Well, I’m back and slowly getting closer to finishing the first draft of Enchantment’s Endgame: Book Two, The Hunt. Yes, I know, such an imaginative title. But it’s short and pointed. It’s a new story, but the characters did appear in Magic’s Guardian in a couple scenes, so there is a connection. I think I might like this story better, partly because I love stories about the Wild Hunt and they’re pretty rare. So far I like the way the story is going, and the outline of where it’s going. Of course that can always change, and usually does, so even I will have to wait to see what happens.
Before then, here is a sample from the first chapter. I still feel like I’m cheating when I use excerpts as blog entries, but here it is anyway. Maybe seeing this in a new format will give me some ideas. I’m afraid I’ve made the lead female come off as weaker than I intended, less independent and capable.
For he comes, the human child
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand
From a world more full of weeping than
he can understand “The Stolen Child” W B Yeats
Aidyn Forrester’s heart wasn’t broken, it was shredded. White hot fire and burning cold streaked alternatively through her chest, leaving a numb void in their wake. She felt half-erased, like her limbs floated through a dark quagmire of pain that shrouded her perception. Reality was skewed on its axis, unbalancing her. She watched through a sickly green fog as the world spun slowly, leaving her behind. Exhaustion pulled at her yet she couldn’t sleep. Every time she tried to lie down and close her eyes, she envisioned Seth with her.
A fresh, prickly sob burned in the back of her throat but Aidyn refused to let any more escape. She was lost and alone, yes, beaten and betrayed, but she still had herself. Setting her shoulders straight and square, she raised her chin high, facing her future with a façade of resolve. Maybe herself was all she needed, was all she’d ever need. Yes, that felt right and good. She didn’t need to open herself to hurt; alone was the best way to be, locked away and untouchable . . .
The self-made stiffness in her spine wilted away before she reached the next street light. Why, oh why had she agreed to relocate with her fiancé? Dumb, dumb, dumb move! Perhaps she was as innocent—make that gormless—as her large, doe-brown eyes made her look. Seth had said more times than she could count that he loved her. Then along came that slut Jen. Beautiful slut . . . Aidyn shook the thought away. Just because the girl was model-lovely, possessed of perfect hair, perfect cheekbones, a perfect body, and huge blue-green eyes to go along with everything else, didn’t mean she was a better person. Nor did the fact that she’d open her legs at any opportunity to any man available, especially if he wasn’t available.
Aidyn had wanted to wait for their wedding night, only two months away. Seth decided not to
wait with her. She tugged hard at her shoulder-length cherry wood-colored locks, trying to use physical pain to drive away the memory.
And then there was that bosom . . .
The street was deserted, all its resident businesses closed for the night. Aidyn welcomed the solitude. Her vision swam and her face felt flushed, and tight, and wet. She paused, scrubbing angrily at the damp streaks before stumbling on, too mired in depression to hear the bay of hounds ringing loud from every direction.
Aidyn was surrounded before she even noticed them. A pack of gigantic, wolfish dogs swarmed the sidewalk, scruffy fur, lolling tongues, and gleaming teeth pressing close and hot to her legs. Aidyn stopped in mid-step, her heart lurching painfully when one of the animals whirled on her, snapping. Its teeth were long and shining white, its eyes reflecting the illumination of the streetlights like fire, giving them a reddish, flickering glow. Then she heard the hollow clatter of hooves on pavement and felt the impacts under her feet as they came closer, but she couldn’t take her eyes off the snarling, milling pack long enough to dare a peek at whatever else was coming.
“The witching hour,” a deep voice intoned somewhere to her left. “Not a good time for little girls to be out alone.”
“I thought the witching hour was midnight,” Aidyn whispered haltingly.
The speaker’s laughter was a pleasant, almost musical sound. “Only to the, how shall I say, magically illiterate.”
Slowly, terrified, the girl turned to face her tormentor, not sure she wanted to see what nightmare fantasy her fevered brain had created. When her gaze had travelled the considerable distance upwards, her worst suspicions were confirmed; the sight that confronted her wide eyes was insanity itself. A huge figure, dressed in furs and leather, sat atop a monstrous war-horse. His garments, which put her in mind of something out of the dark ages, or even earlier, were splashed here and there with what had to be blood. A helm that culminated in a pair of tall antlers curving into the night hid the rider’s face, all but his coarse, cruel, wide-lipped mouth. The mount underneath him, a bay with a coat so red it looked like it had blood in the highlights and a mane, tail, and legs the color of burnt gore, was as large for a horse as its master was for a man. Snorting, the titan stallion pranced nearer, exposing teeth that just didn’t look right in a horse’s mouth. He pawed savagely with hooves that seemed big enough to crack the sidewalk, making Aidyn wince with each booming strike.
The picture they presented was so attention-focusing that it took Aidyn a moment to register the other riders gathered behind the horned figure. They were a big, rough-looking lot, wearing bows across their backs and helmets on their heads. Swords hung from their leather belts and assorted dagger hilts jutted from the tops of their heavy boots. The barbarian faces they turned towards her were feral and fierce, their eyes gleaming with the same light as the hounds’ frightening orbs.
When Aidyn’s attention drifted back to the first, most imposing figure, her heart began to slam erratically. He was close, and staring down directly at her. His helm was tilted back to expos his brute face and where his eyes would be, red lights burned like mirrors reflecting hellfire. Her legs went weak and folded under her despite her stubborn attempts to lock her knees. I am not fainting. I will not! I refuse! But she couldn’t convince her body. The hallucinations caused by stress and sleep deprivation and no food were too much. The scene wavered in front of her, mercifully disappearing as she crumpled.
So . . . I hope you didn’t find Aidyn wimpy or annoying. I’ve already been told her name is pretentious, or at least the spelling is, but the meaning seems appropriate and the spelling more feminine than Aiden or Aidan. Of all characters, her name has been the most difficult and has changed the most times, so unless I find something truly awesome that is just too perfect to pass up, it isn’t changing again. But now she needs to live up to the name.
And dear readers, since the temperature is dropping, the floor of my computer room is cement, and I can no longer feel my toes, I will leave it here. I wish you all the best for the new year, in your writing and everything else. Take care and enjoy playing with words, whatever form that play takes.
I really should know better than to copy and paste from Word by now. Oh well, it’s sort of fixed now.
Here are some links, including to the free short story Kingston. I have gotten some good personal feedback for it.
Magic’s Guardian Amazon (print and ebook)
Nook (so far ebook only, should include print copy soon)
Kingston Smashwords (links to multiple formats, ebook only)