Continuing the opening chapter from The Ashes of Home, the air in Shayla’s room has been drugged but she held her breath at the first taste. Two attackers disguised as servants are in the room with her. She let herself collapse towards the bed, feigning the effects of the drug, then launched herself forwards...
As she rolled, she glimpsed upside down a face in the shadows of a hood. It looked like Barras, but Shayla noted nose plugs, a tiny breathing unit clamped between thin stretched lips, and eyes filled with hate.
A razor line of blue fire bisected the space she’d just vacated. Holy Space, a rapier shimmerblade!
Groping fingers found the hidden button as she completed the roll. The bed collapsed behind Shayla, halved effortlessly by the shimmerblade. Tall windows ahead of her flew open and she continued her motion, hurdling the waist-high sill out into a seventy foot drop.
Gravity took Shayla as she forced the dregs of tainted air from her mouth and drew in a deep, clean draught from the night rushing past her face.