Sunday, September 21, 2014

More Nano 2014 prep

This is a sample-fight scene from Feasting. It should appear a bit more than half way to the end of the novel. Around chapter 30 to 40. I'd have look back over the outline.

Feasting big fight

            Huffing with her hands on her knees, Rio’s chest rose and fell at a rapid pace, the blue bra she borrowed from Daisuke’s girlfriend visible through her pink, sweat-soaked t-shirt. Need to get out of here.
            Four members of her former pack looking to collect her debt lay sprawled across the open dirt field around her. Cars and trucks zipped by, barring the way into the neighborhood full of large houses across the street. Daisuke shook his head then handed her his most-treasured possession: an emerald pendant that had belonged to his mother. Why? While the sweet smell of cut grass filled the air, a relaxing breeze tangoed with her singed hair.
            Across the street.” Towards the beautiful grass.Come on.” She grabbed him by the wrist and dragged him back onto the sidewalk. Her belly rumbled as the tight shorts the vet had given her bit into her waist. “I —”
            A hand wrapped in a translucent stinger shot through Daisuke’s chest, and blood splattered onto her face.
            Rio blinked. “What?” Her mind fuzzed as the stinger jerked backwards.
            Daisuke crashed into the ground, face first. Dust filled the air around him. A crimson puddle soaked his unmoving corpse.
            Her eyes bulged. “No.” A rasp hung in her voice. First her brother. Now her best friend? “No!”
            In front of her, a tall man stood there with translucent Chinese Hornets — each only the size of a small teacup poodle — flying around his third and fourth socket. His glowing green hair drew attention to the sharp spikes decorating the black, leather mask that hid his face. Always wearing a gray, pin-striped suit without a tie. The Triad’s greatest assassin. The Hornet. “Now that the Untalented fool is out of the way —”
            Rio screamed then swallowed her last four animals: An elephant, a badger and two gorillas. The gorillas rested in her third and fourth socket while the badger settled in her fifth socket. She pushed the elephant into her sixth socket — her right leg. Each of the toy poodle-sized spirits — twice as large as his — danced around her body, remaining close to their socket. Linked to it.
            “The zoo?” The Hornet tugged at the black glove around his left hand, armored-suit clinking. “I guess that is where —”
            Pushing off with the elephant’s strength, she shot forward like a bullet, power-enhanced daggers in hand. “You bastard!”
            He rolled to the left before shuffling back to the sidewalk, the highway behind him.
            She twisted and used the badger’s balance to correct her course without slowing.
            Rip! One of her daggers tore through his right arm, armored suit jacket and all. He howled then gritted his teeth before swallowing five more Chinese Hornets, filling each of his seven sockets.
            She threw herself backwards, righting herself as she landed.
            Stinger-covered hands crushed the concrete where she had just been.
            Planting her right foot, she tensed her muscles.
            Blood dripped from the Hornet’s right arm, painting the unmarred section of the sidewalk red as he sauntered forward. His lips peeled back into a snarl. Translucent wings grew from his back, attached to his second socket. Flap-flap-flap-flap. His feet rose off the ground.
            Stupid! Why didn’t I store any birds? She gritted her teeth and flared her sixth socket.
            The elephant spirit expanded until it stood as tall as the three-story house directly across the street.
            A gasp shot from the Hornet’s mouth, and he froze in place.
            Five seconds.
            Rio sprang off the ground. Twirling in midair, Rio cocked her foot back and kicked him in the chest.
            Translucent armor encased his body as he flew across the street, smashing into a big truck. The truck folded around his body, and both tumbled into the three-story house, destroying it. Several cars slid to a stop. A few drivers even got from their cars for a brief moment. But as soon as their minds justified what they just saw as normal — a weakness of the Untalented — they got back in their cars and drove off.
            She touched down and leaped over the screeching traffic.
            Four seconds.
            After landing with the badgers deft skill, she spun.
            The Hornet emerged from the wreckage, cracks racing across his translucent armor. Blood covered the front windshield of the truck. Or what remained of it.
            Her boot caught him in the face and sent him crashing through a shed and four more houses. Rage crushed her grief, and her vision narrowed. The final house collapsed around him, nothing but splinters and dust.
            Three seconds.
            She shot into the sky, driving her right foot into his middle as she landed.
            Blood rolled down the Hornet’s chin, and his translucent armor shattered along with the house’s foundation. Snap! The mental sound echoed through her mind as the four spirits Crafted into the armor died. A weakness of Crafting. Water sprayed up from the broken pipes, and a hissing sound joined it. The stink of gas filled the area.
            Were there no people in these houses? Maybe they were at the PTA bazar. Either way, they were lucky not to be home.
            Two seconds.
            “You!” Rio stomped on his right arm, grinding the bone into dust. “I’ll —”
            He flared his three remaining hornets. Each expanded to the size of a small moving-truck. Translucent stingers grew from his chest. Centimeter by centimeter, they extended out from his body, acidic poison dripping from their tips and melting the stone beneath him.
            One second.
            She scrambled backwards and into the rice field, using the last of the elephant’s power.
            The now massive stingers rippled with power as they reached a height with her. His bloodshot eyes trembled.
            Spitting, she sheathed her daggers. “Is that all you can do? Craft with your stupid hornets!” She clenched her fists until her knuckles turned white. “It won’t save you.”
            “Save me?” He staggered to his feet, right arm limp. Left arm moving slowly. A grin split his face. “Do you actually believe you can kill me?” He cackled while he kicked his left leg out towards her. Six translucent stingers zipped across the rice field.
            She dove into the high stalks of rice then tumbled to her knees. The soft mud caked her chest and legs.
            Above her, the Hornet pointed two stinger-wrapped feet in her direction. All seven of his sockets were full.
            How many spirit-orbs does this bastard have? She scurried forward on hands and knees then pushed herself into a somersault, gorilla-enhanced muscles throwing her several meters into the air.
            The Hornet appeared right in front of her, left leg cocked.
            She flinched, flipping slowly towards death.
            His foot shot forward.
            The stink of burning potatoes filled the air.
            Each of Rio’s breaths chilled. Her heart fluttered, and she glanced to the left.
            A few blocks away, a man stood there with his hand extended. Blue energy shot from his hand. Ice wrapped around the Hornet’s legs then encased his body.
            Rio crashed into the frozen assassin. Both tumbled to the ground.
            The Hornet vibrated, his Crafted armor protecting him to a degree. How long could a Chef’s ice hold him?
            A Fat Ass … . Her eyes went wide. She stood then bolted in the opposite direction of the ice-man. Revenge could wait. She —
            The man flashed past her, his youthful face conflicting with his gray hair.
            She flared her fifth socket, a three-story badger eclipsing her body. I just —
            The man’s hand shot out and grabbed her by the throat, stopping her dead in her tracks.
            “No … .” Her voice wheezed the word as she reached out to flare her gorillas.
            “I could snap your neck before you had a chance, Heathen.” His cold tone sent icy fingers down the backs of her thighs.
            She shivered. “W-what do y-you want, F-Fat Ass?” Her badger vanished.
            “Go to sleep, and dream of the day when our kinds rule once more.” His grip tightened, and the light sprinted away from her vision.
            The world spun as her muscles slacked. Her body went cold. The darkness took her.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Nano 2014

So, it's almost that time of year again. November is slowly approaching. I've gotten my outline finished and the character interviews done. Had my critiquing partners go over my opening, sample fight scene and synopsis. So, I decided to post the three here now that I'm cleaning them up one last time.

This is the opening for this year's Nano. Planned at 52 chapter with 3 POVs (Rio-29, Sou-15 and Matt-8). It's supposed to act as a standalone, but it's also in the same world as PAINTING and BURNING, and all three end at the same point.

I hope you enjoy. If you have any comments, ideas or thoughts, please comment below.

Goo opening the drawer for Feasting's opening

FEASTING opening

            Despite the late hour, the cicadas screamed into the night, and Rio swallowed. Does this mean I’ll have bad luck tonight? Why are those noisy monsters out in June?
            A heavy summer wind rustled the bush she hid in on the edge of the park, several branches picking at her dark-green tank top and exposed skin. They prodded more and more until they tangled in her shoulder-length hair. The constant poking tickled and sent icy chills down the back of her thighs.
            She should have tied her hair back. Focus! As she glared at the top floor of the fifty-eighth prime minister’s five-story house, her heart pounded in her chest. Was robbing the most-powerful, Untalented person in Japan really a good idea?
            Across the street, the large stone wall surrounding the prime minister’s house stretched to the sidewalk. According to the reports from their pack and how off-center the five-story house was, each side other than the main entrance held a garden between the wall and the house. Guards, too. There would have to be guards. Where were they? Could they see her or her brother?
            Her breath caught.
            Run. Run! Hide!
            She dug her foot into the dirt and glanced over her shoulder, muscles tense.
            Did the guards’ patrol extend into the park? A flash of light stung the corner of her eye, drawing her attention.
            Her head jerked to the left.
            The convenience store on the other side of the park glowed in the night, neon lights reflecting off the wind chime that hung above the doors. The lamp-posts spastically positioned throughout the park cast shadows in every direction. Guards could be anywhere. But nothing moved.
            A sigh deflated her chest then she inhaled, filling her lungs with the thick, humid air. Maybe her gut was right. Maybe she should run. But the debt … . Sweat beaded across her skin, and a lump caught in her throat.
            In front of her, Leo — her twin brother — peeked around the park bench and tapped his foot. His short, black hair bristled with perspiration, and his navy t-shirt clung to his muscled back. Unlike hers, his shorts reached his knees. He lifted his left hand, plated-gauntlet catching the light, and he waved for her to come forward.
            On trembling legs, she edged from the bush and made her way to the park bench. “Are you sure he’s not home?”
            Leo nodded, dark brown eyes — a shade lighter than hers — never leaving the target. “The other members of our pack said he took most of his guards — the Talented ones — to meet with this New Emperor.”
            Her lips quivered. The Foreign Emperor.
            After pulling his left hand out of the plated-gauntlet, he turned and placed a soft finger against her lips. “Calm down.”
            A jolt of pleasure raced through her body, and her toes curled. Icky. But, if a touch felt like this, what would kissing a boy be like? Leo? No. Double no. He shouldn’t have touched her. Not like that. Though, he was cute. In another’s eyes, at least. No. The one she wanted to kiss was Zack, her teacher from a few years back. Strong. Handsome. Kind. He —
            Leo coughed then replaced his gauntlet. “Focus, Rio.”
            “Soon, the guards patrolling should pass by. Outside and inside the wall.”
            Her hands brushed past a small Hello Kitty bag tied to her stolen leather belt and caressed the power-forged daggers strapped in sheaths around the pink bag. “Will we —”
            “No. When the ones on the outside are out of sight, swallow a cat into socket five.” He brushed his armored fingers across the orbed necklace around his neck. A deep breath later, he touched his pelvis where the fifth slot rested inside his body. “It should give us enough speed and lift to clear that wall with ease.”
            “But wouldn’t it be better to use a crow?”
            “No. The crow’s flight wouldn’t get us over the wall fast enough, and we should save it for our escape.”
            Leo-Nii is so smart. With him around, the fear stabbing into her gut vanished.
            A group of Untalented guards wearing suits in spite of the heat marched along the sidewalk outside of the wall. One of the guards outside the wall kicked a small stone like a soccer ball. Clang! The rock hit one of the lamp posts. The second guard elbowed the first and shook his head as they turned the corner with the kindergarten across the street.
            Rio glanced to her right towards the corner with another convenience store — probably a seven-eleven, but she couldn’t be sure since she wasn’t wearing her glasses or socketing an animal in her first slot.
            The footsteps behind the wall moved on. A fancy-looking red car drove past the road then all fell quiet save for the noisy cicadas trying to find a mate.
            Leo held his hand up and made a fist. Then, he sucked the spirit of a cat from his orbed necklace and swallowed it into his fifth socket. His hair gave off a faint blue light — his power residue. A translucent alley cat, the size of a large hamster, appeared around his waist, walking on the air as if it were solid ground. It phased through the park bench without concern and continued its stroll around his body.
            She reached out with her mind and embraced the orb holding the spirit of a cat. As long as the orb touched her skin, she could suck the spirit from it. She inhaled, swallowing the cat spirit. The aftertaste of stringy, unsalted meat stuck to her tongue and carried a hint of rotting garbage. Why did they always have to take the spirits of alley cats? They tasted so disgusting.
            “Meow,” the cat’s spirit said as it fell into her fifth socket.
            Euphoric power surged through her entire body, and the muscles in both her legs bulged, expanding slightly as they facilitated the cat's borrowed strength. A heartbeat later, her muscles relaxed and returned to their normal size.
            Her usually black hair glowed a bright purple and illuminated the darkness around her. She ran her fingers through the shining strands.
            Her translucent alley cat, as large as a fat toy poodle, pranced around her body and made mental noises at her brother's cat.
            "I'm ready." Rio breathed through her nose, trying to ignore the lingering taste of cat.
            Leo pointed at the wall. "Go."
            Ahead of him, she sprinted across the street and leaped over the three-meter wall with a meter to spare. Wind whipped at hear hair as she descended, turning in mid-air to land on her tiptoes like a ballerina. Or at least how they looked on posters. She had never had the money to see them in person or attend a ballet lesson. A shame, really.
            Her brother's body crested the wall, and he placed his gauntleted hands atop it, flipping over to land beside her. He panted. "Why is your power output so much greater than mine?"
            She shrugged. "Not sure."
            After taking the lead, Leo led her through the prime minister's flower garden and to the backdoor.