My fantasy novel, “Selah of the Summit,” is about a slavegirl who fetches water from a well. She sees the distant mountains and imagines things she has never known–like trees, stars, lakes, and snow. Her Master Regan and The Craft have kept nature from the valleys, damning rivers and turning all to desert. They weave their material spells upon the slaves, and nothing ever changes. Then, one day, Regan summons Selah to serve him at a banquet. As she fills a goblet, a stranger in a hooded cloak speaks to her and gives her one unmelted snowflake. That very night, the stranger named Micah leads Selah outside the Keep and across the valley, to meet a band of travelers. They journey through hills, moors, and highlands to Mountain Gate. Selah finds beauty, music, and love in the mountains. Regan and his soldiers follow, capture Selah, and imprison her again. She must face loneliness and The Craft to reunite with Micah and journey to the Summit.
Here is Chapter One:
“Selah of the Summit”
By Lonna Lisa Williams
The rider of the red horse takes the lead. Many follow him, on white and sorrel horses, through myrtle trees. They enter the plain and cross it, climbing hills, high meadows, and slopes until they stop before the Mountain Gate.
“Who are these?” a voice calls from the Gatehouse.
“We are the riders sent to patrol the land,” the red horseman replies.
“Come, give your report,” the Gatekeeper commands.
The Gate opens, doors made of white stone like cliffs parting inward. The riders enter, hooves echoing upon the slate-paved path.
As she approached the Great Hall, Selah heard voices and the clanging of metal against crystal. She stepped slowly toward the doorway and peeked in. Already the long table held a hundred guests. Serving dishes lined the sideboard, and tapestries covered the walls. Torchlight danced in the corners.
There were no windows. And though it was midday, the thick stone walls made the room unnaturally dark.
A lone slavegirl stood by the door. With both hands, she held a golden pitcher. She was tall and thin with red curls peeking out from under her cap–and a fresh scar across her cheek.
“Hurry,” she whispered to Selah, bending down toward the smaller girl. “The Master wants you to serve him tonight.” Continue reading