Braving the Elements A Fantasy Anthology by Various Artists Publisher: Roane Publishing Release Date: September 4, 2017
Keywords: Fantasy, Anthology, Medieval, Epic, Sword and Sorcery, Elements, Magic
Mist Weaver blurb:
Dolan wants nothing more than to escape his village for the big city where his small stature and unpleasant features won’t make him the recipient of constant ridicule by the lord of the manor and his heir, Gilroy. The mist that dances to the sweet notes of Dolan's flute is his only camaraderie and the only beauty in his life—except for Keavy.
When the kind milkmaid is faced with unwanted attentions, Dolan must defend her honor with a choice that will ultimately change his life.
Wakefulness crashed into Dolan with the slash of a whip.
“Ah!” he screamed, jerking against the restraints holding him upright to the whipping pole. “N-no,” he sputtered past the blood dribbling from his mouth. Villagers stood within his line of vision, deadened gazes watching. Uncaring.
Another whoosh of sound, and the whip bit into Dolan’s skin, bringing another long shriek to his lips. Someone had torn the back of his tunic open so the whip’s fiery bite landed on bare skin.
A third stroke sagged Dolan in his restraints as he screamed. “P-please,” he sobbed, eyes clenched shut, arms shaking against the chains binding him. Two more landed in quick succession, each drawing a girl-like shriek from Dolan’s hoarse throat.
His head jerked backward as fingers tangled in his hair and yanked. “You’re lucky it’s the whip and not the gallows,” Lord Kentigern hissed in his ear. “I ought to teach this village a lesson by hanging you from the nearest tree, but I don’t have the men to subdue a riot.” The lord smashed Dolan’s forehead into the pole and stepped away.
Stars once more dotted Dolan’s vision, and he fought to stay awake over the throbbing in his head and back.
“Serves you right, Bucky!” Gilroy’s voice carried across the green. A handful of chuckles from the surrounding villagers accompanied his following laughter. Unable to tense his body for the next blow, Dolan sagged, tears and snot running down his face as he waited.