My goal was only 20,000, but still! I knew I couldn’t get 50,000 so I’m plenty happy with 20k. Here is super official proof of my win:
Here is an excerpt from the novel, A Game of Madness:
“I’m an old man. I get lonely. Won’t you give me someone to talk to?”
Wren rolled back over and sat up on her elbows. “An old man? You’re what, five and forty?”
Ferran frowned and lowered himself to the bare featherbed. “You think I look five and forty?”
“Fifty, then?” Wren tried. She didn’t know. He had a few lines on his face, but they weren’t deep. For the most part his skin was still tan and smooth. He said he’d been there for seventeen years, so he had to be older.
“Gods, girl. I’m four and thirty. I was making a joke. Do I look like a grandfather to you?”
“Four and thirty?” Wren asked. “That means you couldn’t have been more than fifteen when you left Vor’Tor.”
“It’s Vor’Torn,” Ferran corrected. He gave her a sad smile. “I’ve been away from there for far too long. I hadn’t planned on being here for years. I don’t even remember my parents’ faces. I don’t even know if they’re still alive.”
“I’m sorry,” Wren said. What else was there to say? “I don’t remember my mother’s face. She died giving birth to my youngest sister. I was still a little girl when she died. I just remember the stories she used to tell me before I went to bed.”
“Stories of princesses and ladies being swept away to beautiful castles?”
Wren shook her head. “A few, but not normally. I didn’t like the stories about princesses. I got mad and wouldn’t talk to my mother for days the time she told me the story of The Dirty Farm Girl.”
“I’m sorry, I’m not familiar with that one. We grew up with different stories on Vor’Torn,” Ferran said. “Lots of tales of pirates, cannibals, and chests of gold.”
“I don’t remember the words to it, exactly, but the story starts off with a dirty little girl who works on a farm tending to the pigs. She wishes every day to be able to go live in a castle, and one day a prince rode by. It started raining and the prince asked for shelter in the little girl’s hut. She let him in before she realized that the rain had washed away all the dirt. The prince fell in love with her and whisked her away to his castle to be his princess.” Wren fidgeted with her blankets. She had never shared that much with anyone in her life. Her family was the only friends they had. What she had to tell they already knew and what they didn’t she refused to tell anyone.
“Why were you mad?” Ferran asked.
“Oh. Because I was afraid that some prince was going to ride up and kidnap me from my home. I worked on the farm just like my brothers did. I loved being outside and working the land. My favorite job was to tend the chickens. Everyone says that chickens are stupid, but they all have their own personalities. They can be nice pets if you take care of them.”
“I can see why you attacked Rozen to try and escape. It sounds like you had a nice life.”
Wren drew her knees up to her chest and looked at Ferran. His eyes seemed even darker in the low light of the candles. They were almost black. “Rozen told you about that?”
“He came to have me examine his head to make sure you hadn’t done any real damage to it. I think he’s lucky you didn’t cut his throat.”
I swear, I didn’t mention chickens just to continue with the chicken takeover of my blog…. or did I….