TITLE: Dark One’s Mistress
GENRE: Adult Fantasy
"Clarabelle!" The cry rang out, scattering the pigeons resting atop the roofs and sending the nearby cats into a fit of hissing as they scampered for cover.
Clara halted on the edge of the street, her face burning as the echo of her mother's manly bellow continued. All around her, men and women paused in their daily business. The street gained an eerie silence. In the past, she'd heard worldlier folk boast that such deathly quiet could only be heard here in Everdark.
Then someone coughed, another person sneezed, and the sounds flooded back. The hum of talk. The clink of coins. A few turned to stare at her, the young woman in question, but mostly, the irate cry seemed to be forgotten.
A sigh huffed through her lips. Why does she have to scream like that? She contented herself with the roll of her eyes, wishing the heat in her cheeks would fade. It wasn't as if she was some small child. She knew her duties well. Knew the streets even better.
She shuffled her burden: bread, half a wheel of cheese, a skin of goat's milk and a tiny, dog-eared book on the world beyond. The last was for herself. Literally titled The World Beyond. Beyond what, she didn't know, but it sounded intriguing.
In the pit of her stomach, she knew concern hadn't driven her mother's voice. Not concern for Clara, anyhow. She'd taken too long, pure and simple. It wasn't her fault the baker's son had gone missing was it now?