Tear for a World by Alexander Fernandez
Marisylia Malludar has a holy artifact bonded around her neck that gives her incredible physical and magical powers—at a cost. Inch by inch her body is being consumed by it. Both a group of Religious fanatics and a cruel sorceress want the artifact for themselves and are hunting Marisylia.
Marisylia blinked and rubbed milk out of her eyes, but the mob wasn’t finished. A stiff hand shoved her from behind and she stumbled against the table. Unfinished slices of pie and rolls of bread pelted her.
With nowhere to hide, she dove into the horde and tried to shove her way out. Most of the people only yelled insults as they let her pass. Others bumped her roughly with their shoulders, tried to trip her, or pushed her around so she bounced back and forth between pairs of hands.
One woman caught Marisylia and carefully steadied her. She peered into the woman’s eyes, one friendly person amid the riled swarm. The lady smiled softly, then suddenly spit into Marisylia’s face.
When the saliva splattered her cheek, Marisylia stopped caring why the citizens acted like this. Whether due to fear of the religious power, worry that it would infest Three Fingers, or simply senseless anger, none of it mattered anymore since the time to quit had arrived.
All of her determination to succeed had been ripped to shreds by the crowd. Each hand that shoved, every object that struck, drained her enthusiasm. Her devotion to the religion had drowned in the woman’s spit. It was all too much. Marisylia didn’t have Milick’s iron skin or Shri Lilyn’s boldness. She had nothing, only the desire to run away and forget everything.