The blizzard hit us about two hours after lunch.
I, being in the windowless lab cleaning up after my third—and successful— red fever experiment had no idea what was happening. Hyme had gone out earlier on a house call to deliver a baby because the mother was too far into labor to make it to the hospital in time. I didn’t expect him back for quite a while.
So it was with some surprise after I’d bundled up in my quiltsuit and opened the door to see the snow coming down in what looked like a thick blanket. The weather bureau had predicted snow but not like this. For a moment, I wondered if I should stay in the lab until the weather cleared. It meant I would probably miss conducting the evening service. I shook my head. Heavy snows were the norm in the Syren Perritory and it would be poor form to miss the service because of it.
I looked up. The gray sky gave off enough light that I could see, sort of. I stepped out into the snow and started for the corner. It was slow going. The snow was coming down so fast it buried my feet every few minutes. I had to stop and knock the snow off my shoes before I could continue.
I reached the corner and turned onto the sidewalk that ran alongside the plaza. Here, the visibility was even poorer. But I didn’t let that stop me. I struck out across the street, shoeing in a diagonal line across the plaza to my tower. I made my trek into a game between me and the snow and as far as I was concerned, the snow would not win.
Then the wind picked up. Snow swirled around me. Looking at my feet, I could see the snow that had already fallen being hurled into the air. I raised my head and looked around. I couldn’t tell if the snow came from the sky or from the ground. Still, I could see into the distance, if only a little. I kept walking. My progress was slower than ever.
The bitter wind blew harder and the temperature dropped. Even in my suit, I shivered a little. Then I stopped short and blinked. My visibility was now zero. There was nothing to be seen but an unbroken expanse of white. I lifted my hand and held it about a šīzu from my face. I saw a faint, red blob, and nothing more. For the first time since leaving the lab, I started getting nervous. I squelched the feeling. All I have to do is continue on in a straight line like I’ve been doing. I’ll reach my tower. I began shoeing again, refusing to acknowledge the possibility I might not be walking in a straight line.
About the Book
Title: The Moreva of Astoreth
Author: Roxanne Bland
Genre: Science Fiction
In the world-building tradition of Andre Norton, Anne McCaffrey and Ursula K. LeGuin, The Moreva of Astoreth is a blend of science fiction, romance, and adventure in a unique, richly imagined imperialistic society in which gods and science are indelibly intertwined. It is the story of priestess, scientist, and healer Moreva Tehi, the spoiled, headstrong granddaughter of a powerful goddess who is temporarily exiled from Temple life in her beloved desert home to a volatile far northern corner of the planet for neglecting to perform her sacred duty, only to venture into dangerous realms of banned experimentation, spiritual rebirth, and fervent, forbidden love.
Roxanne Bland grew up in Washington, D.C., where she discovered strange and wonderful new worlds through her local public library and bookstores. These and other life experiences have convinced her that reality is highly overrated. Ms. Bland lives in Rosedale, Maryland with her Great Dane, Daisy Mae.
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