Well here we go, the final week of NaNo and I'm only at 35k! Considering the official winning starts in 3 days, I've really gotta put my nose to the grindstone. I'm so close to finishing up, I can just taste it! Oh, and here's the excerpt in my novel that I posted on the site. It's probably my favorite scene to date!
((Warning for Language and Blood))
“Get your ass over here Simon so I can challenge you to a ‘proper’ duel. I’m getting bored and you’re making it worse.”
“So eager to die, little girl? You wear the Red Assassin’s armor, but you’ll never be her. Such a woman has never been seen in a thousand years. It was a deep blow to her brothers and sisters when they lost her,” he sighed dramatically and swung his sword into the ready position.
“Oh shut up,” she drawled and drew her lesser daggers, sighing as she recited the challenge mockingly. “For the honor of my kin and countrymen, I challenge you under the Law of the Duel.”
“Challenge accepted. The prize if I win is your soul. What do you claim as your trophy?”
“Funny you should put it that way, because my prize when I win will be your head on a plate,” she spun her daggers between her fingers and gripped the hilts firmly. “That’s all I want.”
With that, he charged. She was ready. Their blades collided with the song of metal against metal and the Assassin winced. Although she was used to such sudden attacks, the body she currently inhabited wasn’t as strong as it could be. That’ll have to change. Simon twisted his sword and used his superior weight to push forward. She ducked and slid underneath him, kicking out with her legs. The heel of her foot connected hard with Simon’s ankle and the man cried out as he went down. She rolled and crouched in an attack position as her heart pounded and eyes burned. The thrill of battle had been one long denied her. It’s been so long since I’ve had the chance to wield my blades. It can’t end too soon. After all, where’s the fun in that? Simon swung his sword in a sweeping side arc and the Assassin’s leg muscles tensed. She waited until the last minute before she leaped up…and came right back down on the blade of his sword. Her sudden weight shocked him and he released his sword with a cry.
“Damn you, woman! Don’t tell me that fucking Carrier taught you how to fight!”
She didn’t answer. Merely, a smile of pure and utter bloodlust crossed her features as she kicked the sword aside. It spun and rattled across the floor before colliding with the wall. As Simon slowly pushed himself into a kneeling position, she watched him. She watched him like an eagle watches a careless rabbit. Come on now…run…you know you want to, her blood sang at the new challenge and the Assassin licked her lips greedily. Finally, Simon made his move. Metal rang against metal and a black plate clad form covered the fallen sword before moving back into an attack position. The Assassin panted heavily, her daggers clutched in her hands. Faster than the average eye could follow, Simon had thrown three small, poisoned daggers at her before diving for the sword. She’d managed to block two of them and sidestep the third, but it had slashed across her breastplate and the dragon insignia of her clan was marred.
“Look at what you’ve done,” she moaned mockingly. “You’ve ruined my armor. Now I’ll have to take it to the shop.”
While she spoke, the Assassin dipped her fingers into one of the hidden pockets in her armor. This one was behind her knee. Her expression remained neutral but her eyes sparked as she found what she was looking for. With quick fingers, the Assassin had the pouch undone. Slowly, casually, she placed one of her daggers behind her leg and inserted it into the green powder that rested inside. After a few moments, she withdrew it and smiled as an almost invisible line of green now went down the center of her dagger blade. One nick, one drop of blood was all she needed now to have this duel in the bag. Come on Simon. I’ve got you now.
Simon laughed as he charged her once again. This time she was ready and leaped up into the air. Twisting her body, she brought both of her daggers down, one aimed for any chink in his armor. What happened next stunned her. The moment her blades dragged along the plate armor, a horrible screeching noise filled the air. The Assassin covered her ears with her hands and jumped back several feet. What the blazing hell was that? Her eyes watered from the intensity of the noise and Simon laughed, his expression so smug she wanted to kill him.
“Do you like my armor, little girl? I had it enchanted just for this occasion. Whenever you miss my flesh and drag your blades across metal, it screams in agony just for you,” then he noticed her pained expression and his voice dripped with false sympathy. “What’s wrong? I thought you relished the screams of others.”
“Just roll over and die already, bastard.”
“Now that isn’t very nice. One would think you don’t like my toy, and after all the work that went into it too. Ungrateful.”
“Well…if we’re talking toys…then I should bring out my favorite,” the dagger at her side rattled and she crooned to it softly. “Soon my little beauty. Although I don’t know why you’d want to waist your time with this scum.” More rattling followed and she chuckled. “Of course Phoenix. I want to kill him too.”
Simon frowned, the strange words and tone of her voice making him pause. That girl’s gone mad. He wondered what had caused the change and then…she raised her eyes to him. Panic began to blossom in his mind and Simon’s eyes widened. The armor’s possessed her! It was one thing to fight a frightened human girl, but it was another to fight the Assassin herself. His distraction was her opportunity. She charged on silent feet, her poisoned dagger flashed through the air, and Simon raised his hand. It was all over. The blade sliced open the meaty part of his palm and blood welled in the cut. The man’s cry was loud and echoed across the gym as he stumbled back and clutched his wrist. Blood dripped between his fingers and flowed, red and black, over his fingers and onto the floor. Simon blinked, the grisly scene becoming fuzzy, and his panic only became more intense.
“Bitch! What have you done to me?” he screamed and rubbed his eyes with his good hand. “I’m going blind!”
“Do you like my poison Simon? First it shall take your sight. Then it shall paralyze your muscles. Finally, it shall stop your heart. By my calculation, you only have five minutes to live,” her voice flowed over him like venom over steel talons. He looked up and saw her move closer. “That’s five minutes too long though. Phoenix is hungry after so long without blood…”
“I haven’t admitted defeat! I still have my weapon! You aren’t the victor, you cannot claim your prize!” he cried desperately, vision finally going black. “No! You can’t do this to me!”
It was such a delightful scene, watching Simon twitch as his muscles began to seize up all over his body. The man continued to scream his denial, not wanting to believe his death was at hand, and the Assassin smiled dreamily. Ah…the sound of heaven…I have not heard such screams in what seems like centuries. However, all good things must come to an end. The Assassin drew her Phoenix, the blade gleaming in the fluorescent light. The skeleton warriors gathered around her, not knowing what to do now that their leader was dying. Once free of its sheathe, the flames decorating the blade started to burn like true fire. They pulsed, fast at first, then slowing, and beating in time with the victim’s heart. As it slowed, the fire burned brighter, emitting smoke and heat. A wild look came to the Assassin’s eyes and her smile was filled with madness.
“Say goodnight Simon,” she whispered and raised her dagger, pointing the blade skyward. “Arise, Phoenix and claim this man’s soul! Burn and purify his flesh and be reborn from the ashes!”
Utter terror filled Simon’s dying scream as all hell exploded. In the firestorm that erupted in a cyclone around the Assassin, the dagger burst into a shape above her head. With a cry, a brilliant scarlet phoenix emerged from the flame, and it threw its head back, tasting wild freedom after years in confinement. The skeletons were reduced to cinders as the phoenix unfurled its wings and spread them wide on either side, fanning the blaze into a hellfire that consumed the entire room. The maniacal laughter of the Assassin rang clear as a bell as the phoenix dove for Simon. When the bird and man collided, the flames were all sucked into a column that surrounded the man as he shrieked and was reduced to ashes. When the maelstrom died down, nothing was left of the room but blackened walls, blackened floors, and a pile of ash that had once been Simon. She knelt reverently before the smoldering remains and reached within. Her fingers grasped something hard and hot and she withdrew her hand. Clutched in her palm was the Phoenix dagger, glittering, and whole. Smiling, she rose to her feet and sheathed the blade, taking several deep breaths as the rush of the kill left and tiredness at expelling so much energy sank into her bones.
“Now there’s a little toy some people would kill to have,” a voice from behind her drawled.
* * * * *
Wasn't that awesome? I liked it. Well, here I go to more writing, wish me luck!
36,321 words and counting