I’m running a ‘Name that Character Contest’ for my contemporary fantasy short story Nimue’s Daughter. It’s a rescue from Armageddon based on the Arthurian mythology. It’s also a work in progress for Shared Whispers, the freebie anthology from Champagne authors that will be published and available for free download in January.
There’s a blank in this excerpt and throughout the entire story where Nimue’s cousin’s name should be. She’s the major secondary character in the story. She’s a feisty, red-haired Celtic lady who refuses to accept the terrorists’ inevitable Armageddon without a fight. Please give her a name. Leave your entry in a comment for this post. The winner’s name can be included (your choice) in the acknowledgement. Winner will be announced on Monday, September 24th at ritabay.com.
Check out this unedited excerpt of Nimue’s Daughter:
The clarion call sounded, jolting Myrddin from his healing sleep. He sat bolt upright and sucked in a deep breath—and a mouthful of dirt. He held out a hand expecting a drink. Nothing. He forced open one crusted eyelid, then the other, and saw only darkness—total, pitch black darkness. He curled his hands into fists. Vast power coursed through his body, even dripped from his fingers, but a sense of foreboding nagged at him.
He used a bit of power to cast a light into the depths of the cave that had served as his resting place. Empty, long-deserted. He held up an arm to the light. Filthy and bare. His elegant embroidered tunic lay in faded tatters on the ground around him. He was naked, his body crusted with dirt. His hair and beard fell below his waist in a tangled mass. He struggled to stand but fell to his hands and knees, too weak to rise. Foreboding yielded to panic.
There should have been abundant light and fresh air, novices to tend him after his long sleep, and senior priests and priestesses assembled to welcome him. Most important of all, there should have been …Who? His memory failed him. He pushed himself to his feet and staggered across the floor of the cave to the entrance that had been sealed … How long ago?
A wave of his hand tossed the boulders sealing the cave tumbling down the mountainside. He clung to the opening of the cave and surveyed the vast, empty expanse of stone. Then he remembered. She should have been here. He croaked her name, then licked his lips, swallowed, and called again.
“I’m sure I heard something, __________.”
“I didn’t hear a thing, Vivian.”
“You’re not wearing your hearing aids, dear. I believe it came from over here.”
Two crones dressed in long white robes rounded a boulder and stopped dead at the sight of him. He felt their fear, their panic. They were about to depart, leaving him stranded. He hadn’t understood a word of their language but had recognized a name.
He held out a hand in supplication and requested in the ancient language. “Vivian. Help me.”
No response. He tried again in the languages of the Cymry, the Gaels, and the Picts. Nothing. He lowered himself and addressed them in the language of the accursed Romans.
__________, a full-figured Celtic beauty with faded red hair, brightened. “It’s him, Vivian. He’s asking for our help in classical Latin.”
Vivian, tall and slender with bright blond hair, sniffed. “We need his help. The clarion call from our grandmothers’ stories and all.” She rang the bell that had awakened him. “There are only six days left to us, if we’re to believe the government. I drove to Anglesey because I couldn’t allow my cousin and best friend to die alone. I want us to spend the time we have left at my home in Wiltshire with Nimue, not with some dirty, naked vagrant.”
He couldn’t understand them but they were discussing him and had mentioned Nimue. They had failed to offer him the proper deference due his rank or even the hospitality due strangers and were considering leaving. He raised his hand and the women were suspended several feet in the air. He held them there for a few moments as they kicked and cursed, then gently lowered them to the ground.
He waited as the two fussed with their hair and clothing. ____________ shook a finger in Vivian’s face. “It’s him. I told you we would find him. He slept in peace until Britain needed him, just as Grandmother told us. It was our honor to call him forth. No one else believed. We must take him to my home and clean him up. You must have faith, dear.”
___________ handed him a blanket to cover himself and beckoned. “Follow me.”
Rita Bay ritabay.com with Rita Bay’s Blog
“Into the Lyons’ Den” Champagne Books, August, 2012
“The Aegis” Champagne Books, April, 2013
“His Obsession” Siren BookStrand, April, 2012
“His Desire” Siren BookStrand, May, 2012
Tomorrow, Leeuwenhoek Rita Bay