on writing

Yeah. 3000 words in the past two days, mostly done in 20-30 minute incriments due to family barging in needs. I'm nearing the Big Showdown and stuff's getting exciting, hearts are getting broken, all good stuff. I thought I'd put a piece of fresh writing here, copying Nicola Griffith in doing so. Of course, that's all I'll be copying--she's a master.

Also, before we launch into the segment, I believe I promised some readers a peek at Race to Redemption, that short story that served as my example for my writing process last spring. The story is out on submission, but I'm happy to give folks a private looksie. Email me if ya want.

Ok, so here's a scene. Our boys are preparing to defend former enemies against Crusaders and something Trinidad has done comes back to bite him. Even after this scene, he has no idea just how deep that bite will go.

Castile stepped close so they could speak privately. “Are you all right?”

Trinidad stared past him, listening. The clank of armor, the rattle of spears, clips sliding into guns, the buzz of nervous voices inside and the dull thunder of a thousand voices beyond the walls.

Castile caught Trinidad’s hand. His thumb ran over the silver scarred into his palm, skipping over severed nerve endings. He repeated, “Trin. Are you all right?”

Trinidad squeezed back in answer and yanked on his gauntlets as a short, stout Indigo arrived carrying a bundle. “Have you been on the wall?" he asked. "How bad is it out there?”

The Indigo cast them a surly glance and dumped it on the table. The silver hilt of Trinidad’s sword stuck out from one end.

“The archwarden asked you a question,” Castile said when the Indigo made to leave without answering.

The man turned back to them. He was missing an eyetooth and a scar marred his lip over the gap. “Looks to be the whole Diocese come calling,” he said, gruff. “Two thousand strong, at least.”

“Make that four,” Trinidad said. “If what you say is true.”

“You think that makes me trust you?” the man said, stepping closer and fixing Trinidad with a level stare. “Like it's intel or some shit when I can count for my fucking self?”

“I'm here to help you,” Trinidad said, lifting his hands. “Or I wouldn’t be here at all.”

“No, you’d be with them. Those are your people out there,” the man said, edging forward another few feet. He wasn’t armed with more than a sneer, from what Trinidad could tell.

“They may be mine, but it doesn't make them right,” Trinidad said.

“Say what you want. You don't fool me. I know what you done. I know what you really are.” The man poked Trinidad in his armored chest.

Castile started forward; Trinidad caught his arm.

“If you have something to say, then talk,” he told the man.

“You're a killer. You killed my brother’n made sure we knew, din’ you? And wear his scarf like a fucking trophy.”

Trinidad’s hand involuntarily went to his throat. But the scarf was gone, lost days ago. He lowered his chin for a moment and then lifted it. “For your brother, I'm sorry. I'll regret it for the rest of my life.”

“Say what you like,” the man said again, and spat at the floor between them. “I don’ believe you.”

“I don't know what else to say but--”

Blinding pain slammed through his jaw and rocketed through his head. Castile charged past him with a yell.

Trinidad dragged the shouting witch back. “Stop it, Castile. Stop. Let it go.”

“You think that makes it right?” the man said. He spat again, this time in Trinidad’s face. “I’ll be there. I’ll fucking wait for my chance. Only one thing gonna make it close to right, and that’s you, dead.” He spun on his heel and slammed through the door.

Trinidad let go of Castile and wiped his face off with his mesh sleeve. “Revenge mojo,” he said. “That’s what Danny said about that. Damned if he wasn’t right.”

Castile gave a shaky laugh. “Packs a punch for a little guy. Had to go for the face, too.”

Trinidad gave him a look. “Wouldn’t you?”

“Still. I can’t help hating you getting hurt,” Castile said, grasping Trinidad’s jaw and tipping his cheek toward the torch light to check the damage. He tapped his finger on Trinidad's lips. For a moment his old smile was there, the one that seemed to reach through Trinidad’s skin and bones and squeeze his heart. And then the briefly forgotten grief closed over his face again. He hardened and turned toward the weapons.

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