For my wonderful readers’ pleasure, I have included the beginning of “Sumari’s Solitude” which I read at the Hadley Rille Books panel at WorldCon. I hope you enjoy it. Don’t forget that the Ruins Metropolis anthology is available through amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, fishpond.com.au, powells.com, and BookPeople in Austin. Visit hadleyrillebooks.com for more great anthologies and news.
Sumari stood near the balcony’s sheltering pillar watching the breath of the gods make living waves of the sand dunes beyond Aamanru Temple. Her small right hand kept her dark veil in check while the left fist held the deep opening of her indigo robes firmly closed to shield her gold pendant and tattoo from the dancing dust. She huddled near the warmth of an alabaster lamp and sadly watched the sun, Aa’s eye, descend into the desert.
“High Priestess?” a male’s voice hissed.
She turned away from the sunlit sands and beheld a lamia guard watching her curiously.
“King Draigoss has arrived, Mistress,” he said, bowing low. “You are needed at the front entry.”
She watched the act with bemusement, wondering how he could actually balance well enough on his scaly tail to demonstrate such an act of respect toward her.
“Very well, Kaa, I shall greet him. Have you said your evening prayers yet?”
The strapping snake-man shook his human-like head. “No, Mistress, but I shall once I escort you to the main hall.”
She smiled. “Very well then…to the task at once. We should not keep the exalted Sathe or the good king waiting.”