Wednesday, 24 February 2016

The Inevitable Return of the Great...Wednesday Snippet

So this Monday I found myself at a loose end writing-wise. My current Amber Morgan WIP is finished and needs to be edited before I submit it. I thought I was going to finish off another Amber short story next, but when I started writing, I found myself writing about banshees and vampires.

This was not the plan.

However! I'm kind of enjoying it. Actually I'm enjoying it a lot. Having been eyes deep in MC romance since November, getting stuck into some good old-fashioned urban fantasy is really appealing right now (and this is one of the reasons I like having a pen name and writing totally different genres under that pen name - it keeps my creative juices flowing so well to switch projects up this way).

So I figure I'm just going to see where this story takes me and keep writing as long as I'm having fun with it. And because I love you or something, I'm bringing you along for the ride. So here's a Wednesday snippet from what I believe will be called Crow Called. Enjoy!

There was a path leading up to the house, but the paving stones were crooked and cracked, a nightmare to navigate in my beautiful, stupid boots. I muttered curses as I picked my way along. Lucinda watched from the doorstep, smirking.

“Impractical heels,” she said as I joined her.

“They’re great for stabbing people in the eye with,” I said before I could think better of it. Lucinda just laughed, which didn’t make me feel any better. But I swallowed my bitter feelings as she opened the door. I was about to walk into a house not-quite-full of vampires, and I wanted to walk out again in one piece.

The hallway was dark, but I could just about pick out corn dollies pinned to the pale walls either side of me. At the end of the hall, a steep staircase disappeared into shadow, and a yellowed steer skull hung from the beams overhead as if guarding the way. It twisted slowly, empty eye sockets raking over me as I followed Lucinda. It was impossible to block out the noise of death in here. The skull resonated in my mind with a dull buzz. The house itself pulsed with a sluggish beat, like blood oozing from a wound. I could hear Lucinda now too, a low and sinister note. I shielded all the time, automatically, had done for as long as I can remember. That the dead music was still leaking through my shields now chilled me.

She guided me past the staircase and round a turn in the corridor. The door ahead was ajar, and soft light slipped out, along with the comforting aroma of coffee. Lucinda opened the door and ushered me in with a mocking bow. I found myself in a rustic kitchen, decorated in earthy red and quiet peach. Bunches of dried herbs dangled from the ceiling and there was a pumpkin on the window sill. It was a witch’s kitchen, I thought.

A long wooden table took up most of the room, surrounded by mostly empty seats. Only one was occupied – the one right at the head of the table. A woman occupied that seat.

A woman. A vampire. I’d had a picture in my head of a slinky seductress, all in black silk with blood red lips. A vampire called Agneza would be potently alluring and potentially destructive. That’s what I’d expected.

The woman at the head of the table was middle-aged and appealingly chubby. Her dark blonde hair was piled up on her head in a frizzy topknot, revealing a heart-shaped face with surprisingly ruddy cheeks for an undead woman. Her eyes were amber-coloured and wickedly sharp. She wore simple clothes in earthy colours that evoked the corn dollies in the hall. If I hadn’t felt waves of bone-cold energy rolling off her, I wouldn’t have believed she was a vampire at all. Her appearance was so incongruous, it was worse than if she’d fit my ridiculous stereotype.

“You must be Violet,” she said in a faded European accent. She gestured at the chair to her left. “Come sit down.”

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