She was slim like a leaf and painted in a dark stain, highlighted by white-grained wood underneath. The lateen sails were cleanly secured, and her prow dipped gently over each pull of the tide.
Cyprus touched the remnants of the decal. He could make out very faint impressions of white trees, their leafless branches enclosing blue-green globes. Silver-dabbed snakes cradled them, eyes set from trimmed malachite.
The jeweler’s house, at the bottom of the incline, boiled like a cauldron. Lonan plaited tough thread and rum-mixed resin through Shay’s sweaty hair, patterning crushed cockle shells in braids away from Shay’s hairline. His fingerwork was tight and precise.
Before Cyprus was born, there had been a proper schoolteacher in Serafina. A woman straight from the capital, or somewhere close enough to count.
He jogged down the trail to the temple, ignoring the windows of the apothecary shop. The grove was shaken clean to its bones from winter. When Lonan knocked on the door, all the birds inside—crows, seagulls, martins, finches, and swallows—exploded into a ruckus. Wind-catchers clacked wooden music on either side of his head.
Shay crouched down next to the small fire, mesmerized by feeding wood inside and watching it be eaten at. He showed no sign of moving.
The mercenaries of Selwyn’s horde cast out from the harbors of Eir Nu by the time night lifted. They raced for Avalon. Lonan did not know about Una Beli’s horde, but feared the fear that was rank in the air.
Halloween is on its way, and let me tell you: there is nothing spookier than the AI-generated chapter of Harry Potter.
Get hype! Nanowrimo starts next month, and now is the time to start thinking about whether or not you'll participate.
Like with "Black Dragon," I decided to make "Lost and Found" a more fitting cover now that it's on the chopping block.