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FATHER’S DAY SNIPPET

Originally published at Sarah Rees Brennan. You can comment here or there.

It seemed an appropriate time for a snippet. Kami’s parents are designedly very present-and-not-evil in the Lynburn Legacy, and in Unmade Jon Glass gets plenty to do, so here’s…


Kami could intuit where her father was going: down the road by the woods and up the hill to Aurimere, but she didn’t know what his plan was. To see her mother—to beg her to come home? What if she didn’t? What if she did, and Rob Lynburn didn’t like it?

She did not know what her father intended, or what she should do. She didn’t try to stop him, but she did follow him so she could try to protect him.

It was a clear spring morning, bright as if the sun was a lamp whose brilliance had been turned up a few notches, white rays stretching out across a sky lucent as glass. Kami’d had to stop to find her shoes and her coat, and she was trying to be subtle as she hurried, so her father was well ahead of her on the path. No matter how clear the morning, she could barely keep him in sight.

There was no way her father could pass through the flames around Aurimere.

But she was only a little way up the hill when she saw her father reach Aurimere, a small dark figure outlined against the fire, and the living leaping walls of fire flickered and parted like a red sea. Jon passed through the flame. The sorcerers at Aurimere had let him in, and Kami did not know why, and she could not see him at all.

Kami charged up the hill, racing as if she could stop him though he was already gone. She mentally apologized to Angela and did not stop as she ran straight into the fire. She felt tears roll down from her smarting eyes to her scorched cheeks and smelled the smoky scent that was the ends of her hair burning.

Maybe you should wait, Ash told her, and she could feel the wash of his nervousness against her walls.

Maybe you should shut up, Kami suggested. That’s my dad.

Lillian had told Kami about the magical ways to hide yourself, how to wrap yourself in shadows and fade into stone. There were not many shadows on a morning like this, but as Kami pushed open the door and walked into the vast hall she found a few. She took the darkness lurking in the alcoves where marble busts stood, the shadows in the corners of the high ceiling and the dark stairs, and wound them around herself.

She did not think it would stand up long to a sorcerer’s scrutiny, but she went running through the hall toward the sound of voices anyway. If they were distracted, they might not notice, and her father had no magical protection at all.

The voices were not her mother’s and father’s. This was no private meeting between them.

Rob Lynburn had been redecorating Aurimere, Kami saw, to be more appropriate for his evil masterminding needs. In the parlor there was only one of the red sofas left, pushed up against the farthest wall, where the windows were tall, curved at the top like church windows. There was stained glass, too, like a church, but instead of saints and angels the windows showed a blue glass river, a girl’s face, and vivid green leaves in the drowned girl’s sun-yellow hair.

Rob was sitting on the red sofa, talking to other sorcerers who were standing. Kami recognized Hugh Prescott, Holly’s father, who was laughing at something Rob was saying.

They all stopped laughing when they noticed Ruth Sherman at the door, holding Jon Glass’s arm.

“He came to the house and asked to be let in,” said Ruth. “He asked to serve you.”

Rob leaned forward in the same instant Kami hurried forward, through the door, hardly caring if she shoved into a sorcerer or if they all saw through her cloak of shadows.

Nobody did. They were all focused on her father, who was standing in a puffy black jacket, his black hair ruffled by the wind outside, and giving Rob Lynburn a little crooked smile.

“Did you?” Rob asked.

Jon nodded.

“How interesting,” Rob said. “Tell me more.”

Rob did not even bother to climb to his feet. He was a big guy, bigger than either of his sons and a lot bigger than Kami’s dad. His shoulders strained against the material of his checked shirt, his smile was genial, and he looked like a perfect down-to-earth example of English manhood. All except for the cold gleam of contempt in his blue eyes.

“I’m not an idiot. There’s no point fighting you,” Jon said. “I want my wife back, and my kids to live happy and safe. You seem a reasonable man. Your family looked after mine once, didn’t they? I’m willing to offer my services as a source. I’m willing to do whatever you want.”

Kami didn’t know what her father thought he was doing. Lillian had already examined him: it might run in the Glass bloodline, but he wasn’t a potential source for any sorcerer. Kami and her brothers were.

Of course, Lillian and Rob were not exactly on speaking terms right now, and maybe Ruth Sherman did not know how to read the signs that identified a source.

“Come here,” said Rob, which meant Kami was right but also that Jon’s bluff was being instantly called.

Dad did not look dismayed. He kept smiling—like a small black terrier stepping up to face a golden retriever confident that he could handle the situation—and walked over to the very edge of the sofa. Rob leaned back farther into the sofa cushions, hair gilded in the light of the stained glass windows, looking up at Jon. For a long moment, blue eyes focused on black, and held.

At last, Rob said softly: “You’re no source. Did you think you could trick me? What were you hoping to do?”

Jon Glass’s smile spread into a grin.

“I was hoping to get close enough to do this,” he said, and Kami’s father—the graphic designer with funny t-shirts, the man who always laughed at farmers and their guns and made jokes about getting one that nobody took seriously—produced a gun from under his puffy jacket. He took aim in one smooth expert motion, moving quicker than anyone in the room, and shot Rob Lynburn.

Comments

( 41 comments — Leave a comment )
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elvenjaneite
Jun. 16th, 2014 12:53 am (UTC)
Whaaaaaaat.
sarahtales
Jun. 16th, 2014 12:54 am (UTC)
No Lillian, I'm afraid. But just think of how into it she would be. ;)
(no subject) - elvenjaneite - Jun. 16th, 2014 12:55 am (UTC) - Expand
raidswindmills
Jun. 16th, 2014 12:55 am (UTC)
Holy goodness! Go Jon Glass!

And thank you for sharing! :D
sarahtales
Jun. 16th, 2014 01:05 am (UTC)
I figure that in these situations, a parent tries to DO SOMETHING.

Something that goes well? Well...
(Anonymous)
Jun. 16th, 2014 01:43 am (UTC)
Ah! Ah! Ah! WHOA! HOLD THE FREAKING PHONE! Sarah, why?! I can't wait any longer for this book!!!!
sarahtales
Jun. 16th, 2014 01:47 am (UTC)
Only a little while now. ;)

Because. ;)
(Anonymous)
Jun. 16th, 2014 02:38 am (UTC)
Jon Glass is the man.
sarahtales
Jun. 16th, 2014 03:08 pm (UTC)
He is my favourite parent, I admit. ;)
(Anonymous)
Jun. 16th, 2014 03:14 am (UTC)
Whoa, man. Not that I didn't think Jon had the guts to do something like that, but whoa. Now I need this book. Well, I needed it before, but now my conviction has been renewed.
sarahtales
Jun. 16th, 2014 03:28 pm (UTC)
He is a brave guy!

Of course, he's also young for the parent of a teenager--Kami talks about how she did a lot of parenting for herself and her grandmother co-parented her, and he and Claire both made a lot of important life decisions when young, and Jon lived with his mother until her death, which was less than a year ago--so he can also be reckless...
sam-gardener.dreamwidth.org
Jun. 16th, 2014 04:35 am (UTC)
!!! (can't wait ;)

sarahtales
Jun. 16th, 2014 03:24 pm (UTC)
Not long now. ;)
foxglove_chant
Jun. 16th, 2014 04:48 am (UTC)
Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh my god. I do not normally hold with guns, but oh my god, Jon.

Why am I so convinced that Rob will survive this? I don't WANT him to. Die, Rob, die! Shoot, Jon, shoot! I just ... oh dear. I do not see this going well. WHAT IS KAMI GOING TO DO. Oh I hope Jon will be okay.

(Fairly confident that Kami will survive, since, um, she has to narrate the rest of the book? Oh wait ...)

*scared*
sarahtales
Jun. 16th, 2014 01:09 pm (UTC)
Being scared seems like a wise option. ;)
(Anonymous)
Jun. 16th, 2014 05:52 am (UTC)
Oh. Oh, dear, sweet, for the love of all that is holy.


That was not good. Not good at all. Go Jon Glass, but this is going to end badly isn't it, ahhhhh.....Oh I cannot wait for this book please I need it!
sarahtales
Jun. 16th, 2014 03:08 pm (UTC)
Everyone's intense suspicion of my evil ways makes me sure I am doing something right. ;)
evelynlela
Jun. 16th, 2014 07:11 am (UTC)
So while that's all really awesome of Jon and all... very cool and smooth and action excellence I don't trust you and am partially convinced the evil dude doesn't die and that this goes so terribly for the Glass family.

Which is all to say: Thank you for the crazy snippet!
I hope all your children have warm noses or something.
sarahtales
Jun. 16th, 2014 01:08 pm (UTC)
I think it's always wise not to trust me. ;)
anna_wing
Jun. 16th, 2014 07:24 am (UTC)
Where on earth did he find a handgun in the UK?
sarahtales
Jun. 16th, 2014 12:46 pm (UTC)
There is a gun on the mantelpiece, by which I mean seeded in earlier books. ;)

Though I also have wide knowledge of the black market for handguns in the UK thanks to Demon's Lexicon research. Oh life.
millysdaughter
Jun. 16th, 2014 01:25 pm (UTC)
Seems like any loving father would do that to protect his children - but I am not so sure you can kill a witch with ordinary mortal bullets.
sarahtales
Jun. 16th, 2014 03:02 pm (UTC)
Oh, I don't know about any loving parent... I think quite a few loving parents in Sorry-in-the-Vale are colluding with evil in order to protect their children. But Jon wasn't raised with the secret knowledge of magic reinforcing the old concepts of feudalism like the rest of the town.

Unfortunately, as you say, the fact that he wasn't raised knowing about magic means he is also fairly likely to underestimate sorcerers...
(no subject) - blackoakdreams - Jun. 18th, 2014 03:29 am (UTC) - Expand
BardofSomerset
Jun. 16th, 2014 02:18 pm (UTC)
I thought you'd already made me love Jon Glass as much as it was possible for me to love him. How can you make me love him even more?

Also, I suppose it's too much to hope that Rob is going to be dead now?
sarahtales
Jun. 16th, 2014 03:07 pm (UTC)
Hope is a beautiful thing!

I am always happy when people love Jon. Readers of YA often (naturally) don't care about parents, because the protagonists are their children, but with Jon as with Kami I tried to write people who I at least found as likable as could be (flawed, of course, since where's the fun in flawless, but super appealing in all the ways I like best). And Unmade is I hope a good book for him because he's not clued in in Unspoken, and he's in shock with his marriage collapsing in Untold, but in Unmade he takes the chance to step up. Which is why most YA narratives have uninvolved parents, because boy will involved parents change the shape of the story...
(no subject) - BardofSomerset - Jun. 16th, 2014 11:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Jun. 24th, 2014 06:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
tsubaki_ny
Jun. 16th, 2014 10:03 pm (UTC)
GO, DADDY!

Not that GoDaddy. You know what I mean.

<3 the Glasses.
sarahtales
Jun. 17th, 2014 02:49 am (UTC)
I have written one kinda functional family and from now on all fathers will be undead creatures on thrones of skulls!

... Maybe. ;)
(no subject) - tsubaki_ny - Jun. 17th, 2014 04:00 am (UTC) - Expand
anna_wing
Jun. 17th, 2014 02:15 am (UTC)
OH I had forgotten! Thanks!

Though I also have wide knowledge of the black market for handguns in the UK thanks to Demon's Lexicon research.

Indeed. I remember noticing that. It was a nice clue right at the start about how marginal Alan's status actually was, notwithstanding his self-presentation as a nice, middle-class boy.
sarahtales
Jun. 17th, 2014 02:48 am (UTC)
Class stuff: another thing I am irresistibly drawn to! I am happy you noted. ;) The difference between urban and rural classism was something that was fun to transition to between TDL and TLL!

Also known as, The Intersection of Writers and Criminals. 'Where to get handguns' 'how to dispose of a body' and other dreadful things I have dreadful knowledge of...
(no subject) - anna_wing - Jun. 17th, 2014 03:49 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sarahtales - Jun. 17th, 2014 04:44 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - anna_wing - Jun. 17th, 2014 06:50 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sarahtales - Jun. 17th, 2014 10:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - anna_wing - Jun. 18th, 2014 03:05 am (UTC) - Expand
kannnichtfranz
Jun. 22nd, 2014 03:44 am (UTC)
Wah! Beloved characters, please try working together sometimes! Not going off all kamikaze on your own! Bullheaded boys, making us worry about them. And probably making Kami have to save them. Oh, how it makes us love them though.

Thank you for the snippet!
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