Page 99 from The Salbine Sisters
By Sarah Ettritch
A Fantasy/Lesbian Novel
Reprinted with permission: Copyright © 2010 Sarah Ettritch. All rights reserved.
Book Description: She gave up everything to become a Salbine Sister, member of a religious order of powerful female mages. But when Maddy nearly dies while trying to draw forth elemental fire, she learns that Salbine has withdrawn from her the gifts every sister works to master. Feeling trapped in an order to which she no longer has any right to belong and believing herself unworthy of the love of Lillian, one of the most powerful mages in the sisterhood, Maddy begs the abbess to let her travel to another monastery to research her condition. On her journey, Maddy's faith in both herself and Salbine are tested to their limits. When she attempts to draw fire and fails horribly, frightened townsfolk throw Maddy into prison. Fearing that the abbess will never learn her fate and rescue her, Maddy resigns herself to a short and brutal life. The only bright spot in Maddy's existence is Emmey, the pickpocket with whom she shares a cell. Through her and the steadfast love of Lillian, Maddy learns that Salbine's purpose is not always the same for everyone, and that love and compassion are more valuable than magic.
but the sister and her companion to leave and asked why she wouldn’t help us. She claims she can’t draw the elements.”
Catcalls and shouts filled the air. “Who ever heard of a sister who can’t draw the elements?”
Maddy stared straight ahead, cursing her hot face.
Langston rang the bell. “Silence!” When several still shouted, he rang the bell again, and continued to ring it until they’d simmered down. He turned to Wheeler. “You questioned her. You were at the inn. What do you think?”
“Before I answer, you should know that we’ve managed to get the fire under control, but not before it spread to a neighbouring shop. A man has also perished in the flames.”
“Yeah, my Frank!” Evelyn shouted from behind Maddy. “So either she murdered him, or she’s a lying, thieving bitch, posing as a sister so she can fill her pockets.”
“Now, now, murder is a bit strong, um, Madam,” Langston said.
“She stood by and did nothing while my Frank burned. Maybe that’s not murder to you, but she murdered him as sure as if she’d set him on fire herself.”
“Which she didn’t do, because apparently she can’t draw the elements,” Langston said, to raucous laughter. Clearly pleased with himself, he turned his attention back to Wheeler. “You didn’t answer my question.”
Wheeler shifted his weight. “I believe she’s an imposter, My Lord. I’ve never met a sister who can’t draw the elements, and I find it hard to believe that someone in Salbine’s service could be so devoid of morality and humanity that she wouldn’t at least try to save a man’s life. She must be an imposter.”
Langston grunted. “You said she and her companion carried documents?”
“Yes, My Lord.” Wheeler picked up the two documents and set them down directly in front of Langston.
Langston unrolled one and read it, then did the same with the other. He slid open a desk drawer and rummaged inside it. “Hold it flat for me, will you?” he said to Wheeler as he pulled out a magnifying glass.
The spectators fidgeted
The Salbine Sisters: http://www.fantasynovel.org
The Rymellan series: http://www.rymellanstories.com
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