agilebrit: (KKBB manip Tony/Pepper)
However, I did not miss out, because I tied for the win for the flash fiction contest with the handsome and hard-working Kevin Nielsen. The prompt was "Fire and/or Water," and since I'm not going to sub this anywhere, I give it to you as a little bit of free fiction. It stars Alex and Megan, and... go:

"Alex. What. In the world. Is that."

Megan's eye was amber. Again. I cringed, but not much, because this was really cool. Also, the scotch I'd consumed the previous night hadn't worn off yet.

"The fleasel was such a success, I thought I'd try a dragon." It had started as a green tree monitor, but now it had wings. And-- "Watch out!"

It burped out a flame, which set some paper ablaze. I grabbed a water bottle and dumped it over the paper, the dragon, and Megan's three-hundred-dollar Jimmy Choos.

"No," she said, in a tone that brooked no argument.

"But."

"No."

"I'll give it to Chambliss to... take care of?" Our butler knew a portal to someplace where questions weren't asked about things like dead bodies. Presumably, dragons too.

Ah, well. Maybe my next creation wouldn't try to set my wife on fire.
agilebrit: (Giggle)
"Go to your current work in progress, page 7, go down seven lines and copy and post seven lines."

I don't have seven pages in either of my current WIPs because one is giving me fits and the other is just not that far along yet.

So I'll take those seven lines from the last page of the Fleasel Story.

"Hormonal imbalance." To say the least. The birth control shot worked beautifully--

When it worked.

When it didn't, the pregnancy rate skyrocketed, the females gave birth to half again as many as normal in a litter, and the babies had terrible tempers. "Ow." He couldn't even kick them away, because how the hell could he kick a baby bunny? He couldn't, was how. He shoved his current captive into another cage.


CONTEXT IS FOR THE WEAK.
agilebrit: (Writer of Wrongs)
Haven't done one of these in awhile.

But before we begin, Maurice Broaddus is doing a crime urban fantasy antho. Of course I have to write new casefic for Ben, and I have a premise and a couple of opening paragraphs, and with any luck I should be able to bang out a first draft in a couple of days. Wish me luck.

Anyway. I scribbled this thing for a ten-word contest I barely remember entering. You had to put (I think) at least four words from this list in the story. I, naturally, being a pedant, used all ten. The words were:

LITTER ENTRANCE SAFE SPIRITUAL SPOTLIGHT BOOKMARK CATASTROPHE RAZOR FAULTY ULTIMATE

And I wrote this:

'Til Experience Change Thy Mind


Leaflets and bookmarks littered the bloodstained entrance to the Spiritualist's Convention. The carnage had been confined to the Main Hall, where they'd been holding the Spotlight Séance when catastrophe struck. I threaded through the shellshocked crowd and stopped short in the doorway to the room.

The bodies were sliced open with razor precision, and the red-soaked carpet squelched under my shoes as I took hesitant steps inside. Information was sketchy; every living witness reported something different. "We thought it was safe," one of them blubbered. I snorted. Safe, at a séance. What a stupid and faulty premise, one they'd paid the ultimate price for.

My nostrils flared, finding another scent under the copper stench of blood, of a wild creature not of this world and not of the next either. I picked my way past the chaos to the stage and peered under, ignoring the eviscerated medium.

It snuffled, cringing and shivering, and covered its head with over-long, hairy arms. Just a baby. "Trapped," it said.

"I know," I answered gently. "You couldn't get out, and you were afraid."

"So many. So big."

"Would you like to go home?"

It nodded. "Please?"

"Of course."

I spoke the spell that would send it back--and would also, incidentally, kill it. Couldn't have it blabbing about soft prey to whatever else was on the other side of that gateway, could we? "Amateurs," I growled, slamming the portal shut.
agilebrit: (I'm a terrible person)
Well, I didn't win the Merry Little Apex Christmas flash fiction contest, but the story that did win was pretty spiffy, so I'm not too disappointed.

And the handsome and hard-working Larry Correia has posted his sixth annual Christmas Noun story. If you have not read these, you totally should, because they are hilarious. WARNING: Conservatism not only lurketh there, but is right out in the open gnashing its fangs. If you are sensitive about our Fearless Leader's Signature Legislative Achievement being mercilessly skewered, this is probably something you don't want to read.

And now, for your enjoyment (or something), I'll post the 250-word story I entered in the Apex contest. WARNING: It is gleefully dark, and bad things happen to children in it. Also, there's a couple of f-bombs. And thus it is under the bouncing LJ-cut. )
agilebrit: (Write Dammit)
I knew she was trouble the second she walked into my office and sat down in the chair in front of my desk. Rich, elegant, beautiful young women like that do not hire scruffy, down-at-our-heels, clearance-rack gumshoes like me for mundane crap, and I gazed at her sourly from the top of her expertly-coiffed head to the bottoms of a pair of black pumps that would cost me three month's salary if the months were very, very good. Her white London Fog trenchcoat rode up her thighs as she had a seat, revealing nothing but more dark-smoke stockings, and I wondered for a wild moment if she wore anything under it. She leaned forward and twisted a strand of brown hair around her finger, giving me a shy smile and a guileless blink from baby blues that didn't fool me for a second. I caught a whiff of understated and overexpensive floral perfume, and noted that the diamond on her left hand would choke a cat if she got careless with it.

Yep. She was trouble.
agilebrit: (Giggle)
And I shall post one of the results I wrote here for your entertainment, seeing as I haven't done a snippet in awhile.

One of the lectures was on "How to Scare People" with the handsome and hard-working Dan Wells. If you haven't read Dan's books, you should be, because damn. So he pointed out that you need to give the reader time to concoct the monster in their head--and then you have to outdo it. If they understand it, then they guessed what you're going to do and they'll be disappointed. Subvert expectations. Hannibal Lecter is scary because he's so normal. He could be your Uncle Phil. However, you guys don't get that one, because I'm entering it in the new 99Fiction contest (you may have to join the site to see the link).

We also had a "Writing Humor" lecture from the handsome and hard-working Howard Tayler. I believe the object of this exercise was to write a piece that was just dialogue, and also funny, that would tell us who these people were, where they were, and what they were doing, with no descriptors. So, I'll slide that under the cut because, while it's not really long, per se, it does take up a lot of space, because All Dialogue.

See if you can guess who this is... )
agilebrit: (Guri praying)
Have a snippet from Angry Bitter Angel:

"Oh, blah blah blah." Ralesh perched on the headboard. "Don't you get tired of that shtick, Nachi? They never listen."

"Sometimes they do." Sure they do, a traitorous voice whispered in my head. They listen to angels not you. Because you are a failure and a screwup.

"I am not." I didn't even realize I'd said it aloud until Ralesh raised an eyebrow. I tightened my jaw and stared between my boots. "Leave be, Ralesh. I don't want to talk about it."

"Something's clearly bugging you, Nachi. Why don't you tell your big brother what it is? You know--" Ralesh's voice was casual. "It's not like Ereziel not to notice when something's bothering one of his underlings. Or, maybe he did notice and sent you down to a difficult assignment anyway. Gal was pretty broken up, you know."

"Galiel's not exactly experienced with Charges like this." And you are, that voice whispered again. What does it say about you that someone like Gerald is all you get anymore? "Someone had to come, and it fell to me." My chin came up. "And I'm glad to do it. I'm glad to do Father's Will and help His people see their way. It's a noble calling and I'm doing good work."

Ralesh snorted. "You just keep telling yourself that--while you watch your Charges traipse merrily off to Hell. Very noble."

"Nobler than what you're doing, Ral. I might not be able to stop them traipsing to Hell, but you're the one giving them an active push. All in the name of sharing the misery." My mouth turned down. "Does it make you feel better? What do you gain by hurting Father's people? You're still just as wretched."

Ralesh's lips twisted in a snarl. "Sharing the misery is enough. You don't know what it's like. Pray you never do."

"I wouldn't follow the Morningstar and his preposterous rantings on a bet, brother. Why a third of you did is a question for the ages. Were you really so oppressed? Was Father's love not enough?"

Ralesh spat. "He doesn't love us, or you. He loves them. These ridiculous meatsacks, so easily led by their desires and their baser instincts. Serve them? I'd sooner be Fallen."

"And so you are, Ralesh."


I dearly love this story...
agilebrit: (Puppy Has Teeth 1)
I haven't posted one since February! You guys are allowed to poke me for them. So, from Glam!Ben. Setup: Ben is recovering from a paralyzing wolfsbane drip, and Bauman is the bad guy trying to be a supervillain, holding a shotgun.

Bauman just smiled. "I'm going to surround myself with your wife as soon as I take you out of the picture for good. The whole mates-for-life thing ceases being a thing when the Mate is dead."

"Uh-huh. This is my skeptical face, Bauman."

Janni glared. "And this is my 'not in a million years, you bastard' face. Even if I was single, I wouldn't go off with your sorry, bad-writing ass."

Now Bauman was offended. "Bad writing? My movies have been very successful at the box office, missy."

"That's because the talent rose above the material," she snapped back.

"I'll just have to teach you respect once you're my Mate."

"In between all the vomiting I'd be doing?"

This was all good, Ben thought, because it was giving him time to recover his strength and mobility. "You tell him, honey."

"Shut up," Bauman said.

"Yes, very articulate, is that the kind of dialogue you give your characters? No wonder Janni comes home from the set and throws things. It's not because you hit on her at every single opportunity even though she's shot you down every single time, it's because of the crap writing. My sympathies, honey, I see how it is now."

Bauman stalked forward, a snarl on his face. "Just remember who's got the gun, wolf." He pumped it for emphasis, and a shell went flying out. He looked comically surprised at that.

And Ben decided he was done with this bullshit. He rose fluidly off the table and prowled toward Bauman. "And this right here is another case of 'did not do the research.' No wonder Hollywood never gets this shit right. Next thing, you'll hold the damn thing sideways and try to shoot me one-handed." He smiled. It wasn't a nice expression. "Actually, I'd like you to do that. It would be funny."


Honestly, this story was a lot of fun to write.

In other news, I'm still working on my last two outlines. June is going to sneak up and bite me if I'm not careful.
agilebrit: (Not the worst thing)
Seriously, this is Alex in a nutshell:
Back inside, the work consumed him, completely blocking out everything else. Lunch came and went without him noticing. Sometime around nine PM, he ate. . . something he didn't remember five minutes later, in between poring over slides and tissue and nanotech, trying to figure out what had gone wrong. He had an enormous pot of coffee next to him, and a fresh bottle of single-malt scotch. If he could've used an IV to mainline the stuff, he would have, but the one time he tried that, he'd had to endure a two-hour lecture from both Megan and Chambliss on why it was a very bad horrible idea, so he drank it down the conventional way and lamented how slow it was, while back-burnering an idea to speed absorption.


He is awesome and hilarious.

And not Tony. Really.
agilebrit: (Write Dammit)
In celebration of my 50,000 words:

Petersson howls again. I've barely scrambled to my knees before he hits me once more, from behind this time, and I sprawl onto my face, my hands convulsively clutching the doll and the tool. A pair of giant hooves smash onto my back, and I have no idea how it's not busted in half by the impact. I brace, and roll, and it misses, squealing with rage.

Well, this was a terrible idea, I think muzzily. What had the plan been? Had there even been a plan? Surely I went into this with a plan. . .

Doll. The doll. Something with the damned doll, what--

Oh. Dumbass. I roll again, making it upright this time, and fling the doll with all my might into the graveyard. "Go fetch," I wheeze, and for a wonder it does.

The post. Where's the fucking post? I'm hurt and disoriented, but if I don't finish the sigil, Petersson will just come out and finish me. I catch sight of the flashlight on the ground, and if it's where I left it then it should be right in front of the center post. Next time I do the last sigil on a corner post. Easier to find. I'm free-associating, but I'm also crawling determinedly in that direction.

I get to it, there's the sigil, one more line, oops, better turn the etcher on first, that works better, and Petersson's charging out of the fog again, this time as the skinned ox, and I finish the rune just as he hits the fence--

And bounces off, screaming that scream that gets right into the insanity center of my brain.


Yeah, it's a very rough first draft, but. There you go. Context is for the weak.
agilebrit: (Giggle)
Because it amuses me:

My wife rarely screamed. So when she let out a bloodcurdling shriek, I hobbled to the bathroom to find her flailing around with her pants around her ankles--and what looked like a fanged octopus fastened to her ample, naked rump. It had sickly green spots on mottled gray skin and way too many tentacles, and it glared at me with four malevolent red eyes.


Okay. Back to work on it.
agilebrit: (That which does not kill me)
Just because.

And now Jed looked uneasy. "Zeke, you ain't gonna kill a preacher. Don't be dumb."

I wheezed out a laugh. "Too late."

The gun barrel swiveled down to cover my head. "Shut up. I was smart enough to get you outta the Widow Coulson's picture, wasn't I?"

It took a bare second for me to figger out what he meant by that, and I snarled and strained against the rope. Without me even realizing how, claws popped out on the ends of my fingers and slashed through the lariat. I surged up as it uncoiled from around me. "You sonofa--"

"You want me to shoot you right in the head?" His voice climbed in pitch. "Back off."

"You done this to me. And it ricocheted pretty as you please on you, didn't it? You sure didn't expect me to end up killin' your brothers."

His face twisted, and his finger jerked on the trigger just as Reuben threw himself between me and the rifle. The preacher fell back into my arms, and I collapsed with him to the ground, swearing at Zeke, tearing at Reuben's shirt as a red stain spread across the upper right part of his chest. Jed sprung forward and snatched the gun out of Zeke's hand, while Zeke stood there in shock at what he'd done.

Reuben coughed, and his lips stained red. His breathing came in labored gasps. "Mike. You ain't. Ain't a monster. You. Ain't."

"Don't you die on me, Reuben." I bunched his shirt up and held it over that wound. I'd seen wounds like this before. "Don't die" was a hopeless command. "That bullet wasn't even silver, you didn't have to--"


In other news, I've been revisiting [livejournal.com profile] jimbutcher's tips on writing, and his entry about the Great Swampy Middle is resonating quite nicely. I've Introduced a New Character, and that will help move my actual plot forward by causing my contag to see my protag in a new light.

And now I have to decide how the Hydra-Dynamic Vacuum Pump I put on the mantel in the first act goes off in the third act and does something helpful for my protag's condition.

Sometimes I think the only reason I ever finish a damn story is because of sheer bloody-minded obstinacy.
agilebrit: (Giggle)
From Ghost Ship:

"Take us baaaaaaack..." Its voice was a growly quaver. Charlie snapped off a shot, but the energy bolt had no effect on it, passing through and spattering harmlessly against the bulkhead. "I am beyond your puny weapons. Take us back or face my wrath."

"Yes, yes, very frightening," said a dry voice. Russ spun around and confronted a see-through stranger lounging in the doorway with his arms crossed, dressed in clothing a hundred years out of date. "Might I remind you, Seymour, that we're not all united in this enterprise of yours."

"We must stay buried in hallowed ground!" Now the first apparition just sounded whiny. Russ turned again and saw that it had shrunk down to human-sized and had pushed the cowl off its head.

"What difference does it make? We're just as dead," the second specter snapped. "You'll have to excuse my colleague," he said to Russ. "He does have a flair for the dramatic."

"A flair--what the--" Russ collapsed into his seat. Mandy hyperventilated beside him, and Charlie knelt in front of her and chafed her wrists. "Someone want to explain to me just what the hell is going on?"


What've you got?
agilebrit: (Writer of Wrongs)
The Won His Soul story has an END at the bottom and came in at 15,266 words. Which gives me about 1400 words on the day.

I will probably add more in edits, because there was a subplot I wanted in there and didn't quite manage.

In celebration, have a snippet:

Leonas's head whipped around as a roaring wail sounded from everywhere and nowhere. That was all the opening Advaiel needed to lunge forward and force him back against the well with their swords crossed. "Come Home, Leo," he said between his teeth. "You're my brother and I love you. I don't want to hurt you." Which seemed a ridiculous statement, considering both of them were slashed open in too many places to count.

"And that--" Leonas also spoke between his teeth. A dagger appeared in his hand, and he plunged it home between Advaiel's ribs. I felt my own heart stop in response. "Is your weakness, Adva."

Advaiel's legs buckled as Leonas twisted the knife and pulled it free with a great gout of blood following. The angel's face was filled with sorrow and resignation both. He suddenly had a dagger of his own buried to the hilt in Leonas's chest. "It doesn't mean I won't."

Leonas gasped in disbelief as the area around the wound turned black and began to dissolve with a foul odor of rot and brimstone. "I didn't--" The blackness expanded, more quickly than I'd have thought possible. "Didn't think you had it in you, little brother." And then all that was left of him was a dissipating puddle of black and smelly ooze on the ground.

"And that was your weakness, and your pride, Leo." Advaiel dropped heavily to his knees. I leaped to his side, and he leaned against me, wings drooping. "Well. I didn't enjoy that much."


Yaaaaaaaay.
agilebrit: (Writer of Wrongs)
We open on a conversation between a mage and a demon in my current (maddening) WIP:

"What's more likely? That every single other person in the village is wrong and you're right? Or that you've taken a bit too much of your own potions and it's messed about with your mind a bit?"

I tightened my lips. "Advaiel!" He appeared a few seconds later, just as he'd promised, and I gestured at Leonas, frustrated. "Can you make him leave? Please?"

"Oh, yes, brother, I'd like to see you try," Leonas said, crossing his arms. "It should be amusing and instructive for all involved."

Advaiel rubbed his face. He looked unutterably weary. "I'm sorry, Kaveh. He's assigned to you, and evil will have its day before good triumphs in the end. Just ignore him. He hates that and it's actually a rather effective strategy. If you don't engage him, he has nothing to grab hold of."

"You're no fun, Adva," Leonas sulked. "Father needs evil in the world to show these ridiculous humans the contrast with good it makes. I'm part of His vaunted Plan, and you know it as well as I."

"You're part of no one's plan but the Evil One's. Bad enough you're trying to delude Kaveh. Deluding yourself is just sad." Advaiel huffed. "I apologize for my mannerless brother, Kaveh. He clearly has trouble overstaying his welcome."

"Well, I'll ignore him from here on out. Perhaps he'll take the hint and bother someone more receptive."

"Like your cousin Marjan?" Leonas shot back.

"I swear before God--" I leaped from my chair, and the fire flared in the hearth. "Get out. Now. Or I will find a way to bind you so far away from here you'll never return."

"Well." His tone was airy. "My work here is done anyway. Good morrow, Kaveh. Brother." And he disappeared in an overdramatic puff of smoke.


So, what've you got?
agilebrit: (Writer of Wrongs)
And now I'm finally getting off my tushie and doing it. What is "this?" you ask, as well you should. "This" is posting the BeagleFic here as a freebie with a tip jar. I'm of the firm opinion that authors should do stuff like this from time to time, on the Baen Free Library model of "If they like the free stuff, they might be induced to actually buy the other stuff."

This is the story of the intrepid captain of the Inquisitive Tamandua (see what I did there? It's a curious anteater! Only more flowery), Russell Fisk, and what happens to him when he takes on a rather unusual job smuggling a pack of hunting dogs to a guy in desperate need of them before the neighbors have his head because of the rabbit problem he's caused. Fair warning, this did appear many years ago in much altered form as a Firefly story, but I've cut down my crew and added aliens. And a subplot.

So, I will shut up and get out of the way of the story.


Illegal Beagles
by Julie Frost



Captain Russell Fisk slouched into the co-pilot's chair of his battered interplanetary tramp freighter, the Inquisitive Tamandua, running a hand through his graying hair. "Take us off-world, Mandy. We've got work, finally." He crossed an ankle over his leg and tapped his boot on the floor with a distracted air.

His twenty-two-year-old daughter flipped some switches and began her takeoff sequence. "Neat. It's been awhile, and I'd kind of like to eat sometime this week." She noticed Russell's expression. "Um, Dad, you usually look happier when we have a job. Something about this one making you itch?"

"Why, no. You know how much I enjoy smuggling animals," he said dryly, as they broke free of the planet's gravity well. "I'm thrilled, ecstatic even. Really. But, hey. Work."

"Animals?" She grinned, pushing a lock of long brown hair behind her ear. "What kind?"

Russ leaned his head back against the chair. "Beagles, of all things."

"We're smuggling Beagles?" Amanda lifted her eyebrows. "What for?"

"Some idiot--I mean, Ben Foster, our esteemed client on Epsilon Three, that border planet they've just opened up?" At her nod, he continued. "He decided he wanted a wild game hunting preserve for small predators. Wolves and groompahs and servals and critters like that." Russ tugged at his beard. "Well, those things eat rabbits, so he imported a bunch of them. He assured the locals that nothing would get through his fences, but I've never yet seen a fence that'll keep a rabbit from going where it wants to."

'So, some of the rabbits got out and started multiplying like...rabbits,' Amanda said. )
agilebrit: (Writer of Wrongs)
And now I'm finally getting off my tushie and doing it. What is "this?" you ask, as well you should. "This" is posting the BeagleFic here as a freebie with a tip jar. I'm of the firm opinion that authors should do stuff like this from time to time, on the Baen Free Library model of "If they like the free stuff, they might be induced to actually buy the other stuff."

This is the story of the intrepid captain of the Inquisitive Tamandua (see what I did there? It's a curious anteater! Only more flowery), Russell Fisk, and what happens to him when he takes on a rather unusual job smuggling a pack of hunting dogs to a guy in desperate need of them before the neighbors have his head because of the rabbit problem he's caused. Fair warning, this did appear many years ago in much altered form as a Firefly story, but I've cut down my crew and added aliens. And a subplot.

So, I will shut up and get out of the way of the story.


Illegal Beagles
by Julie Frost



Captain Russell Fisk slouched into the co-pilot's chair of his battered interplanetary tramp freighter, the Inquisitive Tamandua, running a hand through his graying hair. "Take us off-world, Mandy. We've got work, finally." He crossed an ankle over his leg and tapped his boot on the floor with a distracted air.

His twenty-two-year-old daughter flipped some switches and began her takeoff sequence. "Neat. It's been awhile, and I'd kind of like to eat sometime this week." She noticed Russell's expression. "Um, Dad, you usually look happier when we have a job. Something about this one making you itch?"

"Why, no. You know how much I enjoy smuggling animals," he said dryly, as they broke free of the planet's gravity well. "I'm thrilled, ecstatic even. Really. But, hey. Work."

"Animals?" She grinned, pushing a lock of long brown hair behind her ear. "What kind?"

Russ leaned his head back against the chair. "Beagles, of all things."

"We're smuggling Beagles?" Amanda lifted her eyebrows. "What for?"

"Some idiot--I mean, Ben Foster, our esteemed client on Epsilon Three, that border planet they've just opened up?" At her nod, he continued. "He decided he wanted a wild game hunting preserve for small predators. Wolves and groompahs and servals and critters like that." Russ tugged at his beard. "Well, those things eat rabbits, so he imported a bunch of them. He assured the locals that nothing would get through his fences, but I've never yet seen a fence that'll keep a rabbit from going where it wants to."

'So, some of the rabbits got out and started multiplying like...rabbits,' Amanda said. )
agilebrit: (facepalm)
Yeah. Have some Cowboy!Sleeping Beauty.

I fired again, more steady this time, and a splash of crimson exploded from his chest. The fire guttered out, and he slumped in his saddle, his lips moving. I couldn't quite hear what he said, but he fell to the ground in a boneless heap, and his compadres left on the run. Jock tail-wagged back to me, well-pleased with his day's work.

I jumped out of my saddle and trotted over to the rustler. Bright blood stained his lips, and his expression was unbelieving. "You..." he rasped. He was dying. Can't say I was either surprised or upset.

"Told you. We don't take kindly to rustlers in these parts."

"Sleep...forever. And may all your dreams...be terrifying." He exhaled one last time, and I thought something insubstantial and shrieking rose from his body and flew away.

"Well, what the hell," I muttered.

"Sam! Sam!" A tiny winged form hovered in front of my nose. Daneen. "We have to get you home. Right now!"

"Why? What's the matter?"

"That was a death curse! You must get home before the sun goes down. I might be able to--" She stopped and gulped. "But not out here. I'm a house fairy--my powers outdoors are weak."

"A death...what?" Events were catching up with me, and the shakes suddenly gripped me like an ague. The rustler had shot fire at me with his bare hands. Daneen was one thing; I was used to her. This was quite different.


The good news is that it's entirely possible that my Writing Buddy gave me something to hang my hat on last night. The bad news is that I'm not sure I can do the idea justice. I guess we'll see. I cracked a thousand words on it yesterday.

And, with abject apologies to John Denver:

Rejections...in my email...make me eat worms
Rejections...in my inbox...make me sigh
Rejections...almost always...look so ugly
Rejections...almost always...make me cry.

I know, I know. Cry moar, grow a thicker skin, yadda yadda. Is okay. Really. I flipped it to a (new) place that pays more. We shall see.
agilebrit: (facepalm)
Yeah. Have some Cowboy!Sleeping Beauty.

I fired again, more steady this time, and a splash of crimson exploded from his chest. The fire guttered out, and he slumped in his saddle, his lips moving. I couldn't quite hear what he said, but he fell to the ground in a boneless heap, and his compadres left on the run. Jock tail-wagged back to me, well-pleased with his day's work.

I jumped out of my saddle and trotted over to the rustler. Bright blood stained his lips, and his expression was unbelieving. "You..." he rasped. He was dying. Can't say I was either surprised or upset.

"Told you. We don't take kindly to rustlers in these parts."

"Sleep...forever. And may all your dreams...be terrifying." He exhaled one last time, and I thought something insubstantial and shrieking rose from his body and flew away.

"Well, what the hell," I muttered.

"Sam! Sam!" A tiny winged form hovered in front of my nose. Daneen. "We have to get you home. Right now!"

"Why? What's the matter?"

"That was a death curse! You must get home before the sun goes down. I might be able to--" She stopped and gulped. "But not out here. I'm a house fairy--my powers outdoors are weak."

"A death...what?" Events were catching up with me, and the shakes suddenly gripped me like an ague. The rustler had shot fire at me with his bare hands. Daneen was one thing; I was used to her. This was quite different.


The good news is that it's entirely possible that my Writing Buddy gave me something to hang my hat on last night. The bad news is that I'm not sure I can do the idea justice. I guess we'll see. I cracked a thousand words on it yesterday.

And, with abject apologies to John Denver:

Rejections...in my email...make me eat worms
Rejections...in my inbox...make me sigh
Rejections...almost always...look so ugly
Rejections...almost always...make me cry.

I know, I know. Cry moar, grow a thicker skin, yadda yadda. Is okay. Really. I flipped it to a (new) place that pays more. We shall see.

Hm.

Aug. 21st, 2010 04:37 pm
agilebrit: (That which does not kill me)
Well, I've spent a lot of this day looking for a snippet to post instead of writing. Which is really, really stupid. I will use the excuse that I'm still noodling ideas. Yeah. That's it. Noodling.

Anyway. Have a taste of hitman!Ben, cut because it mentions rape. )

April 2017

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