Page One of Tymerys: Book One: Geoffrey's Freedom. I'd lvoe comments from passing readers.
Broghan picked up the rat. It struggled and shrank back, but could not escape. She held it near her face, stared into its frightened eyes. Her tongue darted out, tasting the air. The rat squeaked and Broghan grinned.
“Stop tormenting that creature,” said Rowena, in her reed thin, old woman’s voice. She sucked loudly, and the globule of saliva on the corner of her lip disappeared back into her toothless mouth. “Don’t be cruel when there’s no real need for it.”
Broghan scowled and handed the rat to her mistress, who held it up and examined it. Light filtered through holes in the tattered curtains, dappling the packed earth floor and making the steam above the cauldron a grey-white. Rowena held the rat into the shaft of light. She stroked it for a few seconds, then flashed a knife and shaved hairs from its back. She dropped them into the cauldron and passed the rat back to Broghan.
“Have you finished with it now?” asked the younger woman.
“Not until I tell you.” Weary words. Overused. The old woman leaned over the cauldron. The steam painted her leathery cheeks and made droplets on her wispy, white hair.
“Are we going to see the battle?” asked Broghan. “I’ve never seen a battle.”
“There is not much worth the seeing. A lot of noise and tangled men.” Rowena cackled. “But yes, child, we will be there.” She picked up a small copper bowl, dipped it into the cauldron and collected a few swallows of the hot liquid, then reached inside the neck of her dress and pulled out her medallion, a heavy black ring with a five pointed star fixed into it. She lowered the medallion into the bowl and watched the liquid fizz.