Well, that last post was quite popular! Very flattering, I’m sure. But I realized, I made a mistake and left out two key works – The Sea to the Shore, a fantasy story set in the Isle of Hoy, Ireland (and it has a selkie! Eep!) and ArchAngel, my NaNo novel with one of the most quotable villains I’ve ever created. He and Morgan should have a face-off. ^.^
So without any more gilding the lily and with no more ado, some more of my favorite passages!
“Let me go in and talk to him.”
Gary stared incredulously at the other man. “Talk to him?”
“Yeah; it’s like shouting, only quieter.” Simon squinted at the shuttered windows.
Dad stepped in first; the intrepid explorer. “Hey,” we heard from the darkness. “Where’s the light switch?”
“Oh,” said Mom. “Remember? This place has no electricity.”
I stopped. Even Morgan looked horrified. “No electricity?”
Morgan voiced my next question. “Does it have running water?”
“Ah – no,” was the hesitant answer.
“So… where do we get water?” I demanded.
Dad stepped back out. “Well, it has pumps,” he explained, making an up-and-down motion with his hands. “Cisterns, you know. Like in old movies.”
I shared a glance with my sister. My face even felt pale. “So does that mean we have a well or something?”
“Yeah; out behind the house!” he said cheerfully.
“A well,” said Morgan. “That’s cool.” She took a step back to get a better look at the house. “I like it,” she said finally. “It’s very… romantic.”
“Romantic?” I looked at her as if eyes had sprouted from her head. “Romantic? We’re moved thousands of miles across the ocean to live in a painted woodshed, and you say it’s romantic?”
“It is,” she said defensively. “I mean, think about it. This is where girls in movies or books live. It’s beautiful. It isn’t… normal.”
“I don’t know about you, but I kind of liked normal,” I snapped. — The Sea to the Shore
Gabriel’s car sped across the highway. It was not his car, but it had been parked outside his house, waiting for him. As it always was. Tinted windows made it difficult to see in.
He glanced down at the speedometer. Seventy-five miles an hour. He switched lanes, the car’s gears working smoothly beneath him. It was a luxury car; expensive, comfortable, and it handled like a dream.
He hated that car. —- ArchAngel
The wall to the left housed a small fireplace. It was chilly inside, and I asked Dad if he could light it. “There’s wood already in it,” I said.
“Twenty-year-old wood,” he remarked. “It’s probably very dry by now.”
“Don’t forget to open the flu,” I called as I walked twelve steps forward and into the kitchen. It had a stone sink with a pump handle, and was lacking in counter space. At least the walls were lined with white cabinets. A door was catty-cornered at the far end of the room; the white paint faded and peeling. I opened it and saw a few shelves.
“This must be the pantry,” I said aloud. I turned and saw something that made my mouth fall open. The black monstrosity squatted like an ugly toad in our kitchen.
A wood burning stove.
“Mom? What is that?” I pointed at the thing, even though I knew what it was.
“A wood burning stove,” she answered happily. “Isn’t it wonderful?”
“Isn’t there a regular stove? An oven? Or a microwave?”
“No. Don’t you remember?” She waggled a finger in my face. “No e-lec-trici-tee.”
“Oh,” I hiccupped. “Right.” — The Sea to the Shore
“Wallace! Wallace, are you going to come down off the roof, or what?” Gary’s irate voice came once more over the pager.
Simon stood, watching the crowd leave the streets like water running down a drain.
America the beautiful. Land of the free, home of the brave.
“Girls! Dinner!” Mom called from the kitchen.
“Ye gads!” Morgan stood up. “That sounded like it came from right outside!”
“It did, almost,” I said, smiling wearily. “The kitchen’s only about thirty feet away.”
On the way to the kitchen, we discovered something: two cannot walk abreast in the hallway. So we had to go single-file. I noticed a door on the right of the hallway I hadn’t noticed before. I opened the door and saw it was a bathroom. There was a large copper tub with another pump-handle near the end. A window, slightly larger than the one in our bedroom, was right above it.
“No shower!” I exclaimed.
Morgan peered in over my head. “No sink, either.” She pointed at the wooden stand, on top of which sat a large china bowl and pitcher. A rounded mirror hung nailed to the wall above them.
“A washbasin?” I asked.
“Yup,” she said, backing into the hall. “Will wonders never cease!”
“Not here they won’t,” I sighed, closing the door. — The Sea to the Shore
“She thinks you’re cute,” said Reese, behind him.
Simon shook his head and walked in. “I should give her the number of my eye doctor,” he said with a grin.
Reese raised an eyebrow. “Why? You are cute, in a British sort of way.”
He turned and gave her a ‘what in the world are you talking about’ expression. “In a ‘British sort of way’? What’s that supposed to mean?”
“It means… you know, you’re like… you’re like a human teddy bear. With a gun.” — ArchAngel
The cover of the book was a deep, royal purple with blue streaks. Of course it reminded me of the ocean. I willed the tears not to come; I mentally pushed them back behind my eyes where they belonged. I had cried enough already.
I opened the cover, and the first words I saw there, inscribed in Morgan’s curly handwriting, were Morgan’s Journal. KEEP OUT! If you want to know about me, ask me yourself.
“But I can’t ask you, Morg,” I whispered to the page. I turned it slowly, wondering what I would find.
—- The Sea to the Shore
“Was she?” asked Simon, looking as innocent as he possibly could; which, he supposed, was probably pretty innocent, seeing as how he – apparently – resembled a teddy bear. “Teddy bear?” he asked aloud again, turning his head to look at the young woman on his left.
She groaned and covered her face with her hands. “You know what I meant!”
Simon scratched his head. “No, I don’t, actually.”
“You know…” she waved her hands in the air, as if drawing an imaginary picture. “Like… a British Steve McQueen.”
Simon knew he must look like an idiot, but his stare was perfectly blank. “Steve McQueen did not look like a teddy bear.”
“Yes, he did. A cute teddy bear, but a teddy bear nonetheless.”
“I can’t see a teddy bear driving around in a GT thirty-nine Fastback.”
“I have watched Bullitt.” — ArchAngel
We had not held a funeral for her; being so far away from anyone, it would be pointless. She had never wanted a funeral, anyway. She wanted to be cremated, and have her ashes scattered in the wind.
She had not left even ashes behind – so we scattered rose petals to the wind, instead. I’ll never forget the sight of them; the scarlet pieces whisked away over the sea like autumn leaves. — The Sea to the Shore
She stepped back and gave him a visual once-over. “How tall are you?” she asked finally.
“Five foot nine,” he answered indifferently. “But that’s when I’m not wearing heels.” — ArchAngel
“Good.” He opened it and glanced at her. “Password?”
“Oh – it’s, um, 221B TARDIS.” She wound a strand of red hair around her finger and looked at the opposite wall. “Say nothing of my being a geek.”
“Fine, then, I won’t.” He looked up at her and grinned. “Doctor Who is a staple where I come from. So is Sherlock Holmes. Don’t worry about it.”
She grinned and looked relieved. “It’s just that I have a lot of free time – a receptionist is only a part-time job, you know, and I have a television”-
“There’s nothing wrong with telly,” he told her calmly. “You don’t need to make excuses. I watch a few shows myself.”
“Really?” she asked curiously. “What shows?”
“CSI, Lie to Me, and Home Cooking,” he answered with a grin. “Here we go.” — ArchAngel
“Are you going to faint?” Reese asked suddenly, staring at him with worry.
He shook his head.
“Are you sure?”
“I’m sure,” he answered with a pained smile. “Women and children faint. Elderly people faint. Men pass out.” — ArchAngel
Nobody looked at the well-dressed, polite-looking young man and thought ‘killer.’ He stood about five feet and ten inches tall, with dark hair, dark eyes, and facial features from which nothing in particular stood out. He looked like an average, unassuming person – the sort who helped a fallen child off the ground, never ran red lights, and owned a dog or two.
He did, in fact, own a dog – an albino Doberman pinscher. It was an excellent dog; the sort that any burglar would regret meeting, if they lived to regret it at all.
And he did actually stop to help strangers on the street. After all, just because he was a murderer didn’t mean he lacked common courtesy. — ArchAngel (Oh, Jasper. ^_^)
“Oh, come on now, Simon. Smile!” Jasper tilted his head and pulled on a mock frown.
“You know, it takes forty-three muscles to frown,” said Simon, looking at the floor. He looked up at Jasper. “It takes only seven muscles to reach out and punch you in the face.”
Jasper rubbed his jaw again. “You already tried that,” he said. “I didn’t like it.”
“I did,” said Simon. — ArchAngel
“Right. Well, when I opened the case, guess what was in it?”
“A human skull. Alas poor Yorick.”
Hannah rolled her eyes. “A gun.”
“Oooh.” The sarcasm in Sam’s voice was unmistakable. “You don’t say.”
“Just hang on and listen – it was a six-inch Relampego.”
Sam was silent again, and Hannah smiled triumphantly. Relampegos had been originally created for the United States Black Ops, but they were outlawed before they could become standard-issue. They were different from other handguns because they were enabled with an electronic sensor-scope that locked onto an individual and, once the trigger was pulled, released a specialized bullet that exploded on impact. It was a very contained explosion – you could shoot an individual in a crowd and no one but the target would be damaged. — ArchAngel (Max, I thought of you for some reason when I created this gun =D)
Jasper’s mouth formed an astonished ‘O.’ “Evil?” he exclaimed, pointing toward himself in a ‘me?’ gesture. “I’m not evil! I’m a realist. Which, come to think of it, is so much scarier, isn’t it? After all, what does it say about the world we live in?” — ArchAngel
“And you think you’re above us, do you?” Simon asked….
Jasper shrugged and smiled as if he had just been told the happiest thing in the world. “Isn’t it obvious? I mean…” he bent down nearer to Simon and lowered his voice. “I’m not the one tied to the chair.” — ArchAngel
“It must be nice, having no conscience,” Simon remarked. He did not even allow his eyes to flick over to Reese. Her skin was the unhealthy color of ash, and her breathing was shallow.
Jasper pretended to look offended. “Of course I have a conscience!” He smiled dreamily up at the concrete ceiling. “It’s in a little silver box in the back of my closet, screaming ‘let me out! Let me out! You’re making bad choices!’”
Opal shrank behind the corner of a shop several dozen yards behind, watching and waiting.
“If you’re going to trail someone, I suggest you practice a bit more,” the soft voice called, a teasing lilt audible in it.
Opal crept from her hiding place and walked forward toward the minstrel. He never turned around; just waited until she stood next to him.
“To what do I owe this honor?” he asked, looking down at her with his white eyes. His lashes were white too, she noticed.
“What honor?” she asked bluntly.
“Why, the honor of being stalked by such a beauty as yourself,” was the laughing answer.
“Oh, that. I’m hiding from my aunt,” said Opal matter-of-factly.
“Ah.” He plucked a yellow feather from his bird-like vest and blew softly. It fluttered in his fingers like a living thing. “And is this aunt so terrible?”
“Oh, no,” Opal said quickly, “I just don’t want to be found yet. I want some time alone.” He looked at her, an amused smile on his face. “I have to have someone with me all the time,” she added, feeling somewhat like a lizard in plain view of a hungry eagle.
He did not ask why, but his silence spoke the question.
“…My name’s Opal,” she confessed after a moment of loud silence. “Opal Hedenson. The… um, niece of Crown Eristor.”
The minstrel’s eyes widened. “Then your aunt…”
“Crowness Sienna,” Opal finished guiltily.
He stood still, his fingers strumming the air by his leg as if an invisible instrument. “Well, then,” he declared after a moment, “I have no wish to be outlawed for harboring a fugitive.”
Opal opened her mouth to either protest or plead, but he went on. “However, I see no harm in inviting a royal youngling to dinner. Do you?” He looked at her with an inquiring air.
She felt a smile split her face like a seam. “Thank you,” she said politely. “I accept your invitation.” — The Minstrel’s Song. This was a WIP a while ago that I only got a few pages into, centered around Opal, the neice of Sienna and Eristor from The Shadows Fall. I don’t know if I’ll finish it, but I may change the characters around and create an entirely new story. I rather like it.
I hope you enjoyed these ‘snippets,’ even though most of them were like ‘novellas’ and I got a bit carried away plucking favorite bits from my stories. You all are awesome; I’m just sayin’.