Thursday, November 25, 2010
NaNoWriMo: Day Twenty-Five
Happy Thanksgiving to all my cohorts. Extended greetings to my family, who I am away from for the first holiday season ever. And I tell you, it is really hard to be at work today, despite it being Disney and all, and not with my family.
But, regardless, I found a good connection in the cafeteria here on property, so I'll be Skyping with them all very soon. That brightens my day a bit.
Here is my latest excerpt.
Peace and Writing Love, plus Turkey.
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The Shattered Darkness
Chapter 14 excerpt
At the other end of the chamber, cut out of the rug, was a similar patch of floor where Ismer showed that he prayed. He took an interest in the prayer circle once more, kneeling at it with a finger on the line. He had noticed it with Ismer’s circle, but tiny lines formed interior rings. They were spaced not even inches apart, pegs connecting them at various parts.
“That’s not like the other prayer circle,” Mefist said. He kneeled next to Valence and the moment after, a whirlwind force pulled them to the ground. There was a flash of green, terribly bright, and something smacked at his back. He opened his eyes, daring the light’s intensity, but it was gone. They lay on the floor outside the circle.
“This seems too similar,” Valence said to the Demi.
“I think you’re right.” Mefist gathered himself and pulled Valence up. “And, I don’t think that was a prayer circle.” He looked around the new room. It was not the one that gave homage to day and night, but something else entirely. “In fact, I’m sure of it. We were portaled somewhere.”
“I think this is a ley,” Valence said, “but I’ve never seen an active one. I wonder what we did.”
“Who cares.” Mefist took in their new surroundings. “Whichever of the Archons called this tower home had no sense of decor. A chair and work table over there,” he said, pointing to it, “and some candles. Very homy. All the power in the world, messengers of the gods, and they can’t put a carpet down?”
Valence ignored Mefist’s complaints and found the door leading to what was likely the stairs down. He had learned his lesson and did not doubt the glance down would fare him any more solid a stomach than the last. He looked along the walls. The construction of the towers were mostly similar, with differences attributing each keeper’s taste, but what had been left to preservation sent his mind walking. Ismer’s tower and the one before both had the rib-like beams running down the entire length. He had not thought it as anything more than supporting the height of the tower, but he looked more closely at the beams. Tube-like glass was on either side of the beam, running top to bottom. An energy fed off it, obviously unused for some time, but even the oldest trace amounts held to age. It felt Seentirulian in shape and depth, but it was very deep, as if the glass did not end at the floor. It was as if something beneath the ground gave the tower the energy supply.
He came back to Mefist, thinking. The Demi was sitting on the floor just outside the ley gate. “These towers are definitely strange. I think they were used as conductors of some kind. But, I can’t tell for what.”
“Fascinating,” Mefist said. “Does any of this help us, though?” He went to say something more, but was interrupted by the glow of the gate starting up again.
It hummed to them, a force behind the veil of the ley pushing into the empty chamber. It filled the room and a sudden pressure ran along Valence’s back, his instinct’s way of telling him that they were being watched. The green ran through the ley’s patterns and the air shimmered with a flash of prismatic color. He looked at Mefist, whose red eyes and black slits softened with concern. He, too, felt the presence coming at them.
“I don’t like the way this feels,” Mefist said.
“Neither do I,” Valence said. He put out his hand to feel
the wards on the tower. They had been there, but something was
sucking the protection away at a very quick rate. Layers over layers of ancient defenses were being bypassed.
“Damn,” he muttered. “I just remembered the bad thing about ley gates.”
“Anyone can use them. We took this gate from the sun and moon tower, but it could lead somewhere else, also.”
No sooner had he spoken, the shimmering air burst apart like shattering glass and a tendril shot out from the gate. It was writing through the air, visible in the space they stood and just not inside the threshold of the ley. It snapped and coiled, grabbing Valence up, but Mefist was already on it. He came down on the tendril with a sai, pinning it to the floor. The slimy arm detached from whatever body fed it, the pierced half wriggling. The cut portion morphed to a thin, deadly needle and slashed back at them.
Valence dodged back, but grabbed at his chest after the swing had passed over. Fine drops of his blood sprinkled across the floor. He took his steps back, Mefist guarding his front, as the tentacle morphed again to a shape bearing claws. Another tendril came from the threshold, also clawed. They reached for them and something larger was coming out of the gate. A thick mass, slick with a moist shell as its body, rolled from the ley, the claws dragging it forward into the chamber. It hissed and spat, minimizing their safe ground, and two eyes pushed down the body to look on them. They flickered to life, the glowing shapes not even blinking. They only stared. The thing hissed again, vicious, and lurched.
The body of the demon went right while the arms came from the other side. Mefist put himself in front of the arms and it fetched a strike that put him to the floor. The Demi fought to rise, but the tendrils slapped down on him and knocked him chest-flat again. Valence leapt over the arms as the body rolled for him, the eyes spinning upward as the body revolved. Its stare never left him.