Friday, June 6, 2014

SERANFYLL #Excerpt by Christina Daley @cdaleywrite #MiddleGrade #Fantasy #AmReading

at 1:30 PM

At last, around midnight, he bellowed for the musicians to stop playing, and he tossed aside his empty wine glass into the roaring flames of the fireplace. Rain and the others watched in surprise as he stood on his chair and reached into his vest to pull out the leather portfolio.
“My good lads and lasses!” he said. “Behold! Here in my right hand are your Name Papers. I’m sure you all know what these are, but for those who don’t—” He paused to belch an unholy belch. “My word! What was I saying? Oh yes, these say you belong to me.” He grinned. “But, I don’t want them. No, not one! Tonight was my birthday party, and I had invited everyone in the province. And wouldn’t you know? No one showed up. Not one! So I say to myself, ‘Domrey ol’ boy, you have a feast and an orchestra and no guests to enjoy them. But we can find guests. Oh yes we can! We’ll have anyone who will come. And here you are!’”
He applauded. The slaves looked at one another, more confused than ever.
“Granted,” he continued, “I did have to shell out three grand for you all. But what does it matter? I am quite pleased with each and every one of you. So, I would like to give you all a gift. Ehm…” He spun around looking for something and nearly fell off his chair. Then he found the portfolio still in his hand. “Ah, right. As I was saying, for making my birthday the most wonderful I could’ve possibly imagined, here you are! Your Name Papers!” He climbed onto the table and, not bothering that he stepped in half-eaten pies and pheasant carcasses, gave everyone a Name Paper.
Rain held the document in her hand like a brick of gold. She couldn’t believe it. She was holding a real Name Paper! She remembered an old slave named Sprout who lived to be ninety-one years old. Only on the day he died did his master present him with his Name Paper. “I was born a slave,” he had whispered on his deathbed. “But now I sees the Almighty a freeman. Oh, it’s a good day. Oh, it’s good!”
“I’m only thirteen,” she said to herself, still staring at the document.
Lord Domrey ordered the musicians to play a jubilee. Still atop the table, he started to dance, knocking things over and stepping in more food. “Come along, all of you! There’s plenty of room up here for everyone! Come and dance your first dance as freemen! May I?”
“Oh!” Rain cried. Before she knew it, Lord Domrey had taken hold of her and whisked her onto the table with him. “My Lord! Or no. Ehm sir, I mean. Oh, do be careful—oh! Watch out for that candlestick!”
Wisely, the others jumped out of the way as Lord Domrey kicked more food and dishes in every cardinal direction, taking refuge behind statues, chairs, and anything else that could act as a shield. Rain wanted to escape, too, but he had a good grip on her. Helplessly, the most she could do was hop out of his way so that he wouldn’t step on her bare toes.
They twirled and swirled and twirled again until suddenly, Lord Domrey stopped. Sweat dripped from his forehead. His eyes were red.
“My Lord?” she asked.
Suddenly, he released her and fell backwards, knocking over a goblet of wine. It spewed its rich crimson contents on his clothes.
The silence that followed was so sudden and thick, save for the crackle from the fireplace.
Rain bent over him slightly.  “My Lord?  Are you all right—?”
She gasped when a sudden cool wisp of air shuffled through her hair and caused the candle flames to quiver. Then, the windows blew open at once.
Clack!
Everyone screamed as a mighty gale dashed in, overturning everything it could touch, even snuffing out the blazing fireplace. The wind howled furiously, and Rain took cover under the table just in time to dodge a flock of flying forks.
The head musician shrieked. “It’s true what they say! Domrey Seranfyll’s the son of a devil, and he’s cursed his manor, too! Run for your lives!”

(Ages 10+) Rain has never chosen her own name. Nor has she met a polite apple tree, been caught in a house’s security spell, or ridden a horse . . . winged or not. What she does know is that, after having been a slave for all thirteen years of her common life, she’s free and has nowhere to go. 

That all changes when she’s taken in by the peculiar Domrey Seranfyll, who was drunk when he purchased Rain’s freedom and doesn’t remember doing so. Some say he’s part devil and spent time overseas learning the dark arts—not the sorts of things one hopes for in a housemate. And the longer Rain keeps company with Lord Seranfyll, the more magic and mayhem she gets tangled into, all the while discovering that being free can be far more exciting, and dangerous, than she ever imagined. 

(~ 85,000 words or roughly equal to 330 print pages) 
Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre - Middle Grade Fantasy
Rating – PG
More details about the author
Connect with Christina Daley through Facebook & Twitter

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