For the record, I’m completely insane, if you didn’t realize that before now.
Thanks to a mention on Joy’s blog about crocheting a bookmark, I got the wild idea that I should do this for Mother’s Day. (I don’t think Mom reads my blog very often if at all, so I should be safe.) Then I realized it’s also Teacher Appreciation Week at school…
Gah. I made one over lunch, and then ended up making four total tonight. I haven’t messed with the “thread” instead of “yarn” in ages. My eyes, my eyes! The first one is a dud–I messed up the pattern. The other three came out pretty cool and I’m getting better with each one. I bought a ton of different colored threads and ribbons — I think I’m going to have a blast with this. Until I get sick of it, of course. It’s like anything else I do — I go through obsessive phases, and I’d better be thankful for whatever I finish, because when I move on, those projects will be doomed to a container and storage for ages.
Dark and Early this morning I had almost 1K, so after the monsters went to bed and I finished the last teacher gift, I was determined to get at least 1667 total, the daily “min” to hit MayNoWriMo. (Shhhh, yes, I’m ahead, but don’t tell Gregar or he may wander off for a kae’rahke or some such nonsense instead of tossing me into the Well.) Then I got the min and realized the end of the scene wasn’t that far away…so I pushed onward!
Yes, these last two scenes have been a little bit shorter. I’m still worried about length, but I’ll break that na’kindre to saddle when I get there. Okay, now I’m really getting scared — why all these Sha’Kae al’Dan references? Wrong story, Gregar! Maybe I’d better check that last file…
Snippet: This section immediately follows yesterday’s snippet. First draft, subject to heavy revision later. If you don’t want to flip back and look, Lilias believes — rightfully — that Mr. Nevarre is getting ready to kill her.
What on earth did he have beneath his coat? Flames roared higher, lapping at the foundations of her mind. No, no, I don’t want to kill him.
Immediately, his manner changed. He smiled and slipped his hand out from beneath his coat, empty, palm out. “Your family has been collecting these books for generations. I do beg you to forget that I ever made the suggestion.”
Disarmed by his immediate capitulation, she tried to calm the flows roaring to her aid. Power thundered in her blood, her nerves painfully alive and overloaded with sensation. It had been so long, and the castle’s flows were strong and rich. She tasted the water of the lake, the rich verdant forest beyond, each individual life of her tenants and villagers down the road. Violet, her sweet, vibrant sister, glowing like a small sun. And this man before her, a coiled poisonous serpent, smiling and whispering that he was no threat, no threat at all.
Breathing hard, she tightened her control, forcing those mental gates closed that would separate her from the flood of power sweeping away her mind. She felt like a tiny stick adrift in a storm-tossed ocean, and just as battered. Bit by bit, she regained control until only a trickle of power remained. She kept it like a small blade in her hand, in case Mr. Nevarre decided to strike after all.
She took a shaking breath. Her forehead was damp with sweat. “Nevertheless, Mr. Nevarre, I still wonder why you’re here.”
“I did indeed come in search of the book I spoke of earlier. I think–” he hesitated, as though trying to decide how many lies to weave for her. “I think it has been a very long time since you drew magic, my lady.”
“Yes.” Her voice was clipped and brittle, but she didn’t care. After battling the magic, her body sagged, bereft and yet exhausted at the same time. “I should have known immediately what you are. That’s why I don’t believe you in the slightest.”
“The book I seek is potentially dangerous in a darker mage’s hands.” He spoke gently, softly, as though to a child. “When so many months passed without correspondence, we began to fear the worst.”
Lilias had borne more disappointments, regrets, and agonies than this stranger could possibly fathom, and she refused to crumple into a crying, fainting fluff of a gently-bred lady before him.
“My father was not a dark mage,” she retorted, taking a step toward him. The banked fire threatened to burst into life again, but she firmly suppressed her magic. She couldn’t afford another battle with herself and expect to retain the last shred of her dignity before this accomplished mage. “Exactly what sort of book did the Archmagus send him?”
“A book on blood magic.”
Lilias felt the blood drain from her face and her knees wobbled alarmingly. “Ridiculous. He couldn’t possibly have been a blood mage. Before my mother’s death, he taught my sister and me everything we know. Even afterwards, when he began to withdraw into his obsession, he never dabbled in the darker magics. I swear to you, Mr. Nevarre, my father was not a dark mage.”
“We don’t believe he meant to learn the book’s techniques himself; rather, he desired to confirm the events of a great historical event that occurred here at Nocturna Castle. A death powered that magic, my lady, and the spell was detailed in that book.”
She swallowed hard, uncaring that her hands had begun to tremble. “Did it describe the manner in which the nexi had been locked?”
“Indeed, that very event,” Mr. Nevarre replied grimly. “So you understand why I must confirm whether the book was destroyed or not. If such powerful magic accidentally fell into the wrong hands, the lock may be breached, freeing the maddest, darkest mage we’ve ever known to spread horrors throughout the world.”