Paying Attention to the Signs
Happy Wednesday everyone. It’s that most special time of the week when WIPpeteers from around the globe share snips of their WIPs from various genres. But first, my mid-week ROW80 Check-in because it’s short and sweet.
- I wrote more words on CBC. Roughly 4k to be exact.
- I made great headway on the cover for Emergence regardless of the fact I spent two unproductive hours Monday night arguing with the program I’m laying the sketch out in. For some reason it kept Not Responding. So, of course, like a Terrier locking its jaws on a rat, I refused to give in. I repeatedly ctrl-alt-delete-Task-Managered the living bejeezus out of it. Rebooted the computer twice. Logged out. Logged back in. Researched the problem on the internet. And still got nowhere. All the while I kept telling myself maybe it meant I needed to take a break. I couldn’t help but remember the quote about a sure sign of insanity being that you repeat the same thing over and over while expecting different results. Who says I’m stubborn? There’s another quote about the fine line between persistence and foolishness, or some such thing. I embody all of the above. No damn computer is going to one up me. *sigh* In the end, the damn computer one upped me. I hung my head in defeat and went to bed. Ever since, the program has worked like a charm. Ahh, the joys of modern technology!
Okay, on to this week’s WIPpet. I was going to give you the last 29 sentences I wrote Tuesday, but that included too much spoiler material. Page 29 had the same issue. I could have given you 29 words, but I couldn’t find a quote I liked. So, instead, you get 29 sentences I wrote Tuesday, just not the last ones of the day. 🙂
To set you up, in this scene Driev is on a job. Yes, he’s a sometime thief, among other things. He has been told the item he is looking for is in a compartment under a sculpture of a certain goddess, in the study of a house. Something hasn’t felt right about the job from the start. He’s thus far avoided four guards and believes he is alone in the study. Or is he? Oh, and he makes a reference to something that Ahgul once told him which I will share with you here.
“You’re taunting life,” Ahgul had told me once. “You’re hoping it kills you because you can’t do it yourself. Too much pride, heh? Too much honor? What you are is too much a coward to face it head on, so you’re looking for an easy way out.”
And now for 29 sentences…
I’ve never been a student of the deities. There are far too many to keep track of. As such, choosing between the three sculptures on their identical pedestals, with the barest of light to guide me, was little more than a toss of the dice. I went with the nearest. It weighed less than I thought it should have, and revealed nothing beneath it. I replaced the figure and moved on to the next. My fingers closed around its neck, and I tensed, twisting my head toward the far side of the room.
Air moves differently when people are about. Even someone standing still, and breathing slow and steady will cause a shift in the currents. Most folk won’t ever notice the subtleties. Those who spend enough time practicing the shadow trades become attuned to it. Those same instincts that had been screaming at me since entering the Magistrate’s estate wanted to explode.
I could have called the watcher out. I could have left without the prize. I could have done any number of things. I shouldn’t have continued on as though nothing were amiss. But I did. Ahgul may have had a point. I lifted the figurine straight into the air, shining the thief light on the pedestal to reveal a hollow in which sat a small, bloodwood box.
I set the thief light aside and reached to lift the box from its hiding spot. As soon as my fingers touched it, three things happened at once, and I swear I heard the pantheons burst out in laughter.
A blinding jolt of pain shot up my arm, and launched an assault in the back of my head as though someone had clobbered me with a sturdy chunk of lumber. Though I wanted to drop the damn box, my hand refused to cooperate. I likewise couldn’t convince my mouth to keep shut. The attempt at silencing it caused the noise that came out to sound something like the cross between a whimpering baby and a screaming cat.
In conjunction, the door to the study flew open to admit one startled and irritated guard. Half way across the room he gurgled out a sound to rival mine, staggered, clutched at his throat, and dropped to the ground.
Before I could make sense of it, something sharp bit into the side of my neck, and a voice whispered in my ear, “Bene darkmans, Brother.”
Numbness followed immediately, eliminating the magic-induced pain, and spreading from my shoulders to my toes in the same amount of time it took me to realize what had happened.
By the way, ‘bene darkmans’ means ‘good night’ in thieves cant.
And also, by the way, if you missed the previous two WIPterviews, Emily Witt stopped in on Friday, and Xina Marie Uhl paid a visit Monday. Also, if you’re a lover of fantasy, on Sunday I reviewed the soon-to-be-released Evensong by the phenomenal Krista Walsh.
Okay, time to go see what the rest of the ROWers and WIPpeteers are up to.
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