Friday, November 23, 2012

Preview for Nanowrimo 2012 'Shadow of the Queen' (iii)

Here is a quick scene I wrote in the midst of Thanksgiving chaos at my family's house.

Zeina 'accidentally' foils an assassination  attempt...without meaning to do it. Gareth is the household's Captain of the Guard, who has secrets of his own.

A hand clapped over my mouth and stifled my surprised yell. Then a strong arm wrapped around my waist and pulled me backwards into the nearest alcove. Warm breath tickled my ear, and jolts of pleasure shot down my nerves,

Suraya bless! I felt a hot flush scorch my face and throat. Suddenly, Najani's ribald teasing took on a new meaning. I wasn't unschooled in such matters, but I throttled the urge to twist around and give in to those impulses.

I was aware of the rhythm of a strong heartbeat as my back pressed against a solid chest, and the smell of jasmine--my own perfumed silks--tickled my nose.The iron-grip tightened for a second, as if its owner could read the tumult of my mind. It slowly eased, as if regaining some sort of control.
"Say nothing. We must remain hidden until the time is right. Understand?"

Gareth! I nodded, then those arms released me as quickly as they had captured me. I whirled around to see his large form pressed against the stone wall of the corridor. He wore the colors of Lord Kidoshu's house, but no protective armor. The torchlight threw his pale skin into sharp relief.


He shook his head and tapped the side of his head with an index fingers. Mental shields are up. I nodded to show him I understood. He turned away from me, his gaze riveted around the corner, at the figures at the front of the Main Hall. Lord Kidoshu, the First Wife, the Caliph and his mate, the Sultana.
Again, I felt that odd stir of anticipation, as if something was about to happen. The torchlight flickered and briefly danced upon the metal tip of an arrow, poking out from behind a heavy curtain.
Aimed directly at the Sultana.

The silent arrow erupted from behind the curtain, and flew across the Main Hall, above the heads of the guests and Handmaidens. I reacted without conscious thought; I extended a hand and nudged its course slightly.

But I wasn't quick enough, and I felt the arrow strike home within my own chest.

I blinked to find myself within the Main Hall, standing directly in front of the honored guests, without any memory of how I got there. A sharp sting drew my gaze downward to find the wooden shaft buried in the left side of my body.

The paralysis released me and I sank to the floor, my nerves ablaze with pain. Seconds dragged into eternity, as a blur of chaos exploded above me. Shouts, screams, curses...but I barely heard them. All my senses began to shut down and I allowed it, now beyond caring.

Suddenly, a burst of rage overwhelmed my mind, and like molten heat, it swept aside everything in its path. The image of a hunting hawk formed in my mind, golden wings spread across the sky, talons outstretched to rip its prey apart. The enemy froze, unable to take its eyes off the majestic sight...

Pain, agony, blood. The torture lasted only moments in reality, but here, within the mystic realm, those moments stretched into years, then centuries. The enemy screamed and begged for mercy, for release, but the Hawk reveled in its revenge.

And by the time it had finished, the enemy lay there, its lifeblood oozing out of its many wounds, to paint the mind-scape a blackish red.

That warm energy seeped into my muscles and bones, fusing itself with me as it bathed and soothed the agony away. I relaxed into it and allowed it to take my Soul with it.

All original writing and art copyright A. Dameron 2000-2012

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