Sharing with you the beginning of Abi of Cyrene:
Part One: Meroe Two Decades after the Beginning of the First Millennium
Elbows on the table and head in her palms, Abi jerked when Leah nudged her. “Wake up, Abi Zuri.”
“Huh? Oh.” Abi placed her hands in her lap. Everyone expected her to follow the decorum required in the side room, where the food resembled that of the Candace’s dining hall. “My apologies.”
The chatter of her old friends came into her head as music, melancholic and sweet. At the end of dinner, however, Abi welcomed the solitude of the little room. She secured the door and placed Papa’s gold jewels inside a pouch, which she hung from her neck. If she lost the valuable jewelry, Papa would slowly torture her until she’d pray to die.
After extinguishing the oil lamp, she changed to a shift for sleeping and knelt on the stone floor. No words and no thoughts formed—nothing more than the presence of the Lord of Hosts. Even if she wasn’t supposed to talk to Adonai, she delighted in the Almighty’s closeness to her, a humble maiden.
Having climbed into the narrow bed, she arranged the bedcover. She found a comfortable position and let her mind float to the realm of dreams.
Quieter than her four-legged friends who shared her room at home, she sat up. Who knocked? As an outsider, she needed to be cautious. No longer did she have the protection of belonging to the corps of archers. If some man brutalized her and if she survived, she’d have no choice except to appeal to the Candace. The thought of torture clenched her insides.
In the black shadows, Abi reached for her belt. As soon as she secured it around her waist, she tucked her sling inside it and grasped her knife in her hand.
Tap, tap.Hovering next to the wall, she crept to the side of the door.