TITLE: The Night
GENRE: Epic YA Fantasy
Aerael leaned across the basin and reached for a half-used cake of soap. Her necklace came free of her shirt, and the stone cast its unearthly light over the soaking dishes.
“By Yirai,” she muttered, hastily tucking it back beneath her collar with wet fingers.
“Watch your language, young lady."
Aerael jumped and turned around--she hadn’t heard her mother come downstairs.
“You must be more careful. Anyone could’ve seen it.” She stepped into the kitchen, the warm light from the hearth washing her in gold and orange.
“No one’s here, Mother. You really shouldn't be up.”
Her cheeks were flushed with fever. “You’re just fortunate no one was around.”
“The doctor said you should get as much rest as you can.” Aerael picked up the kettle. “Tea?”
“The doctor’s been saying that for many years now. And yes, tea is good.”
“I’ll get the water going. I can bring it up when it’s done.”
Her thin shoulders caved, and her dark, graying hair fell into her face. “I suppose I’ll be in my bedroom.” The steps creaked beneath her slight weight as she went up the stairs.
Shaking her head, Aerael put the kettle over the fire, prepared the ginger-lemon mixture, and poured the hot water over the leaves to steep. She considered the dishes. If she started now, she might forget about the tea and let it get too strong. Better to wait.
Checking the dining room to be sure she was alone, she took a seat on the stone hearth and drew out her necklace.