Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Inaugural Anti-Nano Snippet!

I'm feeling pretty chipper about Dark Days! There is even the possibility I could finish it this very weekend if I keep the weekend free (and apart from taking Fergus to the vet, my weekend is free at the moment so...fingers crossed!).

So here's a snippet which is as spoiler-free as I can make it this late in the game....

Lola was lost. The world was a void, soundless, lightless, with only the constant, maddening crackle of raw magic all around her to prove she was still alive. The ley line carried her, but she could't direct it. She was drowning in it, as surely as if she'd been at sea in a storm. She thrashed and floundered for some thread of reality to cling to, but all she could picture was Tristesse, burning up and bloodied, and she couldn't go back there. She had to get out of the ley line.

Rowan. She had to focus on Rowan. Rowan was as real as it got. Lola knew every inch of her, every facet and flaw. Rowan with her tumbling Gothic heroine curls and her nag champa scent. Her sex club and her cottage chic office. Expensive cocktails and cheap cigarettes, the shining veneer and the fragile nerves it masked. Languid kisses and silky lingerie. Long, slow nights wrapped together and long, lazy mornings untangling themselves.

If she couldn't use Rowan as an anchor, she really was lost.

Something bloomed in the void, a silver light splashed with violent red. Lola twisted in the blackness, feeling a stab of pain through her core. When she splayed her hands across her stomach, she felt a pulsing cord of power there, snaking out to rejoin that distant stream of silvery magic. She grabbed it, heart in her throat, tears stinging her eyes, and sobbed as she pushed all thoughts of Tristesse away, letting memories of Rowan replace them.

She tumbled like Alice down the rabbit hole, time and distance meaningless. Maybe this was why Tristesse kissed her so passionately – to distract her from the frightening possibility of being lost, of never getting anywhere. She shoved that thought away, concentrating on Rowan and the Red Lotus until daggers of pain stabbed through her head. She summoned up the scent of rosewood and black pepper, and the taste of Cosmopolitan cocktails, and she hoped and prayed and wished that the ley line would understand.

She snapped back into reality with a yelp of pain, feeling like she’d braked too hard in a car. She scrabbled at the edges of the table, desperate to hold something solid, something anchoring.
“Lola!” Rowan was on her knees at Lola’s side, her hands squeezing Lola’s thigh. “What on earth happened?”

Lola brushed her hair from her eyes, wincing as her fingers scraped her burned cheek. She almost didn’t dare look up to see where Tristesse had been sitting, but the near-hysteria in Rowan’s voice forced her to. She raised her head reluctantly, her neck creaking. Tristesse’s seat was empty. “What happened?” she asked Rowan. “What did you see?” Her voice was shaking, same as her hands. Her whole body shook, nausea filling her. Whether it was a reaction to coming out of the line, or to seeing Tristesse really, physically gone, she didn’t know.

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