of “Quest for the Red Sapphire.”
Here’s the link.
Let me first thank my good friend Angel Dunworth for having me as a guest
on her blog yesterday. Here is the
link to the interview http://streetlighthalo.blogspot.com/2014/04/interview-with-rival-gates-guest-blogger.html
As promised, today I am introducing you to a new character in “The
Sapphire Crucible” named Miri.
That is the short form of her full name Mirianna.
Here’s her introduction.
“You’ll give us answers,” one yelled as he locked the door.“If
you don’t I’m sure Hugon would be happy to interrogate you himself.” They
laughed and then descended the stairs.
Between the cells were thick stonewalls that prevented prisoners
from seeing each other. They did not, however, deafen sound. The girl cried as
she lay on the floor. It was a painful, sorrowful sound. Linvin sat on the other
side of the wall trying to think of something to say. His usual greetings seemed
wrong at that moment. At last he managed, “Are you hurt?” The sobbing continued.
“Miss,” he called out louder, “Are you injured?”
The crying reduced and was interrupted occasionally by a sniffle.
“It’s nothing that won’t heal,” she said meekly. “But it doesn’t matter. I will
never leave these walls alive.”
Linvin moved closer to the bars by the wall. “My name is Linvin.
What is yours?”
There was silence for a few moments and then one soft, beautiful
word was spoken in return. “Mirianna,” she replied.
“You seem a little out of place here,” Linvin said.
“Everyone in this tower is out of place,” she answered
indignantly. “I suspect that was their purpose in building it. You don’t sound
like the usual criminals they bring in here. There must be a different reason
you have checked in to this establishment.”
“I have no idea why we are here.” Linvin answered.
“Sure you do,” Mirianna said. “Everyone knows why they’re here.
Some people just don’t want to admit the answer.”
Linvin was caught off guard by her banter. He tried to refocus on
her. “Well then, why are you here?” he asked.
Her tone immediately changed. “So that’s your game, is it? They
bring me down here and think I will tell you everything just by asking? Nice try
Spy. I am wise to you. You can tell that red-eyed sorcerer you work for I have
no knowledge of my country’s defenses. You can also tell him if I did know
anything, I would never tell him or any of his agents.”
Linvin was stunned by the accusation. “Mirianna, you are
mistaken. I am no spy. My kin and I are prisoners just like you.”
Mirianna snapped back. “That is just what a spy would say.”
Linvin sighed. “If I were a spy then why would they put three
other people in here with me? Would it not be wiser to have a single person here
to whom you could confess?”
Mirianna was silent for a moment and then began to cry once
again. “I don’t know what to believe anymore. They have tried so many tricks to
make me betray my country. I am just so tired.”
Linvin sighed and thumped the back of his head against the wall.
“How about this,” he proposed. “I am not a spy and have no use for any
information about whatever country you are from. Since, however, I cannot say
what can be heard by others in this place, perhaps we could talk without either
of us revealing anything our jailors do not already know.”
After more time Mirianna agreed. “You start,” she told Linvin in
a quiet voice from just the other side of the wall.
“Well,” said Linvin as he thought. “My uncle, cousins and I were
traveling through the Unclaimed Territory and were caught trying to cross the
Mystic River into the Mandrean Empire.”
“Why would you want to come here?” Mirianna asked. “Do you work
Linvin grew angry. “If I worked for them I would not be in this
jail, would I? I thought you were not going to ask me such questions.”
“Do they have any idea why you are here?” Mirianna asked in a
Linvin ran his hand through his hair in frustration. “I have no
idea what they know or do not know. They have asked us no questions.”
Mirianna was surprised. “Do you mean they have not interrogated
you at all?”
“That is correct,” Linvin stated. “We are clueless about their
intentions. Why are you here?”
Mirianna put her head on her knees and let her hair cover her
face. “I just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. I was
ignorant and now what days I have left are at the mercy of these beasts and
“Do you have food?” Linvin asked.
“They give me Goblin Biscuits from time to time.”
Linvin took a loaf of bread and stretched it through the closest
gap in the bars. “Here,” he said, “Take this. We have plenty of food.”
She paused at the sight of the loaf. “Is this some sort of
“Yes,” Linvin said sarcastically but with a smile. “I am tricking
you into eating bread. Call the guard!”
He changed his voice back to a more pleasing tone. “Look, my arm
is growing tired. Either take the bread or leave it on the ground. I was only
trying to help. Remember I do not want to know any secrets from you. 45
That is unless you would like to tell us a secret way out of
Mirianna laughed as she wiped her tears. Linvin grinned and
added, “What, no snappy retort? How disappointing.”
“I have no answer for that question but will gladly entertain
ideas,” she said. A moment later Linvin saw a soft, smooth, feminine hand reach
for the bread. He was pleased to see he’d gained at least the slightest trust.
As it turned out, perhaps he gained more than that. Her hand bypassed the bread
and touched Linvin’s skin. The surprised elf dropped the food. Her fingers
caressed his slowly and gently as they ran the length of his hand and then
interlocked the digits.
“Thank you,” she whispered in a soft melodic voice. He felt like
a cool summer breeze had blown across his face. The hairs on his hand rose as
she softly released him and picked up the bread.
He basked in the glow of the trifling as she nibbled at the food.
After a few moments she spoke.
“By the way,” she called out softly.
“Yes Mirianna?” the eager young half-elf answered.
“Call me Miri,” she said. “I’m sorry I was rude. This place can
get to you after a bit. Thank you for the bread. It is the first real food I’ve
had in days.”
With that she moved over to a pile of straw she used as a bed.
She ate her food and then lay down to