NaNo Homestretch

Hello!

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.

“What? Why?”

“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-

Contingency plan.

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!

#ThursThreads – Helpless

Hello!

Hope everyone’s week is going splendidly! It seems to be flying by for me, but that’s nothing new.

Today’s post, as with most Thursday pieces, comes courtesy of Siobhan’s #ThursThreads prompt series. I struggled a bit with fitting the prompt in, but finally settled on some more experimentation with Withered Legacy. Really considering playing with the POV in that one. Right now, it’s from Saxon’s, but every once in a while I think it might be cool to see Lexia chiming in on his circumstances, like she’s been doing on some of these prompts. Hm. We’ll see I guess.

Prompt: “He could do no more.”

~~~

He could do no more. I knew that, and he did, too.

Maybe that drove the pain in a little deeper. It made everything that much worse. That feeling of helplessness reared its ugly head again, and all I could do was stand and watch, unable to do anything and hidden from both of them.

“Saxon…” Adwin had the decency, at least, to sound apprehensive. “We don’t belong here. Look what happened.”

“This wasn’t my fault.” His grip on the little boy limp in his arms didn’t loosen, and instead he cradled the child closer, as if proximity alone might bring him back from the dead. Another moment passed before he finally released the body, laying it back on the ground. “These people were safe here. You did this.”

I’ve never heard that much venom in his voice – not even directed at me on our worst days. Saxon, despite his temperament, would never hurt his family. Now it sounded like all he wanted to do was kill his twin. With very calculated and controlled movements, he got to his feet, eyes staring down his brother.

“Don’t.” For the first time, I noticed the angel standing behind Saxon. She rushed to stand in front of him, hands on his shoulders.

Before Saxon could react, a loud rumble shook the entire structure, followed by a familiar, guttural roar.

“Think over my offer, Saxon. You know we’re better off.” Adwin spares Elle a passing glance before disappearing into the darkness of the tunnels.

~~~

They have a troubled relationship. It’s sad, but makes for good drama!

Be sure to check out the rest of the responses 🙂

Friendly reminder: The last week for this round of #TuesFlashFicTrain is up! Time to write an awesome ending.

As always, think happy thoughts!

All work no play

Happy Friday!

I feel a lot of writing coming my way this weekend. Maybe I’ll even work on Withered Legacy. Oddly enough, today’s post has to do with The Breach Trilogy, and although I’ve written things to help me work through book 2, this is more about book 3. Jenna’s a character I haven’t visited in a while, and it shocked me when she decided to come out to play today. Her personality has changed a bit since the last time I wrote her, too. Here’s to finishing Withered Legacy and Saxon’s story soon so I can tackle Jenna’s with some semblance of discipline.

Today’s prompt is Tara’s #100wordchallenge!

Prompt: Job

~~~

I love my job. Maybe a little too much, and I’m not sure what that says about me, but oh well. There’s nothing more satisfying than the feeling of a wraith’s skull under my boot, or the sound my gun makes as the bullets riddle the monster’s chest.

Behind me, Dan barely catches his breath while trying to keep up. “Jenna – you’re insane.”

“Insanely good at what I do.” I holster the gun as the wraith disappears from under me. “Were you paying attention? Because I won’t always be around to save you.”

“Yes ma’am.” He stands at attention.

“Good.”

~~~

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Friendly reminder: Don’t forget to hop on the #TuesFlashFicTrain! We’re near the end of this round so don’t miss your chance to play with Gloria’s story.

As always, think happy thoughts!

Going South

Happy Hump Day!

I feel like my schedule’s been thrown off, now that I posted my usual Wednesday post earlier this week. Time to compensate! Today, I’ll post my response to Tara’s #100wordchallenge. Even as I write this I’m still not sure what I’ll write about. We’ll see!

Prompt: South

Enjoy!

~~~

When did things take such a turn for the worst?

My twin is MIA, my dog is dead, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to bleed out in the middle of an abandoned street. Things are going south faster than I can realistically do anything about them. I should just give in – let the wraith take my body and do with it what it will. After all, that’s much easier than the alternative.

What would Lexia do?

I’m not sure where the voice comes from, but it triggers a bout of shame. Annoyed, I get back up and continue fighting.

~~~

Didn’t think I’d be writing about Saxon, but there he is, begging me to work on Withered Legacy. Maybe I’ll make some time for him today.

Be sure to check out the other responses! You’d be surprised how much awesome can come from only 100 words.

As always, think happy thoughts!

Friendly reminder: #TuesFlashFicTrain is up and running for round three! Check out the prompt and ride with us:)

Friendly reminder #2: Have you check out OWS Ink Literary Journal yet? It’s an awesome lit journal from the great peeps at Our Write Side. It even includes a brand new short sci-fi story by yours truly! You won’t get that short story anywhere else, so if you want to read it, subscribe to the journal!

Tattered Divinity

fallen
Image found on pinterest.com

Happy Hump Day!

Hope everyone’s week is going well! Proud to report that I’ve been able to maintain some amount of discipline and I’ve been getting lots of writing (and reading!) done! Even made some headway on Withered Legacy. Not only that, but I’ve actually been getting my scheduled posts out on time. It’s been a weird week.

Today’s post comes courtesy of Our Write Side’s Master Class prompt series. I started working on a piece for A Vampire’s Bride based on the “Hidden sparkle” prompt, but I just wasn’t feeling it. Then, the “Tattered tattoo” prompt jumped out at me as perfect for Saxon! So, I’ve written something to help me move along with Withered Legacy instead. The prompt serves as inspiration, and a pretty obvious descriptor for one of Saxon’s more particular features.

TW: blood, and self-harm

~~~

Elle’s staring at it, and making no attempt to hide the curiosity in her eyes. Even though it’s one of the few parts of my chest that doesn’t have a fresh wound, she devotes some time to cleaning it. Guess I got some blood on it anyway.

“You can just ask, you know.” My voice startles her. She must have thought I was still unconscious. Elle backs away slightly, discarding the bloody rag she’d been using to clean me up in a bucket full of water nearby. Despite all the bandaging, I can move pretty freely. Everything is stiff, and I want to stretch, but I know doing so will only make pain shoot through every inch of me. How long was I out?

“Sorry. Didn’t mean to stare.”

“It’s alright.” My hand wanders absently up to the tattoo, following the scar that trails straight across it. “It’s a rune.”

“I know. I recognize it.” Her eyes go back to the ink. If she recognizes it, then she must have her suspicions as to why it’s there. “Why would you get that tattooed onto your chest?”

“It wasn’t supposed to be permanent.” I sighed. It’s not easy thinking about it, but now that I am I can’t stop. “Back before everything happened, my brother and I tried to reach our mother. We wanted to help Lexia, but neither of us had the capability to astral project far enough to find her, so we did our research. We found this rune, knew it would sever the tie that hooks our astral forms to our bodies. We were stupid.”

Elle doesn’t say anything, she just sits and listens to my story. Before I continue, she reaches over and places her hand on mine.

“It wasn’t until after everything that Adwin and I tried to get rid of the mark. The energy we infused the rune with permanently engraved it into our skin, though. Even tried cutting it out, but I’ve never had very high pain tolerance.” I shrug.

“So you’ve been to the Death Realms?” There’s a note of hope in her voice, out of place in our conversation.

“Yes. Had a brief stay in Heaven. As stupid a plan as it was, we did succeed in seeing our mother.” At the mention of Heaven, Elle’s eyes go wider than usual. A sudden bout of sorrow seems to overcome them. “Elle?”

“Sorry. Just…a little jealous.” She offers a sad smile. “This homesickness never goes away. Part of our punishment.” Her hand squeezes mine again, and I find myself pulling her into a hug. The angel relaxes into the embrace, resting her head on my shoulder. “Don’t know why it didn’t occur to me sooner – it explains the divinity in you.”

“What?” I pull back, confused. She’s already regained her composure, the usual smile lighting her face.

“Souls that reach Heaven and come back bring a piece of it with them. It doesn’t happen often. Can’t remember the last time, actually.” She stands from the bed and moves towards the bucket of water now mingled with my blood. Picking it up, she turns to me. “Get some rest, Saxon. Your wounds are still too fresh for you to move around much. I’ll come by later with some food.”

I’m only half listening, still mulling over the information she’s given me. It’s not long before the wounds take their toll, though, and I pass out from exhaustion again.

~~~

Didn’t occur to me until now that Saxon and Adwin could have brought something back from their little trip. The story continues to unfold outside my control! Thank you, Elle, for that bit of information.

Be sure to check out the other responses at the prompt!

Friendly reminder: #TuesFlashFicTrain is up and running for round two! Check out the prompt and ride with us 🙂

Friendly reminder #2: Have you check out OWS Ink Literary Journal yet? It’s an awesome lit journal from the great peeps at Our Write Side. It even includes a brand new short sci-fi story by yours truly! You won’t get that short story anywhere else, so if you want to read it, subscribe to the journal!

As always, think happy thoughts!

Random Post – Well-placed Threat

picture prompt
This week’s picture prompt, taken by Stacy Overby

Hello!

For once, the first post today isn’t for #ThursThreads. Don’t worry – that’ll come a little later. I’ve been meaning to participate more regularly in Stacy Overby’s Don’t Panic Picture Prompt, but I’ve never been very good at picture prompts. Especially if I’m trying to incorporate it into my serials. This week’s picture was particularly pretty and it brought Lexia’s current loneliness to mind, so rather than use the prompt for one of my serials, I’m using it to continue working through Withered Legacy (The Breach Trilogy #2). This piece will probably never make it into the final draft (after all, the book is from Saxon’s POV, not Lexia’s), but it did help me work out where I’m going with Saxon. So yay!

On to the piece! Enjoy!

Warning: Spoilers for Reckoning, if you haven’t read it.

~~~

As much as I know it’s a bad idea – know that Samael told me not to interfere – I can’t help but check in on my cousins again. For the first time, they’re not together.

I see Adwin first. He’s asleep somewhere, the room too neat, even for his standards. It’s a temporary dwelling, a mattress on the floor, his belongings by a bag on the far wall. Everything seems alright, so I blink and search for Saxon. My stomach sinks at the sight of the older twin. Unlike his counterpart, he’s not asleep, not safe. I’m not sure how far away they are from each other, but there’s no way Adwin is nearby. If he were, Saxon wouldn’t be covered in blood, and facing a wraith alone in the middle of an abandoned street. They’re supposed to stay together!

“Saxon!” The wraith lunges at him just as I call out, and he manages to push himself up and away just in time. When he gets up, his head starts to whip around, and I can see his lips forming a familiar word. I can’t hear him, but I know he’s saying my name. Could he hear me? “Look out!”

Saxon turns in place and again barely manages to get out of the way before the wraith’s claw could dig into his back. He seems to have caught his second wind, and grabs my old dagger from his belt before facing the wraith again. This time, he’s ready for it – he ducks as the wraith swipes at him, coming up with the blade to plunge it into the wraith’s neck. Almost immediately, the monster goes still. A moment later it disappears in a flurry of twinkling lights, like I’ve seen so many of them do in the past. My cousin looks stunned, his eyes scanning the area. He did hear me. He calls out my name again, but I don’t answer.

What am I doing? I shut my eyes, dispelling the image before I make things worse. I need to talk to Samael.

“Something the matter?” Death looks right at me, amusement in their gaze. I’ll never get used to how they appear out of nowhere. An unnerving pair of onyx eyes stare into me, unblinking, unwavering. Their scythe, similar to mine save for the darkness of the color, glints in the dim light of my post.

“Samael, something’s wrong.” I turn away, unwilling to let them see into my soul, choosing to focus on the mountainous landscape I’ve created for the Gate. Fog begins rolling in, the environment reflecting my turmoil. Even if they couldn’t see into my soul, our surroundings make my feelings pretty clear. “Saxon needs help. Please send someone. Anyone.”

“We can’t interfere in human lives. You know that.” The sureness in their voice infuriates me, triggering my staff’s transformation into a scythe.

Without thinking, I brandish it at Death.

“You don’t want to do that.”

“Try me.”

Samael goes pensive, eyes thoughtful, before nodding and disappearing.

~~~

I definitely want to flesh Samael out a little more. Maybe they’ll get a larger role the more the story goes on – who knows?

Friendly Reminder: #TuesFlashFicTrain round 4 is waiting for a start! Give the prompt a look and see what story you can set off 🙂

As always, think happy thoughts!

Bittersweet Dream

dreams
Image found at notable-quotes.com

Hi again!

Didn’t think I’d find time for this one today, but here we are! Thanks to #ThursThreads this morning, I’m feeling inspired to write about The Breach Trilogy. So, for Tara’s 100 word challenge over at Thin Spiral Notebook, we’ll be getting a peek at how a certain leading lady is doing. It’s more of a drabble, and I’m keeping it vague and trying to be spoiler-free in case anyone wants to read Reckoning 🙂

Prompt: Dream

~~~

It’s always the same dream, the same sandy shore under an endless night. Above me, the full moon provides all the light I need. Even though I sit facing the water, the waves lapping at my feet, I know he stands behind me. This respite from my solitary existence is bittersweet. It isn’t real, but I can’t help the joy in my chest when I see him in my peripheral. As always, he sits on the sand beside me. If I reach out, he’ll disappear.

I hug my legs to my chest. When I look at him, he simply smiles.

~~~

Yeah, I’m definitely feeling inspired to work on my book. Hooray! Hopefully I can both work on that and keep this blog active. The juggling act continues!

Be sure to check out the rest of the responses at the prompt – you’d be surprised at how much awesome can come from only 100 words!

Friendly Reminder: #TuesFlashFicTrain is in the station and waiting for you to board! How will you wrap up Rita’s story?

As always, think happy thoughts!