In celebration of random holiday that I just created day, here's an excerpt from Scarecrow! I know several of you have expressed interest in that one. I hope you enjoy. It's rough, so keep it in mind and don't throw tomatoes at me.
Tyrin Fallows was unlucky.
Not your average lose your keys, spill wine on your favorite white tunic unlucky either. No, his bad luck was more of the drop your keys into the soup that is being served to the king and nearly choke him to death, spill your wine and slide headlong into a lamp knocking it over and setting your brother in law’s house on fire variety. Fellow citizens in the town of Upper Farthing would tread twenty paces out of their way to avoid passing by him, and every major social event barred its doors as soon as his silhouette darkened the window dressings. Even his eldest sister Maryna, who had spent most of her teenage years defending Tyrin from the abuse of the other Farthing children, politely asked him if he would mind very much not attending her wedding.
Even such humiliation as this would have been bearable if he had not been the son of Rigand Fallows and Erlena Malwit, two of the mostly highly respected sorcerers from two of the oldest magical lineages in the kingdom of Rewnyn. It was bad enough setting fire to houses and narrowly avoiding accidental regicide without also having magic to worry about. And as far as magic was concerned, Tyrin was a complete disaster. He understood the theory well enough, but he always managed to make some mistake that would send the spell horribly awry—and turning your mathematics teacher into a piece of chalk was much less forgivable than a little unintentional arson. His mother and father told him he was a late bloomer. Maryna told him he would find his talent eventually. Tharena would tell him he could always become a stable hand. Tyrin would smile sadly, pretending to believe them, but he could see in their eyes every time he exploded a potion or liquefied the bricks of the horse barn that they thought he was a lost cause. After all, he had just turned eighteen—how much more blooming could he be expected to do? He had resigned himself to a life of loneliness and catastrophe—and probably accidental suicide by way of magicked shoe-laces. Yes, Tyrin was supremely unlucky.
So the sight of the letter that he received on the third of July nearly killed him.