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It’s got a mini update but no real explanation as to why the last month has been a little *meh* for me. The long of that short is, well, not something I want to get into, but it’s been challenging, and there’s definitely more issues on the horizon, but they will hopefully lead to a long-term settling down. And maybe a few funny blogs.
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I included a little excerpt of something I’ve been writing under the working title Bad Blood this month. Here’s that tiny excerpt for your enjoyment.
Bad Blood (working title) – A Tiny Excerpt
|Damien stared at the carvings on the walls of the sanctum but didn’t really see them. Instead, he saw a lifetime of studying the arcane and trekking across dangerous lands flashing away, wasted. The talisman had been so powerful, cast with a spell that required the rarest of ingredients. It begged to be absorbed by someone, so it should have been no surprise it had latched onto the first being that wasn’t Damien to touch it. And now it was gone.|
Except it wasn’t.
“Sanguinis sui, wake up.”
The girl sat up so quickly she cracked her forehead right against his. He jerked back, and she wavered again but remained conscious. “What happened?”
“What happened?” he growled, rubbing at his head. “You happened!”
Pawing at her temple and then her chest, her voice was breathy. “What was that thing? What did you do to me?”
“Me?” She certainly was good at playacting, he would give her that. “You’re the thief, blindly sticking your hand in a man’s pockets, and—” Then it dawned on him like the second moon aligning with the static one, bold and bright: she hadn’t done this blindly at all. It was no mistake they had met that morning, she’d even tried to get close to him in the alley, but he had been smarter then. If only he’d kept his guard up.
Damien shot a hand out, grabbing the front of her tunic and dragging her to her feet as he stood. “Who are you?” he spat. “And who’s behind this?”
She gasped, gripping onto his arm with both of her hands. Significantly shorter, her toes scuffed the floor as he held her aloft, face drawn back into that pitiful, terrified look again, but this time it only made him furious, and he shook her.
“Tell me! Do you belong to Eirengaard’s holy order? Have they really sunk so low as to recruit little girls? Or did Shadowhart send you? Is this what he thinks of me? That I would fall for—” He looked her up and down—calling her a little girl hadn’t really been fair—then he scoffed. “I knew I should have killed that bastard when I had the chance.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she stuttered out, her nails digging into the leather of his bracers.
“There’s no need to keep playing, you’ve succeeded,” he admitted, disgust thick in his voice, and then he had another thought. “And yet no one’s coming to help you now. How very loyal of your master. Don’t repay them by staying silent.”
She whined in the back of her throat, feet still kicking. “Please, I don’t understand.”
Damien rolled his eyes. But of course, a good spy wouldn’t tell him unless she was forced. And he had a way to do that now by her own doing. “Sanguinis sui, tell me why you are here and who sent you after me.”
Her grip on his arm loosened, and her legs went lax. “I’m here for the Scroll of the Undead Army. You had it, I wanted it, I tried to take it from you. No one sent me, I came on my own, and I have no idea who you are.” She choked on the last of her words, eyes glassy. “Please don’t hurt me, I didn’t mean it, I just made a mistake. I’m sorry.”
Damien felt a stitch in his chest and winced. The words he had designed to elicit complete obedience out of the talisman’s vessel worked as good as, or perhaps even better than, a truth spell. The ore had been imbued with even more potent components, his blood chiefly among them to evoke his will. And here she was, apologizing. No one had ever apologized under any truth spell he had cast. And why should she even be sorry? He was the one holding her captive, and the only way to get the talisman out of her was to—“Shit.”
He set her feet flush with the ground, but didn’t release her, glancing off into the darkness of the sanctum to think. She was telling the truth; it really had been an accident. “And now I have to kill you.”
When she squeaked out a questioning sound, he cast his gaze back onto her face. Her lip quivered, and her eyes brimmed over.
“What are you doing?”
She moved her mouth, but no words came out. Tears, however, did. And there were a lot of them.
“Are you crying? Oh, dark gods, stop that.”
“I can’t,” she squealed, breathing in raggedly. “It’s just happening, and I’m scared.”
He turned up his lip. “Well, stop that too. Well, no, you should be afraid, terrified really, but do it less…sadly.”
She swallowed, trying to comply and even succeeding for a moment, and then devolved into a sobbing mess.
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