Book of a Thousand Days | Page 1 of 119

Author: Shannon Hale | Submitted by: Maria Garcia | 43211 Views | Add a Review

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The Book of a Thousand Days

James Noel Smith

Shannon Hale


The tower

Day 1

My lady and I are being shut up in a tower for seven years.

Lady Saren is sitting on the floor, staring at the wall, and hasn't moved even to scratch for an hour or more.

Poor thing. It's a shame I don't have fresh yak dung or anything strong-smelling to scare the misery out of her.

The men are bricking up the door, and I hear them muttering and scraping cement. Only a small square of unbricked sky and light still gape at me. I smile back at its mean grin to show I'm not scared. Isn't it something, all the trouble they're going to for us? I feel like a jewel in a treasure box, though my lady is the --

My lady suddenly awoke from her stupor and sprang at the door, clawing at the bricks, trying to shove her way out. How she screamed! Like an angry piglet.

"Stay in!" we heard her honored father say. He must have been standing near the opening. "Stay until your heart softens like long-boiled potatoes. And if you try to break your way out, I've told the guards to kill you on sight.

You have seven years to think about disobedience. Until you are meek with regret, your face turns my stomach."

I nearly warned him that such words would bring him bad luck and canker his own heart. Thank the Ancestors that my lady's fit stopped me from speaking out of turn. When I pulled her back, her hands were red from beating at the bricks and streaked with wet cement. This isn't exactly a happy-celebration morning, but I don't see what good it does to thrash about.

"Easy, my lady," I said, the way I'd speak to a feisty ram. It wasn't too hard to hold my lady back, even squirming as she was. I'm fifteen years, and though skinny as a skinned hare, I'm strong as a yak, or so my mama used to say. I sang the calming song, the one that goes, "Oh, moth on a wind, oh, leaf on a stream," and invites the hearer into dreaming. I feared my lady was so angry she wouldn't heed the song. But she must've been eager to sleep, because now she's snoring on my lap. Happily the brush and ink are at hand so I can keep writing. When you can't move, there isn't much to do but think, and I don't much want to think right now.

Sticky sobs shake my lady even while she sleeps. My own eyes are heavy.

Perhaps it's the darkness making us so drowsy. Goda, goddess of sleep, keep us tonight.

Day 2

It's quiet and as dark as night, our only light a quivering candle. The door is bricked solid. From time to time I hear voices, so I suppose the guards remain outside.

Goda heard my prayer last night and did let us sleep until morning. I know it's morning because I peeked through the dump hole. That's a tiny metal flap that opens just enough to empty our chamber pot and wash water on the gr

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Great book, nicely written and thank you BooksVooks for uploading

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