Regarding the Thing: My many apologies for teasing. There have been some bumps. I’m only peripherally involved in the Thing most of the time, so I don’t always know what bumps to anticipate.
Since Carwyn and the mermaid went over so well last week, I decided to bring them out again. This is it for these two in the WIPpets, though, so I’m giving you an extra long snippet. Seriously, you may want to go read everyone else’s first and then come back later if you have the time. 🙂 You can find the link to that at K.L. Schwengel’s blog. 🙂 Many thanks to her for hosting.
Math = date + last two digits of the year for a massive 24 paragraphs. *cringe* Sorry, but the snippet really is better if you get the whole thing. Okay. So. If you’re ready? Deep breaths! And we’ll dive on in shall we.
Way the by, this novelette is ready for an alpha reader. I also hope to have a couple Zeeb stories and his parents’ story ready soonishly. Any takers? Further details waaaay at the bottom of the post.
(Sorry. Little ADHD moment there 😛 NOW, take your deep breaths.)
Necessary context: Carwyn and the mermaid moved from the big, open beach to a tiny, secluded lagoon that allows the mermaid to swim right up to a little ledge rather than drag herself onto the sand. She had a few questions to ask and didn’t want to sunburn or shout.
The mermaid oohed and awed [at plant samples] and asked questions until the sun sank into the ocean. Seeing his chance for release, Carwyn stood up and imagined a lantern into being. He intended to make a footpath to the lagoon and walk home, to avoid any more surprises from the merfolk. “Well, I should probably get back to my cottage now. The council will start debates again in the morning and I want to be well rested.”
The mermaid gawked at the lantern without any indication she heard him. “Is that fire?”
“Yes, but I can use a werelight if you prefer.” Tired of their long, bookish conversation, he felt disinclined to humor her any more, but he reminded himself, again, how much good an alliance with the merfolk could do. He jumped when she shouted her response.
“No!” She clapped her hand over her mouth and met his eyes with an apologetic look. She lowered her hands and pressed them into the ledge to lift herself toward him. “I mean, no, thank you. May I…”
For the first time, Carwyn noticed the glow of her eyes as it faded in response to the light provided by the lantern. Although the light in them dimmed, they widened in childlike wonder. The bright, open expression reminded Carwyn why he followed her to the lagoon. He knelt close to her. “Yes?”
“May I hold it?”
The breathless awe in her voice sent tingles of pleasure up Carwyn’s spine. He opened the lantern, ready to take hold of the fire and hand it to her, when a doubt crossed his mind. A convenient doubt. “Can merfolk hold fire?”
The mermaid seemed to snap out of some kind of reverie. “Huh? I don’t see why not, if you can.”
“Fae can hold fire, but I don’t know of many other creatures who can. Maybe you shouldn’t.” He put the fire back in the lantern. “It can kill you if you’re not careful with it.”
“Oh, but, surely we can try.” Her tail flicked in the water and she lifted a few inches closer to the lantern.
Carwyn held the lantern out of reach, though he kept his face near hers to be sure his breath tickled her shoulder. “I don’t know. Somehow I doubt your father or any of the other merfolk would agree to an alliance if you burned to death. I’m told it’s very painful.”
The mermaid bit her lower lip. Carwyn pressed his lips into an innocent-looking smile and waited for her to suggest the plan he had in mind. His heart thumped so hard against his chest in response to her adorable desperation, he feared she might hear it. He had his line out. Now he needed to reel her in and hope he survived.
“Couldn’t you help me hold it? To make sure it doesn’t hurt me?”
Careful not to let his let his elation show on his face or in his voice, he shrugged and pretended to be unsure of his plan. “I don’t know. Maybe if I held you—“
“Yes! If you think it might work, please, let’s at least try.”
“If you insist…”
“I do.” She pulled herself onto the ledge and flopped into his lap.
Cold seawater soaked through his trousers and tunic and stuck the fabric to his body, but Carwyn found himself preoccupied with other sensations as he adjusted his position to better accommodate hers. He indulged them until the mermaid squiggled in a gesture of impatience. Pushing aside his pleasant thoughts, he bent his mind to getting her what she wanted instead of daydreaming about what he wanted. He reached into the lantern for the fire and coaxed the warm energy source into the palm of his hand. With his other hand cupping hers and his imagination’s energy bent on the image of her holding the fire, he poured the fluid into the bowl she formed with her webbed hands.
She gasped and began to tremble. Fearing his magic failed, he started to pull the heat out of the flame.
“Wait. Please wait.” Her voice, hardly a whisper, shook, as tremulous as her body. “Please let me hold it a little longer. It’s so… amazing.”
Relieved, he let the heat flow back into the flame. Her awe spilled over him, drawing him into it and pulling at his heart, not just his mind and body. He ignored the urge to kiss her neck when she settled against him. Instead, he focused on the bright flame. He’d keep it burning all night long if she asked him.
“I never caught your name,” he whispered, his voice as tremulous and breathless as hers a moment ago.
“Zuleika.” Unable to resist, he lowered his chin to her shoulder. He gave her neck the slightest nuzzle and let his breath flow over her shoulder. “I’m Carwyn.”
- Post an excerpt of your Work In Progress that somehow relates to the date.
- Give love to our hostess K.L. Schwengel
- Link-up here so we can find you.
- Enjoy other fantastic snippets from talented writers.
In case it’s not completely obvious, here’s a little foreshadowing. (Mostly I just like the drawing.)
The Further Details:
Fae-Mermaid novelette: calling it fantasy-romance because it’s mushy. About 20K. It’s the origin story for Faerie Blood.
Zeeb short #1: snapshot of what he’s doing when Harsha’s not looking at one point in Faerie Blood. Fantasy. Under 2K. Ever so slightly violent.
Zeeb short #2: snapshot of a conversation he has with one of Harsha’s old, um, friends. Drama? Haven’t written it yet. 😛 Under 2K if I bother.
Ralph & Ylva: horror-romance? Both gritty and mushy. Under 10K. It’s really the origin story for Wolf Blood, but eeeeverybody loves Zeeb and I love Ralph and Ylva, so I wrote it already. Includes an almost-rape. Part of your job will be to tell me if you feel like it fits the PG-13 rating I’m going for and what genre you think I should call it.