The Lightning God's Wife: a short story

The Lightning God's Wife: a short story by Grace Draven

Book: The Lightning God's Wife: a short story by Grace Draven Read Free Book Online
Authors: Grace Draven
 
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    THE LIGHTNING GOD’S WIFE
    a short story of the Glimmer Lands in the world of MASTER
OF CROWS
     
     
    BY
     
    GRACE DRAVEN
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    The Lightning God’s Wife - Copyright © 2014 by
Grace Draven.
     
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication
may be reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means,
including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods,
without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of
brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial
uses permitted by copyright law.
     
    Publisher’s Note: This is a work of fiction.
Names, characters, places, and incidents are a product of the author’s
imagination. Locales and public names are sometimes used for atmospheric
purposes. Any resemblance to actual people, living or dead, or to businesses,
companies, events, institutions, or locales is completely coincidental.
     
     
     
     
     
    This short story is dedicated to Lori Cecilia Snow
Stevenson—that friend of mine who lives in God.  Wait for me at the gate.
     
    Many thanks to Lora Gasway, one of my trusted editors, who
rode in and saved the day – as usual.

    The Storm
     
    Martise woke to the banging of a window shutter against the
wall. A rush of humid air, still thick with the day's heat, purled into the
bedchamber. She slid out of bed and padded to the open window. Shadows pooled
on the balcony floor, and in the distance, a tide of black clouds roiled toward
Neith. Lightning ruptured the darkness, illuminating swathes of rain that fell
in sheets on the dusty plains.
    She closed her eyes in a silent prayer of thanks. A storm
was coming—this time of its own accord instead of wrenched into submission by
the heretic mage still asleep in the bed behind her.  Given half a chance, he’d
do it again if necessary.  The last deluge had provided a much-needed drink of
water for the thirsty orange trees in Silhara’s beloved grove, but it was only
one drink, and the drought had returned in full force within the week.
    More lightning split the rain-gravid clouds, and thunder
rumbled in response.  The rustle of sheets alerted Martise that Silhara was
awake.  She didn’t startle when a pair of arms slid around her waist and drew
her back against a lithe body still warm with sleep.
    They stood together in silence, watching the storm.  Another
gust of wind whirled into the room, this time damp and cool.  It buffeted
Martise’s face and spun strands of Silhara’s long hair so that it whipped over
her shoulders and fluttered against her arms.
    Martise caught a stray lock, letting it slide through her
fingers.  “Will you try and trap this one?”
    Silhara shifted behind her.  “No.  It’s coming at us
straighter than a crossbow bolt.”  His raspy voice was even rougher than usual
with the dregs of slumber.  “Though I might sacrifice Gurn as a bribe if it
turns at the last moment.”
    Martise smiled, then squinted as a shock of lightning
flooded the night sky.  “You’d give up your only loyal servant for a bit of
rain?”  Her question was only half-teasing.  Her lover was a mercurial
creature—sour-tempered as well.  While she thought he’d raze a village to the
ground without blinking if that meant saving Gurn from some threat, a small
doubt still remained.
    A flutter of breath tickled the top of her head as Silhara
rubbed his chin into her hair.  “A piss-poor servant.  He calls me a horse’s
ass regularly, Martise.  Maybe one day I’ll tell you the story of how he threw
me down the well when we argued over trimming Gnat’s hooves.”
    Martise turned in his embrace so she could see Silhara’s
face.  Flashes of lightning lit his features briefly, revealing his high
cheekbones and thin mouth, the black eyes that watched her with faint
amusement.  “And what did you do as retribution?”
    He ran a hand

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