Friday, September 30, 2011

Denae Engages in Diplomacy with a Small Demon

Another random page from book 1 of the Wizard and Spy series

Musca buzzed up a couple of feet higher in dismay. Now he was flying overhead instead of regarding her face to face.
“No, bad idea, very bad idea. He’s a growing boy. That one will eat you. Or even worse, he’ll eat me. Or, he’ll eat you for dinner and then he’ll eat me for dessert. Or, he’ll tie my wings together, and save me for later and then eat me as a snack. No, very bad one, that. Very bad idea. I am not going to do it.”
The young woman regarded this display of cowardice with disgust, “Well, you gave me your boon and now you have to do it.”
The imp rolled over laughing nastily, “Listen, girlie, I just came here out of curiosity. You know why you never hear anyone say, ‘A demon’s word is his bond’? Because it’s not!”
Denae had learned early on in life that two things a spy should always have and be able to use well were a knife and a rope. She had learned to use both of them very, very well. Musca’s laugh was cut short as a noose seemed to leap through the air and tightened around his neck. The soldier yanked hard on the rope pulling him toward her. He stopped with his eyeballs a hairs-breadth away from her knife. She was definitely not amused.
“Now listen to me you little pile of pond-scum. You are going to take me to Andalon and if you don’t, I am going to cut out both of your eyes and have them for lunch, since they seem to be the part on you least likely to make me throw up. Then, I am going to cut off that nose, mouth, whatever that thing is of yours dripping mucous just because it disgusts me. Finally, I am going to pin you down by your wings and let the ants devour you.”
Musca gulped.
 “There aren’t any ants around here,” he corrected.
The young woman was floating a couple of inches off the ground now. Under cover of shaking her fist (with knife in it) at the imp, she had swallowed a small amount of Lucia’s levitation powder. Denae was fairly sure that it was only possible to hold an imp by magical means, and she did not want Musca to begin to suspect the truth that she had no magical ability whatsoever. The imp, who had begun to suspect exactly that, and begun to fade out, faded back into complete substance as the young soldier’s feet rose off the ground. “All right, all right, I’ll take you within sight of Andalon, and after that I am out of here!”
“Coward,” Denae muttered under her breath.
“Stupid,” Musca muttered under his.

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Monday, September 5, 2011

Random page from my second book

“Um-hm,” Flagon cleared his throat and stood up in what Denae privately termed his ‘assuming-command’ pose. “Yes, well, madam, speaking of the academy, I think we should assess what were our enemy’s expectation and intents here and perhaps that would provide us greater ability to determine his identity.”

            His officious attitude was punctured somewhat by Aunt Lott’s nodding encouragingly, “Yes, that’s very good dear,” in the same tone used to Kole when he was saying his letters, “but, of course it was Ravidan. As for the rest of it, though, that is a very good idea, so maybe we should just start with Ravidan and work backwards with your plan. Yes, I think that will work very nicely.”

She settled back in her chair and waited for the platoon leader to continue.
“Well, uh-hm, madam, uh-hm,” stammered Flagon, finally coming out with, “How do you know it was this Ravidan? You see,” he added self-righteously, “we were taught at the academy never to judge without evidence.”
He was startled by a high-pitched laugh that seemed to come from a green-glowing bottle on a shelf near the ceiling. In the bottle next to it, a blue shape seemed to be moving. He would have sworn they were laughing and talking about him. Flagon rubbed his eyes and stared at them. Now they seemed just like two brightly-colored bottles.

The witch herself made no comment but merely continued rocking for a while. Finally she answered him, ticking the points off on her fingers as she spoke.
“The evidence is this. One, someone tried to kill me by magical means. Now, who would want to kill me? I get along well with most magical folk, it’s the non-magic witch-burning type that usually seem to want to kill me, through no fault of my own. I once told Azura that she was a self-important windbag, but she just sniffed and tossed her silly veils at me. So, I would say, two, the most likely magical person to commit murder would be the one who recently cut off one wizard’s hands, burned another’s apprentices and tried to have demons kill a third. Three, that would be Ravidan. So, there it is then.”
She sat up, brushing off her immaculately clean skirt that she had just put on, and held out her arms to Kole who, having napped through all of the excitement, was just waking up. The little boy looked at Bron in wide-eyed curiosity and asked, “Is he going to have a baby?”
Lott laughed, “No, love, he is just not feeling well today. Let’s get you some juice and crackers, shall we.”
By the time Aunt Lott had returned from settling the little one with his snack and toy animals, the platoon leader was pacing the floor. Denae was sound asleep in her chair in front of the fire, snoring softly.

“So, what have you figured out?” the witch asked, setting herself comfortably back into her rocker.

“Why would this wizard want to kill you?” burst out Flagon.

“Because he is a madman bent on taking over the world,” Lott answered calmly, then smiled at his annoyed expression, “Believe me young man, I take this threat quite as seriously as you do, perhaps more so. After all, I am the one Ravidan deliberately set out to kill, you merely happened to be in the neighborhood. However, I don’t believe jumping up and down and waving a sword is going to help any. And if you keep it up, those imps are going to roll around laughing so hard, they will knock those bottles off the shelf and break, which would quite disturb my plans, since I am not ready to use them yet.”

Flagon jumped, quite startled, and he could see that there were definitely human-like, or imp-like, shapes in the bottles, and they were plainly holding their sides and rolling around laughing. He slumped back in his chair sulking for a while. Aunt Lott merely drank her tea, looked speculative and rocked.
Finally, she explained gently, “It’s like this, dear. Ravidan did not just want me dead.”
Denae opened one eye, as it seemed something interesting might be about to be said.