"Here's how it works. On your blog site, write a new scene or post a scene from your current project that is no more than 500 words, which has a rocking cliffhanger (pun intended). It can be any genre. Just leave us hanging, craving more, and cursing your name for making us want to turn a page that isn't there. Easy peasy, right? Right."
In other fantastic news besides this blogfest occurring today, I also finished my manuscript, Bond of Darkness, last evening on the bus ride into work. I know, right? It has been through three drafts and a project of nearly five years now. Pasted below is the cliffhanger from the last chapter of Bond of Darkness.
November then kicks off NaNoWriMo 2010, and I will tentatively start the second manuscript in Children of the Universe, The Shattered Darkness, on December 1st.
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Last words from Chapter 32 -- With and Without
Quick Run Down: In the previous chapter, a member of Valence's group, Melana, was killed protecting him. They were in the Domain of the Evoctor, called Granus Uria, claiming a piece of his spirit called a Vessel, to return and use in the war against the Darkness. During the event, Valence gives birth to a creation known as a Demi, a black-skinned creature that looks just like him. The Demi's name is Mefist.
(DISCLAIMER: I did go over the 500 word mark, but it was necessary for the whole build-up.)
“We should move away from this rain,” Valence said. “The ground on the plains here will become especially unstable.”
Gerad moved next to him. “Do we go around the wastelands?”
Valence breathed a white stream. “I’m taking her to my people. They’ll be able to protect her body.”
“Valence, you can’t,” Kyona said. “She must be given back to the Elves. They will want her buried properly.”
“I will not give her away when I know I have a chance to protecting her from rising against us.”
“That’s my decision, Kyona,” he said, stern assurance against her and eyes deadlocked. “Besides, you cannot come with me.”
There was silence for only a moment before Gerad stepped directly in front of him. “What is that supposed to mean?”
“It means the Lunata will not let you near our city. I don’t need protection in this area. This is my home ground. After I give her to my people, I’m getting away from this place for a while.”
“Away where?” Oroyu asked.
Valence did not answer.
“I see then.” The hermit separated himself from Valence and stood a few paces from a path leading to the plains. “You want us to go on without you? For the Vessels?”
“Not just for the Vessels,” Gerad added, “is that right? Part of it is to get them away from you. Wherever you’re going.”
Valence chased the suggestion and its consequences. “You defended me from Grenier’s rightful accusations, and I ask for it now. Taking this next step will put Mithrus’ fix on you and it will bring me answers.”
“It’s not fair to ask that of us,” Kyona said.
“It’s not about what is fair. It’s about taking the chance when the odds are against you. Right now, we’re losing this war when it has yet to have started. If they were able to get so close to us, we must chance this parting.”
“How can you be sure?” Kyona stroked Melana’s arm. “She was a girl. You can remember her in more ways than walking into the unknown.”
"I know. It'll all turn out."
"Where will we find you once you have found your answers?” Oroyu asked, turning back to him. He pulled out his sais, twirled them around his hands like an artful fighter, and slid them between Valence's waist and belt. "You'll need these."
Valence had no sword, for it had disappeared somewhere in the domain after their departure. “I will find you,” he said. “Until then, do not think or ask about me to anyone.”
A swift crack of lightning pulled them on separate sides of the paths leading to the plains. He would walk the wastelands, scavengers in his shadow as he moved for Lunbaris, and they would find an alternate route to the next Vessel. His feet sunk into the mud and he slopped through puddles in his sharp descent. The rain beating against his clothes and the relentless rolling thunder calmed his walk, and he found himself looking at Melana less as he took care in every step.
It was under the rain and thunder that he remembered what the Archon told him the many years ago during their first meeting. He had been sitting on a bedside, Ismer squatting before him and illustrating pictures in the air with his finger. The account of his incident at Thenar arose and he told the old man what had become of Irien. Of the man who had taken him captive and tortured the boy into fighting him. Ismer had explained to him the gift of Demi creation, also.
He thought Mefist had pushed the thought to him, but he had known it all along.
“'The change will come one day when you least expect it. I feel something odd in you, misplaced maybe, but I see you being one such Lunata who will have a relationship with a Demi. He will be yours only, all control and thought it has, an extension of who you will grow to become. But you must embrace that power, not fear it. You are a special boy and what you do will affect those closest to you.'"
Ismer had paused at one point then, unblinking with a smile. The Archon had seen into him that day, so far into his future and what devastation he would bring into the world.
"'It is you who will become a god if you learn to harness the powers you were born with. Tame this unnatural gift, control it and let it be your guide. Only then can you truly achieve a power greater than any coveted by man or beast.'”
This is what he needed to find. Unsure if that power lied dormant inside him or in the pairing with Mefist, it was a vast search that was to begin. The misty rain swallowed him and a snap of lightning rippled in the clouds, thunder behind him. The truths that had been hidden from him would come in time, but he never looked back.