Story Excerpt: Life Upside-Down


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     A stick that broke beneath a foot was what made Ebañy Salamonderiel tran-Devaberiel look up from the rabbit that he was roasting above the fire. Even though he had the dragons close by, the sound made him uneasy; who could it possibly be up here except for some Horsekin renegade?

Therefore he was surprised when a woman carefully stepped out through the bushes close to the old watchtower. She was wearing a long-sleeved, grey shirt embroidered with horses and dark trousers much more tight-fitting than any brigga ever sown. Ebañy slowly rose from his place and the girl took a step back, her eyes wide with fear and her lower lip trembling a bit. From the looks of her she had been out in the wilderness for a while; her light-brown hair was full of leaves and branches and her clothes were torn. A fresh wound could be seen on her left cheek; he noticed a drop of blood falling from it.

“I’m not dangerous”, Ebañy said and smiled. “You are welcome to share my meal with me, you look exhausted.”

The girl just looked at him and he realized that she did not understand what he was saying. That she did not know the Deverrian tongue. This confused him, but as he felt that he needed to help the girl he pointed at himself.

“Salamander”, he said. To this she frowned, before he saw her mouth forming the word as well, but without letting any sound out.

“Amanda”, she said after a while and pointed at herself.



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