We’re continuing sneak peeks of Becoming Clissine, the first book in my Bastia series that will be released on September 11th. Clissa has grown up in a world where heterosexual relationships are forbidden, and she now faces criminal charges for consorting with a boy. Altrea, the head of the Bastil (the governing body of Bastia), has Clissa listen to the charges against her. At the mention of Basti, their deity, the entire assembly–except for Clissa–falls to its knees. Partly in response to Clissa’s show of defiance/lack of piety, Altrea calls the assembly to prayer. Before passing judgment on Clissa, the Bastil needs the blessing of its deity.
The congregation rose again, and two guards hauled Clissa to her feet. The chains got caught in her pants leg, and she pitched forward. At a blow from the rubber baton, she jerked the chain with such force that it tore her pants up to the knee. A bead of dark blood welled up, burst, and trickled down her leg in a fine, cobwebby line.
Altrea turned her back to the crowd, lifting a scarlet surplice over her head and throwing her head back. “Basti,” she called out, “we have sinned, and we are not worthy. Grant us your wisdom in order to bring judgment on your lost child, the sinner Clissa, daughter of Lystel. Show us how we must bring her back to rightness with you.”