Saturday, August 3, 2013

For a Change, We Dance

So I kind of thought I'd start posting little snippets from The Willow Queen, because I'd like to be presented with a very good reason as to why I shouldn't.
That's right, you totally can't.
All that aside, here are a few paragraphs from Chapter Five. I hope you enjoy!

Life drags on, no matter how awful everything gets. It keeps going, on and on, constant and full and so thick and heavy that I can hardly breathe. But I am the same. I am constant and ongoing. I keep my ladies distracted, especially if they have sweethearts in the army. I help Charlotte prepare for her wedding. I strategize with Mel and Beaufort. I slowly read my way through the library.
When the day comes, things feel almost bright. Most of the people in the church are either female, children, too old for the military, or simply uninterested in war games. There are so few people here. Yet every single face wears a smile. The music makes us thrive. Charlotte and Alec are bursting with light.
For a change, we dance. Just like the coronation, we dance defiantly. In the wake of horror and war and death, we dance.
I fall asleep feeling slightly uneasy, full to the brim with an uncertain mixture of utter joy and inexpressible dread. The dread is such a constant thing that I’ve almost grown accustomed to it. I’m unused to happiness. How strange. It’s been three months and already happiness feels unfamiliar. This is what war does. It drains you of everything good and leaves you empty. Anything that fills you up again feels strange and, I don’t know, wrong. It ruins and scars you.
Mel hugs me in his sleep, and suddenly, I know that I’m wrong. The war may wound me, but its damage will not be permanent. As long as I have this little moment, and moments like it, I know that I’ll survive.

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