Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Fight Blogfest!

Mornin', y'all! So I sort of forgot about the fight blogfest post I had scheduled yesterday morning, but a burning question was just killing me. Thanks, everyone, for your input. It's given me a lot to think about.

Okay, so this is from my current wip, Parallel. There are some actual action scenes, but I prefer a good old argument any day to an action fight. The fight scenes from Parallel are pretty long, anyway. This is an urban fantasy, not a YA, so it's a little different than the other novels I've posted snippets of. It's a little weird and racy, but I like where it's going.

In this scene, Mel has left the rest of her team to search out a powerful witch she thinks can help them stay hidden from the Divided, evil demons intent on destroying the world (what did you expect evil demons to do, lol?) When Mel finds this witch, she gets much, much more than she bargained for.
And, yes, the other character in the scene is who you think he is. ;) In case you were wondering.

****

Lying back, I start counting the minutes until Rana's return as the warmth of her body fades from the sheets. I listen to the sound of the insects, the lemurs in the jungle searching for mates, and see my lemur, the one I brought back from death, only the lights of his eyes from the same branch. When the chill makes me pull the blankets tight, I realize I’m not alone.

“Who’s there?” I call, forcing my voice to sound fiercer than I feel here without my Rana. “Show yourself!”

“It’s only me, Mel."

Anubis appears from behind the curtains at the foot of the bed.

“What are you doing here?” I ask, my voice a hushed scream.

He raises a charcoal brow. “I could ask you the same thing.”

“Forget it. I don’t have to answer to you.”

“I know you don’t." He shakes his head, disappointment evident in his black eyes. But what do I care for his disappointment? He never treated me half as well as Rana has in just the one day we’ve been together.

I get up, wrapping the silk sheets around me in a modest toga. “So are you going to tell me why you’re here?”

“Isn’t it obvious?” he asks, his look incredulous. “I came to make sure you survived your little joyride through the nexus. It took me hours to try to track you, but there was no sign of where you’d gone.”

I try clumsily to cross my arms without losing my grip on the sheet. “Way to have some faith in my abilities. I survived just fine, thanks. In fact, I’m better than I was before. Rana showed me how to tap into the power of the nexus point, just like she does. She can see them, too, you know. I’m not alone.”

“Mel, you were never alone,” he says, stepping closer. I back away and his face becomes a funerary sculpture. “If you won’t think of me, think of your friends who worried about you. It was Georgia who presumed where you’d gone.”

Georgia. “I guess she knows me better than I thought,” I say, avoiding his eyes. “Better than you do,” I add in a whisper.

“Mel,” he murmurs as he scoops me into his arms with supernatural speed, “that’s only because you haven’t given me the chance. I want to know you inside and out.”

“By binding me to you?" I practically spit the words at him, struggling out of his grasp. He lets me go with a sigh and I fall on my ass, sheets tangled around my legs. Anubis leans down to offer an apologetic hand up, but I stand up on my own, leaving the sheets in a mess on the ground. He stares at my naked body, covered with red marks, the signs of Rana’s love. I drop my arms to the sides so that he can see, unashamed of that love.

“As if she’s done anything less,” he says after an awkward moment of silence.

“What does that mean?” I tap a bare foot on the ground, hoping he’ll get to the point, but that just makes him angry.

“It means she’s enchanted you,” he says with a shake of his jackal-eared head--even the ends of his black hair shiver with pent up anger. “Look at yourself, Mel; naked in the jungle letting some old witch paw all over you. What’s she done to you?”

I pick up the sheet and press it to my chest. “I made a deal. After I’ve paid what I promised, she said she’d teach me to trap a demon.”

His eyes are cool slits. “And you think she’s telling you the truth?”

How can he stand there and say such things about my sweet Rana? The nerve! He’s just taking out his jealousy, trying to trick me into leaving her. “She loves me,” I insist. “She wouldn’t lie to me.”

“It’s obvious that there’s no reasoning with you like this,” he says with a disgusted sigh. “Please, Mel, just tell me you’ll call on me before she makes you do something you’ll regret, or worse, that gets you killed.”

Killed? That’s a laugh. I’ve never felt so safe as I do when she’s around. “Rana would never do anything to hurt me. I told you, she cares for me; she doesn’t want to own me like you. Now go and leave us in peace.”

He stands his ground, folding his arms across his chest. “I’ll go,” he says, not looking as if he actually will. “But it’s not possessiveness that brought me here. I was worried about you.”

“Maybe you’re just jealous.”

“Jealous?!" His nostrils flare and the heat of his rage wash over me. Retreating from him, I back up so far the backs of my knees hit the bed and buckle. I sit, shocked into silence. Black light radiates from his skin, shining like the surface of an oil slick in the sun. “Jealous? I am a god, mortal! Gods are never jealous!”

“You mean like your father?” I shout, interrupting his rant. I just wish he’d go. I can smell Rana on the bed and long for her return. “I never cared for you, Anubis. I used you, to see if being with you would give me the extra strength I needed to get here. It was worth it.”

“I don’t believe you,” Anubis says after a moment’s silence. “You are a complicated and selfish woman, but you aren’t cruel.”

“Believe it or not, it’s the truth,” I lie. I want him gone. He makes my head hurt, makes me forget the color of Rana’s eyes. The scent of his musky skin threatens to drive Rana’s smell from my memory. “Now will you leave?"

Anubis’s high chin sinks and his eyes close. “Go to hell,” he says, all his anger spent. He fades into the shadows.

I hug my knees to my chest and shiver in the bed, wishing for my Rana to come home to me soon.

When she finally does return she smells of alcohol and sweat, but I don’t care. I only long to hear her voice again, to be consumed by her love. I don’t even want to think about Anubis.

Soothed by Rana’s voice, I snuggle into her, kissing her like I’m a toddler. As intent on forgetting about Anubis as I am, I don’t ask Rana where she’s been, or even think to ask if she enjoyed her trip through the nexus. Instead, I let her hold me close. She’s humming a little lullaby. Rana caresses me until that feeling of security, of absolute safety, returns. But I can’t sleep. The bright, unblinking eyes of the lemur stare out of the night, howling for a mate who will never answer.

13 comments:

Julie Dao said...

I got chills at the end! That was so good, Tere!

L.T. Elliot said...

This is such fun to read parts of your work! Keep 'em coming.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Wow, very intriguing! I get the impression that perhaps the narrator is not very reliable and that maybe Anubis is right about her being enchanted? Or am I overreading it? (If I'm right, I think it's sheer brilliance). I liked the edginess of it. Well done.

Shelli said...

this was interesting!

Tere Kirkland said...

Glad you all enjoyed my little argument. Thanks!

Carolina, you've got the right idea about the unreliable narrator. That's one of the reasons I decided to rewrite this story with four alternating first person narrators. I guess we'll see if it works when it's ready to send off to betas.

Thanks again!

Abby Annis said...

Great scene, Tere! Can't wait to read the whole thing. :)

Jade said...

Wow, Tere, that was really good! VERY intrigued. I'd love to read more.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

This is intricate, lush and scary. I would love to read this story.

Susan R. Mills said...

Oh, scary. Makes me want to read it.

Lisa and Laura said...

Well done! The red marks all over her body from Rana are fascinating. I want to read more...like, now.

Eva said...

You're an amazing writer. Excellent imagery. You have some raw talent.

Mireyah Wolfe said...

I LOVE this part: He makes my head hurt, makes me forget the color of Rana’s eyes.

It says a lot about what's going on, just that one sentence. Great job!

(Also, squeee!!! You're in LA! That makes me happy because I've never "met" another Louisianian in the blogosphere! =D LOL)

Heather Zundel said...

I'm so glad you participated in this! This was fun to read.