Here is a special excerpt from The Wolf of Tebron, by Susanne Lakin.
Collecting courage, he lifted the crescent-shaped doorknocker and let it fall to against the door. Bits of grainy rock broke off and drifted slowly to the ground, capturing tiny moonbeams as they settled softly on the stoop. The pieces shimmered like stardust. A melodious voice called out.
"Entree, entree, yes, I'm coming!"
Joran peeked into the entry, at the pool of light coating the floor like ivory paint. A figure in a long gown emerged from shadows and glided to greet him. A hand was offered-bedecked with a silver ring on each finger, and sporting a dozen thin bracelets that jangled noisily.
"Oh, it's you. What took you so long? I am certain the soup has gone cold but-no matter-let's just heat it up, what do you say, darling?" The woman gave Joran no time to react; she led him by his hand across the pool of light into the messiest kitchen he had ever seen. After a quick glance around the spacious room with the intricately vaulted ceiling, he nearly tripped over a mop leaning against an upholstered chair-a rather ratty one at that-and kicked a wooden slop bucket with the toe of his boot, sending it sliding across the floor.
"Oh, my, forgot I left that out. My apologies."
Joran shook his head, trying to make himself wake up. Now he must be dreaming. This place had put him under a trance.
"Nonsense." The woman pursed her lips and leaned close to Joran, giving he cheek a little pinch. Joran jerked back and banged into something else. He winced when he heard objects crash to the floor and break into pieces. "Don't worry about that old thing. She collects the most useless junk. And, no, you are not dreaming."
"Who are you?" joran asked. "Just where am I?"
"Silly. You know exactly where you are. This is the Moon's house."
"And you are-the Moon?" Joran ventured.
Hearing this, the woman laughed hysterically. She slapped her thigh and tried to catch her breath. Between guffaws, she snorted and wheezed in a most unladylike fashion. "You're kidding, right? Weren't you taught your fairy tales at bedtime? Or do humans not do that anymore?" She seemed to be asking herself, rather than Joran.
Joran didn't know what to make of this tall, lithe woman dressed in a sequined gown that trailed around her feet and seemed to drop pearls as she scurried around. Her beaklike nose overpowered a weak chin, and her high cheekbones were rouged in red. Her long white hair, interlaced with ribbons, spread about her like a skirt. Her gown flowed like water about her, never quite touching her skin-unlike anything Joran had ever seen. Although silver in color, it swirled with blues, golds, and greens like a meandering stream, circling and circling her waist, reminding Joran of Charris's buckets of paint when she blended colors together with her large paddle. Tiny glass slippers graced her feet, and rather than walk, she danced and glided about, humming softly and occasionally winking at Joran.
"Sit, my little mince pie," she ordered, pointing to a rickety wooden stool. "That way you won't break anything else." Joran promptly deposited himself at a table brimming with serving platters and bowls of crystal lined with gold filigree. He peered into one tureen and found a collection of sparrow's nests, dusty and cobwebbed.
As the woman busied herself at the stove, stirring an enormous copper kettle, Joran looked around him. Moon globes glowed dimly from the walls, and moonlight streamed in through a round window down the hall. Trinkets and bottles and tins lined cupboard shelves. Unlabeled glass jars of different shapes and colors cluttered the countertops, dirty dishes lay piled in the wash basin, oddities and sculptures crammed every nook. Giant vultures of bronze glared from the walls; strange creatures with tentacles and buggy eyes hung from ornate chandeliers. A stack of molody books, topped with what looked like a set of antlers, teetered precariously on a stool in the corner.
"I know, I know, she has terrible taste. Where she gets most of this dreck I'll never know."
Joran searched for something to say, but this place overloaded his senses. A strange smell drifted over from the cooking pot-briny and pungent. Joran's stomach gurgled in response.
"Yes, you have some fattening up to do. Your journey has taken its toll on you, poor boy." She lowered a long dipper into the pot and poured a clear liquid into a crystal bowl. As she handed the bowl to Joran, he saw the Moon reflected on the liquid's surface. The woman studied Joran's face.
It's harmless, trust me. And it will fill you up nicely. Here, I'll fetch some biscuits." She rummaged through a cupboard and found a large, round tin. After blowing off the dust, she pried open the top and handed Joran a handful of crumbs. "Well, they are still biscuits, after all. Let's see, when did I bake those? It's been so long, I can't remember." She turned to Joran. "And it's been so long since we've had any visiots out here, I am forgetting my manners." She offered her hand to Joran.
"My name is Cielle. I am the Moon's siter."
I really enjoyed this passage because it has a lot of imagery and really plays with your imagination. Susanne Lakin is a master of that!
Check out Mrs. Lakin's website and blog!
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