Welcome to another addition of Snippet Saturday! Today’s theme is “a character in danger”. I give you Sarafina, from Witch Fury. Enjoy!!
Excerpt from Witch Fury, by Anya Bast
Irritation swept through her. “Look, you told me what I need to know, showed me beyond a shadow of a doubt my true nature, now it’s time for me to go. I have a life, you know? I have a job I need to get back to, bills to pay, friends who–“
“You’re not cut out for data entry, Sarafina.” He shook his head. “Fire witches don’t work in cubicles or fetch coffee for their bosses. Stay here with us so that we can show you your true potential, so you can harness your birthright and get all that is due you.”
Due her? Apparently she lacked the sense of entitlement that this man had decided she should have.
Sarafina looked down at Grosset. “Look, I’m grateful that you” –her mouth snapped shut as she searched for the right wording– “unlocked this unexpected part of me, but I don’t owe you anything, and I don’t think the world owes me anything, either. You’re fucking lucky I don’t call the cops on you-all.” She would, of course, but it was no help telling him that. Holding Grosset close to her chest, she stood. “I really am leaving now.”
Stefan stood, his handsome, pleasant face overcome with storm clouds. “You’re not going anywhere. You owe us, Sarafina. Don’t make us do this the hard way.”
Yeah, she’d been afraid he’d say something like that.
Her anger flared. In response, that seed of hot magick buried in the center of her chest pulsed with newfound power. Sarafina knew Stefan was a fire witch, one far more skilled than she at wielding the element as a weapon. Newly born, so to speak, she had no chance against him.
But there was no way she was staying here, and no way she wasn’t going down swinging.
Unbidden and largely untutored, raw fire magick bubbled up from her, streaming down the backs of her arms. Only a sheer act of will kept it from burning the small dog she held.
Stefan stiffened, sensing the swell of her magick. The air suddenly smelled hot as the witch in front of her allowed his own power to rise. Apparently, they were headed for a showdown. It was high noon.
Shouting came from beyond the room. Stefan turned his head and Sarafina took the distraction as opportunity.
She fumbled for a moment, wondering what the hell she should do next, when an uncontrolled burst exploded from her. It felt like she’d fired a cannon and hadn’t aimed well. It went wide, toward the door of the room.
The door burst inward, ripped from the hinges at the same time the uncontrolled blast of fire hit it. Sarafina screamed in surprise, stepped backward, tripped and fell on her ass.
For a hazy, confused moment she thought her magick had exploded the door. Then she focused past the smoke and saw the dark outline of a man–tall, muscular build, long dark hair, grim expression on his face.
The man glanced at her for the barest of moments. His long hair blew around his face from the force of the magickical battle behind him. His eyes were hard and dark. In his brutal expression lay control and power. Knowledge–deep and wide. Sarafina noticed all that about him in a second and it took her breath away.
What new nightmare was this man?
The newcomer turned and deflected an aggressive attack from Stefan. The room exploded into chaos. Two men barreled through the door after the intruder. Instead of using magick to defend himself, he punched one in the face, grabbed him by his shirt front and threw him into the second. Then he whirled to once again face Stefan.
The scent of white hot fire and dark, rich earth filled her nose as furniture slid across the floor and slammed into the walls. The floor itself rippled. It was like a battle of supernatural titans.
Sarafina clutched Grosset to her chest and crawled behind an overturned table, holding her trembling dog close and wishing like hell this was all some really strange dream fueled by her grief. Any second now she’d wake up and shake her head over it, tell herself she’d never eat cold enchiladas before bed again.
But this was no dream.
Shouting, cursing. Explosions. Fire crackling. Growing hotter and nearer until thick bursts of earth extinguished the flare-ups.
Footsteps pounded through the rest of the house. Shouting in the distance. In the room where Sarafina and Grosset hid behind the overturned table there was no sound. Nothing.
Maybe the intruders–whoever they were–had forgotten about her. Maybe the hulking man in the doorway had gone away. Maybe this was her chance to get out of here.
Moving slowly, she peeked around the edge of the table and saw only a smoldering fire in a trashcan over in the corner of the room. Smoke wafted through the air. She inched out a little more, straining to hear any other sounds from inside the house. She didn’t know who the party crashers were and wanted to avoid them. With her luck they were worse than Stefan and his ilk.
Movement. The swirl of a long black duster.
The man was still there. Peeking out, she watched him circle the room, languid, lethal. His muscular body seemed tense with the desire to kill something, didn’t really matter what. The man turned toward her and she ducked back behind the table and closed her eyes, praying he’d pass her by.
A hand grasped her collar and lifted her straight up.
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