L. Nahay – Red Moonglow on Snow
This week I’m hosting a member of my writer’s group, author, L. Nahay.
L. Nahay is an author of fiction-fantasy and an independent publisher through Midnight Tomorrow Books. She has always ever written. She is a mom to two monsters, and while she’d love to live the more wild way most of her characters do, she currently resides in Chicago. When not writing……life is just a little darker. But for occasional reminders of life outside her stories, she enjoys reading (other people’s stories), drawing, camping, hiking, traveling/exploring, and time with those monsters of hers. To date, she has published the first book of her fiction-fantasy series entitled Red Moonglow on Snow, and an urban fantasy short story called The Dryad. Red is available as both an ebook in all major platforms, and as a softcover through Amazon. The Dryad is an Amazon ebook only.
Red Moonglow on Snow
Lira had never wanted anything other than to leave the exile she’d been born into and return to Home, her family’s origin.
The moon had glowed red upon the snow the night that was to happen, but the man at her side was so beautiful and his promise so pure, that Home, she decided, could wait.
Today, three years too late, He’s finally ended her exile. Yet Home has become the last place she wants to be. She tries to hate the man she’d once loved, hate the place she’d once wanted, and hate Home’s people and the history she shares with them all, as they remind her of the life she did not get to live.
But she’s in His territory as well as her fractured family’s, and it’s exactly where she needs to be. To right so many wrongs, she must face the past and set it right before those traumas trickle down into the next generation.
Here is an excerpt:
I see nothing but heavy, suffocating blackness that drinks everything in without giving anything back. The wind whispers, howls, or screams around my head, yanking at strands of my tangled hair. I ignore it and stare, unblinking, ahead of me as though I can see.
A jagged horizontal strip of momentary brightness streaks across what I understand to be the line between sky and earth some miles ahead, giving a brief, doubtful view of something. Buildings? Trees? Why am I pointed towards it?
I inhale cautiously. The air is pungent with a wet earthy smell. Earth into sky, sky into air: Rain. Heavy, single, large drops of rain began to splatter upon my shoulders.
Something below me moves. A unicorn! “Get off me!” I twist and turn and fall sideways off the demon’s back.
[I’m not on you,] a voice snarls, agitated. The fall to the ground is further than I would have expected- if I’d had a mind to pay any attention- and the landing thrusts my elbow into my side, just under my ribs. I gasp from the added blinding pain of the arrow striking the ground as well, but struggle more to untangle my legs from something to get onto my feet. Damn dress!
[Are you done? That was a bit of an overreaction.]
[If you can prove to me that you can care for yourself, I will.]
“I am perfectly capable of fending for myself!”
[I believe I said ‘care’, not ‘fend’. Get up and walk. Find yourself shelter. Eat something. Then, I’ll leave.]
I flatten onto my back, trying hard not to cry. Raindrops strike my face like malicious flicks of a finger. Incompetent. Touched. Worthless. Abandoned. Thrown. A. Way. “I hate you.”
[I think we can safely say that who you choose to love and who you choose to hate have been ridiculously off.]
“No, we can safely say that I completely hate you, you evil, repulsive beast!”
The grass is long and sticky, coming over my head and sticking to my shoulders and arms, the sides of my face, wrapping around my legs. Thinking about my legs makes the right one begin to throb. I can’t sit up to inspect it. Why is it hurting?
[You were struck by an arrow, remember?]
Don’t talk to me.
Lightning pierces through clouds above me. I want to pick my head up and use the flash of light to inspect whatever lay ahead, but my hair has rooted into the ground and my head won’t budge. “Are you here to kill me?”
[Am I allowed to speak to you now?]
[No, Lira. I’m not here to harm you in any way.]
Thunder races Lightning overhead. I can’t decide who has won.
[Get on my back, Lira. I’ll carry you to shelter.]
How long has it been? How long have I been here?
[Only a few hours.]
My thigh burns.
[You bled all over me.]
“Stop listening to my thoughts! They’re mine! You kidnapped—” The word, the memory, chokes up the rest of my words. “Just, leave me here, please? Please just leave me here.”
[You don’t know where you are.]
“Does it matter?”
“Leave me here!” I wish I could fade here. Close my eyes and drift away.
Movement beside me. I open my eyes and wait for them to help.
The boundary between night and the unicorn is a thin one. I’m in one big black ball of shadows within shadows. Night to camouflage a demon, how helpful.
[If you don’t stop with the insults……]
The fragile boundary moves again. The large unicorn body steps partially out of the night and begins to sink down beside me. Long, muscled legs fold beneath his body. I jump. That horn. That horn- where’s my knife? Will a dagger do anything against a unicorn?
“What are you doing?”
[I’m getting settled. I ran pretty hard too, you know. How long do you plan on staying here? It’s going to get very wet and very cold. And just so you know, you look horribly fragile despite your behavior on the hills.]
His gold horn sparkles with a dim light. The prismatic raindrops holding onto it scatter at the next boom of thunder. I stare, transfixed, waiting for it to happen again.
Scents of earth, the promise and yearning for rain and the softening grass pulls my head down, bombards my nostrils and sanity. Cold, damp ground permeates through the thin dress and chills my skin with more than a touch of spring frost.
I close my eyes, bring my bound hands up to my collar bone and clasp my fingers together so tightly my knuckles throb. It’s not spring. It’s autumn. It’s Talyn’s birthday.
[It’s been a long time since you’ve eaten.]
I turn my face away from him. Lightning comes again but stays longer. Through the grass I catch a better glimpse of whatever waits in the distance, but not enough to know what it is. “I just want to sleep. Sleep until you and everything else goes away.”
[You can sleep all you want, but nothing will have changed. It’s going to get very cold out here very soon, Lira. Get on my back. Let me continue to carry you. It’s not far. It’s just ahead.]
Lightning again brings a glimpse of what now looks like small, irregular mountains. Whatever it is leaps across the flatland towards me; calls out to me by my own name and a name— or a title— I’m not familiar with. I jerk back. The ghostly current carries Death’s smell. I relax again. Can I answer? Slip into night soundless, with morning leaving no trace I was ever here? I don’t want night. Night brings day. This will be real. I don’t want this to be real. “Where are you taking me?”
[Just a place to sleep. Come, Lira. One movement at a time. And then you can sleep, I swear.]
I don’t want to move, don’t want to sleep. Want to sink into the earth and vanish. “Take me back.”
[I can’t,] the unicorn whispers sorrowfully into my head.
[We’ll see to your leg as soon as we can.]
“They took my baby,” I whisper. Hearing me speak it ripples right back over me as though I’m kneeling and bleeding in the hallway again, screaming until my soul and every window in the house shatters. But this time I can’t scream. I lay on my back and watch the blinding darkness, feel the same emptiness inside me. Where was I before I woke here, after she was taken? All I remember is darkness, like this, and feeling so abandoned. “He wasn’t there, Nightmare, and Others came and took our daughter. And now I’m here. I hurt, unicorn. I hurt so much.” On cue, my shoulder begins burning, the pain trailing down to mingle with the fire shooting out from the arrow. I’d had my arrow aimed at their chests but I’d hesitated. I had decided to call out to Him first instead.
[I’m very sorry, Lira. I’m here to help you, I swear.]
“Is a swear more reliable than a promise?”
[I take it The Ass You Reek Of made you a promise he did not keep.]
“It’s too late. He’s three years too late.”
[You don’t smell three years distant of him. His smell on you is overwhelming-]
“If I’m that revolting, go away!”
[It’s not you. It’s Him. But I think I’ll be able to tolerate it. Eventually. I swear to you, Lira, that I am here to help you. And yes, a swear is more reliable than a promise.]
There’s no stars. There’s no moon. We’re in the middle of something, in the middle of a storm, someplace in the void between thunder, lighting, rain and earth, in the void where life and worlds are born, where chaos is on pause.
To stay connected, learn more about her writing, and for social media links, check out her:
publisher website at www.MidnightTomorrowBooks.com
or her personal blog at www.LNahay.com
We’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to leave a comment.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized
. Bookmark the permalink