Here’s an except from my young adult fantasy novel Sevara: Dawn of Hope – on Amazon now: http://amzn.com/B0115CWE2S
“Father!” yelled Lief as soon as the Minister entered the door. Jaggat trailed behind him as usual.
“This can wait until after supper.”
“No, no it can’t, Sevara is—”
“This can wait,” the Minister said with such authority that the family hound hid its head under its paw. One of the Minister’s wives helped him take off his heavy coat. Another wife unbuckled his boots and pulled them off. A third took his day case. Then the Minister lumbered to his dressing room and changed out of his suit.
Lief had seen the news of Sevara, the young girl who had stopped the execution in Lyre square. His feelings for her had only grown since he last confronted his father, and he could think of no one else. He cursed himself for being such a fool at the auction. He now realized that in the privacy of the orphanage, he had spoken to Sevara from his own heart, but in the public spectacle of the courtyard, he spoke the way the people expected him to speak, and for that reason only she was lost to him. He was determined not to lose her again. He’d recognized Sevara on the reflector screen immediately, but his father had been in meetings all day, and he hadn’t been able to get any information about where she had been taken. Of course it was his father’s office that would be responsible for her detention, and he had gone almost mad waiting for him to come home.
“Come, dinner’s ready.” Evelyn led Lief to the dining room. She was the youngest and most optimistic of all Alex’s wives, and Lief’s favorite. She had become like an older sister that he could tell his secrets to.
Finally, Alex came down and joined Lief and Lief’s older brothers at the long family hall. The Minister’s wives, looking immaculate in their fresh makeup and best evening dresses, stood along the walls waiting to refill glasses and take empty plates. Lief didn’t touch his food. Jaggat sat in a corner of the kitchen eating a turkey drumstick while the hound slurped up its lamb chuck.
“You’ve got to eat something,” said the Minister, not looking up from his beef stew.
“I’m not hungry,” said Lief.
“Well, I can’t eat with you staring at me,” said the Minister, pushing his bowl away.
“You know what this is about, Father,” said Lief.
“And you know that there’s nothing that I can do, Lief,” he said, staring directly in his son’s eyes.
Lief stared incredulously.
“What do you mean?”
“The trial’s already been held. She disrupted the fulfillment of the Codex and has been sentenced accordingly.”
“As an enemy of the state.”
“You can stop this, you must—”
“We all follow the Codex, Lief, even me, even you—”
“Father, you must—”
Evelyn rushed into the room and almost knocked one of the other wives over.
“Look, look!” she said, pointing out the window, and Jaggat shimmied over and spread the curtain. Newspapers were zipping down the balloon wires, thousands upon thousands of papers falling to homes and street vendors. They looked like leaves on a windy autumn day. Jaggat pulled the cover off the reflector tube and adjusted the magnifying glass so that the image was clear. The screen showed a large gathering around a stage in the city’s main plaza.
The wives crouched closer and watched the event unfold. On the screen, the Chancellor solemnly made his way upon the stage and began to speak.
“Good Citysins of Plexus, this great empire is again cursed with the bitter tears of grief. This morning, an accomplice disrupted the punishment exhibition. An uncertified and unregistered criminal named Sevara hoped to set the traitor Almos free, so he could continue his evil work. In doing so, she infected the minds of many of the young boys who were there, boys from good families, boys who were seduced by her witchcraft.”
“This crime will not go unpunished, for the Codex is the law, and we live and die by the code. In accordance with the code, a tribunal was held this very afternoon, and the girl was found guilty of immoral influence over others. Her sentence will be determined by her loyalty to the state, overseen by the punitive board.”
With that, the Chancellor made his way back to his sedan and sped off. Evelyn switched off the reflector and covered it back up. The future Chancellor of Plexus could never marry a criminal, and everyone in the room knew it. Lief was engulfed by emotions more powerful than any he’d ever known. Despair, fury, rebellion and longing stormed inside of him until he couldn’t take it anymore. His father’s eyes were on him, and Lief was terrified of losing control of the rage and revealing his true thoughts. So he took a deep breath and pushed the thundering waves of emotions under the surface of his being. The Codex was the absolute ruler of the kingdom, and he knew that no one could change it. They finished their dinner in silence. Overhead, newspaper after newspaper pattered against the rooftops, so many that it sounded like a light summer rain.
You can check out the whole novel on Amazon right now. There’s a paperback and a digital version for your Kindle: http://amzn.com/B0115CWE2S