Today was a fairly solid writing day. Nothing as insane as day one, but it still pushed me further ahead. I’m currently sitting on the equivalent of what I’d need to write for day nine, so I’m happy enough. I haven’t been on fire as much this year as I was last year, but maybe a more steady pace will mean I won’t burn out so early. Anyway, I’ve got two excerpts today:
“I’ve been thinking,” Valora said.
“Did it hurt?” Darian blurted out. Valora pulled off her shoe and threw it at him, missing his head by about a foot.
“I’ve been thinking,” Valora repeated calmly as if she hadn’t just tried to take his head off. “We really have no idea what we’re doing, so maybe we should ask somebody.”
“Please don’t tell me you’re going to barge into some demon bars demanding answers,” said Allan. He made it sound like she had done that sort of thing before.
“Barge is such a strong word,” Valora said. “I think enter is much nicer, don’t you?”
“And a lot less accurate.”
“Shush. I figured whatever freaky crap is going down will rattle a few demonic cages, so I wanted to see if any of the locals had picked up on anything.”
“I’m guessing you know where some of them hang out,” said Darian. He’d never seen a demon in person before, but he’d spent hours reading about them. Clearly Valora was much more experienced in such matters, which wasn’t a surprise since Incendaris magic only manifested in people with demonic lineage. As a result, the Incendaris had much closer ties with the demon community than any of the other magical groups. The Gaius were generally seen as the most removed, preferring to observe from a distance and construct those metaphorical ivory towers intellectuals seemed so fond of creating for themselves. Darian had never had the privilege of being removed from the rest of the world in such a manner. Not willingly, anyway.
“There’s a local tavern on the way to Skyscraper City,” Valora said. “I’ve been there before. The owner knows me.”
“And knows you’re trouble,” Allan muttered.
“I was planning to take Darian with me.”
“They’ll roast him alive on a spit and eat him with barbecue sauce,” Allan said.
“He’ll be fine with me. After last time, even I admit I need a mediator.”
“What happened last time?” Darian asked, not entirely sure if he wanted to know.
“She tried to play fetch with an Animagalus demon and spilled water on a Helioscathic demon,” Allan replied. “Helioscathic demons are fire demons.”
“Yes, thank you, I know.”
“The Animagalus demon’s my friend,” Valora protested. “He chased the stick.”
“And tried to drive it through your chest immediately afterwards,” Allan added. “At least you recognise the need for a babysitter. But, I swear, if he comes back broken, I’ll—”
“You’ll what? Give me a stern talking-to?” Valora snorted. “It’ll be fine. I’m not going to risk anyone’s life but my own.”
“Except for that fact that you’ll be driving a car with no licence and underage,” Allan said. “Please tell me you have a licence, Darian.”
“I know how to drive, but I don’t have a licence,” Darian replied. “My uncle seemed to think it’d give me ideas. And when I say I know how to drive, I mean I can drive a few feet without crashing. After those few feet, the car will gravitate towards any of an indefinite number of potential hazards and promptly crash right into it.”
“Leave the driving to Valora,” Allan said quickly. “Please.”
Cassandra giggled. “Wow. Even I can drive. I can even drive straight. It’s corners that get me.” Allan buried his face in his hand.
“Am I the only person in this house who has not caused an accident?”
“I’ve never been in a crash,” said Valora.
“I’m sure you’ve caused plenty.” Allan had to dodge Valora’s other shoe. It smacked into the wall behind him, leaving a muddy footprint on the previously immaculate cream paint.
“Oh, shit.” Valora scurried into the kitchen for the cleaning supplies.
“I’m sure you’ll come back in one piece,” said Allan over Valora’s cursing and banging of cupboard doors. “Just make sure whatever car you take has airbags and a seatbelt.”
And here’s the other once, which was so ridiculous and nonsensical that I couldn’t NOT share it:
Darian switched on the lamp on his bedside table and stared up at the ceiling. How long would it take to count all the spots? What were those spots anyway? Darian imagined they were tiny slow-moving spiders staring at him just as he stared at them. They were probably wondering why there was a giant bronze four-legged spider lying beneath them. Did spiders talk? Was it possible to learn their language, or were the sounds they made beyond the hearing capabilities of humans? They probably didn’t think he was a spider at all, really. That would be silly. Spiders were aware that they weren’t the only species of creature in existence. They ate insects. But what if they didn’t realise there were other species? What if they thought flies and other insects were just spiders missing legs and with these weird things on their backs that let them fly? Did spiders have any concept of cannibalism? Was it frowned upon in spider society or did spiders not really give a shit?
The spots on the ceiling probably weren’t spiders. And Darian needed to fucking sleep.
EDIT: A fellow redditor did a dramatic reading of the second excerpt. Here’s the link if you want a laugh.