Catriona Wheatcroft

Catriona Wheatcroft

Human, sorceress, first appeared in chapter 01 in Shadows in the Stone

Taking a deep breath, Catriona Wheatcroft grasped the clay vessel and poured the mixture of water and dandelion oil into the shallow bowl. Her trembling hand picked up the wooden spoon and stirred gingerly. If she moved too quickly, the potion would fail and erupt into a puff of fowl smelling gas. If she moved too slowly, it would congeal, freezing the spoon within its grip.

Glancing at the tattered book laid out before her on the table, she took note of the next ingredient. She picked up a small dish and added the powdered contents into the bowl. Again, she constrained her hand to move at the precise speed, but her arm muscles fought against her.

The cuts and bruises inflicted at the public inquest had healed, but the scars and emotional torture she suffered remained. Though she strained to suppress the memories of that horrific ordeal, they resurfaced daily, reminding her of the fragile state of her mind and of those in the throne room.

Window 01Her heart fluttered as the image of Liam’s das flashed in her mind. “Away with you,” she mumbled. “Leave me to find peace.” Her breath quickened, and she relived the pain of her face being slammed against the wooden door. Many hands had fought to drag her into the chaos, causing her to collapse in a heap on the floor.

“No,” she whispered. She squeezed her eyes shut and filled her mind with sweet blackness. Sucking in shallow breaths, she practised the exercises to calm her racing heart and lock away the memories.

A soft eruption touched her ears, and a horrible odour filled the room. Opening her eyes, she found a dark cloud in front of her. She scurried to the window and flung it open, drawing fresh air into her lungs.

Castle Keepers Vignette: Almost five years has passed since Isla was kidnapped and Bronwyn left Maskil in search of her. In many ways, not much has happened; the inhabitants of the Land of Ath-o’Lea have continued their daily routine. But if you look deeper into the individual lives you’ll see much has changed in little ways.

The Castle Keeper vignettes provide a glimpse into the time between Shadows in the Stone and Scattered Stones. You’ll have already met many of the characters, but some you will meet in Scattered Stones.

These vignettes won’t be complete stories, only 300 words of a moment. I consider them exercises in writing and editing. I hope to write two a week and post them on Mondays and Thursdays as we lead up to the release of Scattered Stones, the second fantasy novel of the Castle Keepers series, on May 6, 2016.

The collection of vignettes will be organised on the Castle Keepers Vignettes page. On the first of each month, I will post the schedule of the characters I will write about that month.


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