Halfway there . . .

. . . (or a little more)–at least by the date on the calendar. Story-wise, I have about 8000 words total. I am shooting for someplace in the 75K-100K total range, so not close yet, but I have a good start and lots of ideas.

For some reason, November never works out for me as a noveling month. It’s coincidental to November, and coincidental to NaNoWriMo. For instance, last year, we moved. I’ll make it up next month. 😉

Since it’s my birthday month, and I have a bunch of hats (and haven’t had a chance to post them to social media), here is me wearing the witch hat while I write. 😉

And finally, a snippet of what I am working on. It’s a five-part story, this is from part five (which I actually wrote first). It’s only been lightly edited, and may change as the earlier parts of the story reveal themselves.

Enjoy!

*****

Kiri dove down an alley, running through the maze of houses and shops she knew well. If she could get to the main square, she could shake them; today was a Market day, she could easily lose herself in the crowd. Almost out of the narrow alley, a dark-haired young man carrying a large basket suddenly stepped into her path. She paused, briefly, looking back whence she came. No, that would put her back in the residential area where they’d find her. Confidently, controlling her heavy breathing, she strolled past him–a farm boy, from the looks of his clothing, carrying apples in his basket–but as she approached the end of the alley, the King’s men stood where they’d surely see her when she walked out. Only one course of action came to her.

She smiled at the farm boy then in one swift motion moved to his side, grabbed his shirt, then pulled him in for a kiss, causing him to drop the basket of apples. She turned their bodies so she was near the wall, shielded by this young man. His hands moved to her back, and she swore inwardly, realizing she might have traded one problem for another, if he were the type to persist.

Eyes open, she watched the Guardsmen, until finally, one of the men pointed in the opposite direction, and they all ran off. Kiri ended the kiss, then smiled at the bewildered young man as she squirmed out of his arms. She grabbed an apple from his fallen basket before running off into the crowd.

“That was too close,” she muttered to herself, then bit into the apple. This and the bread she’d stolen would be their only food for the day, maybe the next as well, but she was too hungry to ration it. She wandered through the crowd, munching the apple, keeping her head down except when she looked around to spot the Guard.

She’d played this game before, too many times. Before the fire, it was easy; only the City Guardsmen were about. They were lazy, foolish men who were easy to outrun and easier to outthink. No one feared the City Guard, or even found them useful; it was easier for most folk to just feed the street urchins than to report them. After the fire, everything changed. Townsfolk became scared, wary. People stopped trusting one another as they once had, any deviation from the usual deemed suspicious. Worse, the King’s Guard had been called into town, and they weren’t the fools the City men were; they were highly skilled men-at-arms, with dogs trained to sniff-out magic. They were all too dangerous, and Kiri knew what would happen if they caught her–thus, her plan was to never get caught.

*****

Wall Photo by Katerina Pavlyuchkova on Unsplash

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