Excursions from the Citadel- Excerpt from Labor of an Empress


Giant gnats in stately robes

calling Me to this and that



sapping my will

‘Lady, You Must….’


‘But the Flood…..’

‘The coffers are nearly……!’

‘You must judge…..’


I slam the doors shut

The roar of the fire

The Smells of the Forge


The Gnats hammer at the doors




Nothing will clear my head

Nothing will calm my body

I shake in frustration and rage


I see it!

My old friend

Worn and Mighty


I touch the Hammer softly,

Caress the head

Finally I grasp the wood!”


The Empress strides with purpose to the anvil, sparing barely a glance for the scribe frantically scribbling down her newly composed poem in a far corner. She feels suffused by nervous energy and adrenaline at the same time. Her fingers grasp and then twist around each other like vines. The discomfort makes her look down towards her hands. The feeling grows but isn’t physical pain, not yet. She ignores it.

This is an excerpt from the only collaborative piece in this epub, between myself and the author of the urban fantasy for which I posted up an excerpt for yesterday. It’s undoubtedly conventional fantasy- medieval Western, high magic setting. But what is interesting about this piece is that the idea seed for it actually came from one of the entries from that Chinese lore post on Broadswords that I put up some time in October or November of last year.

If you’ve read yesterday’s post, you can probably work out already that it’s my co-author who wrote the opening poem. I didn’t edit it at all despite the fact that mine was the dominant hand at writing stage. But all in all, this is a 50-50 true collaboration in that this story came about as an idea seed supplied by me that was forged into a plot by my collaborator and then we took turns in revising the piece during which we relinquished full control to the other party. This turned out to be such an enjoyable collaborative experience for both of us that we are now going to include at least one collaborative piece between the two of us in each forthcoming issue of the Excursions from the Citadel.

About the publication itself, I’m still not definite on whether or not there will be a delay to publication tomorrow. But as I said earlier, I will keep everyone up to date.

Published by moonlakeku

intermediate Chinese fantasy writer working on her debut series

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