Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What's Happening Now?

Well, it's that time again – time for our midweek update – a chance for characters to reveal their current whereabouts. In this way, authors can share what's happening within their stories by speaking through their characters' unique voices.

So, let's hear it, characters. It's time to share your pleasures, your pitfalls, your ambitions, or whatever else is on your mind – and hopefully, by revealing where you are in your story, you'll help inspire your authors to keep moving forward with theirs.

Remember, this is for characters only!


Nutmeg Cross said...

Wish I had something to share. Indy and I are in stasis until our author finishes her travel guide and rewrites her first novel.

Although I've never been before, I can't imagine it should take this long to write a crummy travel guide to the Keys.

Oops. Do I sound bitter?

Indigo Cypress said...

Yes, as it happens, you do sound bitter. Just relax and enjoy the fact that we're warm in a barn right now... and not outside in a rainstorm.

Nutmeg Cross said...

Oh, Indy, you always know how to look at the bright side.

Sorry, dear author, for being so grumpy today. Think I got up on the wrong side of the hay.

Aidan said...

The house tilted like a ship in high seas. Kaelin stumbled toward me as I grabbed the windowsill, forgetting the salt. It burned my fingers, the dead amaranth dust sticking to me like napalm. I jerked my hand back and scrubbed it on my jeans. Skin came away and it left streaks of blood.

"Idiot." Kaelin cuffed the back of my head, sharp, like my hand didn't hurt bad enough.

I talked through gritted teeth. "Are the shells blessed, at least? Holy water? Anything?"

He just gave me a look as the doors and windows rattled harder.

"Get back from there." He yanked my arm, pulling me away from the window.

Too late. The door slammed open, banging against the wall behind it. Icy air flowed in and we both gagged on the demonstink.

Kaelin shoved me behind him and leveled the shotgun at the door. "It's here?"

In moments like these, I forget he can't see what I can. Red and scaly and the height of two men. A gaping maw full of shark teeth. Two wings spread out behind him. Its true form. It meant business. But it stopped at the threshold, right behind the yellow line. Kaelin had repainted it with salted holy water not a month before. The yellow dye showed us where it was so we didn't burn our feet coming through.

I ripped the gun from Kaelin's hands and fired. Scales turned to ash where the holy water hit and sizzled on the cold air. The demon flinched and roared.

The ash reformed into a floating, leering face that floated into the house, over the barrier.

Crap. That was new.

The red-winged demon leered at us from the doorway with a classic horror movie pause. The ash face floated our way. My stare locked on its empty eyes, that silent moving mouth.

I sent out a fishing line of ken toward it, just to hear what it said. Sure, it could probably unravel me like bad knitting, but in that moment I was willing to take the risk, to figure out just what in Nine Hells this thing was.

WTF? "You are not!"

Not the best comeback, I admit.

Kaelin elbowed me in the ribs and the connection broke. "What are you doing?"

"Finding out who." I held out my hand for more shells.

"Verdict on that?" Kaelin asked, digging in his other pocket. I loaded, all the time wondering what in God's name the demon was waiting for. Nausea clawed my stomach at the thought, strong enough to remind me I shouldn't go invoking Him, ever. Holy Wrath isn't like a smart bomb. It'd take out us demi-demons and a few square miles of Rocky Mountain National Forest with it.

I pumped the shells home and fired. The ash-face split as the shells blew through. Shot pebbled the scaly skin of the demon, splashing holy water. The monster screamed and retreated across the yard, flapping its wings lopsidedly. But I didn't waste time celebrating.

Another demon flew at the house, bigger by half, propelled by enormous black wings. His mouth jacked open to reveal daggers strung with saliva. A forked tail whipped like a flag in high wind. His hands had claws like Wolverine's.

I'd only ever seen drawings, but I knew it.


That thing we'd driven off had only been a fucking herald.

I couldn't speak, couldn't telepath. I backed up, my boot landing on Kaelin's sock-clad instep. He shoved me off, but he didn't yell, didn't speak. Just stared, like me.

"We're out of shells," Kaelin whispered.

One second Asmodai was in the yard, the next in the house with us. Ash burst off him as he flew over the demarcation line at the threshold. His wind drove the ash toward us. It stung like live sparks, pocking our faces. We both ducked.

Asmodai leapt at us, black wings spread, and I threw the shotgun. It bounced off as he grabbed Kaelin's leg and upended him. His back hit the floor. I heard the crack of his head. His aura flickered. And for a second, everything died.

Aidan said...

Wrong side of the hay, haha. Good one.

Nutmeg Cross said...

Glad I could make you laugh, Aidan. :-)

Course, I wasn't trying to be poetic - we really have been sleeping on hay lately. Indy says it beats the cold ground, but I'm not so sure. Hay is a lot less comfortable than one might think. Itchy, too.

Daryl Harper said...

Say, Aidan, your story is awesome... totally gripping. Killer voice, too. Tell your author to finish it and get it out into the world ASAP. I can't wait to read it!

Aidan said...

So far she's only writing it for you guys and is only a few pages ahead of this. Trust me, it doesn't get much better. I'm being as pesky as I can ... I'd like to know if I make it out of this one.

Nutmeg Cross said...

I sure hope you and Kaelin make it, Aidan. Indy and I rooting for you - even if it's from the safety of our hiding place.

Kaelin said...

Thanks Nutmeg. Me too. It's looking pretty close and this is supposed to be the start of the book that she's not actually writing because she's working on something else.

I can't imagine what'll happen when she really focuses on us.

Aidan said...

It ain't looking good, Kae.

Ginger said...

Aidan and Kaelin, I thought your book was already finished? Am I mistaken? Or is this a sequel?

Aidan said...

It's a complete rewrite.


Marenya said...

Oh! We are very familiar with those. I think we are on number four currently. The only problem is that she keeps going back to the beginning halfway through, so the last part is still in first draft form.

My author is writing an exam tonight. So she hasn't posted our excerpts yet.

Ginger said...

At least you both have full drafts. I'm only an outline, a synopsis and about ten chapters. Then she just gave up on me completely.

Nutmeg Cross said...

Hey, that sounds familiar, Ginger. We're just an outline and a few chapters, too.

Wish she'd hurry up and finish that darn travel guide!

I mean, ahem, I'm not bitter. I'm not bitter. I'm not bitter.

Just wish she'd stopped writing when we were staying in a motel room, instead of this darn barn--

Ow! Why'd you pinch me, Indy? Oh, right. I'll stop whining.

Ginger said...

Aidan, your excerpt scared the heck out of me. Are you sure you can't use a Bible? I know some good prayers.

If I prayed for your protection, would that help, or make it worse?

Marenya said...

Nutmeg, be grateful. At least you are indoors! You could be on the ground. Or worse, trapped underground. (shudder) I think straw in a nice cosy barn isn't too horrible.

Marenya said...

She paced and fretted the rest of the afternoon, watching the shadows creep across the floor. At least Chalmeth had not returned; he must have found someone else to torment. After supper, there was a knock at the door and Norry asked to be allowed in. She gladly welcomed him.

“How are you?” he asked. He was dressed very fine. Marenya realized with a start that he had probably come from dinner with Lady Chalmeth and her son. The rest of the castle was carrying on life as if she weren’t even there. Lady Chalmeth probably didn’t know, or want to know, her son’s doings. Marenya wasn’t sure if she was glad Lady Chalmeth was spared such knowledge, or bitter at being overlooked.

“Feeling much better, thank you.”

At least Norry wasn’t overlooking her. He regarded her with a very warm concern. He had a wooden box under one arm, and in the opposite hand he held a silver goblet.

“Good.” He smiled, and again it was like the sun breaking through the twilight gloom of her prison. “I wanted to check on you. And give you your evening dose of medicine.”

She wrinkled her face. “Must I?”

“If you want to be cured, yes.”

“Is it what I think it is?”

His face hardened a little. “Yes.”

She pressed her lips together in distaste. Lion’s blood. Taking the goblet from him, she closed her eyes and forced herself drink half of it. It was heavily spiced and had been mixed with a strong red wine, but the metallic taste and odor were undisguisable.

Faldur said...

Pelwyn turned to Faldur, and where she had needed comforting just a moment ago, he found that he himself was shuddering and wet tears were rolling down his face. She took him in her arms and held him until his crying stopped. He was embarrassed beyond expression, but also felt the relief of finally releasing all the pent-up anxiety that had haunted him for so long.

He pulled away from her embrace with a wry smile, and saw how beautiful and strong she was. He had never fully appreciated her, always thinking of her as Tarnbel’s little daughter. Her skin was flawless, the curve of her neck and her cheek like a caress, the lines of her mouth both sensual and humorous. She was looking at him now with tears in her own eyes, and he was overwhelmed by her understanding. She was his best friend’s bride and his future Queen, and he owed her not just his service, but his life. Marenya did, too, and despite her younger years had realized it before he did; he was so caught up in his pursuit of Chalmeth and his fears for Marenya.

“They will be alright, both of them,” Pelwyn said. “I believe it in my heart, if he says so.”

“If you believe it, then I do, too.” But he did not sleep again that night, even after she had returned to her room. He knew that he had done right in keeping his promise to Melbrinor, but at what cost?

Aidan said...

I don't know Ginger.

But I know I can't go into churches, I can't touch salt or certain cleansing plants, I can't say His Name without it making me sick. It's like I'm allergic.
Bibles burn me too and reading it online once made me sick.

Kaelin said...

Sounds nasty, Marenya.

What illness do you have? And does the lion's blood work?

Nutmeg Cross said...

Good point, Marenya. Things can always be worse.

Like having to drink lion's blood, for instance - that would be worse than lying on some itchy hay with my soul mate.

Speaking of soul mates, Faldur better not have feelings for Pelwyn. He's YOUR intended whether he wants to admit it or not.

Marenya said...

Hello, Kaelin. I was poisoned and it's supposed to be an antidote. I feel much stronger so I suppose it's working.

Nutmeg, I don't think Faldur feels anything towards Pelwyn except protective and dutiful. For one thing, he'd never do anything to hurt Mel.

I don't know about him being my intended, though. He seems intent on not falling in love with anyone.

Ginger said...

Oh, Aidan, how in the world are you supposed to protect yourself then? You seem in an impossible dilemma.

Aidan said...

Hi Ginger,
It's really flattering to have you so worried, and it helps. It does.

But we do have some weapons. We can use holy water in our shells, and we use some of the same remedies that humans use (salt and certain herbs). We just have to be really careful handling them. Kaelin was just working on shells filled with the ash that they use on Ash Wednesday and Palm Sunday, too. We have a nice Episcopal priest who helps us out. And I'm strong and all that, supposed to be immortal if I don't get eaten by some demon.

But it's a pretty grim fight anyway. Fullbloods are no joke.

Kaelin said...

That's interesting, Marenya. I'm glad you're feeling better.