Lots of real life stuff came up today. We’re having an impromtu family dinner for four, possibly five, guests tomorrow, so it’ll be frantic cleaning, etc. tomorrow. I also learned our Thanksgiving Dinner (which we host) count has gone up by 5, bringing us to 18. We also have a special class to attend after service at church on Sunday. Don’t even ask about the mountain of laundry. I also need to get groceries.
Sigh. Whose idea was it to make November the National Novel Writing Month?!?
But as Lynn Viehl blogged tonight, real life is always going to interfere. We just have to find a way to balance it all as well as possible.
I continued work on Golden tonight (1681 words) bringing my total to 16,113.
Snippet: Jin’s instincts warn that something is terribly wrong.
I untied my sash, carefully slipping my two favorite blades into my palms. Casually, I hummed beneath my breath and slowly moved toward the massive bed, even though my heart pounded like a thousand Mongols at full charge. A slow turn around the room as I slipped off the outer robe indicated nothing alarming. All the doors were shut. None of the tapestries rustled against the walls. Yet that prickling sensation came again, a fleeting warning.
The attack will be from above.
Drilling with General Wu for years had honed my instincts. I waited until my nape screamed with urgency, refusing to look up. How many assassins had the Empress sent? One, I was confident I could handle at least this first time, because no one expected me to know how to protect myself. More than one assassin, though, and the Emperor would likely return to find only a bloody corpse on his rugs.
At the last possible moment before my nerves erupted into a firestorm, I threw myself to the floor, rolled upon my back, and tossed the first knife at the black shape hovering six inches above where my head would have been. I didn’t stop to think. I tossed the second knife before the first even landed.
A man crashed onto the floor. Blood sprayed my gown, my face, but I jerked the next knife out from inside my sleeve. The first throw had caught him in the neck. The second in the eye. But they were slender blades. Maybe not enough for a killing blow.
I heard voices, the rush of running feet, but no one called out to me. She must have paid off the token servants left to see to anything I might need in the Emperor’s absence.
The assassin didn’t make a sound, but he twitched uncontrollably. His right arm jerked out toward me and I stumbled back, knife cocked. He crawled after me, but blood bubbled from his mouth. I kept out of his reach, but I didn’t wound him again. The man was dead. He simply didn’t know it yet.
At last, I heard the Emperor’s raised voice and the thudding of feet. The grand door slammed open and guards poured into the room. He took one look at the black-clothed man on the floor and turned narrowed eyes on his captain. The man fell to his knees, while the attendants wrung their hands, crowded together like a flock of squawking chickens.
“If one precious hair on her head is injured, you shall all die.”