Wednesday, April 15, 2009
New Short Story
And here we are on another Wednesday. I'm not very coherent tonight. The dogs across the alley are barking, and after about an hour of that the mind just can't lock onto anything much at all except for bark, bark, bark, bark, bark, bark...
They stopped. I don't think I trust it.
Ah, there they are again. Not quite as loud, at least. But the damage is done. I have quite a headache from it, and I'm not entirely certain I can get back to work on the newsletter, or anything else. It's just not easy to think through this tonight.
I'm still working on Vita's Vengeance and it's going very well. I'm happy with it. I'm also happy that Russ will be home this weekend. Yay! I don't know what all we're going to do, but it will be great to see him and nice to get out of the house again.
Okay, I have no brain and nothing else to say. So here is the opening to my as yet untitled new short story. First draft. I think it's going to be fun to write.
The mages had promised him a clear day for the work, but no more than an hour into sculpting the statue, clouds rolled in and rain fell before he could do more than throw a quick ward up over the half-finished clay
Keris cursed aloud, and then called that back with a quick slap of his hands. He was still too caught up in magic, and the incautious words had almost gotten loose and out into the world. He had to get away from the work area, so he backed up, lifted his hands to disperse what magic he could -- and put it into the shield since the storm seemed to be getting worse. Then he spun, stalked across the yard like an angry mountain cat, and headed into the house.
The door slammed behind him, but that hadn't been his work. The wind had picked up, and he could hear the rumble of thunder nearby. Damn and damn! If a lightning storm hit the area, he would likely have to destroy the work. Magic drew such storms and he didn't want to have lightning strikes -- probably several -- pounding the work area in the back.
He rushed through the house, past the sparsely covered walls and the mostly empty rooms, and out onto the veranda that looked down toward the road --
Oh yes, storm coming for certain. The mages were going to pay for this one. He lifted his hand, wondering if he had power enough to divert the worst of it --
Lightning struck a tree to the right of the house. He hadn't expected it so close and the sound and power startled him. He lost his hold on what magic he'd started to call up.
Lightning struck another tree.
And at the third one, Keris finally realized this was no normal storm. It was coming for him.
He dashed back inside just as lighting struck at the veranda, splintering wood. The house took the brunt of the attack, though, dissipating the power outward. It was an old place, and built during the magic wars of another century. He had chosen it for a reason, knowing he had enemies --
They hadn't come for him in the last four years, and he'd finally gotten comfortable and even lax. He hadn't been paying attention to business in the capital much. He didn't go to any of the events, and everyone seemed the happier for it. Since Princess Chloe married her foreign prince -- and his men took over protecting her -- he had retired, left the guard and the city. It had been better for all of them.
But he had missed her. They had been friends, he and the woman he had guarded. Nothing more than that, despite all the gossip and rumors. Oh, it wasn't that he didn't love her, but he knew his place and she knew hers.
When Prince Apris had married her -- for the good of the line, for the good of the country -- it had become apparent that they could no longer pretend others didn't speak about them behind their hands.
So he had gone away. He'd taken a home far away, not used his magic for anything more than working around the place, and finally accepted the quiet and solitude.
So why now? Four years -- he had no standing any more. He had no use. He had given up the only thing that really mattered to him so that Chloe could have --
Chloe. If someone put Chloe in danger, they would know to come after him --
In the panic, he lost his control for the first time in years. Magic leapt out from his hands and sparked against the wall beside him, and in that moment the storm found him again, even inside the shielded house. Lighting struck at the roof several times in succession, the sound deafening and the surges of power tingling all the way through the walls and the inlaid floor beneath him. He went to his knees at the last one, gasping at the feel of both nature and magic. It nearly overwhelmed him, and if it did, whoever was attacking him would win --
Chloe in danger. Chloe needed him.