Goldie shuffled backward, but their high, brown boots caught in the brush as they tried to stand. Their hood fell and a halo of curly golden hair sprang out. Immediately, they yanked the fabric up again.
Vasha scowled at them. “What do you want from me!”
“Nothing.” They spoke in Mosvaran, their light, airy voice free of any accent. Glancing at the brush behind Vasha, they slipped their hand into the folds of their cloak. “But I have something for you.”
Something for me? A present? A knife in the chest? Vasha braced himself. “Wait—”
“Vasha!” Ilya’s voice cut through the forest.
He glanced behind him as his brother plowed through the bushes, hands over his face. Tiny sticks flew at Vasha, and he shielded his eyes as well. When he looked back towards Goldie, his heart dropped.
On the ground where they had sat, only a book remained, the area too muddled by sticks and disruptions to make out the imprint of a body or footprints leading away.
I’m so happy with this draft.
It’s been almost two years since I just put words onto the page, and the full manuscript is finally doing what I want it to do. It’s far from perfect, (no book ever is), but I’m at a point where I can appreciate that it does right, and learn from the things I can’t fix without a full overhaul.
I’m currently having a few betas binge read the book to double check for any remaining plot and scene level issues, before moving onto some rigorous line editing.