Book Bit Wednesday
Today, I think I'll give you a snippet from a point of view you probably haven't read before. Her name is Captain Drake. :)
"Captain? You awake? Captain?"
Captain Drake mumbled a drowsy curse. That would be Gilmartyn, the new recruit, damn him. One of the others must have put him up to it, knowing her disposition when her sleep was interrupted. Based on the tremor in his reedy voice, she surmised Sergeant Benbow must have related an account of her predecessor's fate. There were at least three different versions circulating the Watch House. Which rumor was to blame for Gilmartyn's newfound timidity was of little consequence. She let Benbow have his fun with the recruits. Occasionally, his embellishments were useful.
"There's a Warden here to see you," Gilmartyn said. "Says it's urgent. Captain?"
"Stop that incessant banging." She sat up, hunching to avoid slamming her head into the empty bunk above. A dreadful ache settled into her head the instant she was upright, and she squeezed her eyes shut against agony.
Mithras, I hate this job. The original attraction had been the money and respect the uniform brought. For the daughter of a common street harvester, she'd achieved a great deal. However, at the moment, she would've traded it all for a decent night's sleep. She swung her feet out of bed. The clock on the mantel read twelve-thirty. The fire was out in the hearth, and the kettle hung cold on its swivel hook.
"Gilmartyn? Blast you, are you still there?" The effort of shouting plunged a fresh bolt of pain through her temples.
To Gilmartyn's credit, there was only a slight pause. "Yes, Captain. What do I tell him?"
Pushing both hands through her hair, she made an unsuccessful attempt at smoothing the fingers of agony clawing at the inside her skull. "Tell him I'll meet him in my office. And Gilmartyn, there'd better be a cup of hot tea on my desk when I get there."
She flinched as Gilmartyn thundered down the stairs. Taking her time getting presentable, she gingerly scraped a comb over her tender scalp and then made a face in the mirror. When a quarter hour had passed, she threw on her captain's jacket, not bothering with the buttons, and made her way downstairs. A cadet Warden stood at attention in the middle of the room, secreting urgency like stale pipe smoke. After only two hours of uninterrupted sleep, she didn't give a toss if he was in a hurry or not. It isn't even daylight. She shoved past and caught the faint stench of vomit and rotting corpse. Fighting down a reflexive stomach clench did nothing for her mood.
She spied the mug of steaming tea in the center of her desk.
Gilmartyn just might see corporal one day.
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is a Science Fiction and Fantasy author living in Texas.