The Chalice Quartet


Anladet wiped the tears from her face before she opened her eyes. She could see the sky through the tiny window in the kitchen, gray with a new morning. The oven fire had died down to embers, so she stacked wood in it knowing Onlard’s wife would be down soon to start baking the bread


They had walked to Hanala, the whole way. They were too afraid to trust anyone after what they had been through, so Raidet forbid them to ask for rides from strangers.  “Who knows what they’ll want from us in exchange,” she said.  “It’s better to walk than to risk dealing with unsavory people.”  At that


The children’s skin had deepened to a nice tan by the next day.  Their father proclaimed that they could take a shorter excursion to the beach, just in the morning for a few hours. Martin’s face and neck were peeling badly enough that he bought a straw hat to protect himself while he herded his


The sun had been cruel to her family, the children especially. Anladet and her siblings had awoken to skin hot, dry, and red, blistered in some places. Their skin, a mix between their mother’s dark bronze and father’s fair color, was unused to the exposure an open beach brought.  Even their father’s nose, cheekbones, and


The fire popped and crackled, its warmth already lulling Anla to rest. She curled herself up into a tight coil and drifted off, remembering the time when all the security and laughter in her life had ended. In the summer of her twelfth year, Anladet’s father had returned from his normal tour with excitement gleaming