In the Beginning is a collection of three stories set in the world of The Green Woman. To be savoured just for themselves, or because you have joined Deborah on her journey and want to know some of her backstory.
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In the Beginning is a collection of three stories intended for readers of The Dark Citadel curious to know more about the dark world of Providence and the harsh desert wastes surrounding it.
Of Dreams and Horses tells how Rachel discovers the magic and the burden of the Memory. Plucked from the clutches of the Protector, she is set on a path of discovery and creation that leads to a bittersweet destiny.
Fathers and Brothers is about Hector, his childhood introduction to cruelty and loss at the hands of his father, and how Abaddon’s choice falls upon this small, broken creature to be his instrument.
Jonah’s Story tells of another child with a tragic childhood, but unlike Hector, Jonah’s humanity is not snatched from him: it matures and grows in the solitude of the desert, until the time comes to fulfil his destiny—helping another to fulfil hers.
Extract from Of Dreams and Horses
“Get up Raphael, please!” Rachel sobbed out the words as she ducked behind the tooth-like rocks. Bullets pinged around her head sending splinters flying. She willed Raphael to run, even just to walk, but the wound in his leg was pouring blood, and she could see from the way his eyes rolled that he was on the point of passing out. Deborah stopped between the two of them, torn between her mother backing slowly away into the shadows thrown by the tall, sinister-looking rocks, and her father sinking to both knees then falling on his side, leaving a trail of red in the yellow-grey sand.
Rachel screamed in an agony of indecision and took a step towards Deborah as automatic fire raked the sand between them. “Deborah, come!”
It’s me they want; they won’t hurt the child.
* * *
Deborah took three running steps towards her mother then looked back.
She ran back and tugged at his hand. The noise of something hitting the rocks and plunking into the sand was all around her.
“Daddy,” she cried and hid her face against her father’s inert body.
Soldiers were shouting, their voices strange and far away behind their funny masks. One of them picked her up and she squirmed, kicking and shrieking. She wriggled to see over his shoulder. Her mother had gone.
* * *
The woman in white satin peered with interest into her mirror then shook her head. “Sad. But it had to be done. The child will leave a scent of magic that will lead Abaddon’s spies back to Providence, and the Protector will keep pretty quiet about this little breakout. With luck it will be a while before the dog demon notices uncomfortable ‘green’ things happening in his horrible desert, and by then she should have got herself a sensible bodyguard sorted out.”
“You are developing a very thick skin, sister,” Asteria said as she looked over the woman’s shoulder into the mirror. “That child is going to have an extremely unpleasant time from now on, you know.”
“Eggs and omelettes, dear,” the silver woman replied. “She’s young, she’ll survive.”
“Young? She’s a baby,” Asteria snorted.
“You know what I mean. And if her mother gets her act together, it may not be for too long.”
“And if Abaddon doesn’t find her mother before the Garden is ready, and if the Protector doesn’t decide to silence her, and if—”
“Oh, really, Asteria! You can be such an old woman. Why shouldn’t the woman succeed? She has the Memory, hasn’t she?”
“Exactly. And you know what the Memory will do to her.”
The silver woman, for once had nothing to say.