Snippet: Part One from the Shattered Ward

I originally had another post planned for today, but I decided to move until later this week. Today didn’t feel like the right day to discuss sales. So instead I am posting the first 500 words, or so, of the Shattered Ward.   I hope you enjoy it!


Xenia opened the lid to the small green Post box screwed into the brick next to the outer door and pulled up the envelopes. She hurried back inside, eager to get away from the cool air. The door closed behind her with a thud. She leafed through the small bundle. Bill, political pamphlet, bill, letter from the Council of Witches and Wizards, bill. She froze, and leafed back to the letter.

She stared to the letter. It was a plain, cream colored enveloped. It was addressed to her and her sister. Unease filled her. She knew that it should have been addressed to Father. She exhaled. Father and the Council had a tempestuous relationship. It wasn’t the first time Father had recieved a letter from the Council. He had ignored the last one, she remembered. So the Council must have decided to go through us instead. She hurried towards the kitchen. She tried to not see the empty spots were paintings used to hang, before Father sold them on after one. She shivered, and rubbed her arms. You haven’t had to sell off something for years now, she reminded herself, not since you and Nike began to use their gifts to earn money. That and Father’s ability to find money when he needed it was the only reason they had managed to keep the house in a livable condition and food on the table.

She paused in the doorway to the Kitchen, and looked at it. The Kitchen was empty, the fire in the iron stove banked for the night already. There should have been a Cook stomping around and maid scurrying to do her bidding. They had never had a cook, and the last of the servants had been fired a couple of years ago. If only we had a little bit of more power we could have had brownies. Though brownies didn’t like cold iron. She pushed that thought away and sank down on the chair.

She dropped the letters on the kitchen table, before picking up the letter from the Council. She stared at the letter. She knew that Nike should have been here too. Except Nike was off, doing an errand. Xenia had conflicted feelings about Nikes’ errands, but she knew should couldn’t complain since Nike always returned with money. Sometimes it was a shilling, sometimes it was more. Not to mention that she had her errands, too. Though her errands tended to take place while she was in the Market place.