The Man in the Cistern is the title of a short story now available on Amazon, in ebook format only. Currently it is enrolled in the Amazon KDP program, which means that it is available for loan for the next few months. It also means that from time to time there will be special offers, such as this weekend (Saturday Oct 20th to Sunday Oct 21st) when it is scheduled to be absolutely free to download. Don’t get too excited though – it is a short story rather than a full-length novel, so wil only cost you 77 pence in the UK (99 cents in the US), so even if you miss the promotion it will not set you back too much. Over time I shall add more short stories to the collection, ranging back and forward in time rather than trying to fit everything in strict sequence.
The Man in the Cistern is set in the same town as In a Milk and Honeyed Land but about a decade later. Most of the characters will be familiar from the novel, although you do not have to have read it to follow events in the story. We follow Damariel and Nepheret, priests and seers of Kephrath, as they juggle the conflicting possibilities that have arisen from newcomers in the region. The story begins as follows:
The Mitsriy were withdrawing from their outpost up at Ramoth Hurriy. Damariel the seer had first caught rumour of the move nearly a year ago, but had waited to see if there was real substance in it before taking the news seriously. These days, there were always stories of this place or that being abandoned, and so many of them were either scare-mongering or wishful thinking, depending on who was talking.
Now, for sure there would be little impact on Kephrath and her three sister communities, the four towns Damariel cared for. Ramoth Hurriy was south of Shalem, up on the heights overlooking the southern edge of that town, and Damariel was not sure he had ever met anyone who lived there. So far as he knew, there was only a shrine to the goddess Hathor served by a few Mitsriy priestesses overseeing a training centre for Kinahny girls who had been given over by their families to her service, a small garrison of bowmen, and a straggle of traders adhering to the slight wealth as best they could. At a guess, only the Mitsriy would actually return home, and the temple novices and acolytes, as well as the traders and their families, would be left to reintegrate as best they could into Shalem itself, or maybe down into the lowlands.
Find out how it continues at Amazon.com – http://www.amazon.com/Cistern-Short-Stories-Kephrath-ebook/dp/B009QM4GQM/ – or Amazon UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cistern-Short-Stories-Kephrath-ebook/dp/B009QM4GQM/. Don’t forget – this coming weekend The Man in the Cistern it is scheduled to be free to download. If you like the short story, follow it up with the novel.
As always, more information can be found at the web site http://www.kephrath.com.