On request of my friend btlowry, fellow WordPress writer and blogger, I’m posting another snippet of my own fiction! Lord knows I’ve been way too mysterious about, so I’m going to try to share more of it up here this year.
How does 2016 feel so far? So far for me, it’s strange and exciting.
Here’s a snippet from a book of mine I worked on today. It’s a second draft. In a nutshell, the story is about two broken anti-heroes who regain their self-worth and hope by saving each other’s lives – literally and emotionally. It’s set in an alternate-universe future where technology has been lost, a steampunk-esque Victorian world with air ships, snuffboxes, and coaches instead of cars. The underlying plot involves a government that pays mercenaries to hunt and exterminate witches, since magical peoples disturb the “Natural Order” of life, “how things should be”.
Sebastian’s Point of View
There were only a few hundred feet left till I reached the ship. Five, maybe six. I could make it. I would make it.
I pulled the plaid sailor’s hat harder over my head. It could barely contain my wild black curls. I wished I had chosen a different hat to steal from a different sleeping fat town guard. A nobleman I was obviously not; neither was I a convincing sea rat, either. Shit.
Don’t panic, Sebastian. You just did a quick Time Jump in order to escape a living hell. Everything from here on out can only get better. Right?
I was at the docks now. The disgusting smell left over from the fish markets made me want to vomit. It was so strong and sour that just breathing in through my nose left a bitter taste in my mouth. But it also made me happy. I was outside, smelling dead fish. The ocean was singing its night song of lapping waves all around me. My boots were on solid wood, not cold laboratory tiles.
There was a skinny smoking man sitting on a chair ahead of me. I would have to get past him to get to the ship, and to my freedom.
I would just walk past him without saying anything. I was just another scruffy sailor, with an unshaven face and ragged clothing. Who had lost a proper hair tie.
“Ey you! Wot you doin’ round ‘ere so late? This ship’s sailin’ come the mornin’.”
I pulled the hat down again. Wouldn’t want my weird eyes giving me away. “’M just comin’ back from a drink, youssee. I’m leavin’ wi’ the ship.”
Skinny stood up and looked me up and down. “Oh, zat right? Then why’d the other’n fellows come back from the bar earlier?”
I coughed and hacked to the side for a minute, and held my stomach like I was feeling woozy, and stumbled for a moment. I smiled. “Do I look like a favorite? They hate on me day ‘n night.”
Skinny laughed at my pain. “Oho, they do, do they. Why dontcha stick ‘round here, then?”
I glanced back at the town of Memord. “Nothin’ to stick ‘round fer.”
That brought another laugh. “Alright. I see it now. You goin’ to have a fine time in Hale then, eh?”
Hale. That’s where this ship was going? I nodded, and walked down the docks to the ship. Hale. That was where everything had started. I felt a dark dread knot my stomach at just the thought of it.
But anything was better than hell.
I forced my aching body to crawl, slowly, down a hanging rope until I found a slightly open window hatch. I crawled in, and hid myself in a dark corner. Crates of tobacco, refrigerated fish, and other sundries were my company. I held back the urge to vomit and lay down.
I could make it. I would make it. Just keep going.
Where? Another part of me asked. Where will you go? There is nowhere to go. They’ll recognize your face. They’ll know you’re the one who killed Gideon Rhett. They’ll send all the witch hunters after you again. Maybe even Lady Batcher herself. She’s always wanted you dead.
Shut up, the first voice said. Sophie said you would find shelter. Besides, it’s been six years. You were just a boy, then. They won’t know you now.
I took the hat off and curled up. The ocean waves lapping at the sides of the ship lulled me into the best sleep I’d had in years.
I could make it. I would make it. I just had to stay alive.
Thanks for reading!