NaNo Teaser 4

Hey all.

I know, I know, it’s rude of me to keep teasing you with little snippets of my story.  I must admit, though, that I like torturing you, so you’ll just have to deal with it.

Besides, I think you’ll find this section very intriguing.

With holiday prepration (total lie, I just haven’t felt like it), I haven’t had a chance to work on the story much in the last couple days.  I will finish it though, and will send it off to those of you who requested it once it is done.  Perhaps some encouragement in the comments section will rekindle my interest in completing the story…

What?  I’m not allowed to fish for compliments?


“Are you ready to tell me what happened?”

Antyn took a moment to get comfortable in his seat.  He didn’t want to seem too eager to get the story out, or to appear to have given too much thought to it either.  He hadn’t rehearsed what he would say ahead of time because he hadn’t wanted it to sound like he had.  He needed for her to think that his outburst that night had solely been do to his injuries and nothing to do with anything else.

“Other than being rushed for time, everything went fairly smoothly.  I was able to affix the four bombs as well as I could have hoped, and make it back into the forest without being seen.  Well, at least I don’t think I was seen, I’m not certain about that.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, after hiding myself in the brush, I noticed that new torches had been lit and were in the process of circling the interior structure.  So, someone inside had either seen me, or they might have heard something as I went about my task.  Either just me running through the darkness when sound carries the most, or the bombs themselves as they clattered against the stone.”

“Not that it matters, in your guise they would have assumed you were a guard of Raum even if you had been seen.”


“And then what happened?”

“I heard voices talking excitedly and I assumed they had found one of my devices.  I tried to flee further into the forest then but I had miscalculated how much time I had left and was still too close to the building when the bombs went off.  I was thrown forward, the guards uniform was shredded, and I took it off thinking that it would be better for them to find it all in one place than to follow the pieces of it as it disintegrated on me to then suddenly disappear when I found you and you whisked us back here.”

“And what of the children?”  She peered over her glasses menacingly as she asked.

This was the real test, where what he said and how he said it could determine his immediate fate.

Antyn scrunched his face up quizzically, “Were there children there?  I guess I remember something about that.  What of them?”

Hoyla studied him intently.  As time passed he kept his quizzical look, and then increased it slightly, eyebrows raised, mouth open slightly, hands open.  Before she could respond, he added another “What?”

“You were most upset about the children.  That was why you tried to assault me.”

“I don’t remember that.  I was very disoriented when I woke up.  The blast might have scrambled things for me a bit.  Again, I’m sorry I tried to hurt you.”  He paused, and then added, “I didn’t hurt you, did I?”  His face morphed into a perfect mask of concern.

Hoyla laughed.  “You think you could ever hurt me?  My dear boy, after working together for seven years I would certainly hope that you realize you could never be any threat to me.”  While the words were genial, and her shifting eyes danced happily, Antyn still felt the barbed dagger of her words.  It was nearly an insult that he would think that she could be harmed by anything he did.  He was insignificant, powerless.

He wanted to lunge at her again, but he kept up the ruse, smiled and even managed a small chuckle, “I’m glad to hear it.”

Antyn wasn’t sure he had been convincing enough, but he’d done the best he could.  Hoyla, seemed to have relaxed further and was almost reverting to how she had been all those years as they poured over his studies.  But there was still something in her eyes and the steel of her voice that made him wonder if she too was playing the deception game.

NaNo Teaser 3

Would you believe me if I told you my current NaNoWriMo word count is 52, 794?

Wait, wait, wait, before you start congratulating me, you should probably know that I just introduced a new character 5,000 words ago, and while looking for a segment to share with you today I found another character I had introduced and then forgotten about that I need to work back in.  So… Okay, yes, I have hit the 50K word target, but this story is a long, long way from being done.

Not that you really care as long as you keep getting glimpses of it, right?

Well, sorry to keep you waiting, here you go:


His dreams were more troubled than normal.  Instead of the fire lifting him up it burned him.  Rather than feeling in control and powerful, he was vulnerable, weak, and afraid.   It was the fear that eventually woke him, and he struggled to remove himself from his tangled blankets.  They strangled him and suffocated him.  The fear from the dream carried over and he cried out.

Antyn finally managed to fling the covers away and he hurdled out of the bed.  His breathing was rugged and hoarse.  His body was chilled despite the sweat on his brow and cheeks.  He wrapped his arms around himself to try and steady his nerves and calm his trembling.  When he was in control again he looked askance at his bed.

“It was only a dream.”

He wondered if Hoyla had the power to send him dreams, and if she did, if she would send him one to make him feel small and insignificant again.  Was The Casting sending him a message that there were still forces he should respect and fear if he valued his life?  Was he supposed to take the nightmare as a sign to hedge his confidence, double check his plans, and not trump up his own contributions?  Was it simpler than that, and Hoyla was getting revenge for the questions and attitude he continued to ply her with?

Or, was it really just a dream.  He’d had nightmares most of his life so it wasn’t that far out of the ordinary that he would have one.  But, he hadn’t had a bad dream since he’d left the magic school, since he’d made up his mind and come to terms with the fact that he would never be a wizard.  The timing seemed strange.  Why would he have one that night in particular?

He rubbed his eyes to wipe away the last dregs of sleep, and then went to throw some water in his face from the basin in the kitchen.  The fear faded to the recesses of his mind and spying a new delivery he smiled, breaking the last grasp of the nightmare’s spell over him.  He had things to do, he had a purpose, and he had an important skill.  Antyn removed the items and placed them carefully on his work bench and once each item had been cataloged and checked off his request list he set to work mixing chemicals.

Day turned into night, and back into day.  He took small breaks to eat and relieve himself, but otherwise he was fully engaged and hardly noticed the passage of time.  Four walls meant four devices, four triggers, four timers, and the timers had to be perfectly set in unison so the individual bombs would work concordantly rather than against each other.

Time slipped and he had no idea how many days and nights had passed when the air shifting near the fireplace heralded Hoyla’s arrival.  In her hand she held a satchel that was full to bursting.  Too distracted by her arrival and his curiosity over what she’d brought with her, Antyn couldn’t focus on the intricate and delicate work he’d been engaged in, so he pushed away from the work bench and joined her near the hearth.

He’d allowed it to go cold as his mind had been too full of elements and compounds to notice the chill in the air, and as he took a seat, Hoyla cast the simple spell that caused fire to spring into the hearth, feeding on nothing but her magic and a steady supply of oxygen, “Axt zelab.”

Anytn was grateful for the warmth, and decided he would have to be more mindful in the future of making sure he took care of his body even as he nourished his mind and soul through his work.  “What did you bring me?”

update, challenge, question

For those of you wondering, during my recent journey to AZ I managed to write exactly zero new words for this year’s NaNoWriMo.  As expected, I guess, hence the mad dash to build up a surplus before I left.  And now that I’m back?  Well, I’m hoping to get back into a writing groove.  We’ll just have to see what happens.

Speaking of NaNo…  Nothing says writing lots of words like coming up with distractions to keep you from writing those words, right?  Do you have words?  Are we friends?  Perhaps you’d like to test your words against my words?  You can find me under username: MatticusDJ.  I’m not a treasure trove of random words, but I do enjoy the puzzle aspect of figuring out how to make the most of the letters I’ve been given.  So, if you want to play words with friends with me, now you know how to find me.

And, while on the subject of friends, Rara has requested that I join Facebook.  I’ve been staunch in my desire to avoid joining the book of faces, but as I grow my brand and continue to evolve as a writer, I can see the benefit of having such a vast and pervasive platform at my disposal but I’m not sure it is necessary, worth the time to maintain another web presence, etc…  What are your thoughts on Facebook?

NaNo teaser 2

I know you all thoroughly enjoyed the first excerpt I shared last week so I’ve decided to share another segment today.  Happy reading!  And to all you out there participating in NaNoWriMo or any of the other writing and blogging events going on this month, good luck, have fun, happy world and character creating, happy story telling.


The stars continued to wink at him as he slipped away from the building.  He didn’t go too far because he wanted to watch it, he had to see it work, but he did make sure he was safely out of the blast radius.  Dressed in all black, he ducked into the shadows of a nearby alley, and waited.

A second stray thought crossed his mind.  While he had been perfectly willing to kill his former classmates and teachers, he had first waited for his bomb to go off in the light.  Sure, he had set them up in the dark and people were definitely going to die, but it was going to be day when they went off.  This time he waited, unsure of who might be injured or killed in the explosion, and hidden in the folds of darkness.  Did that mean something?  Had his first attempt been more justified because it was going to explode during the day?  Was there something more sinister about this test because it was going to happen at night?

Answers never had time to formulate as his world was rocked by the crash and wave of an explosion.  The fireball that erupted from his bomb reached for the heavens and the ground under his feet shook in one violent rolling tremble.  What was left of the tower separated from the wall and fell to ground in thunderous chunks of stone and wood.  The ground shook as each new piece collided with the hard soil beneath.  Antyn’s ears rang painfully, but he didn’t mind.

His face, illuminated for only the stars to see, by the cascading waves of fire running down the base of the tower and across the wall, shown with pure joy.  The devices worked.  His bombs worked.  He had created something from nothing.  He was no longer a failure.  He had power.

Antyn rose his arms to the sky and marveled at the destruction he had caused.  He drank in the darkness.  He steadied his soul with the rocks he had torn loose from their moorings.

The fire raged on and spread further away from the initial point of the explosion.  The intense light the flames cast along the deserted streets send tendrils of shadows writhing along the ground and adjacent walls.  They turned the night away and banished the shadows that Antyn had been hiding in.

NaNo teaser

Hey all,

I thought I’d give you a sneak peek into the NaNoWriMo project I’m working on.  The story is based on the “Last Chance” series I had posted a couple parts of previously on the Kingdom.

I hope you enjoy!


He returned to the open page and the details of the spell finally held still for him.  He read through them three times to ensure he memorized every word and captured every nuance and proper inflection.  Closing his eyes he ran through the incantation three more times.  When he was confident he was as prepared as he could be, he opened his eyes and grabbed a small falcon feather off the desktop.

Focusing on his breathing, he slowed his intake and output as he had been taught.  This calming act allowed him to also reduce his heart rate and bring stillness to his mind and body.  He looked within and found the energy that needed to be harnessed to unleash the spell.  He held the feather at the ready in his right hand.  He pushed aside everything else.  There was only the feather and the magic.

The flickering lights faded away.  The sound of the play fight raging outside were muted.  The trembling of his thoughts were stilled.  The words to the spell danced in his mind.  He cupped them together lovingly and tossed the feather into the air.

“Axt loatf cmanomd zrf.”

He spoke the incantation calmly, confidently.  He knew in his heart this would be the time he finally got it right.  This would be the time the spell worked for him.

The feather rocked lazily back and forth until it came to a rest on his left slipper.

Antyn stared down at it in disbelief.  He had done everything right.  He had been so sure it would work.  Why hadn’t it worked?  Why hadn’t the energy been ripped from him and the magic unleashed?  Why wasn’t the feather floating in front of him, suspended by the words of his spell and waiting for the next command?

He looked to the text to double check that he hadn’t made a mistake but the words had resumed their indecipherable swimming.  Squeals of delight from outside filtered through his window and an errant snowball squished against the closed pane causing him to jump from surprise.

Antyn’s inner calm snapped and he lashed out at the tome.  It slid across the smooth surface of his desk and crashed into the adjacent wall.  Unsatisfied, the young man fell further into a berserk tantrum.  His chair was hurled, his bed was shoved askew, his desk was kicked at, books were flung from shelves, candles were toppled and the flames sputtered and were extinguished in overflowing pools of wax.