Thursday, February 26, 2015

Snippet: Wooden medusa

I have oral surgery tomorrow. Nothing serious, but I'll be uncomfortable and doped up on painkillers for a few days. I tell myself it's better than dentures later. Also, they promised the drug for the surgery would have a mild "memory loss" effect, which sounds like a good deal to me. I'm positive I don't want to remember anything about skin harvesting for gum grafts. Shiver.

Positive thoughts, positive thoughts! Allegiance is on TV tonight, and I'm enjoying the show as I rarely do anything on TV. Only wish is came on earlier than 10 PM.

Allegiance (2015) Poster
A rookie CIA analyst doesn't know that members of his family are part of a Russian sleeper cell.

Big Hero 6 is out on DVD, so we're going to watch it Saturday. Family movie time is good.

Anyway, here's a snippet of Bramble Burn while I'm still lucid:

They waited for her, stepping out of a ruined apartment building to block the way to the park. Five young men and a woman, all of them lean and armed with weighted clubs and knives. One of them had a loaded crossbow.
The leader had a gun.
Juniper thought about the rules for dealing with wild animals. With wolves, it was climb a tree. With bears, one should play dead, and with bulls, it was run.
She couldn’t do any of that.
“Here’s how it’s gona be,” the leader said. Tattooed, of medium height and mocha skin, he wore jeans, a wife-beater tank and a mean expression. “You’re going to pay us not to hurt you, or we’re going to mess you up.” The tattoos continued up his bald head.
She raised her brows and glanced at her tree, only five hundred yards away. He must have felt safe in the middle of concrete and stone. Twix stood ominously still under her, his ears pricked. He snorted softly, steel muscles sliding under his skin.
The man with the crossbow shifted, his eyes on the Black Adder. He didn’t notice the roots pushing through the concrete, twisting loosely around his feet.
Fear made the pulse pound in her throat, but anger kept her centered. She brushed a thumb over her staff, and it flickered with power.
The thug drew his gun. “Don’t be…ah!” He screamed as the roots attacked, anchoring his feet, twining around his knees. Too late he realized he was trapped. Fury flared in his eyes as he raised his gun. It roared, and Juniper screamed as blood bloomed on her inner arm. It felt like fire, and her magic ripped into him in retaliation.
Green light surrounded him as the roots holding him wrapped him tight, fusing, warping into an angry, fat cherry tree. The trunk was a large, bark-covered man’s face with snarled beard-roots and branches like a twisted crown. One by one, his gang was swallowed whole, buried alive in bark, petrified like victims of a wooden medusa.
She rubbed at her vibrating bracelet. “Yeah, yeah.” She glared at the trees and headed for the oak. Now she’d have to pass them every time she left the park.

On the bright side, so would everyone else. She didn’t feel good about it, but her arm reminded her she’d been defending herself. Nobody could fault her for that.

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