Another year, another bout with NaNoWriMo nearly completed. Hopefully you’ve all had better luck with it than me. Granted, I have gotten a lot of writing done, but I haven’t been very good about diligently writing every day. My habits are suffering, and that’s really the point of NaNo anyway – to get you into a discipline of writing each day. In that endeavor, I’ve basically been floundering all month.
My blog has suffered from negligence, too, so now I’m here to slowly try to transition back, while trying to up the word count in the last week of NaNo. As usual, most activity here is triggered by a good prompt. This week, it’s Our Write Side’s Master Class Monday.
Prompt: Thankless tokens
The prompt serves as very loose inspiration for this snippet of my NaNo project, Withered Legacy. Happy reading!
I knew a field test would be a bad idea. Alex isn’t ready – like last time, she’s a liability. Why I let them talk me into it is beyond me. The gash in my side hurts like hell. Even I’m surprised I’m able to keep running.
Alex and Elle run ahead of me. If we don’t find shelter soon, Elle won’t be able to heal me, and I might as well just drop dead now to buy them time. Behind us, the two Wraiths are hot on our trail. It’s a miracle they haven’t already caught up. Alex stops running, turns in place, and shoots.
Idiot! Your gun won’t do much. Just keep running!
But you’re hurt!
No shit – you’ll be no better off if you don’t move!
She does as I say, but Elle stops. Within seconds, her wings erupt from her back as her eyes light up in their unnatural violet. She launches herself toward me, but I know I’m not her target. Elle flies past, but I don’t turn to look at what she’s doing. I don’t have to to know that she’s engaged one of the Wraiths. Alex and I round the corner and stop to catch out breaths. The angel bought us some time, but not much.
“If I tell you to stay put – will you listen?” I shrug off my backpack, crouching to dig inside it for the my pendant. I’ve only ever used the thing once, and while we got what we wanted, it came at a pretty steep price. Still – if we hope to get out of this alive, Elle can’t be the only one trying to fight off the Wraiths.
“Answer the question.”
“Of course not.” Of course not.
“Listen, either you stay put, or I knock you unconscious, remember?”
“You wouldn’t.” She holds her ground as she peeks around the corner, trying to watch Elle in the middle of a fight.
“Try me.” I find the pendant, already warm in anticipation of being worn. “Stay here. Watch our things. If Elle and I don’t make it, let the Wraiths take us and then put a bullet in each of our heads – understand?”
“But-” I don’t linger to hear what else she has to say. Though I don’t have reason to believe she’ll do as I say, I can’t afford to wait for her to agree. Once the pendant is on, it’s like the gash in my side no longer matters. The pain is nothing but a faint stinging sensation getting duller by the moment – an annoyance more than anything else. Blade in hand and Alex’s protests dying in my ears, I turn to where Elle is about to be caught off guard by the second Wraith.
The first lies under her boot, her sword slicing across the neck. Its head comes clean off. I don’t think, and in moments I’m blocking a blow aimed at her back. My dagger catches the Wraith’s claw, but there’s enough power behind the attack to knock me back into the angel, and we both get pushed away, landing on the concrete at odd angles.
I thought you were-
Elle’s eyes drift to the pendant around my neck and she nods. We don’t have time to discuss it, as the Wraith lunges into another attack. It’s in full rage-mode, infuriated by the death of its kin. We scramble out of its way, only just barely getting away. A trail of blood follows where I go, and though I’m not in any measurable pain anymore, I know its only a matter of time before I pass out from blood loss. Free hand continuing to clutch the wound, doing what it can to stop the bleeding, I get back up.
Because of the pendant magnifying my abilities, the wraith’s focus shifts entirely to me as if Elle no longer existed. We take advantage of this and I begin to lead the wraith away, putting what distance I can between us and Elle. It attacks, and I dodge. My eyes dart toward Elle, but in moments she’s gone. Running and dodging won’t work forever, so I turn and face the thing head-on.
I barely manage to get an attack in, but I don’t need to. I just need to keep the thing’s focus on me.
Get ready. Elle’s voice echoes in my head and I sink into my stance, preparing for the wraith to lunge again. It’s barely three yards away when Elle appears from seemingly nowhere, barrelling into in from my right, her sword leading the way. The blade finds its mark in the monster’s side. Much like the first one, the second one struggles against Elle but she lops the head clean off.
The damn thing isn’t even done disappearing before I pass out.
And that’s that for now. Hopefully I can make up some word count with this as a jumping off point.
Hope the rest of the month is awesome for you guys!
As always, think happy thoughts!