Day Twenty, and the cold is still here.
The Blood of the Gods- 3125 words
In other news, Dollhouse has a wicked sense of humor, but I'll still be shocked if it makes 8 episodes on broadcast. Last night, I finished reading Peace Kills by P.J. O'Rourke. That writer is bad for me like the third and forth tequila shots. First, he uses too many drinking references that I get. And I find his prose style infectious, so that I have to make a conscious effort not to write like that for a few days after reading something by him.
No wonder that three day novel contest is such a bastard. That's 25K words a day for 3 days!
The novel I am working on has cracked 14K words now and here is a little about it. The Blood of the Gods has an armed force trying to take over the most expensive real estate in Haliford as part of a secret plan. The missioners who enact the will of the Gods start to come into contact with each other in a bloody turf war. Its swords and spells and life in a Medieval Magical Manhattan. Here is a sample of a sequel to The Clockwork Bride. This is an interlude in a much bigger fight....
William Arterton had excelled in his studies in The University and he was without doubt at the top of his class in the information and detection arts. With his skills he could have worked for anyone on a permanent basis, but he had decided to remain independent. William valued his freedom more than anything else, so he worked with a wide variety of clients. Today, he was working for the temple of Kharvor as he was helping them look into the tragedy that had just befallen their new temple. He tried to stay out of the temple business, but they always had the most coin. And oh, how those coins talked.
He had been briefed on the carriage ride over to the organization's Oak Street location. It seemed that the night before, an assassin had entered the temple and he had killed several guards including one high- ranking member of the temple's security force that happened to be overseeing the new construction. William had been contacted in the dead of night and as he had a wife to support, he dressed and prepared his spells and met the coach when it stopped in front of his door. The temple itself had been cleaned with a neat little row of bodies wrapped by the front door. He got there just in time to see strong men get them into a wagon to cart them off. William Arterton was smart enough to forget to ask where the bodies were going.
After hearing a brief description of the events of the night before, he went to work. William cast the basic spells and found the killer by holding focus on the exit the killer had used and back tracking a bit. At the demand of his paymasters, he froze the man's image and held it so that the temple's spell casters could study him. William studied him while they worked. The man was five and a half feet tall and wrapped in grays and blacks. He did not seem to carry a weapon, but those could be hidden almost anywhere. The most unusual fact about the man was one of the details that was bedeviling his hosts. As he held the image, they tried to discover the way that the man had blurred his features. Then one of the three servants of Kharvor asked the other two where the map case was. That question triggered another argument. He was doing his best to ignore the men, but he was frozen in time with them. There was no place he could hide from the heated discussion. The spells he had cast to hold the moment were just difficult enough to require he hold his concentration on the job at hand. So here he was, listening to a family squabble.
There was a loud crack from the direction of the door and then another. He decided to drop the spell. It was simple enough to cast again and William had a bad feeling about being blind in the temple. To him it seemed cursed. When he let go of the charm, he and the others dropped back into seeing the world in real time. For a split second he was sorry he had dropped the spell. A gray skinned giant, standing a man and a half tall was swinging the largest hammer he had ever seen around the room. The double doors that led to the street bad been blown in, the hinges shattered. The creature was standing so that his deadly hammer would have the chance to strike him if he made a run for the door.
"Do something," one of the men screamed at him.
William staggered back and did the only thing he could imagine. He weaved his hands together and brought back the scene from the night before.
The giant staggered when he saw the assassin standing in the middle of his huge form. He rubbed his chin and looked at the fleeing figure that was frozen in time. "That figures," he said with a sound so deep it rattled in the spell caster's chest and drowned out the mewling of an injured man by the front door. The giant swung his enormous head in William's general direction. "Stop that," he growled. The creature staggered back a step and felt his chest and he was outraged when he saw his black blood.
William choked out a single word in a hoarse whisper. "Leave."
The giant smiled and closed his eyes. He swung his hammer in a wide arc to a chorus of screams and bone-shattering collisions that came from unseen opponents. The giant's eyes snapped open and focused on the spell caster who had trapped them in the image of that moment together. He closed the distance and backhanded the magician into the nearest wall.
In a shattering instant, William was against the wall and his spell was gone. His eyes were full of stars and then a mixture of cold sweat and blood. Then they closed for a day and a half. When he awoke, he was in a basement hospital in the temple of Kharvor across town. They took care of him for a few days before he went home to be with his family. He recovered there and took the time to consider his future. On making a full recovery, he decided to go back and teach at The University. The words of one of his instructors rang out in his memory. When he had asked one of his favorite people at The University why he had gone to a life of teaching he had gotten an answer he now knew to be true. He smiled to himself as he signed the first of many annual work contracts.
"We may have the occasional accident in the study or in the summoning chamber, but that pales by comparison to the hazards of doing field work."