TITLE: Cut To The Bone
GENRE: YA Fantasy
The soft tendrils of death wafted through the window of Azima's bedroom, but she didn't need to see the black serpentine arms spiraling through the dense evening air to know she was dreaming.
A nightmare, most likely.
She had such visions ever since her first bleeding, as had all Rousseau women when their power was on blossoming. A blessing and a curse, her mother used to say when she questioned why the dreams were stronger, more lucid at the same time every month. Of course, that was before Alara Rousseau was run through with the poisonous barb from the tail of a biju demon on Azima's sixteenth birthday.
At that time, she had two years to go before she could properly hold the holy weapons of the Rousseau family without needing to worry herself with the burns from the wards upon the palms of her hands. Even though she was now past her eighteenth birthday, the dream made her remember, and she rubbed her hands along her thighs as if to fend off the tingling of the healing wounds.
She was in the same dark dress she wore to her mother's funeral pyre- the only one she possessed. She remembered her mother’s Imerman chastising her for how revealing and inappropriate it was, and she, in turn, reminded him it was his place only to train her, not to comment on her choice of attire.
Though he sired her, he was not her father. Rousseau women did not marry.