Well, I haven’t died…or gone insane, yet. I have been doggedly trying to get the words down, in the editing process for Blood. But I also decided to try and edit a bit of Wrath if I can. And, then I went and joined another challenge. That was the 100K challenge that a fellow writer on Facebook brought up. Here is a link to the guy who started it. Now, what does that mena? Am I going to stop the work on the Empress Trilogy?
This challenge is to help push me and get the words done. But, I went to my Scrivener document and something happened. I starting writing something else. I have no idea where it is going. It does NOT mean I have stopped. In fact, once this post is up, I am going back to editing Blood. The thing is, I am not sure how many words I’ll edit today. So, going to keep on with this thing I am calling Janus City and I thought I’d post it here. Though it will be very raw. Why? Well, thought it would be fun to let people see of my scribblings. If I get enough comments to take it down, I will.
The thought is that after I am done with it, I’d take it off the blog and try to put it in some kind of publishable shape and put it out there. Or, keep the raw up and then bang it into shape and use it as another reader magnet. Not going to worry about that part of it. Anyway, here is the first part of Janus City…
Janus City Chapter One
My name is John. John Gallic. I’m what you call a fixer for the people of Janus. I don’t have a fixed home, nor do I have cards or an office. But, I fix things. That is what I do. At the moment, I was angling with a Phasen demon, a low level grunt of a thing. It shrugged off the silver bullets I had brought, which was;t something I had expected. Though, it didn’t like the silver dagger, which had a stain of black ichor on it that would have to be cleaned off soon. I hate demons mostly for that reason.
It was the size of a great dane, abel to shift from running on all fours to running on two legs like a man. It also had the ability to “fall with style.” Which is what was happening right now. I had chased it an industrial park with a large construction droid working. The demon had hated the thing, yet was able to climb on it and continued up the large droid to avoid my bullets. It zigzagged up and down the colossal thing of metal hissing and screaming as it did whenever its close touch the steel.
I climbed after it annoyed at having to go this far to kill a damn Phasen demon. It should’ve taken me ten minutes to kill this demon. The end of the night was coming. I had this thing down before the sun rose and get home myself. I felt the strain of climbing up the damn droid in my arms and legs. The Phasen demon squawking and enjoying having me grunting after it. Yet, it did;t think I’d get to him quick. Granted that was thanks to a small spell I had set in a ring.
Grabbed it by the neck before it could do anything. The black inky skin oozed around my fingers, yet the skin was;t going to burn me. It recognises its own. I started to squeeze harder and harder and brought the gun up to the thing’s forehead.
It let out a cackling laugh. “You already tried that Gallic. I can;t be hurt by your silver bullets.”
“No, you can’t.” I thumbed back the hammer of the 1911 .45 and lent a bit of my soul into the gun. The thing wailed as it saw the dark red and black runes around my wrist appear and flow into the gun.
“You can’t waste it on me. I’ll go back, I promise. I promise. I—“
The rest of its response was lost in the explosive entrance of a silver bullet surrounded by a sliver of soul energy through its cranium. It exploded into black goo. I was left with the body of Clarence Goins in my hands, his head torn off by the discharge. I took care to bring him back to the park where I had been contracted. His family was there, waiting. The window, a sweet little thing wept convincingly.
Yeah, tell that lie sweetheart. I knew better, yet I didn’tt have a contract with anyone alive. Not my issue. I dropped the body of Clarence at her feet. I even took the extra measure of wrapping him in plastic.
“What is this?” The window asked.
“I contracted you to free him of the demon.”
I turned and looked at her. I gave her my best smile. The rictus of a grin. “You wanted him free. His soul is free. His body is free of his soul. Contract done.”
“I hired you to—“
I pulled myself up to my full height and looked down at her. “You hired me? No, you contracted me to free him of the Phasen demon.”
“This wasn’t part of the contract.”
I looked at the body and then at the girl again. She was pretty in black. “Why are you wearing black then? Expecting him to be found dead?”
“No,” she said, looking at her dress. “It was just the first thing I threw on. And, I should demand—“
I slapped a hand on her outstretched hand. The cell phone she was going to use clattered to the ground. “Think very carefully before you start thinking about calling anyone.” There was a prickling of heat int he pit of my stomach. Yeah, I had killed Clarence. She wanted me to. She could;t have come out and said it. That would be hiring a gun. Not legal in Janus since Mayor Stanwick was finely ousted. Being as close as I was, I could smell the taint of demon magic on her. She might know a thing or two. But she didn’t want to trifle with me. I said as much to her and she glared at me.
“You killed my husband.”
“You contracted me to do it.”
“I hired you to free him—“
“We’ll be here for hours,” I said, looking over my shoulder and seeing the creeping light of the sun. “I gotta go. You know how to pay me.”
“I’m not going to pay you,” she said. She jerked her hand free and slapped me across the face.
I looked at her. A wicked grin coming over my face. “Lady, you are lucky it is so close to sun rise.”
Her face fell, her lips quivering. “You aren’t—“
“Maybe…” I said, letting the seconds drag by as I held her gaze. “Going to pay me?”
“Yes, I swear.”
“Good girl.” I turned and started to walk away. I thought I was far enough away from her that she wouldn’t see me run off towards the nearest basement pub across the park. One reason I used it.
I made it to the bottom of the steps as the sun rose. I felt my right hand had a small burn on it from holding onto the railing at the top of the stairs a touch to long. Not really an issue. I’d heal up once I got some food in me and some sleep.
“John?” A voice came from the darkened bar of the pub. And, then the racking of a shotgun shell. “That you?”
“Yeah Mick, it’s me.”
“You gave me a heart attack,” Mick said, flicking on a lamp. It illuminated a weak chinned man, a mop of pale green and green hair in two uneven clumps. The Fae glared at me. “What are you doing here?”
“I needed to get out of the sun.”
“You know I can’t go into the sun.”
I sighed. Mick is a friend. But can be a prick at the same time. “Mick, I’m here because—“
“None of that ‘come for friendship’ shite. Get out, or pay up.”
I reached into my pocket and pulled out a fifty. “This is all I got.”
The Fae took it, keeping the shotgun trained on me. He gave it a sniff. “It’s deadman’s money.”
“The window didn’t say he needed to have a full wallet. I lightened it a little.”
“You’re a prick.”
“And your mead is the best in Janus.”
The Fae stopped when I said that. “Flattery will get you nowhere.”
“Can the fifty get me a pint?”
The Fae sneered at me for a long moment, his thumb on the grip of the shotgun thumped against the grip a few times before he said, “Yes.”
“You’re a prick.”
“And?” He asked, setting the shotgun aside, plucked a mug down and filled it with a rich honey amber liquid.
“Still a better person than me.”
“That’s what I wanted to hear,” he said. He set the mug down.
It was cool to the touch, and the mead inside was a warm and pleasant thing that slipped down my throat into my belly. “Good as always.”
“Thanks. Now, why are you here?”
“Told you, the sun was—“
“None of that shite. Thought you had a place on the West Side with that little sidhe?”
Mick waited a little longer. All I did was drink more of his mead. “Just getting a ‘nope?’ Nothing more?”
“You are correct sir.”