Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Wednesday Snippet - Crow Called

 So I am currently flip-flopping between two projects. Crow Called and an Amber Morgan short story. Experience tells me this is a bad idea and eventually I'll have to focus solely on one or the other, but right now I'm sort of in flux. I can't really seem to commit, and rather than worry about it and do nothing, I've decided to just work on whichever story is foremost in my head at the time. Yesterday it was the Amber Morgan story. Today it's Crow Called. Thanks, brain. 

Anyway, since it's been a while, I thought I'd share a bit of the Banshee Book. Enjoy!

I wanted to take a chair as far away from Agneza as possible, but Lucinda slid ahead of me and pulled out one to her left, gesturing for me to sit. Skin crawling, I did. This close to Agneza, I smelt honey and vanilla, a soft, inviting scent that was completely at odds with all my experience of vampires. It rattled me down to the bones.

“You walk closer to that distant shore than most, I’d wager,” she said by way of greeting.

“Yes?” I answered.

Lucinda took the seat opposite me, a pot of coffee and a mug in her hands. She poured a cup and pushed it towards me. I stared at it, waiting for a worm to slither out of the mug or a vision of hell to appear in the liquid. This night, this house, made me feel like that kind of thing ought to happen.

“It’s just coffee,” Lucinda said. “No sleeping drugs or poison in it.”

“It worries me that you had to say so,” I said.

She smiled, flashing those delicate fangs again. “Your face is an open book, halfling.”

“Are you good?” Agneza asked suddenly, making me jump.

“At what? Or do you mean morally? As a person?” I fumbled, then took a sip of coffee to shut myself up. It was too hot, but beautifully bitter.

Agneza smiled. It was cheery, but fixed and false, like a doll’s. “At finding the dead.”

“I don’t…I don’t know. I try not to find them.”

Lucinda rolled her eyes. Agneza’s smile never faltered. “You are a bean sidhe’s daughter, yes? One of the Morrigan’s children? You have the look of a halfling about you.”

I touched my hair self-consciously, not sure what she meant. There was nothing in my appearance that said anything but human. “I guess.”

“You guess. I do not deal in guesses and maybes.” Agneza’s smile turned cold somehow, her amber eyes hardening as she turned to stare at Lucinda. “Lucinda, what have you brought me?”

The atmosphere changed. Already sinister, now it was simply frightening. The homely, human touches around the kitchen felt like props, stage dressing for a dark charade. In Agneza’s smile, I saw the inhuman truth of what she was and I cowered, clutching at my coffee mug like it was a crucifix I could ward her off with. Through my shields I heard a grating chain of notes that came together in a sound that could never be called music. But it was her song all the same, the song of a vampire angered. Ugly, harsh, and chilling.

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