Tuesday, October 30, 2012

So The Drama (A Tuesday Teaser)

Tuesdays during the month of October have been reserved for the sharing of excerpts from my (maybe one day but I wouldn't count on it) soon-to-be published novel, Effigy.  But today I'm doing something a little different.  Don't get too excited— I'm still posting an excerpt.  It's just not going to be from Effigy.

Instead it's from Lineage, the second part of Second Nature.  It's also known as "My Craptastic NaNoWriMo Project from Last Year."  You might think maybe I'm being a little too hard on myself with that whole "craptastic" thing but here's the thing... I'm not.  I read the whole thing yesterday for the first time since I wrote it last year and it's bad.  Very bad.  Very, very bad.  Most of it will be headed for the shredder.

But there were two scenes that I intend to keep and one of these is the one I'm going to share with you today.  In one of the previous Tuesday Teasers, you read about Haleine and Dana, the two main characters in Effigy. You can read about their first kiss HERE.  They're not the main characters of Second Nature but they're still around and in Lineage, they have this scene where their entire tumultuous relationship comes to a head.

As always, I hope you enjoy it.  And thank you, all of you, for sticking with me even though I continue to do things like this.  It's the last one for a while though.  I promise...

§§§

“What business have you here?” Haleine demanded once she found a voice.

Dana stepped into the house.  “They told me you were dead,” he said.  “I came to—”

“You came to what?” she said.  “To mourn me?”

“I mourned you already,” he said, taking a step closer to her.  “I came to see if they had spoken true.  I came to see if you were, in fact, dead.”

“I do not know what I am.”

He took another step toward her.  “But you are not dead.”

“If you say.”

Another step.  “Haleine—”

“Don’t,” she said.

He stopped.  “Don’t?”

“Don’t say my name like that,” she said.  “Like you—”

"Haleine?"

“Like you love me.”

"But I do."

She shook her head.  “You are incapable of that.”

“I’ve given you no reason to think otherwise, I know,” Dana said.

“Then we are in agreement,” she said, “and now you can be on your way.”

“Haleine, you have to give me—”

“There is nothing I have to give you,” she said.  “Nor is there anything I will give you.  You think I don’t know what it is that brings you here?  You think I don’t know what it is you want?”

"Forgiveness," Dana said.

She knew she lacked the strength to stand.  She lacked the strength to do anything more than sit but still she wanted to attack him.  She wanted to throw herself at him.  She wanted to hit him, beat her fists against his chest until he crumbled beneath her fury.  She wanted to make him bleed for having the audacity to even utter such a request in her hearing.  She placed her palms on the table and used it to push herself up.  She slid her hands across the rough surface and gripped the table’s edges.

“You did not come here for forgiveness,” she said, turning her head to look at him.  “Do not try and tell me otherwise.”

“Then why do you suppose I am here, Haleine?” he asked.  “If not for you.”

She turned her body next, her left hand staying flush with the tabletop.

“No, I know you are here for me,” she said.  “But you are not here for my forgiveness.”

She shoved off the table.  She couldn’t manage a single step before she fell.  He came forward and caught her.  His arms went around her and pulled her close.  As she fell into him, she hit him.  She turned her hands to fists and beat against his chest, his face, any part she could reach.  He didn’t stop her.  He didn’t protest.  He just held her until her arms went slack.  Then he moved her back to the chair and helped her to sit down again.  When she was seated, he knelt down in front of her and placed his hand on her cheek.

She put her hand on his chest and tried to shove him away from her.  She found she lacked the strength to move him.  She grabbed a fistful of his tunic but looked away from him.

“You listen to what I have to say,” she said.  “You can’t have me.  Not for your damned war nor for anything else.  To you, to your goddess, I am dead and no amount of begging on your part will change that.”

Dana let his hand drop and she released her hold on him.  She placed her hands once again on the edges of the table, now more than ever holding on for dear life.  From the corner of her eye, she saw his jaw slacken and his mouth drop open slightly.  He covered his mouth with the hand he had used to cover her cheek.

“Laorans did not bring me here today,” he said finally.  “I serve her interests no longer.”

“Of course you do,” she said, looking at him fully.  “You have never done anything else.  You do not know how to be anything else.”

“For you, I will learn.”

“I do not want that.  I do not want you.”

“I am not anyone without you,” he said.  “Not the man I must be.  Not a man at all.  I am a ghost, a shadow.  Without you I am nothing.”

“Mayhap you should have thought of that sooner,” she spat.

Dana bowed his head.  “Haleine, please,” he said.  “I am as you command me.”

“No, I was as you commanded me,” she said.  “I was as you made me.  I made myself a liar, a whore.  For you I did this and still, you dared call me traitor.”

“Tell me what to do,” he begged.  “Tell me what you want.  I’ll do it.  Whatever it is, I’ll do it.”

“Go away from here, Dana,” she said, “and do not return.  I have no desire to ever lay eyes upon you again and we have no more to say to each other.”

He kept his head bowed as he stood and backed away from her.  He opened the door and hovered there, one foot outside.  He looked at the floor for a moment and then lifted his head to look at her.

“Your words today have killed me, Haleine.”

She did not blink.  “Then my debt to you is repaid.”

§§§


34 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. She's angry. But then again, most of my characters are.

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  2. Whew! The tension and pain is palpable. Well done!

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  3. Gahhhhhh! I remember the first kiss post and I so want them to patch things up, please tell me things get better for them, this is killing me.

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  4. such heated tension! a romantic epic fantasy!
    beautiful!

    ps, i have a question for you...email me! taratylertalks - at - gmail - dot - com

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  5. Wow, this is so well done. Glad you shared it, I really enjoyed reading it!

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    1. Well, thank you for taking the time. It's much appreciated.

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  6. I wanted her to want to kiss him. Not want to attack him. I love the tension.

    Hugs and chocolate,
    Shelly

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  7. I love Haleine. Can't wait until I can read the entire thing.

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    1. Thank you, Susan. Someday, I hope I can make that happen.

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  8. Do things like what? Did I miss something?

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    Replies
    1. Things like posting excerpts of my novel.

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  9. "Then my debt to you is repaid," seems kind of cliche to say. I've seen it many times in film.

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    1. Maybe it'll change in the next draft. Maybe she could say "Go ahead. Make my day." =)

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  10. These characters certainly have a history. Great job conveying the tension in the scene!

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    1. Thank you. They really do have a history and obviously not a happy one.

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  11. Lots of tension here. I'm glad something could be salvaged out of your NaNo novel. It seems sad that you're going to shred the rest though.

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    Replies
    1. Most of the rest. But if you'd read it, you'd understand. It needs to go.

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  12. Great excerpt, lots of tension. Good luck with NaNo for November MJ.

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    1. Thanks, C.M. I think I'm going to need the luck for NaNo.

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  13. This is amazing! Very gripping. This is from the second book? If so, that is sad, because I want to find out what happens. I do hope the first is out soon, I enjoy your writing style very much.

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    1. Thank you, Jack. Yes, this is from the second book. I hope the first might be available soon. I'm working on it. Slowly. Very slowly, but I am working on it.

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  14. Incredible! Loved that scene. Edge of your seat tension.

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    1. Thanks, Christine! I appreciate you stopping by today.

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  15. Hey,

    Great read, and did you have to stop there... can't wait for more, there's more, right?

    PS... you absolutely win the funniest comment of the day on my blog :)

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    1. I had to think about what I'd written on your blog but then it came to me...

      Yes, there's more but aren't you supposed to leave your readers wanting just that?

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  16. Replies
    1. It may be uncool to admit this, but reading your comment made me a little warm and fuzzy inside because the scene is meant to pack an emotional wallop and your reaction is kind of like a home run or something.

      Thank you...

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  17. I love the emotion and the fact that you can tell their dialogue and emotions don't always match up. Well done!

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