Somebody is coming to look at the house tomorrow. This is where I frantically clean (actually the house was mostly ready, but I did work on the kids’ rooms and some straightening. I will do some kitchen maintenance in the a.m. and all should be ready. The bad part is I get hopeful and nothing comes of it and then I get flat depressed. Hope is not always a good thing.
I will put up the poll for the next reading selection tomorrow. We don’t have a ton of nominees, so it will be an easy vote.
The following is a snippet from my WIP. I hope you enjoy.
A clicking, buzzing sound filled his ears. Violent cramps gripped his insides. He tipped over, face squelching in the mud and mulch.
The sound grew louder. Insistent. Strident.
Carys rattled and bucked on the ground. Squealing moans leaked through his lips. He was hardly aware of them. Every muscle, every sinew and nerve, was on fire. Death couldn’t come soon enough.
A bright shadow fell across his eyes and cold stung his forehead where the venom fang had punctured. Ice trickled down into the hole and through his veins. It spread beneath his skin, seeping into muscle and bone. His convulsive shudders turned to shivers and numbness overcame the soul-ripping pain.
He continued to shiver. The sounds he’d been hearing were interspersed with snarling growls. He imagined that the high-pitched sounds were actually voices rebuking the male hilket, who protested with great annoyance. If Carys’s face wasn’t still too stiff to move, he would have smiled at his own absurdity. He wondered what would happen next. Perhaps an agga snake and a giant leit spider would bring him a goblet of goldenfruit wine and explain the mysteries of the gray mists to him. He chuckled to himself, the sound a dry rattle.
The other sounds around him died abruptly and once again a bright shadow fell across his face. He frowned. Bright shadow? Foolishness. He forced his starched eyelids to bend open. His right eye was fogged with a white winter snow. But before his left eye, a cloud of gold shone like soft sparks behind a glaze of water. Inky smoke surrounded it, purling like smoke from a blacksmith’s chimney.
He stared, fascinated by the slow hypnotic churn.
Something rapped him sharply on the nose. He drew back as far as the ground would let him, waking from his trance, only to be confronted by a the head of an ornate guisarme. A very small one.
He frowned at it. A flat silver blade covered with intricate knotwork protruded from the wickedly hooked beak. Below that, two crescent moon rondels curved away from each other at the base of the head. The whole weapon was no more than two feet long, and at least four or five inches taller than the creature wielding it.
Carys gaze fixed on the small personage. He could think of no other word to describe it. The creature’s face was finely sculpted, appearing quite human, but with sharply cut features, a narrow chin, black marble eyes, four muscular arms, legs that ended in gold eagle feet, and wings. The wings flickered too fast to see . Their undersides were smudged gold and black smoke swirled around them like storm clouds. He were dressed in jewels and feathers, his charcoal skin kissed with gold.
“You’re an Idreet,” he marvelled. He had never seen one before. He had never dreamed he ever would.
The little being scowled and gestured imperiously with the guisarme. “Rise.”
Carys’s lips twitched. Such boundless arrogance in such a tiny body. “There is very little point,” he said. “Even if I could get up, I shall just fall over. I’m about to die.”
“No longer,” the Idreet declared, and now he prodded Carys with the butt of the weapon. Lightening flashed and jolted through Carys’s body, making his muscles clench. His skin rippled with silver light.
The Idreet rose a few inches in the air. “Rise. Now. She waits.”
She? She who? And then Carys knew. Riya.
She communicated with Idreet. No–they did her bidding. The thought was staggering. Ildreet were children of the Silver Spirits, of the very gods themselves. And Riya knew where to find them. Spoke to them. Ordered them. He closed his eyes against sudden bitterness.
He didn’t know why he should be surprised. She had so many secrets; why would she tell him? Why would she mention the Ildreet at all? They were not true friends; neither could afford such luxuries.
Carys let those thoughts go as the Ildreet cocked his guisarme again. “I’m rising,” he said, gritting his teeth as fiery pain spiraled from the wound in the back of his thigh. He gained his knees, then his feet, leaning against the tree for support.
His left eye remained snowed. His sight on that side pared into angles and cracks, refracting through a film of winter white. His brain could make no sense of the images. On the other hand, his body was once again his own. His muscles clenched and stung with odd spasms, but the effect of the venom seemed largely gone. Only the hole in his thigh continued to hurt.
The Ildreet had floated backward and now hovered between Carys and the hilket. The massive animal was clearly unhappy. He paced back and forth, a low growl emanating from his throat. The female sat behind him, her feet neatly together, her tail wrapped around them. Further past her was Kydrian. He held his crossbow ready, but wore a dazed expression. He awestruck gaze was fixed on the Ildreet.