Shattered Glass:A Glass Series novellaBy: Maria V. Snyder
While trying to teach her adopted daughter, Reema, how to work with molten glass, Opal receives a letter from Master Magician Zitora Cowan requesting Opal's immediate help. Zitora resigned from the Sitian Council over two years ago to search for her lost sister, and no one has heard from her since. The letter is probably a trick, but Opal refuses to pass up the opportunity to help her mentor, who may be in genuine trouble. Good thing Opal isn't that easy to fool. With her two soldier friends Nic and Eve providing backup, the three travel to a small town in the Jewelrose Clan. But can they rescue the Master Magician without being caught in the same trap?
A Glass Series novella by Maria V. Snyder
Heat pours from the kiln, fanning the skin on my face. I open the kiln’s door just enough to insert the pontil iron. A super bright orange glow spears my vision as I dip the iron’s tip into the cauldron and twirl it, gathering a slug of molten glass.
Closing the door with a hip, I turn and place the iron on the rails of the gaffer’s bench where my adopted daughter Reema sits. Her blond corkscrew curls are pulled back into a ponytail and her brow is creased in concentration.
“Keep the iron spinning or the glass will drip,” I instruct over the roar of the fires in the kilns. All four of them are in operation, which means four times the noise and heat.
“Then what?” she asks.
“Use the tweezers to pinch and pull the glass.” I gesture to the row of tools lined along the bench.
She picks up the metal tweezers. They appear overly large in her small hand. Though not as small as they were when I first met her almost two years ago. Soon she’d be tall enough to gather a slug on her own. An inner warmth spreads through my chest that has nothing to do with the kilns and everything to do with the sudden desire to press a kiss to her sweaty forehead. I suppress it, knowing it would result in an irritated eye roll.
“What should I make?” she asks.
I shrug. “Whatever speaks to you.”
Reema huffs in exasperation. “I told you before; it doesn’t speak to me!”
“Take your time and listen. But don’t take too much time, it cools fast and will soon be too hard to manipulate.”
That comment earns me a glare, but I smile sweetly at her—a trick I learned from my good friend Janco. Reema frowns and pokes at the glass with the tweezers. Despite the waves of heat radiating from the slug, the glass resists the metal.
I point to the glory hole located on the side of the nearest kiln. “Reheat it until it’s pulsing with orange light and try again.”
Reema hops off the bench and jams the iron into the hole.
“Not so far, you only want to heat the glass, not the metal or it will burn your hands. And keep it spinning.”
My name slices through the din, and I glance up. Devlen gestures me away from the main work area of the factory. I join my husband outside my office. His strong features and blue eyes never fail to make my blood sizzle.
“Why are you teaching Reema?” he asks. “She does not have the patience to work with glass.”
“Ah. You are hoping to teach her patience.” He gazes at our daughter.
Reema yanks on the glass, making…tentacles? She flings the tweezers down and storms over to the glory hole. Once again shoving it in too far.
A smile tugs at Devlen’s lips. “Good luck with that.”
“Is this why you called me over?”
The humor fades from his dark face and is replaced with concern. “No. A messenger is here and he insists on delivering the message only to you.”
Oh. It’s odd, but not worrying…I hope. I call to my assistant, Lee, to watch over Reema and ensure she doesn’t burn herself or set the place on fire before I follow Devlen into my office where the messenger is waiting. He’s an older man who looks like he has missed a few too many meals. Clutching a letter in his bony fingers, he glances at me then eyes Devlen.
Tall with broad shoulders, dark hair and the powerful build of a Sandseed warrior, Devlen can intimidate almost everyone.
But the man’s voice is steady when he says, “This is a confidential message for Opal Cowan.”
“I am her husband,” Devlen responds.
“Good for you. But my instructions are clear. We must be alone.”
“Go on.” I shoo Devlen out. He knows I will share any news with him.
When the door shuts, the messenger studies me. I resist the urge to squirm under his intense scrutiny. My long brown hair is frizzy and clinging to my sweaty neck. And my plain tan cotton tunic and pants are more for functionality for a glass factory than for fashion.