Another excerpt from Beneath the Broken Moon. Book One of the upcoming post-apocalyptic fantasy, Shattered Worlds, by Patrick Todoroff.
Eresh’s Chimney looked like a mud castle made by a giant. A mish-mash of crude bricks, rough boulders, and hewn beams the thickness of tree trunks, the spire gnarled its way skyward, knobby, crooked, and enormous.
There was a single entrance at the ground level, two massive doors of stone. They were the color of storm clouds and seemed to take forever to open.
The sun had started its drop toward the western edge of the horizon when Levi, Gibs and Addas watched Snat delicately unwrap a leather bundle of long wire instruments and with a wink, get to work on the mechanism. “Have us in before you can say ‘Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.'”
Twenty minutes later, he was still fussing with it with his tools, but muttering in goblin under his breath.
Levi steeped up behind him and peered down over his shoulder as he worked. “Legend has it that lock was fashioned by Völundr himself, sort of a payback to Eresh for helping him escape an island where he’d been imprisoned. Cunning genius that he was, I’ve read the smith crafted such things looking in a mirror. That way, spying eyes would be hard pressed to understand, let alone copy the secrets of his trade. Perhaps if you imagined yourself inside the lock—”
“Credentialed in gobermouch before the Shattering, were you?” the goblin snapped. “Cause you’re a bit mouthy to have been a picklock.”
“Ah, it’s just we should gain entrance before the sun sets. While there’s still light, you see.”
“I see.” The goblin gritted his teeth, put one pointed ear against the lock plate. “If you’d quite yammering. I’m—” A grin. A soft click. “There!” He tugged gently. The massive stone door whispered open.
Snat knelt and wrapped his tools back up. “In you go,” he nodded. “While it’s still light.”
Finished edits on part one of The Shattered Worlds and decided to play around in GIMP. I like the way this turned out. I think people are going to enjoy this story.
Someone asked about ‘Dead Saints’ the other day. Well, it’s on the back burner until the election is over. It’s been a stop and go project from the beginning, with the first scenes and outline sitting on my computer for several years. The current delay is due in part by my malaise and general frustration as well as an eerie resemblance between the current political situation and several key plot points.
For example, the story’s antagonist is a corrupt politician demonically inspired to boost their career trajectory toward the White House by deliberately allowing a terrorist attack and then playing the hero in the aftermath. Evidence of this conspiracy is contained in emails thought deleted by the politician’s staff but uncovered by the protagonist while battling both natural (terrorist) and supernatural (demonic) forces in an attempt to stop the imminent terrorist threat.
And here I was, making stuff up.
Have a good weekend.
Ursula Le Guin laying the smack down.
Art or Profit: I have to ask myself which is the ultimate engine that drives my work? Does it need a tune-up, an overhaul, or to be re-ignited?
The annual SFF Writer’s Workshop, that is.
One week on Martha’s Vineyard with other writers, select SFF authors, and several editors focusing on nothing but genre writing. I discovered VP when I first started writing fiction back in 2010, checked up on it yearly, but always had a dozen things that kept me from applying. This year however I clamped down, submitted the first 5,000 words of my next project, and was accepted. Looks like a great opportunity and not that I want summer to go any faster than usual, but I’m looking forward to it.
Now to press on with the first draft and keep saving my pennies.
Have a safe and happy Fourth.