21 September 2012
FREE PROMO FRIDAY - Keir by Pippa Jay
Welcome to the inaugural FREE PROMO FRIDAY here at Going from Nobody to Somebody. Today's excerpt comes from the wonderful and talented Pippa Jay. In case you missed it, I reviewed Keir back in July.
Like what you see here? Get your copy of Keir at the following:
“Quin,” Keir whispered urgently. “You have to go. Now. Leave me and walk away.”
“No, I’m not leaving you.”
Tugging him upright, Quin carried on walking at a slow but deliberate pace through the silent throng of watchers. Two young children closest to them scuttled out of the way and a woman snatched back a third. They’d only taken a few steps farther when the younger man returned with half a dozen others, ranging from a teenage boy to a gray-haired man armed with a long knife. He barred their way as two or three others took to each side, hemming them in. The dogs crouched, growling, but were called off by another young lad who backed away as the strangers kept coming.
When it became clear the older man had no intention of moving, Quin spoke. “Can you let us pass, please? We mean you no harm.”
Muttering came from the people behind. Quin realized they were now completely encircled, and more men seemed to be running up from the fields below the village. She waited, hoping the elder had the authority to say yes or no, that he would give them the chance to leave in peace. Their continued silence disturbed her, and her back felt horribly exposed.
“We want to get to the city. Will you let us through, please?”
The old man looked at those behind Quin and nodded. A twist of dread knotted in her stomach as she recognized the sound of at least one knife being drawn, and sensed the ring of people closing in.
“We, y’say?” asked the elder, crossing his arms. “Are ye with him, then?”
“No, she is not,” said Keir, but Quin hushed him.
“We don’t want any trouble. We’re going to the city. My friend is hurt.”
“That is nae friend to anyone, girl,” the old man responded, shaking his head. “Do ye want to be cursed? Are ye a devil too, with that hair of yours?”
“I don’t understand,” Quin persisted. “What has he done to you?”
Suddenly, someone grabbed her from behind, their arms around her throat and waist as they dragged her backward. She froze as another hand came into view waving a knife in her face, the threat made clear. Without her support, Keir dropped to the ground and another man, his face crisscrossed with scars, grasped the back of his robes.
“Maybe she has nae seen it right,” the elder continued, his tone mild. “Best show her the truth, Caiman.”
Muted sunlight flashed from a blade in motion. Quin wriggled in panic, expecting a fatal strike on her companion’s undefended back. Instead, the sound of ripping cloth filled the air as Caiman slashed the robes and rags into useless tatters, stripping Keir’s head and back to reveal the so-called demon underneath.
For a moment, Quin stared. Shock blazed a hot trail through her veins. Oh, Hades, I never thought it would be human!