Snippet: Training

“Wake up.”

Mayna opened her eyes to see her father standing over her. It was still dark and she could just mark his outline, against the dark room. She made an incoherent noise that he took to be a question.

“We begin your training now.”

She changed quickly into the tunic and loose breeches he tossed to her. He led her to a set of stairs at the tower’s base.

“Climb the tower,” he told her. “I will mark your progress.” He took a small cylindrical time piece from his coat pocket. When she hesitated, waiting for further instructions he spoke curtly. “I gave you an order, initiate. Now go!”

Mayna started at a run up the dark stairway. Her footfalls echoed back to her until it sounded like dozens ran up the stairs. It took half an hour to reach the top where the wind pulled at her clothes and pushed on her body, freezing her where it blew over her sweaty skin. Her knees shook with the expended effort.

Her father waited for her there. He looked up from the time keeper. “You’ve kept me waiting. Tomorrow do better. Now, down the way you came.”

Mayna sucked in a breath to try and recover some of her energy. Her father snapped his fingers. “Now, initiate.”

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