Okay, so don’t ask me why, but I’ve spent the day working on something that I’m probably never going to publish. It’s great for writing exercises and to help build characters… but why I’ve wasted a whole day to this – I have no idea. I have 6,326 words so far devoted to a short story that takes place the three years prior to the beginning of Forgotten Guardian.
Mind you… I can’t do anything else on Forgotten Guardian at the moment. I’ve done revisions up to chapter 15 and I’m waiting on the next batch of issues before I can continue with those. I’ve been posting and advertising my kickstarter page like mad. I’ve gotten it in the Temple Terrace Patch, Creative Loafing, Craigslist. If you type in Forgotten Guardian – it comes up as the 4th item on the list and that’s my kickstarter page.
I SHOULD be working on my alternate timeline story so I can try and have that complete soon… but no, go figure. Mind you, I also have the sequel, a side book and a completely unrelated book that I need to work on. Inspiration comes in waves though. I have to go where the tide takes me. And right now the tide has me building up Gabriella Dawson, who WAS an unnamed character in Forgotten Guardian. Now though, she’s this quirky Paladin that’s happily assigned to the pit.
So I’ve actually been assigned by my publisher to read. That I need to take in some good examples of third person writing because I obviously still have issues with perspective. I can’t find the first book of the Night Runner Series. Luck in the Shadows, by Lynn Flewelling is one of my FAVORITE books of all time. I’d read that book so many times that I think it finally just disintegrated. I have the second one though that I could pick up. I’m also thinking of reading the Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley or finally picking up Empress by Karen Miller. There’s also Wizard of the Grove by Tanya Huff or ANY of the Star Wars novels pre-Yuzhan Vong era. Of course, these are all just books I’ve already read. I can’t pull a new one off of my Nook, because I think I mentioned it’s dead. I just can’t get INTO a book because I’m focused on the FG mind-set. I’m worried if I start reading, I’ll lose the creative side – hence wanting a book I’ve read so I don’t go all new book crazed.
Oh well – here, have a clip of the random slow story I was working on tonight. Enjoy.
“Look what I was able to get for you,” Gabriella said from the edge of the electronic wall. The man beyond the glowing gold glanced up at her. His long blonde hair was a mess and hung lankly around his face. He offered her a questioning look as she stepped through with a single tray of food.
“I was able to convince them that you should be at least be getting the three meals a day that your peers in the higher levels would,” she said, holding the tray out to him. He gave her a thankful smile and took the tray from her hands.
“I’m also working on getting you a proper cot,” she said.
“It doesn’t bother me,” he said quietly. “Thank you.”
“I figure you’re stuck down here with this lot, it might help a bit.” She didn’t back immediately out of the cell. She’d already made her rounds and had a bit of free time. “Oh and I forgot to tell you. I was also able to get you cleared for visitors.”
Nicholai just nodded as he took a slow bite of the sandwich.
“You don’t exactly look thrilled,” she pointed out.
“Who do I have that would visit?” he asked after swallowing the bite. She propped her hands on her hips and frowned down at him.
“You do have a family, or did that knock to your head make you forget about them. I have seen petition after petition pop up from your brother this week to get the results back of your evaluation,” she told him. He just glanced down to his tray of food and took another bite. After a few silent minutes he glanced back up at her.
“Could I…” his words caught in his throat. Gabriella just cocked her head to the side, waiting. “How can I at least shave?” She glanced back at him. He’d already had substantial scruff on his cheeks when they’d dumped him into the cell. The blonde hair had grown thick around his jaw over the last week.
“I can’t give you a razor, for obvious reasons. If you like, I can help you with that, but it requires you being restrained.” She told him sadly. He gave her an appreciative look.
“That’s okay,” he told her.
“I would think from being in the South that there’d be beards everywhere,” she said.
“Exactly,” he said, his expression not changing. “It was the one thing I could do to set myself apart. I can’t stand it.”
“I guess I didn’t think about it that way. I have some time if you want to try after you eat lunch,” she said.
“Thank you.” She gave him a smile and walked back toward the security booth. She ignored the other inmates distempered gazes as she passed. She knew that by showing any sort of special treatment it could upset the little balance that was on the level. She plopped down in the seat beside Taylor.
“You owe me twenty credits by the way,” she said casually. He tilted his head and glowered over at her.
“Yeah, yeah. Just because he’s talking doesn’t mean he hasn’t gone over the edge,” Taylor grumbled.
“But that’s not what you bet me,” Gabriella said, flashing him an innocent smile.
“Whatever, I’ll catch you next week. What are you doing?” he asked glancing over her shoulder as she put in the request for supplies.
“I’m ordering a couple things from upstairs so I can help him shave,” she said.
“Is that a good idea?” Taylor asked.
“Why wouldn’t it be?”
“Because he’s only been here a week and that puts you awfully close to him for an extended time,” he said.
“You could always come keep guard if you’re so worried,” she told him.
“No if something happens I’ll just tell them I told you not to do it,” he pointed out.
“I’m touched by your concern Taylor. I think I’ll be fine,” she said as she finished the order. She got up and walked over to the security door. There was no handle, just a palm reader. She placed her hand over the screen and held it there. The panel flashed green once and the heavy door unlatched and slid open. The elevator was in a small room just beyond.
Nicholai had finished eating when she returned. She had a small bag that she set down on the floor at the edge of the wall.
“I warn you, I’ve never done this before,” she said as she stepped through the wall. She pulled a pair of cuffs from her vest.
“It’s okay, I’m desperate,” he told her, as he stood and stepped over. She paused and took a tentative pace back.
“Wow. I knew you were tall, but I didn’t realize just how tall,” she said with a forced laugh, looking up at him. She barely came up to the middle of his chest. He offered an apologetic smile as he turned away and placed his hands behind his back. “I am sorry about this,” she said as she locked the cuffs around his thin wrists.
“I wouldn’t trust me,” he said as he turned back to face her. She chuckled and shook her head, but he continued. “Especially after catching some of the thoughts of my neighbors. I’m surprised you step into the cells at all.”
“You can read them?” she asked as she bent over and picked up the bag. The sink was a small pedestal, no space to set anything. She pulled out the small electric clippers and looked up at him. He sat on the edge of the cot so she could reach him easier.
“Yes, easily,” he said. “There are three of them close by that would love to get their hands on you. Can you… read them?” She paused and gave him a dubious look.
“No, I’m not very good at reading people. I’m a strong empath and pretty good with suggestion,” she told him. “What do you mean they want to get their hands on me?”
“You’re small and pretty, and they’ve been locked away without human contact. How do you think?” it sounded like he tried to keep the derisive tone out of his voice. He was speaking quietly, and she knew he’d be difficult to hear over the loud hum of the electric walls.
“Jamal for one,” he replied, glancing next door. He turned his head toward the hall. “The dark one over there, and then the redhead.” Gabriella glanced around the clear cells, feeling a knot form in the pit of her stomach.
“Thanks for the warning,” she said, turning back to look into his sincere brown eyes. “What about you?”
“I think I have five years of this and then I can finally start my life,” he told her.
“Do you think you can handle five years?”
“I don’t know, do you think I’ll always have an attractive woman coming in to give me a shave?” he asked. She let slip a small laugh as she turned on the clippers.
“That might be possible,” she said as she maneuvered his chin so she could work on his beard.
“Why can’t I read you?” he asked with a troubled expression.
“The halo,” she told him. “It’s called a PsyDAR, which stands for Psychic Defence Access Ring. It’s meant to nullify external psychic effects while also allowing me to pass unharmed through the walls. Its purpose is to keep everyone out, but I can still use my own abilities. It keeps us safe from the criminals who’ve mastered suggestion or very strong readers.”
“It’s surprisingly effective. I thought there was something wrong with me,” he told her.
“You know if you keep talking, there’s a chance I’m going to cut you,” she scolded as she turned his head. Smartly, he didn’t reply as she finished. She pulled a small towel out of the bag and wet down a corner before coming over and wiping his freshly shaven face.
“I think I left your sideburns uneven, I’m sorry,” she told him. He just shrugged as she turned back to pull one more item out of the bag. A small brush with an elastic band wrapped around it. She caught a smile at the corner of his mouth as she returned the towel and the clippers to the bag before moving it once more beyond the energy field. He stood and turned again for her to remove the cuffs, which she quickly did.
“Thank you,” he said quietly as he stepped over to the sink where she’d rested the comb.
“I figured it would come in handy if you brother or mother came down,” she said.
“I didn’t just mean for the brush,” he returned, glancing over as she stepped out. She just smiled and slipped away down the hall.