Hail Frost: The first scene from chapter 1. (Which I am thinking of calling "Daylight." Named chapters will possibly be an added thing in the editted Ember Flame.) This might seem kind of pointless, but it is major foreshadowing and it sets up the theme and premise for the rest of the novel.
Hail thrusts his hands into the crusty dirt. His dark hair was matted to his furrowed brow as he tugged at the stubborn ground.
“Is this really necessary?” He grunted at a nearby youth, who was standing with his arms crossed. The boy nodded and wiped his eyes.
Hail rolled his eyes and glared towards the sun. He threw the dirt on the nearby grave and decidedly wiped his hands on his cloak. “There,” he snapped, “That good enough, your highness?”
The youth glared at him, “You're a jerk.”
Hail sneered at him, “Rime, it was a mule. And we're losing daylight. Come on.” He tossed a saddlebag over his shoulder and began walking down the grassy incline. The grass was silky and smooth under his feet, but Hail couldn't help but wish it were the crunch and chill of snow. The sun was lowering over the sea. The light sapphires of the sky began to turn to rugged rubies hidden beneath a lacy veil. Hail turned and glanced back. Rime was still on top of the hill, moaning like a baby over the newly dug grave.
Hail stormed back up the hill, “Did you not hear me? We need to go. Now.”
“You didn't even mark it,” Rime remarked dully.
Hail stifled a curse. He gestured at the ground, “It is a huge mound of dirt in the middle of this once-beautiful meadow. I think it is obvious enough.”
Rime's green eyes snapped through his tears. He turned and began trudging down the hill, never looking at Hail, and never looking at the grave. Hail grimaced to himself and at Rime's retreating back. I was so much more mature at his age, he though ruefully, the brat can't even lift a sword. I could lift a sword at thirteen.
He stopped his thoughts before they could continue on to what he had done with that sword. At thirteen.
Hail sighed, yes, it was better for Rime this way. It was better to be a coward than a warrior. He jogged down the hill to Rime and placed his hand on his shoulder, “I'm sorry, brother.”
Rime flinched and looked away, “No you're not. You're not sorry she's dead.”
“I admit, she was just an animal to me,” Hail replied, trying to fight back the irritation rising in his throat, “But I am sorry for you.”
“Yeah, you're sorry I'm not brave, strong, incredible you,” Rime flung at him, pulling out of Hail's grasp.
“Believe me, I'm not sorry for that at all. You have no idea the price I had to pay to become...”
“You? To become you?” Rime replied, he turned and glared up at his brother, “You betrayed the Leverage. You were a drunk. You have done countless sins in your life. You even betrayed Elethor. And what price have you paid? You survive while others die in your place. Ember's in love with you. Even God has forgiven you.” Rime shook his head with disgust, “And you have not changed. You don't care when death happens. You don't even pretend to be upset! Instead you become angry with me because I am apparently not as strong as you.”
Hail stared at him for a few moments, his face void of emotion. He turned and stared over the sea again. Jagged and broken rocks stuck out like thorns in the water near the cliff. They were a more welcome sight than his brother. Hail pushed forward, “Come on,” he mumbled over his shoulder, “We are losing daylight.”
Hope y'all liked it! Happy Noveling!