Sunday, December 28, 2014

Snippet: I'm no lightweight

I survived Christmas. Parts of it were quite nice.

Anyway, here's a snippet.

A moment went by before the door silently opened, revealing the well-lit, airy interior. Tall and narrow stained glass windows lined the upper walls, and there was an arch leading to Twix’s stable. The floor was polished oak, and a platform bed sat in one corner. Burled wood shelves and a counter made up the otherwise bare kitchen, and the sink consisted of two sunken wooden basins with an wooden spout and knobs. A partition hid what he presumed was a bathroom, for he could see a rain-type shower fixture.
Juniper slumped in the middle of the floor, her face ghastly pale. Her staff was on the floor next to her, a length of dull wood. Swearing, he hurried to help her up, supporting her when her knees tried to fold. He got her to the bed, absently noting the mattress was made of a rough, buff colored fabric and filled with something oddly springy, almost like coconut fiber. “You overdid it, didn’t you?”
“Trail mix in my pack,” she whispered, and he hurried to grab it for her. She ate with an effort, gradually regaining color.
He handed her a canteen. “You look like crap.”
She closed her eyes and lay back on the naked mattress. “I miscalculated, ran out of juice. Was too much fun.” The desire to keep going made her ignore her body’s warning signals. Like a child, she played too hard and crashed.
She couldn’t afford to crash in the Bramble.
He laughed without humor. “Great. Do you need a doctor?”
“Good question,” a dark voice said from the door. Grigori whirled, his machetes out to confront the man. “Who are you?”
Juniper frowned. “Kjetil. What are doing here?”
He ignored the question and came closer. “Relax. I want to check her pulse.” He looked at Juniper with displeasure. “Before she tries to die on me again.”
“I’m not dying,” she protested. Everyone was a drama queen. “I work hard, that’s all.”
The guys exchanged glances, and Grigori put away his blades.
Kjetil checked her wrist and looked at her eyes. “There’s probably a news team on the way. You’re headline news tonight…again.”
She sighed. “I’ll lock the door.”
He frowned. “You aren’t staying by yourself.”
“I’m too tired to argue with you. What’s the point of making a fortress if I don’t use it?”
“I hate to agree with him, but he’s right. Like I said, you look like crap,” Grigori said helpfully. “I should stay with you.”
Kjetil stared at him.
“I’m working for her,” Grigori said defensively.
Kjetil looked at her, and she suddenly remembered telling him that the only one who would get inside her tree was “her man”. She scowled. “I’m employing him, but nobody needs to stay. Did you see what I did? I’m no lightweight.”
“Maybe when you’re healthy,” Kjetil said calmly. “Did you wonder why I’m here? I got called out to check on the “disturbance”. My superiors want to know what’s going on with this tree, and they aren’t the only ones who’ll wonder if you’re a threat. My team’s outside.”
She groaned. “I have a headache. Can we talk about this tomorrow?”
“The elves sent investigators, too. Should I let my team let them in?”
“What do you want?” she growled, recognizing blackmail when she heard it. She was tapped, but she still had enough juice to eject him from the room and seal it if she had to. After all, he was trespassing.
“Sleep at the station tonight, and you can come back tomorrow.”


No comments:

Post a Comment