For our final week looking at featured author Justine Alley Dowsett, we have an exclusive excerpt from her upcoming novel, Uncharted!
“Sam!” Reginald exclaimed, making a point to sound jovial when addressing the sour-face postmaster. “How’re the kids? How’s Frank?”
“Har, har,” Sam replied in a flat monotone, barely looking up enough to glance over the edge of his half-moon glasses. “Like you care. I don’t even know why you bother to stop in here, you’re just going to throw out the letter from your mother without even reading it.”
“You’re reading my mail now?” Reginald raised a quizzical brow in Sam’s direction.
The postmaster shrugged lazily instead of answering, reaching below his desk to pull out a familiar-looking manilla envelope to hold it out to Reginald. He did all of this without taking his eyes from the newspaper article he was reading. Leaning forward, Reginald took note of the headline: Kevlan Warship Spotted Off the Eastern Coast – Coincidence or Portent?
Reginald shook his head. Kevlans, our modern day boogeyman. Sure, relations with Kevla aren’t great, but one ship in our waters is hardly a declaration of war.
Regarding the man suspiciously now, Reginald took the proffered letter and ignored the wastebasket this time in favour of stuffing it into the breast pocket of his sailor’s jacket. Sam didn’t seem to notice the change in Reginald’s routine, or if he did, he simply did not care.
“So if anyone comes this way looking for passage, you’ll direct them along then, right, Sam?” Reginald fought to get Sam’s attention one last time even as he backed away, intent on the door. “Especially a–”
“A Priestess,” Sam finished for him without looking up, “yes, yes, I know.”
“Right, because Priestesses are leaving here all the time, heading out to perform weddings, act as diplomats, healers–”
“Reginald,” Sam stopped him, “I live here. I know more about Priestesses than you do. I’ll send them to you if anyone is coming to book passage.”
“Thanks, buddy. I knew I could count on you.” Reginald forced a smile in the off chance that Sam should look his way.
“You mean you knew you could count on your coin buying my discretion,” Sam commented drily, directing his words to the paper in his hands more so than to Reginald as he turned the page.
“That too,” Reginald mumbled half to himself as he let himself out of the trading post and into the early morning sunlight. “Rat bastard.”
The street was bustling, at least for the Temple District in early spring. It wasn’t cold out, and perhaps that was the reason, this having been the first real nice day since winter broke. Kids laughed as they ran in the street, chasing one another, and Reginald nearly tripped over one of them as they got near enough to be underfoot. (more…)