left her alone, sneaking quick looks when they thought she didn’t see, then turning back to their friends, shaking their heads sadly.
For hours this lasted, and would have gone all night, but Fiera rose to her feet, stumbled out the door and back to the graves of her family. The sun had given way to night and it had started raining again. A fine shower hugged her as she lowered herself to the ground between her parents, the water slipping into the ground and disappearing, leaving the soil as hard and cracked as before, not enough to erase the hunger of either the land or its people. Tomorrow, there would still be dust. There would always be dust.”