Moonfire Trilogy: snippet


Because I can. Book 1 is finished. I’ve had a talk with a content editor today, will be making a few tweaks. Like the Icefire Trilogy, the series will have multiple point-of-view characters, and one of them is meteorology student Javes (Javesius). As part of their education in their final year, the students have all been sent on field placement, and he was sent to a very small town in northern Chevakia at the very edge of the desert.

This is one of the things that happens to him:

Within moments, Javes was surrounded by dusty, dark people. They were all yelling at the same time.

“Where has the dust devil gone?” a man screamed. “Where are all my horses?”

“Is it coming back?” another man wanted to know.

“The devils are meant to stay in the desert,” a woman said, her voice indignant. “They don’t come as far south as this. Pashtan said so.”

“Pashtan said nothing about that this could happen.”

“I don’t know why you ever believed him. He’s not even from here and knows nothing about our land.”

“Pashtan is dead!” Javes called out over the din.

A good number of people fell quiet. They stared at him.

“Dead?” a woman said.

“Yes, dead. You know, not alive. Same as the other cart donkey. Had the flesh tripped from its bones. The cart was turned over and everything covered in dust.” He wiped his face. He didn’t think he’d ever felt more exhausted in his life.

More people fell quiet.

“And you survived?” a man said, his voice incredulous. “The city kid? What sort of magic is that?”

“It’s not magic. It’s only because—”

“You survived! That’s a sign. You should have Pashtan’s position.”

“You could not possibly do any worse than call dust devils into town!”

“He did that because you cheated him out of two bottles of cider—”

“Quiet!” Javes called.

People stopped yelling.

“I will contact the meteorology department for a replacement meteorologist—”

“What are you talking about? There has been a sign. He died while you were here. You survived and he died. That’s a sign. We have a new meteorologist.”

Several people nodded their agreement. “It’s a sign.”

No, no. Javes was overcome with a feeling of total horror. “I can’t stay because I’m not finished with my education yet.” That was the only thing he could think of saying, and it came out really lame. But his mouth was dry and his mind blank. He shuddered at the thought of spending his entire life in Pashtan’s simple square house with its two rooms, of trudging past all the weather stations in a donkey cart every day, and doing this day in day out, and sitting at the plain wooden desk every night to work out the curves and trends and traipse to the telegraph office every few days to send the results to Tiverius.

The life of a regional meteorologist.

That was not what he had signed up for, was it?