Friday, May 18, 2007

Friday Snippet

The picture is called Catfish

I never used to be this busy, you know. I do wish I'd find time to post here more often!

This is not from the novel I've been snippeting the last few weeks. I've been taking part in FM's short story challenge in May, and though I'm only on my fifth short story, I still feel I'm doing pretty well.

This is first draft, rough, and I think it's going okay. This is the opening. I hope to get a chance to finish it up in the next couple days. Okay, maybe sometime next week.

It's been fun to write.

No Beast so Fierce

There are times in your life when you know you're doing something really, really stupid. When you have lived for an extraordinarily long time, you can even see those moments of stupidity coming with more clarity than the normal, short-lived human might.

It's never stopped me from going ahead and doing something stupid, anyway.


I passed through the turnstile at the Port Nova Center and looked toward the fastline train that would take me half a world away in the next twelve hours. I remembered when it would have taken that long to get from one town to the next... ah, but that was on another world and a long time ago. Terra Nova has turned out to be a boon for me. I had grown tired of Earth a hundred years ago. When the chance to immigrate arrived, I took it, and disappeared off into the alien back country for as long as I dared.

Sanity always drove me back to the company of man, on whatever world that might be. My condition requires that I have certain medications in order to stay sane -- common enough medications, found in any small town, and meant to treat occasional hormone imbalances. I like being sane, and having the beast within me tamed and called out only when I want him, and not worry that some emotion, some scent, some stray thought will set it loose. I've had control for so long it has made me indolent in some ways. I don't want to run too wild and risk never coming back from the wolf.

But I'm babbling aren't I? Getting on the fastline train doesn't look so crazy or stupid, right?

Except I had already seen a band of vampires in the line before me. Oh yes, werewolves, vampires -- and worse -- are out in the stars, just as they were back on Earth. We're just more subtle about our presence these days. Besides, humans have grown too mature to believe in the old horror tales of Earth, and that suits some of us who would rather not bring back the age of witch burnings. For others the disbelief in things that go bump in the night only makes humans easier prey.

And prey is what these six were looking for and why they went by train. People would disappear on this journey, just as they had disappeared elsewhere of late. Word was starting to spread, and I had heard it in coffee shops and hotels, where people gathered to gossip and pretend that they weren't worried. The fools were already drawing far too much attention, including the notice of government officials who had begun to ask questions. None of us wanted the humans to start investigating things. But these were young, pompous fools who thought themselves superior to any human who might try to catch them. Maybe they were right.

I'm sure they didn't count on me.

They slipped aboard, laughing -- a good looking group of four women and two men, tall and perfect. They'd use that charm to lure humans to them. And fool that I am, I headed straight after them because someone had to stand between the monsters and the humans. Someone had to stop them.

Just as I stepped into the long lounge I saw something that almost made me back right out again. In fact, if a rather large man hadn't blocked the way, I might have slipped off the train before Delora saw me, vampires or not. She would survive, I knew without a doubt. I needn't worry about her, and I started to step back -- but she had that extra sense, my Delora did --

Not mine anymore. Not in a long, long time. As Delora looked up, her jungle green eyes gone wide, I tried to remember the last time I had seen her. Constantinople, I thought. Just before the fall, when we were both scrambling to get away...

A thousand years ago. Some people you never forget.

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Cheryl Peugh said...

Wow! With a catch like that last sentence, I want to read the rest of the story!

Joely Sue Burkhart said...

Oh, man, that last line is a killer. The whole premise is intriguing! I hope you continue developing this.

Jean said...

I love that last line.

Gabriele C. said...

I can see how that one's fun to write. It certainly is fun to read. :)

Carter said...

Good start to the story. It sounds intriguin, to say the least. Now I want to know about the fall.

Crystallyn said...

I like the first person POV a lot--the voice is good. I really want to know what happened back in Constantinople (not Istanbul!). :)

Ann said...

Good voice, great last line, would love to read more.

Kaelle said...

Oh wow, talk about cliffhangers.

Great hook, zette! I want more...

Krista said...

I love how in a few short paragraphs you are able to make so much clear. Setting. Character. Conflict. The hook is strong. I hope you post more of this little darling as it progresses.