nano practice – prologue

More writing practice! This time I’m getting an idea of what to do for the book’s prologue.

Saint Know-All’s also been prepping for NaNoWriMo with excerpts.

The pair lugged machinery across the spring countryside, mud and newborn grass, sunshine and hesitant rain, clean air and a brisk chill to the wind. Maxwell carried his cane and silk hat in one hand, a cracked leather pack of his favorite tools in the other. Uriel followed. His load was so heavy that even the large man should have struggled with the weight; Uriel only worried about keeping his footing in the sodden earth. He did not have much to his name, and covering his breeches in mud did not appeal to him.

Maxwell stabbed holes in the ground with his cane as he trudged. “How much further?” he demanded.

Uriel blinked slowly. His gait did not waiver. “Approximately three kilometers, two hundred and four meters from where you stand, master.”

“Good. My arms feel like lead.” Maxwell shifted his pack from one hand to the other, trading for his cane and hat. “Worse yet. Take this, Uriel.”

Uriel took Maxwell’s pack.

Maxwell stuffed his silk hat atop his head, covering wild black hair. They started off again. Soon, “How much further now?”

They took a break when the church spire came into view. It was a humble building, painted, then forgotten about. A simple stone angel prayed over the deserted road from the spire, the church itself infrequently visited. Its windows had been shuttered, its stairs un-swept and covered with last fall’s leaves. One last icicle clung to a corner of a crooked gutter rail.

Uriel sat on a convenient stone.

Maxwell paced, back and forth, back and forth. He stabbed the ground and trampled little plants, all the while muttering to himself. Occasionally he would turn on Uriel with questions– ‘What is the ratio of a healthy body to the blood it contains?’ (about thirteen to one, by volume) and ‘At what temperature does a body react best after coming out of cryo-freeze?’ (entirely dependant on the desired effect, but given the history of Maxwell’s work, a centigrade of ten degrees). Uriel’s red eyes would dilate in and out, then produce the answer. Maxwell kept pacing.

Uriel let the sun warm him, eyes closed, almost at peace. He stretched his arms and legs, felt his muscles flex and his gears rotate about to facilitate him.

They were one hundred and twenty-two meters from their destination now, and Maxwell was taking quite a long break for a man who was to be impatient to arrive. Finally, Maxwell stopped pacing. “He would be thirteen?”

He had not asked Uriel, but Uriel answered anyway. “Discounting the time spent during his deaths, Leo has lived approximately fifteen years, seven months, and twelve days, master.”

“Fifteen. Really. … I thought he was younger. Fifteen?” Maxwell stabbed the ground, one swift, brutal stroke purposefully aimed at a mushroom growing by the side of the road. “Well. Let’s see the boy, shall we?”

That was not a question. That was an order.

Uriel obediently shouldered both packs.


4 thoughts on “nano practice – prologue

  1. I’m enjoying the dynamic between the two characters here; I can see how Maxwell’s casual obliviousness (My arm hurts; take this second pack, too) could build up a lot of grudges on Urial’s part.

    • Oh, holding Maxwell’s things is the very least of Uriel’s grudges. I’m trying something new with this story– three ‘sides’ and a villain on each. My thought is that that way I can have conflict within each grouping in addition to the external problems.

      Of course, that means that I need three villains that feel completely unique from each other.

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