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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
Wind Tunnel Dreams: Shayara bits for Jack. Prompt: Bells. 
12th-May-2011 10:56 am
Hearth
1. Joshua
Donna knew before she heard them -
a pause like a stopped heart,
frozen world,
a sudden absence,
a whisper too far to hear -
terrible moment that stretched to forever,
a held breath,
a terrible ache, and then the clang
of bells
so far away,
but shuddering her bones,
bringing her back
to her body,
and she knew.

2. Michael
Kieran pressed his hand to the window,
squinting out,
"something's wrong -"
and a lash of something
like pain, like shock,
sent him stumbling back,
eyes wide,
seconds before the bells,
sonorous and strong,
the last moment of clarity.

The streets were chaos, then
Overrun,
a city shattered -
Kieran and Donna were safe,
then Halloran,
straining to hear
over the screams
if the bells would ring for Ryan,
for Kristian, for Jeramie.
No sleep, no rest,
only the potential
of bells.

3. The Battle of Julia
Don't listen.
Treat the wounded,
triage, bandage
stitch and set,
don't listen -
they are fighting,
taking back our city,
and Donna and Kieran
run the litany
of people they could lose,
tumbling in their minds like beads.

The bells toll.
They cut through the lobby,
cut through everything,
and Kieran freezes,
meets Donna's eyes,
does not dare
to reach out
because if it's not Julia
please gods not Julia -
but please gods not Ryan
not Halloran
there is almost no one
this could be
who I don't love-

can't risk distracting her.

They clang and he cannot think,
cannot breathe,
and he wrestles it down,
counts breaths -
must work, must help,
must wait,
but strangle his fear.

He slips away
into the rhythm
greeting the wounded
as they come in
not asking "who?"
just helping,
trancelike,
minutes into hours.

He is jolted back
only
when the bells ring again.








These are the bells in the Carnival District you'll read about in My Empire for Ashes; they toll only when one of the Talthar Kithrayna dies, or the Telenias.

Joshua was Donna's first love and almost-fiance, and the previous Kithrayn of House Narsan - Kieran's predecessor.

Michael was Halloran's brother and Ryan's lover, the previous Kithrayn of House Bartomn. This was an exceptionally rare case of the mantle passing to a grown person, not a newborn child; that's widely regarded as one of the signs that the Dasaroi are approaching their End Times. That'll occur twice more in the story, in books two and three.

Hell no I'm not telling you who dies in battle. That's the end of book two. Wait for it.

Monies go to Jack's Tooth Fairy Fund, with overage going to Elayna's Explo Fund.
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