Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Snippet Tuesday

It's been a while since I've participated, but I figured since I finished the new version of this story, I might as well share a passage. This particular snippet is after Lusa has been imprisoned in Izier's dungeon for being a dark mage. She was turned in for a bounty. And, her magic doesn't work here. She has no idea why, but is suffering withdrawals.

“She smells like piss,” said the guard to her right. She wanted to snort. What the hell did he think she’d smell like after being locked in a cell with no bathroom for Magic knows how long?

“No talking with the prisoner around,” said the guard on her left. Lusa pressed her lips tight and tried opening her other eye. The light wasn’t as harsh in whatever corridor they’d turned down. Slowly, she let both eyes remain in narrow slits, able to take in a few details. She wasn't ready to brave complete light.

The walls were dark mahogany; wooden was her guess, with a set of two rectangular moldings between each closed door. Above the moldings hung canvas paintings of people—probably imperial family members--and above the doors, colorful porcelain flowers. A servant stepped out of one room. She wore dark blue skirts with a white apron, her honey colored hair piled on top of her head in a simple bun. She gasped when Lusa was dragged past her.

When they finally stopped, Lusa managed to open her eyes a little wider. The throb in her head wasn't so much the feeling of a sword slicing through it anymore. One of the guards announced their arrival. A man’s voice from within told them to enter. The guard to her right had to support her weight as the last of her strength evaporated. The walk had been too much.

Stumbling in, Lusa found the shiny black boots of whoever was in the room. Dark blue pants, the same color as the servant’s dress, were tucked in to the boots. A white tunic with blue and silver lining, cinched by a silver belt that held a sheathed sword, followed. A curled white beard cropped in a neat fashion that probably took all morning rested over his chest. The old man crinkled his eyes with a look of disgust and mild concern on his leathery pale face.

“What in the name of Eldere did you bring me?” His arms were folded behind him, and if Lusa knew anything about the military—which she didn’t—she guessed he had some experience there before his age had caught up with him.

The guard supporting her tried pushing her back to her feet but her body wouldn’t allow it. She fell back into him, almost slinking to the ground before the other guard grabbed her arm and pulled her up.

“The mage, sir,” he said, confusion and probably a bit of fear lacing his voice.

Lusa’s world spun. Her stomach threatened to lose the rest of its contents all over the guards. She tried focusing on the old man despite the vertigo dragging her down to the floor. She was yanked up again and the shiny black boots approached. The room smelled like old books and dust.

“Sit her down,” said the old man.

There was hesitation by the guards. “Sir?”

“Don’t make me repeat myself, Glon, she looks like death itself, and even if she didn’t, you know she can’t use her magic, so for Eldere’s sake, sit the girl down!” Her body flopped into a plush velvet chair. Though she had probably ruined the piece of furniture with her filth, she could’ve lost herself to days of sleep with its comfort. The baggy sleeves of his tunic flapped as he waved the guards outside. Fear and confusion gripped Lusa as the man shut the door, not sure why she was being brought to him instead of being tied up for display outside.


  1. Hi, ChristaCarol. We haven't "met", but I'm on AW now and am trying to comment on everyone on the Purgy list.

    You have a lot of great visual detail in here! And you have me intrigued. At first I thought the bearded man was going to be the worst villain in the piece, now I'm wondering if he's a savior in disguise. Anyway, I enjoyed this. Thanks.


  2. YAY! Love to see you posting again!

    Anyway, you have such a rich world here. One thing I think you need to look out for is the repetition of "for so-and-so's sake" and "in the name of so-and-so" using a deity/phrase from your fantasy world. There's a point where world-building can become gratuitous and you don't want to diminish the wonderful sense of your fantasy realm!

  3. Great job. You had me hooked from the very first line! I can't wait to read more.

  4. I was totally taken aback--for some reason, I was expecting something really heavy from your intro, and then came that first line! :) I like the feel of this, and I'm interested to read more.
    Well done!

  5. Yay, Christa's posting again! :)

    Lusa's always getting herself in trouble, isn't she? :) Love it. And the first line is a grabber.

  6. Thanks so much you guys! Gretchen, some great advice, I'll keep it in mind. Cherrytart, thanks for stopping by! You are all wonderful, thanks again!

  7. Great to see you posting again, Christa!

    Great job - awesome first line, and I can really imagine what Lusa's going through!