I am delighted to share the recent release of a new short story, “The Herald”, exclusively for my newsletter subscribers. I sent the story out to current readers a couple of weeks ago, but I wanted to let the world know, as well.
What do you do when magic makes outrageous lies seem undeniable?
Truitt is an apprentice tinker who wakes up to guards hauling his dad away. The king’s herald announces to all their neighbors that Truitt’s father is a traitor. The accusations against his father leave Truitt questioning who he can trust, and even what’s real.
He always believed his father was a good man. Now he isn’t sure.
Truitt scambles to uncover what’s happening, until he becomes the herald’s next target.
“The Herald” is an intriuging fantasy tale that examines notions of truth, lies, and authority.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who has struggled with knowing who I could trust in the past few years. You might say it’s a fantasy exploration of propaganda.
Here’s a snippet of the first scene:
Truitt leaped from his bed when the door burst open. He reached for anything that might be a weapon. In his stupor, he found a pair of tongs—not even the largest in the workshop.
He stopped short when he saw the intruders were guards from the palace. Dawn’s light glinted off their armor.
His father held up a hand to keep him back.
The guards didn’t say a word, but yanked his father from his workbench and carried him outside. Still in his nightclothes, Truitt followed.
“Dad, what’s happening?”
“Nothing you can help, son. Don’t fight them,” his father said. The guards dragged him up the street where Truitt saw the king’s herald waiting at his normal spot. A crowd was forming despite the early hour. His father’s kind eyes looked weary.
“I hope you remember I love you,” he said.
The herald waited, looking down on them from a small, raised platform. His deep-set eyes and sharp nose appeared harsher above a short beard. His dark blue robe hovered over the planks like a cloud. As usual when delivering official proclamations, he whipped the robe away from his left side. From a hook on his belt, he took a cone cut from a bull’s horn. Crisscrossing the dark, polished horn was a netting of thick, silver wire. A silver rim adorned either end, with the larger side flaring out like a trumpet.
The guards threw Truitt’s father on his knees before the platform. The herald let his gaze roam over the people and lifted the horn to his mouth.
“This man is accused of treason and sedition before our king,” he said through the cone.
“What? No!” Truitt cried out.
I hope you’ll grab a copy and find out what happens to Truitt.
This story isn’t intentionally placed with the world of the King of The Caves series, though Truitt’s plight would make sense in the world of hidden magic and manipulative rulers that is Pallingham. I know Lord Evasius would love to get his hands on the kind of magic the herald wields.
You can download a free copy of “The Herald” by signing up for my newsletter at https://BookHip.com/SXZDWDQ