Apple of My Eye is the fourth story in The Mirror-Hunter Chronicles, which began with Bag of Beans. It’s kind of tricky to pull an excerpt from a short story when pretty much anything could be spoilers, but here’s a bit of description that I’m really happy with, and it reminded me of a bit of description from another short story that I wanted to share as well. Enjoy. :)
I’d been searching for the mirror for a week between its being stolen and our present story, tracking clues as far from Ambrel as Grell. As I stepped into the city, much different from any I’d seen before, I wondered briefly if I would encounter my cousin Anson. However, this thought was quickly overcome by my fascination with the architecture and citizens around me. The buildings were all made of metal and glass, unlike the wood and sod hovels I was accustomed to, or even the plaster and brick that some larger estates were built of, and some towered into the sky like beanstalks.
The castle visible at the center of the city was the most impressive, with steel steeples and parapets, and windows surrounding every floor. I imagined it would be quite terrifying to be inside the thing and be able to see the hundreds of feet just outside a flimsy wall of glass. As I approached, I could see that the portcullis was made of something that was thinner and yet seemed stronger than steel, crisscrossed and woven with itself into a formidable barrier despite all its gaps.
“We don’t need any Underlings up here.”
“We’re the two most skilled hunters in the Underground,” Ronan said. “At least let us see your captain.”
“General,” the guard corrected.
“May we see him?”
The guard exchanged a look with his fellow before sighing. “Fine. This way.” The guard led them into the bustling crowd, his companion bringing up the rear, and Sorcha gave attention to her surroundings again. The ladies around her wore flowing silk gowns that brushed across the steel ground, bumping into her on all sides with a softness that was unlike anything she’d felt. The gentlemen wore darker blue suits of something like suede or velvet, still soft but more matte than the silk.
Towers rose up into the sky, stopping in sharp points just before they would have hit the layer above them, made of gold and bronze and steel. They reflected the sunlight, and Sorcha was incredibly glad for her sunglasses. Blue sky painted a brilliant backdrop for the city, even with the orange tint of Sorcha’s lenses, and she thought it must be even more beautiful to those whose eyes could handle the bright sunlight.
Their footsteps hummed and echoed on the metallic floor, ringing in Sorcha’s ears as they were led to a small iron building at the edge of the level, right in front of a glass wall that ended just below Sorcha’s shoulders to give a clear view of blue sky and clearance for a cool breeze that ruffled her platinum shoulder-length hair.