Read by Jen Rhodes (of the Anomaly Podcast)*
Halla got halfway out the window, stolen brooch in hand, and then the dizzies hit.
She swore as the world rocked around her. She kicked off the sandstone wall by instinct and thumped to the ground. The gold plate stuffed down her shift knocked her ribs and all her breath whooshed out. She gasped like a fish in the humid air.
Halla stumbled over the cut stone and clover of the landowner’s garden. Her breath rushed back with loud wheezes and she flung herself into the ubiquitous bamboo groves dividing one house from the next. A bamboo leaf sucked into her mouth and she spat.
Once her family had been guests at this very house. Her father, one of the elite liaisons between the landowners and the holy, had been deeply honored…and feared. Halla had sat on that very bit of stone in a starched white shift, praying that she wouldn’t disgrace herself. But that was ten years ago and several classes above. That memory wouldn’t save her fingers if she were caught this morning.
The landowner was a heavy woman, whose flesh swung through the gaps in her chiton as she thudded around the side of the house. Two maids trailed her. “I heard someone!” she panted. “Search the house!”
Rated PG. Contains violence and God-Deaths.
*Jen Rhodes is one of the hosts of Anomaly, an award winning sci-fi and fantasy podcast. Jen and her co-host Angela, have two goals for every episode they produce; to have fun and to offer a feminine perspective on all things geek. Recently, Anomaly has evolved into a community comprising two shows (Anomaly and Anomaly Supplemental), a successful blog, and a growing forum. You can find them online at anomalypodcast.com.