Ladd opened a crusty eye. The stiletto heels in front of his face flicked once, causing fresh blood to gush from his nose.
"Get up, boy," the voice was high, nasal. He didn't recognise it. The foot moved again and he scrambled to his feet. She stood glaring at him, a baton held tightly in her right hand.
"I warn you," she said, stepping backwards.
She was young, too young for this, he thought as he nodded mutely at her threat, his eyes following the arc of her hand as she pointed the baton at him. He kept as still as he could, ignoring the twinge in his left leg. The girl darted at him suddenly, pressing the end of the baton into his bruised ribs. He grunted. She jerked a little, causing fresh pain to blossom in his side. Her left hand hurriedly clipped the end of a chain to his collar.
Just as quickly, she darted away again, still holding the baton out towards him, the end of the chain held in a white-knuckled grip. Footsteps came down the corridor and the girl whirled about.
"You're too edgy, Shiels. If he were anybody else but Ladd, he would have gotten away by now," the newcomer said in a wry voice.
"S-sorry, Ma'am. It's just that..."
"He's big. I know. I'll take over from here," Adele said calmly. She took the chain from the girl's hand, but refused the baton. "You can keep that in case he comes after you."
But Adele wasn't listening to her anymore. She was looking up at Ladd, who was a full head taller than her. He smiled at her sadly.
"It's your trial today."
"Yes. I know."
"You'll survive." She laid a hand on his stubbly cheek, ignoring the sharp intake of breath from Shiels behind her. “Come along then.”
“Aren’t you going to chain him?” Shiels asked desperately as they passed her at the door of the cell.
“He’s on a leash.”
“Adele,” Ladd whispered. She stopped, turning to glare at him. “She is right.”
“I don’t understand how you can be so law abiding about everything else but the one thing that really mattered,” she said angrily, grabbing the cuffs from Shiels. Ladd turned, holding his hands still behind him as she snapped the cuffs around his wrists.
“Let’s just say I don’t want things to get worse.”
“Oh no, nothing gets worse than being sentenced to hard labour for subversive behaviour, Ladd.”
“Only hard labour?” he tried to joke. There was a glint of moisture in Adele’s eyes.
“Brionna begged for your life. Her Grace couldn’t say no.” Her long fingernails dug into his hands. “Why, Ladd? Why did you have to learn how to read?”
Snippet from anywhere, a WIP I'm rather ambivalent about continuing.
In the 5 days of blog silence I have:
a) thrown in random ideas while the boys co-wrote the opening song for the musical
b) finally decided what I'm going to do for my audition video (to be taped on Sunday!)
c) sprained my ankle
d) had dinner with Josh Yeoh, after talking about it for two months.
Since April is over, I will be resuming my sort-of-normal blog posting schedule of:
Wednesday: book review (if any)
Friday: Friday flash
Any other day: random posts.
Or will try to anyway.
I kind of thought the next round of Renaissance was in May, but... no news so far.
Mary Pax's launch of The Backworlds is next week! Woots! So check back for that.
Also, JC Martin's Oracle releases July 30th!
Then it's the next Writer's Platform Building Campaign, I think in August (have to check).
Anything else you think I should be participating in?