If you recall, last week I mentioned something new I’ve been working on. It’s a fantasy piece; more the Sword & Sorcery type than the Epic/High type. I’m writing it in first person which I rarely ever do. Read: basically never. I’ve added it to my list of projects because . . well . . . I’m insane.
Does that really come as a surprise to anyone? I mean, how many projects am I juggling? And, oh, let’s not forget the whole flying monkeys thing.
Okay, what really prompted me to dive into it was word that Angry Robots has open submissions until the end of December. Well, I had a piece that is half written and mostly thought out, and just sitting in a virtual pile of dust shedding huge tears at being neglected. For some reason, the Angry Robots news made me think of it. That, in turn, made me think, “December 31 is quite a ways off.” After which, I stopped thinking altogether and just started writing. So, yeah, I plead insanity. I don’t even have a title for it yet. At the moment it is known merely as Coinblade. What’s a Coinblade, you ask? Sure you did. I heard you. A Coinblade is a professional, elite, assassin.
The fun part about CB (as I’ll now refer to it) is throwing in bits and pieces of thieves’ cant. Don’t know what that is? Here is a good link that I refer to frequently. Like most of my main characters, Driev Talbert is damaged goods (and for those who are curious, his name is pronounced Dry-eff, roll the r and emphasis on the last syllable, but don’t feel bad if you don’t get it, most people he knows pronounce it Drife and he’s just gotten used to it). He’s been through some hell and trying to claw his way out when his past comes back to bite him. Hard. ‘Why’ is just one of the questions he’s looking for the answer to.
So, for 11/13/13 I could give you the opening 13 lines . . . or the first 13 sentences of page 11 . . . or the first 11 paragraphs of page 13 . . . or just something totally random. I think . . . the first 11 sentences of page 11 to celebrate the 11th month of the year. I offer you no explanation to put it into context because that’s how I roll. I will tell you that Driev is sitting in a chair and the cord is laying across his leg.
When faced with a venomous snake poised to strike it’s best not to make any sudden movements. Any movement at all, including breathing, could very likely be your last. The copper and burgundy strands of intricately intertwined silk shot through with threads of spun, obsidian, mage glass couldn’t strike like a snake, but that made it no less deadly.
I froze; arms only partway forward, elbows thrust out from my sides like a bird’s wings caught in mid-flight. If I could have slid out from under the cord without disturbing it I would have. Following which, I would have promptly bolted for the door. My mouth discovered a whole new level of dry, and my chest began to ache from lack of oxygen. I fed it a quick, shallow gasp, slid my right hand to the small of my back where I kept a short knife, and thanked some random god I hadn’t been disarmed. Lifting the cord on the tip of the blade I flicked it onto Dell’s desk.
“Motherless whoreson,” I said, my voice hoarse and shaking, barely above a whisper. My eyes refused to leave the cord, as though it might leap back at me.
And because the chorus of this song, and the general theme, sort of fit Driev and the world in which he lives, I leave you with: