From the Spices of Sanandira – Part II Now Live

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Today, Beneath Ceaseless Skies released the second and final part of my Thousand and One Nights-style novelette, “From the Spices of Sanandira.” And don’t forget, Beneath Ceaseless Skies is holding a giveaway for two copies of The Winds of Khalakovo. All you need to do is comment on the story (details are at the end of the text).

You can find the story here (along with a link to Part I), but here’s a short excerpt:

I sprint up the rocky ridge from the Night Wind, dragging the Prince with one hand. My legs burn. I cannot catch my breath, but fear drives me on. One moment’s hesitation and the beast will be upon us.

The ehrekh attacked just before we reached the fort—perhaps anticipating that we sought shelter there. The ship now lies ruined against the sand, her left skis torn free, a gaping hole in her hull where the ehrekh tore through.

A thud falls upon the earth behind me. Breath exits lungs with a sickening wheeze. The ehrekh roars. A scream is cut short.

When I glance back, the look in the ehrekh’s jaundiced eyes as he stands over a bloody mass of limbs is one of satisfaction, of calm knowledge there is nothing we can do to prevent our deaths. It kills three more men, the rahib among them, before we reach the fort, and then it retreats, emitting a rumbling chuckle.

The fort is a broken and useless thing for any large force, but it is enough for our haggard band. We huddle in a room with no ceiling and three standing walls. I stare in shock at what the ehrekh has left us. The Queen, her son, and seven men, including me.

We have flint and steel, which we use to build a fast-burning fire from the brittle scrub brush that litters the fort’s interior. Five men stand guard with the only weapons we have left. Somewhere in the darkness, the ehrekh harroons something close to a laugh.

I hope you enjoy the story. It feels wonderful to have it out in the world in its entirety.