Saturday, February 13, 2016

Sassy Saturday: Chatting with a defiant captive


Welcome to another week of the Sassy Saturday Blog Hop.  Except, it's technically no longer a blog hop. Jasmine Walts, the founder, decided to discontinue it due to lack of participation and her own lack of time to promote it. However, I like the idea of it so I'm going to continue with my own excerpts.

The purpose of the blog hop used to be showcasing excerpts from our novels about kick-butt heroines. Every Saturday is a new post. If you want read more about it, the link is here.

Context: as described in this excerpt here, Princess Kasile was kidnapped despite Eric and Tiza's attempts to protect her. Here's a look at how she's been doing since then.
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Nolien said he would do a little more work on Basilard's injuries before turning in himself. Eric told him not to overwork himself and Nolien reassured him. Too tired to argue, Eric went to sleep.

 His whole body felt stiff, as if he had been in the same position for hours on end. His wrists, elbows, ankles, and knees all felt as if he rubbed them against a rock all night. His mouth was dry and breathing was difficult. His body moved without his command.

I'm in Kasile's mind again! . . . I wish I knew how this worked . . . Your Highness! Can you hear me? He, or rather she, stirred and mumbled . . . Mumble twice if you can hear me. Kasile's mumble was loud and frightened. I guess I'd be startled too if I suddenly heard voices. Princess, I'm Eric Watley. We met outside the— Kasile mumbled twice, quieter this time.

How?

So it works both ways.

Well, of course. If you're in my mind, you should be able to hear my thoughts.

Princess, do you have any idea where you are?

No. It was the most amazing thing. Eric could feel Kasile's fear as if it were his own. They put me in a sack and blindfolded me. They only take it off for . . . Fear.

He couldn't tell what she was going to say, which ruled out mind reading. If I concentrate hard enough, maybe I can trace the link like a phone . . . The only problem was he had no idea how to do that.

Have you been harmed?

No.

Have you heard them say anything?

NO! The only reason they come at all is to force food down my throat!

Sorry, Your Highness. I didn't mean to upset you.

No, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have yelled.

They talked about other things: the state of the kingdom, if anyone was hurt at the Joust, Eric's missions, and popular CV shows. On every subject, Kasile was calm and polite. It was as if she were entertaining a guest at the castle instead of being held captive in an unknown location.

“Wakey, wakey, Your Highness! Time for breakfast.” Kasile breathed fresh air as the sack was removed. Your Highness, what would happen if you tried to shake the blindfold off?

Evil Eye.

The gag was pulled out of her mouth and something else was shoved in. Kasile coughed and sputtered, but the food-of-unknown-origin was continually pushed in. It tasted awful. It might have been garbage. Eric didn't know what would get her first: disease, malnutrition, or suffocation.

Evil Eye spiritual technique. By focusing on their conversation, she could block out the awful food. Their leader used it on me at the Joust. Extreme hatred, sorrow, or fear is forced into the target's soul using the practitioner’s eyes as a medium. In short, it is a “death glare” taken literally.

I assume it only works when the practitioner’s soul is stronger than the target's.

Exactly. I would have defeated them all if their leader hadn't come.

The loosely termed “food” stopped, but before Kasile could take a clear breath, her hair was yanked back and a thermos wedged between her teeth. The water was even worse. Only sewer water could taste this bad . . . So . . . how were you separated from your guards?

Kasile didn't reply. She was busy spitting the water in her handler's face. To Eric's great surprise, she wasn't struck or even cussed out. The rogue simply put the thermos back in.

I was going to congratulate Culmus, but the Dark Fog hit and the Black Cloaks appeared.

You are quite bold for someone tied up in a sack.

Haven't you heard? I'm more than Ataidar's princess; I'm the descendent of its patron deity.

Really? I thought that was just a national myth.

Fire's Avatar founded Ataidar during the Avatar Alliance two thousand years ago. She's the reason I haven't been raped or fondled; my ancestor is a virgin goddess. Sexually assaulting me is like shouting, “Smite me, oh mighty smiter!”

The generously named “meal” ended and the gag was forced back in. Kasile didn't struggle as it was knotted behind her head and the sack retied.

It didn't stop them from kidnapping you.

That was my fault. Fiol has more important things to do than attend jousts in case a princess can't protect herself. She's too busy to handle my every little problem! I should've been strong enough to defeat them! . . . I really should have . . .

The rogue's footsteps echoed as they left Kasile's cell. The door swung shut and its lock clicked. I don't know whether to be happy they don't come often or sad that I'm always hungry.

 Eric could tell she was forcing a smile so he humored her. I'd rather go hungry than be in the same room as that guy. Phew! She giggled and Eric patted himself on the back.

If you're staying long, I can call for mental tea and biscuits.
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To learn more about Kasile and A Mage's Power, visit Tvtropes at http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Literature/AMagesPower.

A Mage's Power, and the rest of the Journey to Chaos series, are available for purchase at
http://amzn.to/10NsG2i

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