I haven’t been writing much since NaNoWriMo ended. It’s unfortunate, but a lot of my writing lately has been done while I was at placement, in little lulls when I had nothing to do. Shhh. Unfortunately, placement is now done, and I have to find my own kick in the pants to keep writing. To that end, here’s a snippet from Howl (should be entirely spoiler-free as far as the previous two books are concerned) so that you lot (are there even enough of you for me to call you a “lot”?) can comment and prod me into continuing to write.
“I could do as I pleased with you and still you would come back for more. Not like this one. Useless, sad little creature. But you… a fine, strong woman like yourself… So many difficulties you’ve faced already. I wanted only to remove the pining nuisance from your life. I aimed to help.”
“Help?” Brenna heard herself repeat in a voice like dull, tarnished metal. “You wanted to help?” The hate, black and acidic in her throat, was rising up in her again, suffocating her. She couldn’t breathe, couldn’t think around the fury that was threatening to rip her apart. She was aware that she was rising, but she wasn’t sure when she’d made the decision to stand. Something in her had come free and was operating independently of her brain’s permission, and she liked it.
“Yes.” Pleased, the thing smiled and extended a hand. “I would give you all that I have to offer and more. Did you enjoy my roses?”
“I burned them.” She whispered it, her voice gathering strength as she went on. “I burned them, and I buried the ashes.” Her eyes came up, and though she met the apparition’s eyes squarely, she didn’t weep. “And I’ll do the same to you.”
The thing started. “I offer you riches and you give me threats?”
She bared her teeth and gripped the handle of the knife behind her back. She could feel the group behind her tensing their muscles. “No. Promises!”
She shouted it as her control snapped, as she lunged for the thing despite knowing it wasn’t truly there. It laughed uproariously as she soared straight through it and fell to the ground, then disappeared and left her lying on the ground beside a dead man.
In moments the rest of the group had surrounded her, babbling away at a mile a minute. Brenna shrugged hands off her shoulders, shook her head, and finally raised her hands for silence.
“He needs to be buried. I’d bury him here, but he has family in the States. I need to think about what to tell them, how to plan this whole clusterfuck. So all of you, just fuck off.”
She turned away from them in a gesture so final they were left with no other option. Slowly, they stood and left, until only Aedhán lingered.
“That included you, Tinkerbell,” Brenna said pointedly.
“I won’t leave you with a dead man.”
“Yes, you will. Go away and leave me alone.”
“I won’t leave you to deal with this alone,” he insisted.
Damn stubborn Fae, Brenna thought.
“Yes, you will,” she retorted flatly, her patience straining at the end of its tether. “It’s mine to deal with.”
“It’s for all of us to deal with,” he corrected coolly, and before she could protest again, he knelt, gathered up the dead man as tenderly as if carrying a child and went into the house without looking back.