Friday Snippet #32

Not even 9:00 in the morning and I’m already done with my weekly appointment with X. I redeemed Boarderlands’ codes for my husband—someone has to do it. Called the vet because Nero can only drink warm water, otherwise he throws up.  I even went around the house and did some chores. It feels rather satisfying.

More or less, the view from my desk this morning:

The View Banner

From X:

Without moving a single muscle, she looked up. A kid was looking down at her. Big, blank eyes staring at hers. The boy didn’t express any emotion in seeing her. His face was a mask sharing nothing with the rest of the world. The absence of any recognizable reaction scared Allegra more than anything else. The moment stretched until it was impossible for her to maintain the lock on his gaze. She blinked. And then she recognized the kid. They had met yesterday. Or the day before. Or one hundred years ago. It was difficult to think. He was the boy at her house.

A subtle pressure on her side told her Julius had reached the same conclusion, probably several heartbeats ago. The boy kept staring at her, through her, as if she were nothing more than air. Finally, when she thought she couldn’t hold the scream inflating her lungs anymore, the obsidian eyes revealed consciousness. It was brief. No more than a breath, if she were breathing. A glimpse of recognition flickered behind eyes that were hazel and warm. Hope colored her hazy thoughts. Then, the blank stare was back. A blink later, the boy was gone.

Friday Snippet #32

Friday Snippet #25

Logbook entry #1. It’s the second day of Nanowrimo and I’m still coherent. I’ve written 4k of TCOM and then applied myself to X. All in all a successful day. Marie got branded and Allegra discovered something else about Julius she didn’t know about. Stay tuned to witness my steady descent into the abyss of nanomadness. It’s going to be fun for you. Although, I’ll let you know that both The Priest and Prince of War are nanobabies. The Priest in its entirety and Prince of War partially. Time to do some editing.

From X, just because I’ve become attached to this project.

“Here we are.” Julius sighed out loud while she looked at one of the biggest houses she had ever seen.

“How distant are you from the throne again?” She tried to be funny, but a feeling of inadequacy was settling in her heart.

“Too distant. Don’t get any ideas. I won’t let you seduce me to marry into monarchy.” He laughed, but she didn’t need his power to read auras to know he was frantic.

“You wish.” She playfully swatted his arm.

They walked toward the granite steps leading to the front door, but someone burst through it before they reached the landing.

“Julius! My baby! You made it home—” A woman in her mid-forties, long dark hair and strikingly green eyes, took Julius in her arms and didn’t let him go.

“Mom, I’m so glad you’re here. I thought you were gone too…” Julius kissed his mother on both cheeks. “Are the others…?”

The woman hugged him even tighter. “No, no, everybody’s here. When they came for us, we didn’t let them enter the house. Papa shot them away.”

Allegra felt an uncomfortable ache in her heart and stepped back to distance herself from the scene. Only then, Julius’s mother seemed to realize she was there and directed her outstretched arms toward her.

“You must be Allegra Lionhead, yes? Thank you for bringing my boy back to me.” A ferocious hug followed her words. “I’m Caterina Blanchard. Nice to finally meet my Julius’s guide. He talks so much about you.”

“Mom?” Can we go inside? We had quite a morning so far and I need to rest.” He made a tentative step toward the door.

Julius must have seen Allegra’s reaction through his mother’s eyes. It hadn’t escaped Allegra he had kept a finger on his mother’s arm the whole time the woman was talking to her. She followed them inside the house, making a mental note to ask him later why he went under his mother’s last name.

Friday Snippet #25

Friday Snippet #24

Still fighting the cold, I’m now calling it what it is: futile résistance.  Next stage, more or less organized revolution. Finally, fully embraced anarchy. Despite headaches akin to migraines and the inflammation of the trigeminal nerves, I wrote a striking 1k words every day for the last four days. I know it doesn’t sound worth declaring to all and sundry, but I’m not a sprinter. I’m the epitome of a marathon runner. Slow but consistent. Regarding today’s snippet, I couldn’t decided which portion was better suited to stand alone, so I kind of blindly picked. Several time… Then I decided to post the snippet that gave more information.

From X:

Allegra squinted and saw the upper corner of a doorjamb behind a big framed painting portraying some hunting scene—from what she could see of it since it was partially covered by two bookcases. She passed a series of coffee tables covered in books and statuettes, and even climbed over one to reach the other side . Finally, she squeezed between the door and the painting and entered the kitchen, where she spotted the person who had caused the noises and found it was no person after all.

“Kingstone!” Julius outstretched arms welcomed a small beagle who had apparently been gorging himself on what was left inside the oven.

She took notice of how the smell of baked goods wafted in and out of her radar depending on the dog’s mouth being open or not. “That explains why the scent was so fickle.”

“What are you looking at?”

“Just the oven—” She realized he was neither talking to her nor looking through her eyes and turned to face the wall the beagle was now barking at. Kingstone had started without warning, a low growl coming from inside his belly and getting more and more anxious until he leaped out of Julius’s embrace and ran back to the landing.

“Allegra…?” He seemed helpless for a just a moment, but she hated that immensely.

“Here.” She took his hand in hers and automatically pointed her nose after the beagle.

“Can you feel anything?”

“I’m afraid Kingstone was the only sentient being around.” She tried to focus on her sense of smell and shut down all the others, but she had the feeling if anybody was out there he or she must look like the street urchin they had just encountered at her house. And she wasn’t ready to face another of those blank stares and the horrors hidden behind them.

They still made a summary look-around, but were outside in the alley a few minutes later.

“At least we now know that whatever is happening here, animals are immune to it.” Allegra didn’t know if it was important or not, but she needed to say something.

Julius was lost in his thoughts and led the rest of the way to his house in complete silence.

Friday Snippet #24