Monday, April 18, 2011

From a Work in Progress

Image credit: Jahn Henne, from Wikimedia Commons

(I finished a novel draft last week, so I'm working on a short story. This one is not part of my "Gaunt and Bone" series but belongs to the same world. Here's the opening.)

Shadowdrop wasn't afraid of the hellsnout that chased her down Statuary Avenue past the hundred marble emperors glaring beneath pigeons' feet. She didn't trouble about its spittle-flecked fangs chomping the air behind her leaping legs as she cleared the iron fence of the Western Gravegarden. Nor was she overly concerned about its frantic howling as it summoned a half dozen four-legged friends for a chase up the Stairway of Time, up the stone stretch, the bronze stretch, the iron and orichalkum stretches shining near the hilltop.

No, what the black cat feared as she raced toward the Tower of the Infraseers was that she'd shed her natural bad luck upon all the innocents in the forum. Again.

The Tower pretended to lack a first story, with only scaffolding, pipes, and gutters connecting it to the ground. The Infraseers were proud of their bond with the guts of the city. It wasn't until she'd clawed her way up the the second story and its gargoyle-covered facade that Shadowdrop turned and saw her fears were justified.

As she gasped between the stone monstrosities, the mutated hounds baying beneath her, she looked down the hill, past the gardens, and along the avenue. The street was now a trail of misfortune.

Overturned fruit carts spilled pink wondermelons and purple squirtbursts onto the stone emperors' feet... A carriage sprawled within the Fountain of Empress Zayne, and silken-clad nobles fled the spray spurting from every gilded window... A throng emerging from the Zodiac Arena was spattered by the water and like angry bees it convulsed in battle between the partisans of Glorg Headsmasher and Snarl Biteblood.

"It is all my fault," Shadowdrop moaned. For she had crossed their path.

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