“Dancing for the Monsoon” now up on Abyss & Apex (thanks to Wendy Delmater and the inimitable Kelly Green). This was my Bootcamp story–infinitely improved with the great feedback I received there. Thanks as well to the BF, and to Marshall Payne, who both convinced me not to throw it away.
Sharing a TOC with Villa Diodati Beloved Dictator Ruth Nestvold. Awesome!
Nanpeng watched her student Khean practise for the Great Dance in the courtyard, her lithe body swaying to the rhythm of the xylophones. Each of Khean’s hand gestures naturally flowed into the next; her body bent smoothly, without visible stress. Khean’s face under the golden headdress was, as proper for a dancer, expressionless, but no tiredness appeared either in her eyes or in her gestures.
Khean was good. Extraordinarily good, and fearless as well. That mattered very much for a dancer, especially one about to enter the Great Dance, the dance that would bring the monsoon rain but leave the dancer utterly paralysed. Nanpeng was proud of her student.
Serey, the High Priest of the Destroyer, stood to Nanpeng’s side, his eyes watching every gesture Khean made.
“Only two days left before the Great Dance,” he said. His almond eyes turned, briefly, to Nanpeng.
“Yes,” Nanpeng said. “You sound worried.”
Serey kept watching the courtyard, where the musicians played under the eyes of the numerous statues of the gods. No, Nanpeng realised with a pang of fear. Serey was watching Khean.