I passed the 50,000 work goal for NaNoWriMo yesterday. There was a small celebration, but Aerie is far from finished. Since I was enjoying sharing the final 100 words, and several of you seem to enjoy the sharing I thought I’d try to keep going with the sharing. So, here’s the last 100 words from Nov 29.
Askari started to chuckle and then it shifted into a cough that had him grimacing. “I’d happily trade your tiny little scales for the cracked plates I have. One of the Trickster damned Misiq monsters was drawing a bow heavier than any we used in the hata hunts. It apparently will break Onija plating.”
Dhala glanced around them. “And where is this animal now?”
Askari smiled and twisted the spear so it’s head glistened in the sun. “It seems a hata spear can take down many killing brutes.”
Dhala swallowed hard, remembering the Misiq he had killed just a short time before. The knot forming in his chest had to be forced down. He turned to Askari.
“There were Misiq scouts, just a little further down stream.” He paused for a moment and then continued. “I took care of one, but the other changed forms and escaped. Can you walk? I think we need to be elsewhere.”
Today was day twenty-eight of NaNoWriMo. I passed the 50,000 word mark. I’m pretty happy about that, but I think I’m even more excited about getting back to editing the novels I have written and submitting them to publishers. I do kind of enjoy this “Last 100 words” idea though. I might just eep it up.
So here are the last 100 words. Nope, it’s not the end of the novel, I probably have another 20,000 words to finish it. But I’ll drop my daily goal to something I can handle more easily. And yes, there will be more chapters of Double Trouble starting Wedesday.
The big form moved closer until Dhala could smell its scent and hear the soft crunch of his footsteps on the dried dirt. It lowered itself, peering inside Dhala’s shelter, and their eyes met. Dhala froze, wondering if he had been as wrong as it felt at that moment. But it passed with no movement from either of them. Then the Misiq crawled backward and turned to pad up to the warriors ahead of them. It met the gaze of the others and let out a barking cough.
“Ena! Silence. You will learn to control your battle form, or the elders will decide your fate.”
Without a backward look, Ena trotted to catch up with the other attackers. The other two shook their heads and turned to follow.
Busy today tracking down the elusive bargains on Black Friday. I’d hoped to reach the 50,000 for a “win” today, but it seems that the finish line was put off until tomorrow.
“Then I will carry you. At least to the stream. From there perhaps you can walk on your own.”
Askari sighed. “Very well. I guess I don’t have much choice.”
Ena moved close again. Taking Askari by one arm, pulling him across Ena’s shoulders and then grabbing a leg just at the knee to help stabilize. Ena made several small adjustments until he seemed satisfied.
As they moved, Askari noticed a vaguely familiar mix of odors gathering. It smelled of sharp spice, grass curing in mid-summer and musk. Askari found the combination drew him to the big Misiq, his body responding in ways that filled him with feelings similar to what he had felt when they discovered Ena before.
Just for the record, afternoon naps are on my list of favorite things. Now if it would just stop raining. It makes me want to move to somewhere I don’t have to deal with as much rain. Wet, wet, wet…yuck. So having my complaints over with, here are today’s words.
A heartbeat later the Misiq lunged at him, teeth bared and claws fully extended. Askari’s plating responded instinctively, thickening and hardening. His face guards extended into ridges on his face and down the bridge of his nose. With a screamed war cry, Askari swung the spear in a lethal swath. The long blade opened its throat. The Misiq crumbled into the ground a few spans from Askari.
The two in battle form leapt at him as two Misiq archers stepped into the small battle ground. Askari had no choice but to trust his plate to deflect the arrows while he dealt with the two attacking from close quarters.
For those who celebrate Thanksgiving. Eat a lot! I plan to pig out on pie! And now that the holiday festivities are taken care of…here are today’s 100 words.
“Skin stuff. I have some too. But Chivin must have some too. He’d need it with all the changes.”
He suddenly spun to Dhala. “You must put it on him. Where he gets dry spots in his flyer form.”
“Oh, the rub.” He moved to the storage on one side of Dhala’s sleeping chamber and brought out a carefully made bowl with a sealed lid that he handed to Askari. He opened the lid carefully and sniffed. After a moment he ran his fingers through the thick substance and smeared a thick layer over Dhala’s arm.
The smear of ointment across his arm startled Dhala. His panic great with each passing moment. He tugged to try and win his way free of Askari’s grip.
First, one of the characters has a new name. I was really not liking Machi, so he got a name change to Chivin. I like it better, I think. Otherwise things are going well. A little more then 5000 words to go, and a week to do it in.
Chivin shook his head. “No. They will not return home until they wipe us out.” He focused for a moment and started the change. It always started with his hands, the knife like talons almost shot from his fingers. With a tingle, each time he found himself armed with ten knives. The process was quick and painless for Chivin. The wings sprouting from between his shoulder blades was always an interesting sensation. His mouth and jaw were past human speech at this point. As he stretched and tested each part of him, including his scared wing webbings, he remembered killing the Misiq. Before he’d tucked it away to deal with later, and he would do so again.
Satisfied that he was ready, he folded his wings against his back and walked to the opening. He swiveled his head toward Dhala, and winked. Then he plunged from the rocks. The wind, the scents only this form could find. It had been too long since his last flight.
Not bad, met my goal. At this point I will be happy with that. Just a little over 43,000 words. And I managed to work a little on another chapter of Double Trouble. So look for another chapter the first Wednesday in December.
Dhala finally smiled and sat beside him. “I know we will. We will break tradition.”
Tayi smile at the pair. “You won’t be the first. There are ways for lovers to meet.”
Dhala considered his mother for a few moments, trying to unravel the mystery of her words. But then the question they had all been asking since they found Machi. “How did you get so badly injured? What happened?”
This time he did bolt upright, his eyes darting wildly around the room. “Misiq. A lot of Misiq. They were in the far valley, need the white cliffs. And they are hunting us.” He grabbed Dhala in a protective wrapping. “They blame us for the sickness, and are coming to kill the people they believe carry the plague.”
Great day on the total today. A little over 4k today and passed the 40k mark on the novel.
He knew this was his last chance and if he fell, well it would be better if the fall killed him than letting the Misiq find him. He let the animal instinct surface as he had few times before and rowed frantically for open sky. The pain and blood loss was taking its toll. He thought the situation was hopeless when he felt a blessed sun heated air of a thermal rising from the ground below.
He risked a glance backward. The Misiq were launching a flock of iron tipped bringers of death at him, but they felt short. He was out of range. He might survive. And then he would deal with the feeling welling up at his first kill of an enemy.
Pasted the daily goal today and am very pleased about that. Today’s last words is longer, about 200 words actually. It was the end of a scene and I thought you might like to see the entire ending. Hope you are enjoying the snippets. Just a rough draft, but hopefully still interesting.
His form immediately began to change before them. His face flattened and his ears lengthened slightly. The tuft of hair that had already crowned his ears became more dominant. His fingers shortened and thickened, his nails changing to sharp claws that slowly retracted into his morphed fingers. His skin changed to a dense tan coat of fine fur and his incisors stretched past his lower jaw. The tail again extended from the base of his spine to curl in an arc over his back.
He looked at them for a moment before stretching deeply and running his tongue over his mouth. Askari absently noticed the slight cleft in his lip from the human form became much more defined. With a coughing roar at the pair, he walked away slowly. The first step showed a definite limp in the hind leg. With each subsequent step it lessened until it was gone. With that he lunged forward and quickly disappeared from sight without a backward glance.
Askari stood staring at the spot Ena has disappear. His emotions were in a confusing twist.
“Machi’s change is more elegant.”
Askari turned to find Dhala with his arms crossed, glaring after Ena. When Dhala met his gaze, he couldn’t keep from laughing.
“What?” Dhala asked.
“You are not exactly the most objective when it comes to Machi.”
Dhala raised an eyebrow as his lips twisted to one side. “Where you think you are not biased when it comes to Ena?”
“What do you mean?” Askari said with a defensive note.
“I mean you have never looked at anyone, from any caste, the way you look at the Misiq.”
Close to the daily goal.
“You’re going to pull on his foot until everything is aligned again. Once the bones are in place, or as many as we can discover, then I’ll lit the leg to keep it from shifting. Do you understand?”
With a nod he wrapped his hands around the thick foot. He absently noted the thick sudo-claws that he had instead of toenails. He was jarred back to his task by a word from Dhala.
Askari started applying tension.
He slowed slightly but kept the pressure similar. At times there were soft crunching sensations traveling to Askari’s hands that made him want to cringe. But he’d managed to keep his face as blank as the cliffs they’d been climbing. He was accomplishing his goal until there was a stout snap and a loud grown erupted from Ena, shuddering Askari to his core.