WIP: Solomon’s Choice

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Produced via the #CreateIt22 daily challenge: a scene from the new WIP book, SOLOMON’S CHOICE.

Typo warning. Also gore warning. That lady exploded real good.

It’s oddly silent.

He usually make little happy sounds at this time of day, talking to himself, to the sitter. Perhaps he’s asleep?

According to the security log, my reproductive partner is here. That’s odd; her position – administrative – gives her far more regular hours than my research does, and she’s usually still at work now.

And where is the sitter? Why did she not respond to the chime of my entry?

Something is wrong, I think, as I limp down the hall.

Something is wrong, I think, as I begin to creep – silent, unable to be logically noiseful in my own house – toward my son’s bedroom.

A sound. Muffled. Like a sob.

Then time does a strange thing, at least according to my very human brain, which has the dreadfully human tendency to alter perception according to subconsciously perceived need. So, it is out of my control that I do not clearly recall the next hour.

I know I saw the sitter on the floor, dead chest exploded outward in a nightmarishly familiar tableau.

I know I saw Madra, my reproductive partner, smothering our infant son with a pillow.

I know I shouted emergency words, normally only used in case of magical attack, in desperate hope that Association help could arrive in time to do anything.

And I know I attacked her.

I tackled her. I know because the medical report laid out every bruise and claw-mark, every drop of venom she inflicted on me with false fingernails as we went down.

I know I broke one of her ribs by the act of falling on top of her.

And I know that when Security arrived, never too far from the Association’s important people, I was holding my son, sobbing, because he was breathing, though Mandra was not.

Madra was dead. Chest exploded. Heart gone. Bone everywhere.

I’d protected Jason with my body, and bone was embedded all down my back.

I did not and do not care. My son was crying, crying through an open airway, and I’d never heard a more beautiful sound in my life.


A three-times bestselling author, Ruthanne Reid has led a convention panel on world-building, taught courses on plot and character development, and been the keynote speaker for the Write Practice Retreat. Author of two series with five books and fifty-plus short stories, Ruthanne has lived in her head since childhood, when she wrote her first story about a pony princess and a genocidal snake-kingdom and used up her mom’s red typewriter ribbon in the process. When she isn’t reading, writing, or reading about writing, Ruthanne enjoys old cartoons with her husband and two cats, and dreams of living on an island beach far, far away. P.S. Red is still her favorite color.