Fifteen Hundred Words


I did it!  I sat down today and wrote the first 1500 words of my fantasy novel.  I had been kicking myself for allowing all my prior writing and notes on the novel got trashed last time I moved.  But once I was going, the story just flew out my fingertips.  Well, maybe not flew, I probably type only about 60 wpm any more, but it was as fast or faster than longhand, and way easier on the old thumbs.  It feels wonderful to reconnect with my creative side and the characters that came to me to play out the story.  I am excited about what will happen to them this time.  I haven’t reconnected yet with the nemesis of the story yet and have a question for my LBGT readers, is it weird/good/bad/fun to have a cross dressing villain?  I don’t want to portray such individuals in a bad light, but it’s just how the character came to me.  I’d appreciate any opinions on the matter.

Now, since I am excited and this is a short post, I provide for your perusal the first 1500 words of my fantasy novel, The Way.

The Way

A Novel by

LS James

It was a most unnatural world, with all these false lights and loud noisy motorized vehicles.  And the cycles.  She couldn’t get over them.  People with colored skin and strange shaped head rode two wheel cycles similar to the ones they had back home, but these were of a metal both brightly colors and very light, for Bruhana had seen the riders lift them with no exertion at all.

She wondered what powered the lights?  She sensed no magic in this place and could not understand a world without it.  She had visited small villages in the deserts, and large cities such as this San Francisco.  A truly wondrous place with the steep streets and colorful tightly spaced homes.  Bruh had never seen such an absence of green.

Tired, she stepped into a small café.

 

Zeke and Micky were in the back talking while they cleaned the tiny stove, when she came in.  Micky was the first to notice her.

“Looks like Janis Joplin’s mother,” he said.

Zeke looked and saw a gypsy woman.  At least that’s what she made him think of.  Many colored skirts, a long black cloak, and jingling bracelets.  Her hair was long, gray and wild, like it had been dried in an oven.

“Go see what she wants.”

Zeke watched as he worked.  He liked Micky.  She was a good employee.  The most reliable he’d had in all his years owning and operating “Le Café.”  Nothing phased her, like in her all of 22 years on the planet, had already seen it all.  No one could fluster Mick.

Until now.   Micky was animatedly gesturing and her voice rose.  “We are a coffee house, not a magic shop.  I don’t know about any magicians. “  The old lady was practically hostile, and Mick glanced behind her and saw Zeke approaching.

She turned to him and lowered her voice.  “She keeps insisting on seeing the “magician.”  I keep explaining that we’re a coffee …”

“I’ll take over,” Zeke said gently as he brushed past.  “Would you fix us a couple cups of tea, and a piece of that pie you made.

“I’m Zeke,” he said and held out his hand.

Bruhana took his offered hand and studied it, front and back.  She was running out of time, she knew, but she felt her search was near the end.  This man had strange lines on his palm, it looked as if he had two, or even three, life lines.  Then she looked up at him.  It was a bit of a journey, for Bru was not prone to great height, and even by the standards of home, was very short.  When she reached Zeke’s eyes, she felt something like hope.  The aura around him was a rainbow of hues, instead of just the usual three colors.

She hoped.  It could be the lunch she had.  She wasn’t sure the sprouts and avocado sandwich was such a good idea.    The food in this world was not what she was used to.   She decided she would test him just a little to see if he was really the one.  No.  She didn’t have time for tests, they needed to leave immediately.  She was suddenly very certain that her time had run out.  She had to get back home today, with or without him.

Quietly Zeke sat across from the woman and let her study him.  He had seen all kinds in his years at the Café in the Haight.  He’d seen good trips and helped guide some of the bad trips that came by, and sobered up a lot of drunks.  None of this was obvious in the woman, and Zeke decided she might have Alzheimer’s.

Micky brought the tea and cookies and left.  Zeke took a cookie and sipped his tea.

It was decided.  He had to be the one.  Of all the others she had found, he was the only one with the sky blue eyes, and multiple life lines.  It was worth the risk.  The additional lines could only mean one thing; that he could survive the trip to her world.  And that aura.  Bru had never seen one like it.  It had to mean something special, but she didn’t know what yet.”

“We must hurry,” she said.

“Oh? Where do you have to go?”

“I need to get us home.  I will need a few things to prepare.  A draught for you to drink.  It will make the transition easier. ”

“Transition?”

“Yes, yes, between our worlds.  Your world and my world are connected by a tunnel deep inside the mountains in the place you call the Gobi Desert.  I will do a spell of protection, but I need some items to, to make sure you are safe.”

“What will you need, maybe I can help?”  Zeke nodded.  He  knew with a dementia patient it was much better for the patient if you agreed and participated in the delusion, rather than try to convince them otherwise.  As long as no harm is being done.

“Yes, of course, you would have the items I need.”  Bru searched her person for her scripto and paper to write down the necessary items.  She handed the note to Zeke.  “Can you get those things?”

He looked at the list.  Nothing too unusual.  It seemed the Chinese herbalist across the street might have most of the items, and he might find the rest in a grocery store.  “Yes, I can get everything.”  He rose, folded the note and put it in his pocket

Micky walked up, with a bill.  Zeke shook his head slightly, indicating no charge.  “Micky would you keep our guest company while I ran a few errands?”

“Me?”

“Sure, I’m sure you two ladies could talk fashion until the cows come home.   It’ll have to go a couple of places to get everything, but I should be back in a couple of hours.”

Micky smiled weakly and nodded.  Zeke pulled her aside and told her what he thought about their guest, instructed her to try and get the lady’s name and address, then told her good luck.

“Hurry back,” she said.

“Yes,” Bruhana said.  “We must leave soon.  Before sunrise.”

“It’s two o’clock now, sun sets about 7:30 pm this time of year.  We’ve got time, don’t worry.”

 

Bruhana delighted in the pie and Micky did turn out to be excellent company.  She told Bru about using special herbs in her hair wash to make her hair shine.  And Zeke returned in 1 ½ hours.  Bru quickly ordered everyone into the kitchen, and started mixing various ingredients together.  When she was finished, had about one cup of a dark viscous liquid, that smelled like turpentine and ordered Zeke to take off his shirt.

“Why?”

“So I can cover your body with the proper symbols to make the Transition.”

“Ah, ok.”  Suddenly self-conscious of the tire around his middle, he pulled off his t-shirt and stood for the woman’s ministrations.  She dipped her fingers into the cup and proceeded to make triangles and circles on Zeke’s body, muttering under her breath as she worked.

At last she stood back and instructed Zeke to turn this way and that, making slight alterations in her designs.  “Good,” she said and handed him the half full cup.  “Now drink.”

At this Zeke balked.  He’d been pretty patient so far with the old lady, but still had made no headway on who she was, and where she belonged.  To drink this foul liquid was by far the most difficult thing she wanted of him.  What delusion was she under?  Lost in a book from long ago perhaps?

He held his breath and took a big gulp of the concoction.  It was sweet and light, like an apple juice, he looked back at the black tar in the cup and made his last decision, and drank the rest.  The old lady held his hand and said,” Now, we go.”  Her hand was small and dry but strong and held on tightly to him.  Slowly she moved them in a slightly growing circle, pushing aside tables and chairs that got in the way.  She whispered in a language Zeke had never heard before and for a minute San Francisco disappeared.  Zeke blinked and then it was gone.   He turned around, and could see it behind him as if at a great distance on the horizon.  A wind blew up, cold and harsh off the ocean and Zeke shivered, wishing he had put his shirt back on.  It grew very dark then and the sky rumbled and still the wind blew.  Rain pelted down on them, in sharp icy drops.  Suddenly he felt pulled and twisted in many directions at once.  The old lady clung to him with both hands, her hair flying wildly about, her eyes closed.

Then it was over.  Zeke opened his eyes and knew he wasn’t in Kansas anymore.

 

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