From Dagger of Drani, the new book in the World of Drani series by Melonie Purcell.
A sharp pain in her arm made Taymar gasp. She opened her eyes and stared in horror at the blood dripping down her arm. Another stabbing pain shot through her hand and a new stream of blood trickled onto the table. Taymar glanced up in dismay at the blue Shreet who was now staring at her in confusion. But that was all it was. Confusion. Not shock at seeing her suddenly bleeding and no rush to see what was wrong. Only confusion. Why?
A new slash appeared on her arm. Taymar wanted to scream out, to clasp her hand over the cut and stop the bleeding, but the Shreet’s utter lack of response kept her still. It isn’t real. It’s my own mind doing this. Just like in the corridor that day. But how? Was it the exact same way Taymar used other telepath’s thoughts to trap them? Or some version of that, perhaps? Making them think it was real, making them believe they were trapped. The result was, they created their own prison. But this time, it was the other way around. Rydon was using Taymar’s thoughts. And not just to trap her. She intended to kill her.
As complete realization hit her, she stared down at her arm once more. This isn’t real, she told herself. Another stab of pain shot to the surface, but Taymar grabbed hold of it with her thoughts. It felt alien in her mind and she smoothed it out until it didn’t exist. It took a second to quiet the panic in her mind, but once she did, a feeling of perfect control filled her thoughts—her entire being. She watched with satisfaction as the gashes and blood faded away.
Taymar glanced up at the blue Shreet again. They made eye contact and from the back of her mind, she saw him elbow one of the older Shreet who was bent over her band on the bench. It didn’t matter, she would handle that later. Right now, she needed to deal with Rydon.
She closed her eyes and gathered the tiny blades still hanging in her thoughts into a solid molten ball. If Rydon could manipulate mental images, Taymar could as well. And she could do it better.
Another rush of panic washed over her, but this one didn’t come from Taymar’s own mind. Rydon tried to pull away. The ball in Taymar’s mind formed into the creature that had attacked her in the corridor. Its jaws snapped and bit as it tried to claw its way out of Taymar’s mental grip, but it no longer held any power over her. Taymar knew the secret now, and she wasn’t going to be fooled again. In her mind, she reshaped the beast, melting it back into the strings and ropes of thought that she was used to dealing with. The creature’s eyes grew wide as it struggled to hold its beast form. Gleaming yellow eyes stared straight at Taymar and she knew what she was really seeing was Rydon. And if she could see Rydon, she could teke her.
Holding Rydon’s mental gaze, Taymar used her telekinesis to shove the woman away. She just needed a moment of unconsciousness. A few seconds was all, and she would be free to wind those threads into a twisted ball that would keep Rydon silent and hopefully give Taymar time to find the memories of the Yarnit’s intentions and erase them.
A Bite of... Taymar of the World of Drani series.
Question One: So, Taymar. You can move things with your mind. What’s that like?
Really? That’s your question? I’ve been close enough to a Shreet to smell their breath and you want to know how I pick up a glass? Okay. You know how when you pick up something, you reach out and grab it with your hands and lift it up? Yeah? Well, it’s nothing like that at all. Now, what else do you want to know?
Question Two: Okay. Well then tell us about the Shreet. What are they like?
You know what’s weird, they’re just like us. Okay, that’s not exactly true. They have a flat face, and their nose is sort of a squished up slit on either side of their face, and their lips face inward, and their eyes are freakin’ huge, and they have these hair-braid things coming out of their heads like a bunch of snakes, but when you talk to them, they’re like us. They just want a place to call home and people to care about. I mean, yeah. True. They don’t really care if someone is already living in that place and has to be kicked out so the Shreet can move in, but at their core, it’s a basic need, right? They also have this really amazing claw thing on the back of the leg. I so wish I one of those.
Question Three: Who would win in a fight between you and Nevvis?
A fair fight? Me. All day. Have you seen him fight? He’s slow. That’s why he cheats. If he didn’t have his Dran telepathy to help him, I’d drop him in ten moves… maybe less. Although, he did hold out longer than I’d have thought possible against Kellin. But I’d still win. For sure.
About Melonie Purcell: As a Las Vegas native--a rare species to be sure--Melonie grew up riding horses in the Nevada desert, camping and fishing her way through the state of Utah and chasing reptiles in Arizona. As an adult, she still traipses around the desert and the mountains, but now she does it in cooler shoes, a better backpack and usually carrying a camera. Author of the children's fantasy Hand and Talon, you can find Melonie on Goodreads, Twitter and her own website.