Madam Caliata

Excerpt from Daniel Everhart and the Skylands of Caterra: Guarinot

A distant click-click-click sound gets closer, followed by the whoosh of a door being pushed open. The clicks continue until a woman in spiked heels and a blood-red suit dress stands in the middle of the room between me and the panel. Her coal-black hair is coiled and braided into a bun, held in place by a snake-shaped broach. She wears a matching snake necklace and smells of too-strong perfume that might’ve been pleasant in a lighter dose, but instead assaults my nose with essential oils and flowers. My whole body begins to itch like crazy.

“Sorry to disturb.” She sweeps her arm around the room. Her tone holds a bit of sarcasm that says she isn’t really sorry about anything. “I just had to see for myself.” She turns and looks at me, and her eyes are creepy and light, though I’m not sure how to describe the color. Kind of like diamonds flaring out. No, not diamonds. More like cubic zirconia. Cold and fake.

“This is the prophecy in the flesh?” She clicks toward me, and each step reminds me of a hammer being cocked on a Colt 45.

Collis bangs a gold-embellished gavel several times. “Madam Caliata, you have not been summoned before the council. Your presence today is unacceptable.” His voice sounds calm, with a hint of rage. Like he’s barely hanging onto his composure and might go berserk any minute.

Madam Caliata removes a glove and touches my cheek with her hand. “Do you know who I am?”

The devil in high heels? I am freaked-out frozen.

Madam Caliata trim1

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