Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Wednesday Snippet

I SWEAR THIS BOOK IS NEVER GOING TO END. I'm writing slowly at the moment because I'm in a lot of pain, but even so, I have to keep mentally tacking another 10k onto Imperial Demons' projected word count every time I finish a chapter. I can't let myself rush through the ending and shortchange my characters and you guys, but at the same time, I am eager to finish. This is a big, exhausting story and I love it and I want you to love it, but I have lots more stories to write.

Anyway! I swear the end is getting closer, so this is probably the last snippet I'll share, because from here on, it's all going to be too spoilery. So enjoy some time with Tristesse!

She held her palms up to inspect the scabs there. Another few hours and there’d be no damage at all. She cursed Sonneillon for his poison and herself for her weakness. She should have guessed he’d have something planned. And now this celebration tonight, with the gates of the palace thrown open and the Four Families summoned like serfs to clap their hands and pretend they didn’t understand what was going on.

She closed her eyes as another wave of pain gripped her, sending her into convulsions. She kept her eyes closed after it passed, envisioning the upper echelons of Gehenna’s glittering society gathered in their finery to act like they were enjoying themselves here. If she hadn’t been at the centre of Sonneillon’s web, she would have enjoyed watching them act. She would have danced with the princes and dripped malice into their ears, spreading rumours, casting suspicions, and watched them politely but ruthlessly fall on each other for her own entertainment. It was really the only fun thing left at these interminable affairs.

But tonight would be different. Her bones rang with the knowledge. And not just because she was a prisoner, not just because of the poison slowly burning its way through her bloodstream. Oh no. Sonneillon had called the Families together to celebrate his wedding to the Shining Duchess and he would use the moment to destroy anyone who might block his power-grab. Gather them all in under the pretence of festivity, and strike them all down.

It was what she would do in his position. Certainly what her father would do, and what countless tyrants had done before him.

And surely some Family members would recognise that. Soneillon had not been subtle in chasing power. He had never bothered to hide the torture he inflicted on his enemies. There was no particular need to do so, as long as he didn't target any other Family member without just cause. They could take that as an insult or even an act of war if they were high-ranking enough. But his own sycophants, servants, and bedmates were fair game, as well as anyone who struck at him first.

And of course he had a powerful weapon in the hounds. Their remorseless nature and ability to move between dimensions made them truly feared, even among Gehenna's elite. Tristesse had gambled on being able to protect herself better from them away from Gehenna, away from their master.

She stretched a leg, lifting it and watching beads of water slide down her calf, remembering vividly the torment of burning alive, flesh seared from bone. She'd underestimated the hounds badly. She wouldn't risk being left to their mercies again. But was their threat alone enough to keep the Families resisting Sonneillon if he moved for total dominance?

She didn't think so. Sonneillon was just one demon, after all, and even with the rest of his Family supporting him, he was outnumbered. If he did plan to use tonight to eliminate leaders of the other Families, it would be a declaration of war. Based on the reactions of the people at the Cathedral today, public support might swing Sonneillon's way, but that alone didn't guarantee him a victory.

What other weapons did he have waiting?

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