Saturday, July 26, 2008

Voila! Tricked out Deck! Friday Snippet, July 25, 2008

And here is the finished project. Presto, chango.

Below is a snippet from a short I'm working on. Artemis Hancock is a gunslinger. The narrator--well, is something a little different. First draft--may change, please do not quote or repost. Thanks, and enjoy!

And I understood something about Artemis Hancock I hadn’t understood before. He had a purpose. That purpose might be the only thing keeping him sane. I gave that piece of data to the Keeper, not willing to risk losing a fact that would take me one step closer to fulfilling the terms of my punishment and returning home.

When he curled up in his blanket, I waited for sleep to take him. I dropped the girl’s aspect. Without the need to alter his perception, I could be myself.

I padded away from the campfire’s light. The desert night enfolded me in cool velvet, yet carried the sounds of scurrying creatures and the occasional snap of rocks losing the heat of the day. Somewhere in the distance, a creature sang its mournful loneliness to the stars. Coyote, scavenger, the Keeper supplied, but I had heard the sound numerous times and even caught glimpses of the slinking creature in the twilight hours.

I did not fear scavengers, or even the predators that walked this desert. My scent usually deterred anything that crossed my path. If not, my teeth and claws could take care of the rest. If anyone on this planet saw my true form, I would have been shot on sight. Or perhaps burned at the stake.

Stoneriver Valley up close did not impress me any more than it had at a distance. The town crouched in the darkness like some fantastic, sleeping beast on the desert floor. I could smell the fear that lay, pall-like, over the place. But here—here in this tiny collection of sticks where people huddled in the darkness with their fears of the unseen and the unknown—lay the answer to the riddle of Artemis Hancock.

The town had been laid out in a kind of crude cross shape, with the main dirt road serving as the shank of the cross. As I passed the buildings that lined this shank, I caught a familiar whiff. In my travels with Artemis, I had smelled the sourness of beer before.

I paused in front of the tavern. At this time of early morning, even the tavern was dark and silent. With the coming of daylight, that would change. The people would creep from their hiding places and find their courage in the bottles that lined the tavern shelves.


Joy Renee said...

ah, this is lovely as usual. you have such control over tone and the setup pulls me into the story's world relentlessly.

thanx for visiting. i did think of you along with my niece as one of those who are anxious to follow Crystal's story.

nice looking deck!

KnitTech said...

Interesting short. Claws and punishment?