In my fantasy world, the month of the Flood Moon slides into fullness as winter wanes. The snow begins to melt, gorging streams and unleashing ice floes in swollen rivers. The cold isn’t over and the snow still falls between sheeting rains, but as the days grow longer, bulbs thrust their green fingers from the loam in a sunny corner.
If the sky is clear, the full Flood Moon will shine tonight.
Excerpt from Flood Moon, Eye of Blind
Gallard and Percy joined brothers Hywel and Malven at the Crow’s Nest tavern. The flaxen-haired pair from Glanmor had sailed with the Seabourne for four years with nothing to show for it except callouses. Coin dripped through their fingers like seawater. The two crewmen sat half in the cask already and Percy downed his first ale, intent on catching up. Gallard ordered a slab of beef, buttered potato mash and a stinky mushroom soup. He’d swig a tankard on the backside to wash it down.
“Woulda been here afore,” Percy complained, scratching his cow-licked head. “But Gallard makin’ me tramp up and down the hill like a grounder.”
“Lookin’ for Meriel still?” the older brother, Hywel, asked.
“She’s disappeared,” Gallard replied, unsure of his next step.
“She’ll find the Seabourne if she can,” Malven said. The brothers were hard to tell apart, except where Hywel boasted the start of a thick beard, Malven’s chin refused to grow a single pale whisker. “We’re here every week. Don’t seem like she’d miss us.”
“That’s what worries me.” Gallard’s food arrived, and he swatted away Percy’s finger that scooped at his potatoes.
“Shame puttin’ her in the locks.” Percy slugged down his ale and ordered more for the table. “Too old fer me but pretty elsewise.”
The brothers guffawed, slopping their ale, and Gallard frowned as the brew doused his supper.
Tears in his eyes, Hywel patted Percy’s shoulder. “She wouldn’t give you a wink, Perce, even if she were an old sea hag with green teeth. You’re no looker.”
“My teeth isn’t green.” Percy scowled. “They’re barely near yellow.”
Hywel and Malven bent over laughing, and Gallard pushed his supper away. “You need another drink, Percy. The teasing won’t hurt so bad.” He filled Percy’s tankard and poured one for himself. Percy swallowed it down and Gallard poured him another.
The Crow’s Nest filled as the day lengthened, crewmen and yardsmen finding seats on sturdy benches. Voices rose, ale spilled across the tables and floor, and there remained enough good-natured tolerance for stumbling drunkards to keep the peace. Gallard figured Percy was already sloshed beyond the borders of hope, and Hywel and Malven made sloppy drunks, reminiscing about the old days in Glanmor when they stole crabs from traps and steamed them on the rocky shore. Gallard remained mildly sober, enough to get them back to the ship without drowning.
Today I head home to the rainy Northwest, timely with the start of the Flood Moon – Hawaii’s forecast predicts high seas and, well, flooding of beaches and low-lying roads. I’ll be winging over the Pacific for much of the day, losing time as my planetary destination spins away from me. I’ve been remiss in keeping up my blogging duties, but I’ll catch up quickly tomorrow. Enjoy the full moon tonight!