So the silver lining from breaking my ankle: More writing time. I've been able to write every day on "Heal Thyself." I'm just approaching the beginning of the novel's climax and the events that drive the rest of the story. I think I can see how all the story thread will get untangled and I have an ending that will give closure to *this* story, while leaving room for another novel.
A snippet from today's pages:
Her quarters were utterly silent. She paced the perimeter of the sitting room, her hand brushing the soft nap of the wall hangings. As cages went, this one was far more pleasant than she'd expected. In her bedroom, she found her medical kit hanging from an enameled hook fashioned in the shape of a dragonfly. She wondered where the Abul had obtained it. Surely dragonflies didn't live in this harsh desert climate. It was a reminder of home, along with the colors of the ocean surrounding her. Lilliane slipped the leather satchel from its hook and hugged it to her chest. Once she used up many of the dried herbs and flower essences, she wouldn't be able to replace them.
She sat on the edge of the bed and closed her eyes. The leather and the powdered medicinals smelled like healer's hall. She wondered who Torrin was apprenticed to. In her mind's eye, he was a chubby fisted toddler who was always bringing home injured stray animals for her to heal. Tears burned in her eyes and squeezed between her sealed lids.
A rustle of fabric startled her. Kirith was standing in the door flap to her bedroom.
“I am sorry to intrude, Hass Abul, but you have been called on to see Hal Maresh.”
Lilliane frowned. “What did you call me?”
“Hass Abul. Daughter of--”
“I know what it means, Kirith.” Lilliane's tone was sharper than she'd intended. “Regardless of what honors your Abul has bestowed upon me, I am Lilliane Tor of Rimland.”
“Hass Abul, it would not be proper for me to call you by your given name.”
“Then Healer Tor will do.”
Kirith hesitated before nodding. “In these quarters, I may call you Healer Tor. Outside, you are Hass Abul or Tisreen Hass Lilliane. To insist on any other name would be to show discourtesy to the Abul.”
Lilliane sighed, her anger giving way to irritation. It wasn't Kirith's fault.
“Is there anything you require before you are escorted to the Hal-Ab's home?”
If Kirith flinched at all mentioning her abuser's name, Lilliane couldn't tell.
“No, thank you. This is all I need.” She hefted her kit and buckled it around her waist. It bunched up her tunic, but it couldn't be helped.
Kirith handed her a gauzy robe in a pale yellow, it's hem edged with a blue and gold design.
Kirith pointed to the trim. “This marks you as a member of the Abul's household. You will be afforded safe conduct anywhere in Tisreen wearing this.”
Anywhere except alone with Maresh, she thought.