It's Tuesday again so that means it's time for another exciting excerpt of my soon-to-be (in theory) published novel, Effigy.
And yeah, I know when I created this segment, I said I would stick to
ten lines but I'm totally ignoring that today. Today you get nineteen
paragraphs because I just can't make up my mind but let's not focus on
that part. Let's focus instead on the nineteen paragraphs part (which may seem like a lot, I know, but most of the paragraphs are very short. As in one line.) How's
that for awesome?
Today's selection features the novel's two main characters, Haleine
Coileáin and Dana, the leader of the rebellion and her husband's enemy.
Their first meeting is a chance encounter in which Haleine offers to
help Dana and his rebellion in any way that she can. This leads to
other encounters and conversations. The scene below comes from their
third meeting where Dana finds his confidence shaken by the reality and
brutality of battle.
As always, I hope you enjoy it.
“You’re not the man I met before,” she said. “What happened to him?
Where is the man who threatened the king with naught but the words he
spoke? Where is the man who then fell through my window while I was
bathing and stayed to have a conversation? Where is the man who managed
to gather a queen as one of his own?”
Dana looked at her. “Have I gathered you, Haleine?”
She sat down across from him. “You know you have,” she said.
“Otherwise you would not be here in the dead of night telling me of your
He stared down into the goblet. “My fear,” he said. “Aye. I do fear. What does that say about me?”
“It says you are human. Nothing more. Nothing less.”
“To be human,” he mused. “Am I allowed?”
“You are allowed to fear,” she said. “It is no weakness.”
He was still for a moment and then slid forward and put the goblet on
the floor. He was close enough to touch her and did. He laid his hand
on her cheek and the newly forming bruise Maddox had left there. She
“Is that what you tell yourself?” he asked.
She said nothing. She had no voice with which to speak. She barely
had breath and so she kept her eyes on his, hoping her silent stare
would give Dana the answer he sought, the answer she longed to give, but
a solitary tear escaped from the corner of her eye and gave her away.
He nodded gently and moved his hand so his thumb could catch her tear
before it fell.
She gasped out of necessity for air and lifted her head against his
palm so that his thumb brushed her partially parted lips. He pulled
away as though he had been burned and stood up.
“Mayhap we should absolve each other from our sin,” she said when she was able.
“There has been no sin committed,” he responded.
There was more to say, another word, but neither of them uttered it.
They had said too much already, she thought, too much that now hung in
the air as thick as smoke. They had spoken as confidants, as lovers
even, making themselves vulnerable to each other to the point that, in
any place else, it would mean their ruin. She knew it alarmed him as
much as it terrified her. They would never be able to go back but could
they find the courage to move forward?
They would have to wait to find out. He would leave her now; she
knew he would. He would need to retreat and regain his focus, as did
she, and so she held out her hand to him to see what he would do. To
her surprise, he came forward and took it.
In her dreams, when she offered her hand, he held it and kissed it.
More than once he had then turned her hand over and laid a trail of
kisses leading from her wrist to her neck. Her lips would be next and
then he would show her exactly for what he was known.
But here, now, he merely held her hand and rubbed his thumb over her fingers.
“I don’t want to be afraid,” he said.
She nodded. “Neither do I.”
And now for something completely different...
Tonight marks the television debut of Joss Whedon's brilliant Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog on the CW network (9/8c). Make sure you tune in!
That's going to do it for me today. Thanks for stopping by. As always, it's much appreciated. Cheers!