From The Solune Prince; most recent draft
Alexandre, alone in her little college office and standing over one of the heavy tables, wrote in one of her notebooks. Frustrated, she ended up pushing her silverpoint pencil through the page as she wrote the next word. Fine. She dragged the stylus across until the paper caught and began to tear in two. Then she dropped the stylus pencil on the table, ripped the page out—too enraged to even crumple it—and threw it across the room, though it didn’t fly very far. Instead of breathing to calm down, Alexandre started exhaling deeply through dark, lightly clenched teeth, sustaining the furor. “I need more information, I can’t calculate this properly with what I currently have.”
She stormed out of the room, head low, her breathing like an animal’s. Her footfalls were muted by the Academy halls’ greenish stone tile floor. Her mind was chaos. It was late in the day, near sunset, so she knew the buildings would be mostly empty and she could behave freely. She headed to the library, straightening up to look more natural before entering. Alexandre looked at, but did not acknowledge the librarian.
The shelves in here were packed tightly, almost claustrophobically. Most of the books were bound in their matching maroon Academy hardcovers. Alexandre’s face remained tense. She headed up the steps toward the second floor, not looking up much until she reached it. Scanning books as she reaches the top, Alexandre stopped short. Freezing, anxiety shot up though her heart and rested at her throat.
Like a grand and living marble statue, light with unsunned skin, Chloe Rhye towered above Alexandre as the Riley arrived. Rhye blinked lazily and then turned her head to look at the stunned woman. She smiled, and her teeth appeared to Alexandre to be a little too healthy.
“Hello.” Rhye closed her eyes a little and briefly widened the smile, then turned back to the shelf. “Do not mind me…”
This was a strange setup for a library; the stairs entered on a narrow corridor between two book stacks, rather than into a proper aisle. Alexandre inhaled deeply a couple times, but the nerves in her throat didn’t loosen. She would have to sidle past the noblewoman.
“Your highness…” Alexandre said. She bowed and waited. Once she was again acknowledged and given a nod by Prince Chloe Rhye who then leisurely turned back to the book she had been sampling. That would have to be enough, apparently. Carefully, Alexandre skulked past. Her gaze turned back down toward the ground.
…to be continued
This is a scene from the drafting process for The Solune Prince draft or “version” 0.4. It takes place early in the novel, marking the first story scene between Chloe and Alexandre Dirge from DIrge’s point of view. The Solune Prince (TSP) has gone through quite a few revisions since its inception, a process I’ve detailed in a few previous posts, and may do again, though not here.
This is the first of a handful of scenes from this newer, almost final draft of The Solune Prince. It’s currently being counted by letter, which will be great unless I get past 26 posts, in which case things will get interesting because I will have run out of letters in the alphabet. I have an idea for that though, fortunately.
Expect a new scene like this every now and then. Maybe next time I’ll explain the context a little better. For now, I think this scene stands okay on its own. If you’re interested in more, there is a lot of TSP content from earlier drafts on the site already, including The Solune Prince v0.3’s table of contents, though I warn you that draft is sort of not-good, especially the first few chapters. (It picks up a bit at ch. 6.)
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