Lashed

Today is the moment you've been waiting for. We're only a week away from opening preorders for Rani Divine's Dŵr: People in the Water, and we're just too excited to keep you in suspense any longer. 

Just for you, our awesome RAD Readers, we have a never-before-released excerpt from this amazing new novel! 

 

Rani Divine's Dwr: People in the Water

Excerpt

© Copyright RAD Writing, 2017

 

Maisie waited on her brother the rest of the day. She’d taken Mal back into their side of the cabin, but he’d refused to lie down. He’d sat up almost the rest of the day, refused to rest at all, and Maisie couldn’t help but feel that it was entirely her fault. Her heart ached to watch him sitting there beside the window, watching the water drip from the sky, silently avoiding anything and everything to do with what had occurred earlier in the day.

She’d already treated his wounds, but he did not yet want to wear his shirt. She couldn’t blame him for that. Even now, he winced every time he shifted in his seat. He was entirely unaccustomed to anything of this sort. He’d never been lashed like this before. If he had, Maisie would’ve known about it. She would’ve seen the scars on his back, there would’ve been some sort of mark upon him.

He would have to hide it, when he was on the deck. He couldn’t afford for the others to know how much it had hurt him. For their sake, they had to think of him as strong. He was their first mate—the only one who stood above him was the captain himself.

Now, Maisie watched in silence as her brother laid down on his own bed. He lay on his stomach, keeping his wounds open to the air. The smallest of them would’ve closed by the time he woke, unless he moved too much in his sleep. She’d inspected them herself. Having had her fair share of wounds in her life, she knew how long these would take to heal. The only thing she’d insisted on was that he wouldn’t get into the water again until each and every one of them had closed. Maisie had seen for herself what was out there, and she didn’t want to imagine what they would do if they smelled blood in the water.

She sat on her bed and watched her brother, waiting in the eerie silence for him to fall asleep. She couldn’t remember a time when things had been so silent between them. There was now a rift between them, though neither would speak of such things. They were siblings, and that was the end of it.

“Do you want the light off?” she whispered under her breath, almost too quiet for Malcolm to hear.

He didn’t move. He faced the opposite direction from her, and she couldn’t tell whether he’d fallen asleep or not. It was very possible that he’d already lost consciousness, and that he wouldn’t even notice whether the light was on or off. But on a night like tonight, for the first time since she’d been attacked inside their home, Maisie wanted the light to be off. She wanted to sit in the darkness with her elder brother, to stay by his side and care for him in the same way that he’d done for her. If it were possible, she wouldn’t even leave his side in the morning. She would do whatever it took to make sure that Malcolm was well and that his wounds healed quickly and properly.

She reached to the lamp that hung above the foot of her cot and blew out the flame before she settled into the darkness, once again allowing herself to weep freely for the things she’d done.

Moonlight filtered through the clouds and into the window, casting light upon the broken flesh of Malcolm’s back. The sight was almost too much for her to bear. She didn’t want to think about what had happened, wanted to pretend that she hadn’t been forced to watch her brother take twenty-one lashes upon his strong back—lashes that by all rights should have been given to her, for her actions. Things were never intended to go this way. Life was supposed to be easier for them when they made their way into the open ocean. Their family wasn’t supposed to have trials and hardships. They’d already been through enough. Malcolm had said so himself.

Hardly knowing what she was doing, Maisie crawled across her bed to the window. She placed her hands on the sill and leaned out as far as she dared, hoping that Mama or one of the other wraiths would be there waiting for her. Light droplets of rain fell upon her skin, and she ignored them. She didn’t know why she was there, didn’t know what she expected from any of them, but still she called out the name of her friend.

“Mama!” she whispered as loudly as she dared. “Arneia!” The woman had all but said that she could hear everything that was going on aboard the ship. Surely, she could hear this as well. Surely, she would come now that Maisie truly felt she needed her. In this time, of all times, she wanted a friend to talk to. Someone she trusted, someone who was important to her.

When nothing happened, she called out the name again. Her eyes scanned the waters over and over again, hoping that Mama would show herself. Maisie knew, in her heart, that the woman was down there. She had to be down there. She’d always been down there before, every time that either Maisie or Malcolm had needed her. She was like their guardian angel. Surely, she was listening even now. Surely, she would come.

“Arneia, please!” she said, her tears falling down into the water.