This morning, my wife asked me to tell her a story. This is what came out.
On a farm in Northreach, a child was playing alone behind the barn. His carved wooden soldiers were crude and simple, but he loved them anyway. His father had carved some of them, but some – the boy’s favorites – had been made by his father’s father, and despite the wood being worn from two generations of loving handling, those three figures were always the heroes and kings and generals, whatever the story in the boy’s head needed them to be. The day was cold, since winter was not long passed, but much of the snow was gone and behind the barn the ground was dry and free from the mud that seemed to be the main component of the farm during early spring.
This is a short story, except nothing really happens in it, so I guess it’s not really a story. It’s something, anyway, whatever it is. I wrote it, so it’s not mine anymore, and reading it makes it yours. Sorry about that.
All I know is I must be a real joy to work with.
It’s the first draft, so forgive me if it sucks. Let me know if it does, though, just so I can try to fix it.
Anyway, this is how it begins:
Thank you for joining us today on Inside the Zombie Studio, the highest-rated and only show on television after the rise of the walking dead. I am your host, William Tetley.
(audience moans, shuffles)
Joining me today are two of the primary… shall I call them movers? of the zombie fantasy novel, The Curse of Troius. I am honored and pleased to welcome first the Stranger of Daneswall, Daevan. I hope that it wasn’t too much trouble getting through the horde surrounding the building?
This is the latest excerpt from The Storm of Northreach, the sequel to The Curse of Troius, due out sometime in 2011. As of now, this is unedited, since I wrote it yesterday afternoon. It may reflect that fact. But it does give an idea of what the novels are like without giving anything away, since this the former minstrel Ternn’s first appearance anywhere. Enjoy! Or hate it. I can’t tell you what to do. But you can tell me what you think.
The pouring rain ran in a sheet down Ternn’s seamed and pinched face. He clenched his arms protectively the crude clay jug pressed against the sodden fraying remnants of his shirt. He staggered down the half-flooded road, plodding obliviously through the rank water that had risen from the lowest channels of the refuse canals that cut through the Gutters. At this point, he would have waded through a knee-deep pool of the city’s collected shit in order to reach his favored spot, now that he’d gotten his hands on enough of Icar’s rotgut to keep him in a stupor for a few days. With his treasure, he’d be able to keep the memories haunting him at bay for a little while longer. Read the rest of this entry
This idea popped into my head between last night and this morning. I talked it over with Lady Aravan to nail down the idea, and wrote it today. Hope you like it.
Ralph Ebbets gripped the phone tightly in his damp fist, hating the whining edge that crept into his voice. “Honey, I packed my lunch today, and – “
His wife’s voice cut him off sharply. “Oh, heaven’s sake, Ralph,” and he hated the way she used his name as a contemptuous weapon, against which he could raise no protest for it was but his name, “your son is going back to school today and he wants to have lunch with his father before he leaves. Can’t you change your precious routine for one day?” Read the rest of this entry
That short story idea I mentioned? I carved some time today to bang it out.
There’s a lot to hate about the world today. I mean, between the lack of electricity, horrendous snarls of traffic from abandoned cars, the total absence of a friendly face, and hordes of disgusting rotting cannibalistic walking corpses - let’s face it, there isn’t much to be happy about. Unless you count being alive in the face of all this, which is sort of a mixed curse and a blessing when all is said and done. Read the rest of this entry