Welcome to First Page Saturday. Individual authors anonymously send a first page read and critiqued by the Dear Author community of authors, readers and industry others. Anyone is welcome to comment. You may comment anonymously.
Added note: Last week, our comment thread moved quite astray from the original point which is to provide critique on the first page offered here. Any comments about the critiquers do not add value. It is up to the author to decide what commentary is useful and what is not. That said, I do hope that everyone watches the line between blunt honest criticism (which is absolutely welcome) and insulting (which you can be but I think your message gets lost and the purpose of posting is negated, unless the purpose of posting is to be, well, not helpful).
The Anatta left her alone to watch Bren die. Cyri Naadhira, caretaker of the young Lourvain prince, stood by his bedside, her legs barely keeping her upright. A trembling hand brushed across Bren’s hot cheek, her fingertips smoothing the damp, copper strands. He moaned under her touch, his head moving from side to side. Agony etched deep lines into his skin making it appear as if he were an old man instead of a young boy.
Her head bowed. Pulling her hand back, she folded her arms about her waist, holding tight. Anguish seared her heart and tightened her throat. Unable to watch his pain, she closed her eyes.
Bren wouldn’t last much longer. His wails, soft now, came farther and farther apart. Each ragged breath drew him from her. When he died, she’d have no one.
He made a slight choking sound and for a brief moment, silence hung heavily in the room. Except. . . a tiny noise, a whisper of silk against stone, grabbed her attention. She jerked her head up and pivoted, her gaze seeking the sound\’s source. Nothing. Faint light from two luminas cast numerous shadows on the smooth, granite walls of the large chamber. Flickering darkness mocked her attempts to see what secrets they hid.
"Who . . .," she began then stopped. Swallowing around a tight throat, she asked. "Who is there?"
As the words left her mouth, one of the darkest shadows moved. Cyri gasped, flinching backwards. Her heart leaped into her throat. Before her wide eyes, the approaching shadow drifted into the light, materializing into a tall humanoid figure dressed in stark, light-absorbing black.
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