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I am nothing. I am a single grain of sand amongst billions. I am a single voice within a crowd. I am human, I am god, I am here, and this is what I have to say:

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Jaccen's story part 2

Continuing from the excerpt of the novel I posted on June 9th, here's the second scene of the story. As always, all comments are welcome.


When Jaccen awoke the first thing he noticed was he was no longer outside. He could hear the steady fall of rain beating against the roof above him. He could also hear the sounds of several voices speaking. He decided he was in no hurry to open his eyes and kept them closed for a moment, listening to the conversation and trying not to stir.
“So he don‘t ‘member nuffin, eh?” A gruff voice was saying.
“It is not that uncommon.” The unmistakable whisper of the voice Jaccen had heard earlier replied. “He has only been here for a matter of hours.”
“An’ you’ve ‘urd nuffin ‘bout ‘im?” The gruff voice continued his questions.
“No. You cannot expect them to give me tabs on everyone that comes our way.”
“I thoughts HE was sendin’ us summin’ good.” The gruff voice mumbled quieter.
“Yeah.” Came a female’s voice. “He’s naught but a little fenling, I bet. Doesn’t remember anything at all? He probably couldn’t make it back home, so they kicked him out just as soon as he got there.”
“Are we even sure he’s one of us?” Another male voice inquired.
“Well he’s awake,” said a fourth man. “Why don’t we ask him?”
“Good idear.” The gruff voice said. Jaccen could hear the sound of movement as someone stood and the heavy pad of feet coming his way. “Ay, you!” He crossed over to where Jaccen was lying on the couch. “Git up.”
Large hands grasped the still wet folds of his coat and hoisted him to his feet easily. His eyes popped open, but he quickly blinked them as his feet gave out underneath his body. The same large hands kept him standing.
“Wut ya got to say for yerrself, eh?”
Jaccen did not know what to say, so he kept quiet.
“Ya onna us or wut?”
“He doesn’t know what you’re goin’ on about, Grim.” The woman said. “He won’t answer you.” She sighed.
“Uh, yeah.” Jaccen stared back at the lumpy, round face of the giant man holding him. He had a moment to look behind this brute and glimpse the faces of the other voices he had heard.
In a soft recliner farthest from him sat the strange man he had met earlier. To the left an attractive man and woman sat together on another couch. To Jaccen’s right sat another man staring at him. The stranger’s eyes were narrow and shining. The man’s dark black hair shimmered with an iridescent hue in the dim light of the room. Jaccen found himself drawn into the man’s eyes and could not look away. Then the man spoke.
“Let‘s see your back.”
“Wha--?” He had no time to ponder this statement as, the giant called Grim took the initiative by ripping his wet hooded sweatshirt and equally wet shirt clean from his shoulders. The rough hands grabbed his flesh and spun him around.
“Well uh’ll be gud-damned.” He muttered staring at the two large scars that ran parallel along his spine starting at his shoulder blades. They were recent, and as his captor jabbed a hard finger into the one on his left side, Jaccen winced and bit his lip, but could not pull away from the man’s strong grasp. “Ya’ll see dese? Ez onna dem.”
“Maybe.” said the man sitting alone on the couch. “Show us his feet.”
Grim obliged by shoving Jaccen down into the couch and fumblingly removed his shoes and socks. He studied his feet for a moment, and Jaccen sank back in the couch clenching his fists.
“Yeehap. Dey’re marked ulright.” He said. Then after a moment he let go of Jaccen’s feet and moved away. The giant turned and looked back at the man on the recliner eyes open wide and his mouth twisted in a frown. “Wut’s dat mean?”
“Hmph.” The man on the couch scoffed, stood up, and walked out of the room disappearing down the hall.
“It doesn’t mean anything, Grim.” The woman said. “Relax.”
He looked back at Jaccen, who was staring at the empty coffee table between them all blankly, wondering what was happening. The man’s large face twisted.
“Nah, we can’t take no chances. We needs to toast ‘im now!” He said bashing his large fists together. Jaccen could not help but jump.
The man beside the lady laughed.
“Sit down, Grim.” The whisper came from the recliner and silenced the entire room. Grim did as he was told, sitting on the empty couch, but not before casting Jaccen a scathing glance.
“Still, the ol’ lugs got a point there, Hedrick.” Spoke the man beside the woman. “We aren’t exactly at a point where we can afford to take chances. Not right now.”
Hedrick leaned forward and continued in his soft whisper so strongly Jaccen could feel his entire body tense.
“Do not forget I bear similar marks upon my own back.” He turned around to glance at the other man who had just come back into the room and was now standing in the archway from the hall. Then he turned his burning eyes to Jaccen. “And all of you know where it is that I came from!”
“True,” said the man from the hall, “but you remember.”
“Uh still thinks we oughtta waste ‘im ‘ere and now.”
“Relax, Grim.” The woman purred. “The boss knows what he’s doing. If he says he’s one of us, he’s one of us.” She cast a glance at Hedrick who noticed it and nodded.
“He is one of us.”
She smiled then and crossed the room with a cat-like grace. She sat down beside Jaccen so closely that he could feel the warmth that radiated from her skin even between the dampness of the pants he still wore.
“You gonna say anything, kid?” The man still sitting on the couch asked.
Jaccen narrowed his bright blue eyes and looked directly at him for a long moment before responding.
“I feel like I’m the brunt of a really bad joke.” He said at length.
Jaccen noticed Hedrick and the other man exchange raised eyebrows, even as the man in the hall immediately began to laugh. “You’ve hit the nail on the head with that, fenling. You’ve hit the nail on the head.”
Jaccen threw his hands in the air and sighed. “Does someone wanna tell me what’s going on?”
The man in the hall made a sound from his throat and disappeared back down it once again. The big man called Grim shifted where he sat and the entire couch protested beneath him. The other two were silent and Jaccen cast his eyes upon the whispering Hedrick. The man met his gaze without blinking.
“You are welcome to stay here with us, of course.” Hedrick ignored his question and leaned forward in his seat, stretched his hand, and rested his chin between his thumb and forefinger. “In fact I’d recommend it.”
Jaccen stared back with his face set in stone so hard his thoughts were made clearer than if he had used words.
“Where would you go, love?” The woman purred beside him and placed her hand on his bare shoulder. “What would you do?”
His expression faltered and he cast his gaze to the ground.
“She’s got a point, kid.” said the man on the couch. “If you were to go out there as you are now, you wouldn’t last a day. They’d destroy you before you could even wonder why.”
“Bes’ fir us.” Grim muttered.
Without lifting his head Jaccen let his eyes flutter to each of the four with him in the room, he stood up slowly and stared directly at Hedrick his normally bright blue eyes flashed as silver slits beneath his narrowed lids. “No.” He said slowly. His voice came out in a harsh whisper that matched the others. “You bring me here, strip me, and appraise me like someone’s property. All I want to know is what in the hell is going on?”
“Well yuh aint in hell no more, ya moron, so git ovit” Grim said, stretching out on the couch and facing him.
Jaccen stared at him intensely. “What the FUCK are you talking about?!”.
Before anyone else could answer there was a voice from behind him that spun Jaccen around.
“So, the fenling has indeed grown claws, has he?” There in the shadows of the corner stood the same man that had disappeared down the hallway with a sneering grin plastered upon his face. Jaccen was certain he had not walked back through the room, but he had gotten behind him and in the fleeting seconds that passed between them, he briefly wondered why this was.
Then their eyes met for the second time--his piercing silver, to the stranger’s deep and black. Each glared at the other with ferocity. Then the man became a black mist falling to the floor like a shadow. The shadow shot forward quicker than the eye could follow and just as quickly the man appeared in Jaccen’s face striking towards him with a clawed hand.
Jaccen was instantly outside himself, a slave to an instinct he knew nothing about. Without moving he was behind his attacker and between the couch and the wall. His hand had grasped tightly around the man’s neck and with little effort he pulled him off his feet, over the couch, and pinned him against the wall with his hand still wrapped around his throat.
Then he came back to himself. For a moment, the pairs’ eyes remained locked. “That’s another thing.” Jaccen said still whispering, he let the man go and turned around to look at the others in the room. “Just what the fuck is a fenling?”
With his attention turned, the man lurched forward and Jaccen felt something pierce his abdomen. Looking down at his bare flesh he a saw a thick, black substance pouring freely from finger-sized holes in his stomach. His hand clasped over it as he felt his knees beginning to buckle. Looking up at the man, expecting to see that twisted grin, he was surprised instead to see him chewing his lip. He slumped backwards but the woman had caught him. He gazed up at her slender face and saw the scowl that she gave the man before she turned and helped Jaccen slump back to the couch.
“He’ll be fine.” The man said quietly still chewing his lip.

Back upon the couch time ceased to hold a value to him. Jaccen’s head slumped backwards into the pillows without any effort of his own. He found that try as he might he could not open his eyes, but realized at once that he was aware of everything within the room. So acutely aware he was of every movement that in his semi-conscious state Jaccen imagined he was a sixth body perched upon the ceiling and clearly watching everything below.
“He had bested you, Fritz.” The woman was saying.
“Awffly fass, he was, thas fir sure.”
“They are right, Hedrick.” The one man was saying. “No mere fenling, moves that quickly. Not without having some memories or sense of purpose. When they have that kind of control, they know why they‘re here.”
“I’m not even convinced he is one of us.” Fritz, the one who had attacked him, said. “How convenient is itfor one off them to get to us just by playing ignorant well?”
“Xactly! E’s gonna bring da ’ole damned Powers and Thrones downed on us. Real quick. Juss yuh wait.”
“And you’re buying into the whole damned thing.” Spoke Fritz.
“Look,” Hedrick hissed, commanding their silence. “All I know is he showed up exactly where and exactly when they told me he would. We have all been at this long enough to know that when we’re told we have a new recruit we have a new recruit.” He shifted in his chair and stared his fiery gaze directly at Fritz, his whisper rose in tone ever so slightly. “The idea of him being a spy for their side is preposterous. Deception? That is not their style. It never has been and never will be. No, they will blow their bloody trumpets and ring their bloody bells and make-bloody-damn-sure we know they are killing us all the while staring us in the face! It has always been that way with them.”
Fritz kicked the table with his foot.“ The game’s changed, Hedrick. Things aren’t played the way they used to be. I’m wondering if you haven’t been here fighting this damned thing for far too long to see it.”
Hedrick scooted to the edge of his recliner and leaned his elbows on the glass table his eyes never leaving Fritz. “Some things do not change, imp.” He spoke softly. “You would be best to remember that.”
“Maybe, maybe not. Besides, I never said I thought he was one of them it’s possible one of the others got to your source and planted him. Everyone knows the balance of power has been shifting too much back home.”
“Got to MY source? I doubt that, very much.”
“I know you do, and that’s the problem. It IS possible.”
“Uhlright fella’s, hate to innerup, but, uh can’t listen no more. Git me when youse done so uh cin git some sleep. Uh’m wit’ ya boss, but juss know uh think yous makin’ a mistake dis time.” With that the giant stood up and thundered out of the room.
“Noted.” Hedrick said as Grim made his way out. “And you, Kathraan?”
“The game’s changed, boss.” The woman answered. “That much is true, but we don’t know in what way and we’ve always come out on top in the past.” She turned her head to look at the unmoving Jaccen and stroked his cheek with the tips of her fingers. “Besides he’s here now, and we are better off keeping him were we can see him.”
“Or we could just kill him.” Fritz offered.
“Could we?” She challenged, quirking her eyebrow at him.
“I might venture a guess as to why you’d prefer not to. He is quite the looker.” Fritz snapped.
Hedrick interrupted quickly addressing the last man still sitting alone on the couch. “And what of you Rithain? What do you think of this matter?”
“Since when did our opinions matter?” Rithain said standing up. “I didn’t realize we’ve become a democracy.”
“By The Serpent, we have existed here too long.” Hedrick said, his harsh whisper softening.
“I want to go home.” Kathraan mused.
“Or have them get their shit together there so we could make this our home.” Fritz added.
“Well, comrades, I’m off to sleep.” Rithain laughed. “You coming, Kat?”
“Not just yet.”
“Suit yourself.” He answered brusquely and quickly walked away. Fritz followed and the two disappeared down the hallway.
Hedrick waited a few moments, watching Kathraan and Jaccen together on the couch then, within the blink of an eye; he disappeared leaving the recliner rocking with his absence.

-------

So what do you think so far?

9 comments:

jill said...

I've read this before!
I smiled when you wrote "Just what the fuck is a fenling?" because i'd been wondering the same thing.

Rebecca said...

It sounds great... now on to rewrites as I've always said.

what is a fenling by the way?

AmberInGlass said...

Yeah, this particuliar story definately needs some rewritting and revision. That is pretty much why I decided to pull it out again, get my mind back into and start rereading and editing. It has been sitting for far too long, I'm out of touch.

I'm afraid I must admit I don't want to explain what a fenling is just yet. Sorry, but it would probably give too much away. ;-P

Marnie Elizabeth said...

So I officially feel completely out of my league.

AmberInGlass said...

No way, Marnie, I've seen what you are doing on your blog--good stuff! Thanks for coming by and commenting.

PrettySiren said...

I absolutely adore your writing style! I was immediately hooked on your characters very quickly -- that's a marvelous trait you posess as a writer.

Furthermore, your novel excerpt has inspired me to get back working on my own novel tonight (which is something I haven't done in longer than I care to admit, for I've been in nonfiction mode for weeks now). So, thank you for that!

-Carrie

AmberInGlass said...

You're welcome, Carrie, and thank you for coming by and commenting, I really appreciate it.

I know for me, it is so easy to let projects sit untouched and get involved with new ones. I have to really work at staying on task and keeping on one piece until it's finished. Sometimes a break away from a particuliar piece does me some good.

richard said...

Really good writing. I'm anxious to hear more where you go with these characters. Real good imagery.

AmberInGlass said...

Thanks, Richard, I'll see what I can do about putting another part up. Tuesdays and Fridays are going to be original work updates from now on so you can expect to see something new on those days now.