How do I know this?
Because I signed with an agent AND an editor who let me do prologues. /smugface
Anyway, here as a tasty pre-release nibble is the prologue for Medicine for the Dead - short, sweet, and spoiler-free! (I can promise that, because it was originally the prologue for the first book.)
On an arid plain under a blistering bright sky, someone dressed as an Ara-Naure woman walked east towards the sun, carrying a fur-swaddled infant.
And swearing at it.
"Can't you be STILL, you nasty little parasite," she said over its tireless screams. "I'm thirsty as well, but you don't see me having fits over it, do you?"
The plume of black smoke behind them was now scarcely a wisp on the horizon. In the heat of the day, nothing else moved but one idle rat snake, its tongue flicking in tandem with the darting of the caretaker's eyes as she clutched her disagreeable prize.
Then she felt the front of her deerskin dress feebly accosted, and looked down in loathsome surprise. "What? Do you think there is anything there for you? Here, if it will shut you up, have your udder..."
She pushed her false hair out of the child's reach, put the tip of one gaunt finger to its mouth, and relished a few moments of desperately-suckling silence. Then it turned its face away and shrieked with fresh, frustrated outrage.
She withdrew her hand, her cracked lips curling back over small, sharp teeth. "Well, scream all you want! You are a damned ungrateful child, you miserable ugly runt, and when we get to the river I will drown you and leave you for the fishmen!"
But although the child carried on unabated, assuring their mutual misery, her hurried steps and hunted eyes suggested that she did not intend to surrender it to anyone.
And if you like the sound of that (and have read the first book), set your watch and bate your breath, cuz I'm sending out the whole first chapter next week. Sign up if you want in!
Here then will we begin the story: only adding thus much to that which hath been said - that it is a foolish thing to make a long prologue, and to be short in the story itself.