Friday, November 20, 2009

NANO Day 20--Snippet

My God, this is tiring work! It's like a full-time job. You don't "show up", you don't "get paid."

My snippet is from the current chapter I'm working on--Katie has come to ask the Winterlord for help.

First draft, with all its roughness; please do not quote or repost.


Just when she thought she had overloaded herself with the sights and sounds of the Winterlord's hall, Hulaf stopped in front of a set of double doors. The doors were wood, with high reliefs carved on them. The reliefs depicted an evergreen, its limbs laden with decorations, in the middle of a wooded area. Carved animals and people surrounded the tree.

Katie reached out a wondering hand and stroked the wood. "The Wishing Tree," she murmured.

Hulaf shot her a glance. "Very good."

He pushed on the doors, and the Wishing Tree split down the middle, right where the hidden seam of the doors were. A vast room opened up before her. Light, heat, and noise hit Katie in the face. Conversation and laughter rolled over her dazzled senses.

But just as she noted all the sensations, another took precedence. A cold wind rushed around her legs from behind, pushing into the room and visiting the conversing people and hissing against the fires burning in the multiple fireplaces. People cried out. The fires guttered in the fireplaces. The wind tugged at clothing, blew out candles, and caused tapestries and decorations to sway. Until the wind reached a richly-dressed, imposing man who sat on a dais along with six or seven other richly-dressed folk.

With an exclamation, the man reached for a staff made of wood and banged its end on the floor. The wind scattered into dozens of little breezes that harmlessly dissipated in the vast room.

"Who are you who brings death into my hall?" the man rumbled, his eyes fixed on Katie.

Katie felt light-headed under that gaze. The Winterlord's head might have reached her shoulder, but his own shoulders were nearly as wide as he was tall, and his arms were nearly as big around as her whole torso. He looked as if he could snap a sizable tree in two. His wild dark hair and beard, along with his glare from underneath busy eyebrows, suggested he would find snapping her in two no real challenge.