I cranked out a couple thousand words last night. Moving hard toward the end of chapter 5. I should have it done if not tonight, then before the weekend. (I can get a lot of writing done at work when it’s slow.) Targeting mid-August as when I will finally have a complete first draft done did up.
In reading elsewhere, I got the impression readers enjoy seeing excerpts from works in progress. So I thought I would drop in a little snippet that came out as a result of last night’s work. It happens late in chapter 5.
“I first met B’rulda over twenty-five years ago, when she showed up as an over-eager recruit from the Oladi midworld, Tinta,” I said, beginning my tribute to my fallen comrade. When I finished twenty minutes later, both Meneu and I were openly crying. She added a few touching memories. Using my databand we added the recording to the memorial set up by Guardmaster Telk.
Finally in bed, I realized sleep would probably be long in coming. My thoughts continued to churn. Fragments of my fight in the hanger bays flashed haphazardly, in no particular order. Flames, my blasting the control centers, driving the hoverdisc, screams, bodies flying. I had to let the mental chaos swirl itself out on its own. But I could push it back for the most part.
Meneu snuggled against my right side, as she usually did, her arm across my chest, our legs intertwined. Our foam mattress had slits in it from side to side, allowing me to sneak my arm beneath her without her having to lie uncomfortably on my limb. The mattress had been a long-ago purchase by her for us.
“Remember your mission to Byne?” she asked, her voice low in the surrounding darkness and quiet.
“I was actually thinking about it earlier,” I said.
“You left so suddenly, all we had time for was a kiss and a hug. You were gone for months, but it didn’t really bother me. I just didn’t think you were in any real danger on that one.”
I gave a light chuckle. “And it turned out I probably came closest to dying than on any other mission.” Both me and the young Bynick girl I was trying so hard to save.
Meneu adjusted her position, somehow edging closer. “Then I saw you hit by that stingwhip, and those… thugs carrying you off.” She sniffed, and the shaking of her body told me she was crying. “And I thought I’d lost you. I’d lost you. And I never got a final hug.”
My debriefing let her know what had happened, in a cold recounting. She probably felt my light, involuntary trembles, and knew full well the emotional impact it had, and was still having, on me. And now that she was back in my arms, I could let myself feel the anguish of knowing how my desperate situation had impacted her.
“I was so helpless,” I whispered. “When Copperfox reached for me to steal my memories… all I could think about was you. How I’d somehow failed you.”
She reached up and wiped away my tears. I rubbed the tip of my thumb across her own wet cheeks.
“You will never be a disappointment to me, Maels Raptori,” she said. “I regret nothing. I’ve been truly honored and blessed to have been a part of your life.”
“No, Meneu. You are my life.”
She moved to place her cheek against mine and hold me tight. I hugged her back.
“I was so scared,” she whispered into my ear. “So scared.”
“Me too,” I admitted.
We held each other in the dark. Eventually our tears and trembling left us.
Sleep came quickly after that.
So, a lot of that probably doesn’t make sense. I just thought readers familiar with the series might enjoy a peek at the work in progress.