Anyway, so I’m having some issues with writer’s block. I might have had a small epiphany about adding a new first chapter/prologue that shows a very important scene that’s mentioned towards the end of the book. It has the potential to be a total badass scene if I can get any words put on the page. And my editor would like to see it tomorrow. Heh heh heh.
I told a good friend about my blockage (mer) issues and he offered to help by writing something to inspire me. And thus the first piece of Stones and Finger Bones fanfiction was born. I was highly entertained so I thought it would be fun to share this piece with y’all. 🙂
“Why have I been awoken?”
Marel was unprepared for the question, unprepared for anything that happened in the cluttered castle cellar. This summoning had not gone as he had expected, not in the slightest, but it’s not as if he could send the being back into the void. No, the books only talked of the acquiring, the controlling, nowhere did it discuss what to do when you tired of the power.
It dawned on him, too late perhaps, that he was now indelibly tied to the unlikely figure standing within his chalk and blood runes.
“You are… a Drathraq, yes?”
“Why have I been awoken?” it asked again, his voice sounding of smoke and leather and dark alleys.
Marel found himself becoming annoyed, and then found himself annoyed at his own annoyance – this was a being plucked from the ethers of a distant and magical plane, a swirling amalgamation of powers and charm words and forgotten rituals. Of course it would have questions.
“I need your aid, Drathraq. I need your powers.”
The being considered this request. Stubby legs propelled it about its prison, toes testing at the edges of chalk but never daring to touch them. Eventually it stopped, a man in appearance only, to lock its gaze with Marel’s.
“I am not Drathraq. I command Drathraq! They bow to my desires! I command legions of them, I send them forth to collect secrets from dreams, to drip poison into the ears of chancellors. I am no pale shade flitting about a planescape. I am Kostadin, Drathraq-curr. I am King! Now release me, fool.”
Kostadin drew himself to his full height. His egg-shaped body straightened, doughy face gleaming with triumph. Candlelight gleamed over his glossy, balding head.
Perhaps he would be more regal in clothing, Marel considered. The books he had pilfered from the wizard Kreemar had said nothing about this. Clothing was a human construct, a point of shame – would clothing even materialize when a being was summoned from another plane? Would clothing be magical as well, an ethereal glimmer of…
A match lit from inside the circle, breaking Marel from his thoughts. Kostadin lit a hand-rolled cigarette that now dangled from his lips, and with a flap of his hand he snuffed and tossed aside the matchstick. With a slowness only presented in the immortal, Kostadin inhaled. The cigarette glowed, illuminating his face, for a full minute as he pulled. He was left with a singular tube of ash, which he ate, and exhaled a plume of smoke that’s majesty was only marred by his wet-eyed gasping and coughing.
“No, no, that’s not what I wanted at… a Drathraq-curr? King of… oh, yes, this will do fine. Just fine! I need your aid, King of Shades. You will help me… with my brother.”
“Your brother?” Kostadin asked, “Which brother?”
“My only brother! The King!”
“Your brother The King?”
“Yes, my brother, The King. Too long I’ve waited in his shadow… I need you to help me remove him from power.”
“Remove him from power… yeah, yeah, I think I can do that. So, what kind of removal are we talking about, Marel? Are we talking, remove him from the throne?”
Marel shook his head.
“Remove him from the country, send him on a vacation?”
“Ugh!” Marel threw up his hand in exasperation. “He’s the King, his whole life is a vacation. No! I want him dead, Kostadin!”
“You want him dead?”
“Yes, I want him dead.”
Kostadin ran a hand over his bald pate, and resumed his pacing in thought.
“Alright. I’ve got this. You ready?”
“Yeah, I’m ready.”
“Okay,” Kostadin clapped his hands. “Here’s what we do. First, we’re gonna butter up your brother, really get him buttered, tell him he’s handsome, tell him he’s the greatest, tell him no one can beat him. Then! You ready? Then we get him to enter a contest with you.”
“Like it so far… go on.”
“So we get him to do a contest he can’t possibly win, but he’ll be so buttered-“
“Will you stop saying buttered!”
“-that he won’t even see the danger, and – are you with me here?” There was a flash, and a single moment in eternity where the candles snuffed and time stopped and the world ceased to exist. Then the moment had ended. The darkness abated. And Kostadin stood at the edge of the chalk, a sardonic smile splitting his moist lips.
“The loser gets executed.”
Marel loosed a long, toneless whistle, and rocked back on his heels as if pushed. He nodded, slowly at first, but soon it had turned emphatic. “Yeah… yeah! That can work! Ohh! But come on, he’s really good at everything, what would I do? Go up and say ‘Hey, you sure are looking good today, why don’t we go hunt some rabbits, loser gets killed’?”
“No, that won’t work… no, it’s gotta be something you can be sure to win…”
“Well…” Marel said, “There is something. Our, ah, our mother caught him…”
“You know. Alone…”
“Yeah, Alone. She caught him.”
Kostadin’s eyes widened, his mouth opening and tightening into a perfectly puckered circle. His laughter rang out in a sharp, sudden peel.
Marel’s voice rose to be heard over. “So what I- SO WHAT I WAS THINKING, is I make it a contest. Who can go the longest, without, you know. Without figuring out The Business.”
“You want to do a contest with your brother on who can go the longest.”
“That’s right. ‘Cause, you see, he’s done this before, mother catches him regularly. It’s awful. So he can’t resist. It’s the perfect plan!”
Kostadin did not flinch, but Marel jumped as the door to the cellar slammed open. The lanky form of wizard Kreemar flailed into the room, head bobbing, arms waving, curly mass of hair bouncing.
“Marel, they’re in!”
“THE MACANAW PEACHES, MAREL, THE MACANAW PEACHES!”