Today’s excerpt is from Riwenne & the Electrical Prophecy. Riwenne has been engaging in a challenge with her rival, a scientist, to show the strengths of magic vs. science, but not everyone reacts positively to her work. The negative backlash from her religious work builds until there are protests. In today’s scene, the protesters make a crowd outside the place where she’s staying, the prime minister’s house.
There was a high wall around the estate and guards posted at every gate to keep the public from wandering in. Before dawn, we’d gone outside in our robes to pray in the garden. At first all I noticed was that Parche was there, but none of the others had come. I thought it was a slow day.
As we began our prayers, the noise started up. It sounded like an angry buzzing in the distance. Then shouts filled the air and more guards rushed toward the main gate. I stopped only a few lines into our prayer and looked up.
A rock sailed over the wall. It hit the ground, far away from us in the garden or any of the buildings, but it was still shocking to see such violence. With a glance at my friends, we all started moving toward the gate to see what was going on.
The guards held up their hands before we got too close. “Go back inside, girls,” one said with a stern tone. “It’s not safe right now.”
I craned my neck to see past him. “What’s going on?”
“Protesters,” the guard snapped. “They have a right to express their opinion as long as it’s a peaceful protest, but some are getting riled up. We’re waiting for the police to come arrest everyone who is throwing rocks.”
I looked at Parche, who was hovering nearby with a strained look on her face. “They’re allowed to protest outside your house?”
She nodded. “Legally, yes, but they’ve never done this before.” Stepping up to the guard, she asked, “Can you tell me what they’re so upset about?”
The guard frowned. “I really must insist that you all go back inside. It’s not safe out here. We’ll deliver our report to your husband later.”
Kyra took me by the arm and pulled me back. Before I could argue with her, she whispered in my ear, “We could see better from one of the balconies.”
I nodded and followed her inside.
Parche marched into the front of the estate. “I’m going to demand answers from Waytamayu. He must be awake by now.”
The three of us didn’t wait around. We rushed to the stairs and climbed up to the second-story balcony closest to the front of the estate.
A mob filled the streets. Most were just standing there, lending their support. A few waved hand-painted signs. More were shouting and some in the front were very riled up, trying to push past the guards at the gate. We could hear their shouts now clearly.
“Stop the priestesses!”
“Make the witches pay for what they did!”
“Throw them out before they ruin our city again!”
I took a step back, covering my mouth with my hand. The horrific scene didn’t go away. Why were they doing this? Couldn’t they see that I was just trying to help them?
Kyra shook herself out of her shock and took my hand. “The guards were right,” she said, trying to lead me back to the door. “We should go inside. We don’t need to see this.”