Thursday, 13 November 2014

Reached 50K And Celebrating With Another Excpert

Last night, I reached the NaNoWriMo 50,000 word mark. While this is definitely an accomplishment I'm proud of, there's still a lot of work to be done. The story is close to the half way mark, and I've been making minor tweaks to the story. Nothing that will force me to sit back and change the whole plot, though I have to say I'm still wondering how much I'll need to edit when December rolls around.

Regardless, I'm having a great time writing the story, and since I've achieved two goals– passing 50K and reaching the halfway mark, I thought it would be fun to give my blog readers another little teaser. I've already posted one from the first chapter on the blog, which you can read here, and this excerpt comes courtesy of a few chapters later, when Avery and his brother Simon encounter a group of humans caught in a very, very, bad situation...

“Simon! Get the fuck up!”
My brother was a heavy sleeper, but he knew when to wake at the sound of an emergency. He was as quiet as a pissed off elephant as he rushed for the door. He yanked it open and glared at me, but his bow was in hand and his arrows were strapped to his back. I saw all of this out of the corner of my eye. The goddamn living, breathing, humans still had ninety-nine percent of my attention.
“What the hell, Avery? There’s nothing–”
“Fucking look!” I shouted as I pointed at the golf course.
If the sharpness of my voice didn’t immediately grab his attention, the next gunshot did. Simon rushed the glass window and stared down at the bus.
“Holy shit,” he breathed. “That can’t be right…”
But it was. Soulless were weapons. They didn’t need guns. If they got bored and wanted to take apart some Plagued, they went at them with fangs and claws. And they damn sure didn’t huddle in a tight circle and protect each other.
There was no doubt in my mind. Those were six living humans down there fighting for their lives against the monsters I had created.
“We have to do something,” I said. I pushed away from the window, grabbed my machete from the side of the couch, looped its holster over my head so it rested on my back, and raced for the door.
Simon swerved in front of me.
“That’s not a good idea,” he warned me.
I blinked. “Are you fucking insane? They’re human, and they’re going to get killed out there. We can’t let them die.”
I tried to move forward, but Simon put his hand on my chest and stopped me.
“Avery, listen to me. You’re not human. If you go out there and fight, you’re going to use your powers, and all their alarms are going to go off. Humans aren’t entirely stupid. Eventually they’ll figure out who you are, and that you’re the reason the Plagued exist.”
Leave it to Simon to be the voice of rationality and common sense. Leave it to me not to give a shit.
“Those people out there survived for a reason. I need to know what it is. They could be part of the Second Coming, the whole reason we were sent down here to fuck up the world. So either help me or don’t, Simon. But I’m going out that door right now.”
My brother took his hand away from my chest and stepped off to the side. I marched past him to the door and practically yanked it from its hinges. I didn’t hear Simon follow me. I had no time to care.
I sprinted down the stairs at a frightening speed. I’d been gifted with a little extra speed when I was given the meat-suit, but time was never on anybody’s side. No matter how tough those humans were, they would run out of bullets before sooner before later. After that happened, all it took was one bite to screw everything up. Those humans had probably been together for the last six months. They would see each other as a family. If just one member of that family died, the rest would be crushed.
The image of a little boy eating his heartbroken parents flashed through my mine. I ran faster.
When I made it out to the grounds, finding the group was easy. All I had to do was look for the horde of corpses and listen to the gunfire. I bolted across the grounds, leaping up the steps and hurtling over the bodies of the definitely-dead.
Shouts mixed in with the gunfire. They sounded urgent and desperate. Not good.
As I approached the crowd of Plagued, I thought about how best to attack them. I hated to admit it, but Simon was right. I couldn’t use my powers at the drop of a hat and think the humans would shower me with hugs and kisses. They’d see me as another monster to turn into confetti. Even if I bent the rules a little bit, I’d still risk the chance that they’d glimpse my smoke. Blades were the only way to go.
Looked like I was going to get my practice after all.
I drew my machete from my back and gripped it in both hands. The Plagued never saw me coming.
I raised the blade and slammed it down into the skull of the first Plagued I saw. Its skull split like a piece of wood under an axe. I moved to the left, swinging the machete like a baseball bat and cutting through the neck of the next corpse. Its head and body tumbled in different directions. The head bumped the shoulder of one of the Plagued, and that was when they started to notice me.
Fine by me.
I slashed out with the machete again, taking off another head. More of the Plagued turned and staggered toward me. I had nothing to worry about at my back, so I let them come.
Rushing forward, I swept my blade up, slicing open the face of another Plagued. I pivoted and swung down, the weapon crashing into a corpse that had been reaching for my arms. The machete was stuck deep in its head, and didn’t come out with one yank. I spotted a Plagued woman making good time on my left. I gave it my approval by kicking it in the face.
Finally freeing my machete from the Plagued’s head, I backed up. I’d taken out five already, but now seven had seen me as fresh meat. Lucky me. One of them, a former cop by the looks of his ragged uniform, held out its decaying hands and opened his mouth, showing me a blackened tongue and blacker teeth. I grimaced and hacked off its arms in one clean slice, then drove the machete into its open mouth until it cracked out of the back of its head.
They were getting closer now. I pulled my machete free and chopped down on another Plagued’s neck. Its head didn’t quite come off, but it wasn’t going anywhere with a severed spinal column. I drew a knife from my belt and reversed its grip. I rushed another Plagued and jammed my knee in its stomach. It buckled in half, the perfect position for me to stab the base of its neck.
Letting the body drop, I swung out with the machete again and sliced open two more Plagued necks. The strike didn’t kill them, but it made them stumble back. I took a step to rush them when heavy hands planted themselves on my shoulders.
I staggered from the abrupt weight, then slammed my head back. From the smell and lack of noise, I could tell a Plagued had grabbed me. My skull smashed into its nose and rocked its head back. I slipped free from its grip and shoved my machete into its throat. I twisted the blade and ripped it out the side of the monster’s neck. Blood squirted, and the heavyset corpse dropped.
A thunderous boom made me jump and spin around. My machete was raised high and ready to strike, but the Plagued that had been just a foot from chomping down on my throat. I blinked, stunned not only because it would have bitten me and I never would have seen it coming, but also because part of its skull was flapping on the far side of its head. With no immediate danger in front of or around me, I turned to see who’d saved me.
A girl not much younger than me stood about six feet away, holding a black Sig Saur pistol and a hard expression. Her honey blonde hair draped over the shoulders of her dusty leather moto jacket, matching her black skinny pants and securely tied combat boots. Her golden eyebrows were narrowed intensely, hiding her denim blue eyes. Her lips were set in a hard pout, which I think she meant to be menacing, but came across as unintentionally cute.
I would have kept staring at her, but a Plagued with a half eaten face was careening to her right, swinging its arms like pendulums.
I was shouting “Look out!” but she was already turning. She pistol-whipped the Plagued with one hand while her other drew a sleek hunting knife from the holster belted to her thigh. She stabbed the Plagued in the temple in one fluid motion, twisting the blade once to ensure its brain was destroyed. The girl pulled her knife free and watched the Plagued drop. She stared at its body, nudging it with the toe of her boot to make sure it stayed dead. Once she was satisfied, she holstered the knife and looked at her leather gloved hand that still held the Sig.
“Gross,” she muttered before wiping her hand on her pants. “Zombie goo.”
I couldn’t help the sputtering laugh that escaped my lips. I think I’m in love, I thought. At least that was what I was hoped for, until she swiveled around and pointed the gun at my head.
I raised my hands reflexively, letting her see that she wasn’t the only one armed and covered in Plagued blood.
“Jeez, that’s harsh,” I complained. “Save my life one minute then point a gun at me the next? That isn’t very nice, sweetheart.”
The girl shrugged innocently, though her grip on the Sig never wavered. “It’s a tough world, cupcake. I can worry about being nice after I know I’m not going to be devoured or stabbed.”
Oh yeah. I was definitely in love.
Yup. Things are about to get a lot more complicated for Avery and his brothers. I can't wait to keep going and seeing where the story takes them. Leave a comment if you liked what you read, and feel free to follow my progress on my NaNo page.

Thanks for reading!


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