Welcome to the Monday Morsel feature, where I share short excerpts from the first draft of whatever I’m working on – currently my adult epic fantasy, In the Company of the Dead.

It’s not often I write something I actually consider to be funny. Even when readers tell me they found something funny, it was unintentional. But I find this snippet hugely amusing – let me know if you do too!

* * *

‘You!’ Ellaeva stormed over as soon as her gaze alighted on him.

She was tall for a woman, tall enough to reach his chin, which was something he hadn’t ever noticed when she was clad in her robes. Ciotach an Bhais was larger than life. This sword-wielding woman in leather breeches and a black shirt radiated cold anger, but though any wise man would tread carefully in her presence, she was somehow more human.

‘Me,’ he said, grinning.

And she slapped him. The blow didn’t really hurt, but the shock of it shot through him.

‘Ahura save me from idiots who I must protect from themselves,’ she snapped. ‘I see you’ve managed to keep yourself alive, and your wit intact. Try to stay with the soldiers this time, hmmm?’

He stared after her, absently rubbing his smarting cheek and uncertain whether to be angry, amused, or… what? The swing of her hips as she strode away arrested his gaze.

‘Really, sir?’ Everard scuttled past, laden down with all manner of foodstuffs. ‘Really?’

* * *

More Human

Thanks for dropping by! Don’t forget, this is a first draft, and as such won’t be perfect – while the bones of the story are there, enough to give you a glimpse into the story of these characters, I typically do at least eight drafts and you can expect the final version to bear little resemblance.

If you like what you read, and are so inclined, show your support by leaving a comment. If you’d like to sample more of my writing, check out the free short stories available on this site.

More about In the Company of the Dead

Lyram already crossed a prince, and now he finds himself on the brink of crossing a god.

Son of a duke and second in line for the throne, Lyram is exiled to a lonely castle after assaulting the crown prince. When a hostile army arrives to besiege the castle, he believes the prince wants him removed – permanently.

As though answering their prayers, Ellaeva, the Battle Priestess of the death goddess, arrives unexpectedly. But she has not come to break the siege. Instead, she is in pursuit of a necromancer of the evil god of decay. When misfortune after misfortune befalls the beleaguered defenders, Lyram realises the necromancer is hidden within the walls, sabotaging the very defence.

Against the backdrop of clashing gods, Lyram must fight to save himself from the political machinations of his prince, and the dread plans of a necromancer. But as the siege lengthens, he realises the greatest threat may come from another quarter — a woman sworn body and soul to a god tempts him to pay a terrible price.

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