**This is an updated post, to thank everyone who commented during the Blog Hop. You were all so kind, I’m getting spoiled! Though I know that prospective editors will bring me down to earth soon enough. This experience has inspired me to take “Curse of the Dark Elf” out of its box and do the serious finish work it needs to prepare for submission. Again, thanks!**
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My snippet is from “Curse of the Dark Elf,” a high fantasy at the cusp between middle-grade and YA, so for kids between 10 and 14. All comments and critiques welcome.
“Tyne! Hold on there.”
Tyne froze in the act of undoing the straps that held the wood on her sledge. Her heart sank as old Hildr trotted toward her, but she tried to answer politely, the way her father would have.
“Well met, goodman Hildr.”
Hildr planted himself between Tyne and his wood shed. He cleared his throat and a sickening weight dropped into her stomach. This was the third time today one of her customers wanted to talk to her. She already knew what he was going to say.
“The thing is,” Hildr faltered. He ran a nervous hand over his balding head. Pale eyes darted to the ground, then to the fence behind her, looking everywhere but at Tyne. “The thing is, we won’t be needing you any more.”
“May I ask why?” Tyne gritted between her teeth. “My father supplied you wood for many years. I’m trying to carry on the work he left unfinished.”
At last the man looked at her. Everyone in Palte had known Tyne’s father, Willem. They all knew he was but five months dead, ambushed by bandits as he cut trees in the mountains south of the village. A momentary softening of Hildr’s expression let her hope he would change his mind.
“Is it a problem with my work?” Tyne pressed.
Hildr glanced toward his house, a kind of flinch. Tyne glimpsed movement there, curtains parting behind a window in the low, round cottage. Griffa, his wife, peered out. She scowled meaningfully. Resolution replaced the pity in Hildr’s eyes. He squared his shoulders as if bracing to lift something heavy.
“I just can’t use you,” he said. “Be off, elf.”
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