Don't worry I'm still working on polishing 'Morning Song'. I haven't put that one aside entirely, but I've done as much editing as I can do for the moment and I wanted to give my readers a break between books, so it is percolating for a month or two and then I'll go back into editing. In the meantime....
I have about 20 books in various stages of development on my hard drive. I picked one I have been thinking about and pulled it out. I'm not 100% it's going to be my next project, but it probably will. Besides a friend who helped me with research wants me to publish this one (mostly because I promised I'd dedicate it to him lol). I don't have a name for it yet. It will be something about life and death. Very simply it's a semi-dark novel in which death falls in love with life. It's probably going to be another stand alone. I can't see how I can turn this into a series, but you never know. I do have one that will be a series, probably a long one, but I have a touch of writer's block where it's concerned so I have to play with other projects for awhile.
Here is a short sample of it. For now we will call this one Lychee and Corin after the main characters.
Death walked through the alley casually, in no hurry. His prey would be waiting for him. It always was. Sometimes in his more philosophical moments he believed that prey was born to be prey and while they would put on a chase, in the end they knew their place. Eventually whether he rushed or not, it would be waiting for him, ready for the final fight. Some prey would fight, wanting to end their lives in some twisted idea of honor—he respected that—but mostly they were tired. Sure, there was fear in their eyes, but they still resigned to it, like it had all been fate.
Corin was a big man, strong and broad. He was taller and wider than most humans, though humans had gotten taller in recent years. He had been built for speed, strength and agility. He was aware the appeal this had for women. On the rare occasion the mood struck him, he held no qualms about using this to get what he wanted. He was a predator. In those moments his quarry had simply shifted and the method of satisfaction changed. He would binge until the mood passed and then he went back to his prey.
His boots kicked away the random trash that followed humanity and crunched on the filthy, cracked cement. His long grey hair was tied tightly back from an eternally young face in a queue. His long grey coat trailed behind him as he moved effortlessly around a corner looking like some movie version of the honorable assassin. The irony was not lost on him. Sometimes it helped to dress the way humanity thought he should, sometimes it didn’t. The boots and the coat were useful though. He may hold on to them after culture changed its expectations again.
He turned another corner following a trail only he could perceive down the dark expanse; something as elusive as the change before the change in the wind signaling a storm. Some places in the city were vast networks of alleys and sewer systems. A shadow city all its own hidden from the light in the perpetual warm of the southern United States. He knew these streets as well as he knew the streets that stayed in the sun and the endless electric lights of night. He walked the roads of man since before they were glorified foot paths. He’d seen societies rise and societies fall. This society would fall too, as surely as the Romans had, and those that came before them.
There was a sound to the side of him. It was small and harsh, like silent keening when all the horrors of life had taken your voice. He slowed down enough to open his senses beyond his prey. Something shifted in the pile of trash and refuse that somehow missed the empty dumpster. He turned slowly, tracking the sound. Everything went still. That was more an indication of someone hiding than anything else. An animal wouldn’t have stilled.
He could smell the fear in the air. It was deeper and sharper than what his prey normally felt. Blood mixed with it. Something was wrong. He took a step to the pile and suddenly everything exploded. Boxes, trash, papers, rotted food all went up in a whirlwind clattering harmlessly about him, all the while a scream cutting the still night air like a jagged knife.
It was over as fast as it started. There was nothing else to be thrown. He saw a part of a leg and an arm trying to hide under what was left of the pile. The box on top was quivering slightly as if the person was shivering with cold. He reached down and pulled off the box...
...And the rest you'll all just have to wait for. :-)
Still I do welcome comments and critiques. Especially at this stage.
Susan is a writer and artist by day, a child and pet wrangler by night, and occasional crazy person on the weekends. She walks the path of a Siedr and strives to grow day by day.