I had an interesting experience this week, when an inner ear infection caused an onset of severe vertigo. The world was spinning – and spinning fast. It’s a terrible feeling when you can’t focus on anything and even closing your eyes won’t make it stop. In the end, relief came in the form of a big needle and a sedative – so once the spinning stopped everything went into soft focus and I felt much better. When I wasn’t falling asleep mid-conversation or smiling dreamily at everyone…
Although the worst of the vertigo has gone, the world still has a tendency to list – and I’m struggling to sit in front of a computer screen for any length of time. So as far as writing weeks go, it’s not been very productive. But at least, and yes I’m using creative licence on a grand scale, I can relate to Josiah in this week’s WIPpet. His world may not be spinning in a literal sense, but he has certainly lost perspective.
In honour of the 12th of June, here is an excerpt from Chapter 12 of my work in progress – The Fall of the Kings. What you need to know: There are 12 Kings of Gaelladorn and this scene is part of a coronation ceremony. In Gaelladorn sovereignty isn’t necessarily for life, and during this ceremony Gareth is releasing his throne. In theory Josiah as Overseer must appoint the new ruler, but in this case he’s allowed himself to be ‘helped’. This part of the ceremony is conducted before the Heartstone and away from the crowd – afterwards a public coronation will occur.
Strangely, Josiah’s speaking in a different first person tense in this passage. (I am so looking forward to untangling this during editing…).
They come one by one and kneel down before the Heartstone, forehead to the stone whispering promises to the One God. I can’t hear what they say, but I dutifully extend my hands and raise them up at the appropriate moment. Acknowledging their place as appointed Sovereign before the One God.
When Gareth comes, I feel regret. The pain of another passing. Perhaps it is because we’ve been through so much together. Or because it was he who opened the door to this day? As I raise him up, I ask him if he goes willingly. The words are formal, and unnecessary, but I say them anyway. With an embrace he releases his sovereignty and too quickly he is gone and I am left waiting for Marcus.
I have spent much time with this man in the few weeks leading up to this day. Yet this is the first time I’ve been so conscious of his size. As he comes up the path he has to duck to avoid the overhanging trees, and when he straightens I feel small. The plain white tunic, chosen for its simplicity only accentuates the raw power of this man.
Yet he kneels and lays his forehead against the stone. His hair hangs down over his eyes, and I can’t hear what – if anything – he says to the One God. But after what seems like the right length of time I step forward and lay my hand upon his shoulder.
“Do you, today, before the One God accept the office of his appointed Sovereign?”
I’ve said the words before, and have always felt the thrill of doing my part in the greater plan of God’s will. But as I say them now, the glow of the Heartstone seems to dim. Although I am not looking at it, the familiar brightness in my peripheral vision seems to have failed, and I feel a cold stab of fear in my belly. But I am looking down at Marcus, who is accepting the charge and I don’t turn my head, but continue until all the words are spoken.
When it is finished and Marcus has risen and left to join the others, only then do I turn to see what has happened to the great stone.
The Heartstone is still bright, its light steady and comforting. I kneel and touch my forehead to it. It is still warm, solid, the same as it ever was. For a moment I am comforted, until I realise, to my horror, it is me that has dimmed and grown cold.
Many thanks as always to the lovely K.L. Schwengel for hosting this blog hop. If you would like to participate, you either need to choose a passage from your work in progress with some relationship to the date or *drumroll* post a new beginning (a new WIP or story idea)! It’s the biggest change to the Wednesday WIPpet since… um… well some people had theme tunes last week! Check out the linky here.