Monday, January 27, 2014

DOOM! and an Aouthentica Excerpt

Heeeere it is! The long-awaited, barely anticipated excerpt from my NaNo project, Aouthentica. This is about one third of the first chapter, which I'll add the rest of if I get requests for it.

ALSO. Before we get to that, I want to tell you about DOOM. It stands for Definitely O-normous O-uthor Months. It's a variation on NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo.
We'll be writing 50K (50,000) words over the months of March and April.
That's 820 words a day for 61 days. Amanda Wikoff came up with it over at The Ramblings Of A Wayward Author. If you want to do it you should head over there and let her know you're in!

On that note, my goal right now is to finish editing what I already have of Aouthentica by the end of February and then add onto it for all of DOOM.

Onto the excerpt.

Rienna was not happy. Jrew could tell. It wasn’t  the way she tossed her gorgeous blond hair over her shoulder. For one thing, hers was brown, and for another, that was a kind of harmless gesture that wasn’t typical for her. It wasn’t what she was saying, because she was being perfectly silent.
No, it was her posture that tipped him off. That and her ferocious scowl as she fired off ten rounds into a paper cut-out of him down-range.

“Whatcha doing?” He asked, trying to keep his voice casual.

“Letting off some steam.” She didn’t even turn to look at him,

Six more shots. Jrew winced as one hit “his” eye and two more hit him in the nose.

“Look, Rienna, I know you’re angry, but I have no idea why.” He moved over to the range table and began to reload some of her magazines as a bit of a peace offering.

She turned to look at him. “Really? You have no idea?”

“None.” He answered honestly, holding out a loaded magazine to her.

Rienna snatched it away and slapped the next empty one into his hand. “It’s Daven.”

She turned and emptied half her ammo into the target.

“So you’re mad at Daven. Not me.” Jrew said slowly, just standing there with the empty mag now.

Rienna let out a sigh, finished her shots, then whirled on him. “I’m mad at both of you.”

“Okay. Why?” He absently exchanged magazines with her again.

She slammed it into her gun, released the slide and fired. Only this time, it just went click instead of bang. She glared at him, but he was too deep in thought to notice.

“Is it because I gave you the last of his paperwork to finish yesterday?”

She stalked past him and began to fill her own mags. “No.”

“Is it because we beat you at poker last Friday?”

“What? No!”

“Is it because…”

She threw an empty ammo box into a nearby trashcan with more force than was really necessary. 

“It’s because you spend every spare moment with him.”

Jrew stared at her and then burst out laughing. “Now I get it. You’re jealous!”

“No, I’m not!” She kept her eyes down, working on opening another box. “I just think you’re making a 
mistake, spending so much time with him. He’s not even Aouthentican.”

Now it was Jrew’s turn to sigh. “He IS Aouthentican. He’s spent more time there than you and I have combined.”

“Right!” Rienna’s fingers slipped and sent a bullet flying over her head.  Jrew made a grab for it, but it fell to the ground anyway and went rolling across the concrete floor. He got down on his hands and knees to find it as Rienna kept talking.

“He’s been there for most of his life. He didn’t leave with us. He doesn’t remember being hunted down and shot at by your crazy uncle.”

“Great-uncle.” Jrew spotted a glint of brass under a chair. “And neither do you! You were, what, two weeks old?”

“And you were two years old!” She folded her arms and added after a moment, “Besides, Liza always says it was three weeks.”

“Oh, well then. Three weeks. I’m sure your memory was greatly improved by then.” Jrew stood and dusted his jeans off. “Someone ought to sweep in here.”

“She agrees with me by the way.” Rienna held out her hand for the bullet. “She thinks you spend too much time with Daven.”

“That’s very mature of you, Ri.” He said, keeping a straight face. “Telling your mommy on me.”

“What if she talks to Arron about it?” She stuck her tongue out at him. “Then you’ll be in trouble.”

Jrew dropped the wayward bullet into her hand. “Rienna. I’m a full grown man. I don’t get “in trouble” anymore. What’s wrong with being friends with Daven? He’s a nice guy.”

“But you spend every spare second with him.” She set down the last magazine and turned to face him. “He’s your new best friend.”

“You’re still my best friend, Ri.” Jrew assured her. “But can’t I have two best friends?”

“I don’t know. Can you?” She asked coldly, reloading her gun again.

“All right. Okay. I’m sorry.” He put his hands up in surrender. “I’ve been ignoring you, and I apologize. It’s just been nice to have a guy around.”

At her raised eyebrow, he said quickly, “Not that anything’s wrong with you. I’m just saying.”

She nodded and holstered her gun. “Okay. I get it.”

“On a totally different subject, where did you get a picture of me to use as a target?”

Rienna opened her mouth, but before she could say anything, his phone rang.

She smiled. “You’d probably better get that.”

“We’ll talk about this later.” He warned her, answering the phone. “Hello.”

Rienna fiddled with her magazines while he talked. When he hung up, he was frowning.
“Who was it?”

“Arron. There’s a message for me back at headquarters. It’s from the capitol. Who’s Bairek’s new queen?”

“Terra. You really ought to know that, Jrew.” She scooped up three of the mags and stuck them in her belt.

Jrew stuck his hands in his pockets and led the way out of the range. “It’s never important. I’ve got enough to remember about Aouthentica and Milliayn. I don’t want to bother with a whole other nation.”

Rienna ducked under his arm as he held the door open. “But we live in Bairek. You’ve got to at least know the queen’s name!”

Jrew shrugged, kicking at a rock on the gravel road. “King Domhan never bothered us. I don’t see why his daughter would. It’s probably just a greeting.”

“She didn’t realize we were here for the last year?”

Jrew gave her an odd look. “We’ve been here for nineteen.”

“I meant since she’s been queen.”

“Oh. I don’t know. I doubt Milliayn's large enough to bother her very much.”

As they walked through Milliayn, Rienna glanced up at one of the large blue plastic water tanks that gave the village its water pressure. “Did you know we’re at twenty-five percent water capacity? Cerra said we’ve got two weeks before we need to order a refill.”

“Again?” There was an underlying weariness to his voice. “I hope we can afford it.”

She bumped his shoulder with her own. “Hey. We’ve always been fine before. And it’s starting to get cooler. People will be drinking less and taking fewer showers pretty soon. We won’t have to order as often.”

“I guess.” Jrew watched the houses and the people as they walked past. The houses weren’t exactly nice, but most everyone kept them up as best they could. Everyone who saw them dipped their heads respectfully. Except for the children, who largely ignored Jrew and called out to Rienna instead. One little boy ran up and tugged on her hand.

“Come play with us, Ri!”

“I can’t right now.” Rienna gently pulled her hand away. “Maybe tomorrow okay, Anai? I have some important work to do.”

“‘portant work?” He said in a wondering voice. He turned and ran back to his friends to inform them of her ‘portant work.

“His name is Anai?” Jrew asked.

She smiled. “They play make-believe games all the time, and he always wants to be your dad. And I’m always your uncle because apparently I’m the biggest and the scariest.”

“Great-uncle.” Jrew corrected her. “Between you and me though, I don’t think he’s that great.”

Rienna smiled briefly, but seemed distracted all of a sudden. She was staring straight ahead, looking toward Milliayn’s headquarters.

It was a circular building made almost completely of concrete, like a grain silo on steroids. About two-thirds of the way up, it was ringed with small balconies, each of which connected to someone’s personal office.

When he followed her gaze though, he let out a low whistle.

“That’s a shiny car.” Rienna whispered.

He broke into a sprint. A very official, and very shiny, black car was parked in front of their headquarters. The windows were tinted, so he couldn’t tell if anyone was inside, but both Arron and Liza were standing next to it, looking very solemn. Of course, Liza always looked solemn, bordering on forbidding, but to see both of them looking that way meant that something important was going on.
Jrew skidded to a stop in front of them both with Rienna close on his heels. Arron’s jaw tightened. 

He grasped Jrew’s arm and murmured, “I don’t know what’s going on, but it’s important. They’ve refused to speak to anybody but the prince. Now try to act like one.”

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Liza saying something similar about decorum to Rienna. He brushed some dust off his shirt and ran his fingers through his dark hair, hoping it hadn’t picked up any dust from the range. Then he approached the car.

Nothing worse than a cliffhanger right? (Just look what happened to us in the Sherlock Fandom. We went certifiably insane.) That's all for now, though.
I hope some of you can do DOOM! Also, I haven't forgotten about my 2013 book list. I have the next part almost half done, so it should be up before too long.

Sé onr sverdar sitja hvass!

1 comment:

  1. More!! I demand more!! (That was awesome. It really was rather cruel to leave me hanging off of a cliff like that)


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