*Okay, this is very short and you can’t kill me. Yes, I could do two, but that would totally pull me out of TF, and I can’t do that. So, live with it Eventually I’ll catch up.
Meanwhile Witchfinder is back and edited, but I must get Through Fire to Baen before I sit down to go over the edits, at which point it will come out. So, I’m going to clean boxes and go back to work, okay. Meanwhile, enjoy this which I admit is more of a teaser than a chapter. (Though it moves the plot forward. Oh, does it ever.)*
*This is the new free novel I’m posting here a chapter at a time. This is pre-first-draft, as it comes out. It is a sequel to Witchfinder which will soon be taken down (once edited) and put for sale on Amazon (It’s now done and with editor and we’re getting the cover done. My wretched health this year delayed everything. (Meanwhile, if you donate $6 or more, I’ll get you a copy of Rogue Magic, once finished and edited, in your favored ebook format when it’s done. Of course, if you’re already subscribing to the blog at a level at which you get whichever books come out that year, you don’t need to worry. )*
NOTICE: For those unsure about copyright law and because there was a particularly weird case, just because I’m making the pre-first draft of my novel available to blog readers, it doesn’t mean that this isn’t copyrighted to me. Rogue Magic as all the contents of this blog is © Sarah A. Hoyt 2013. Do not copy, alter, distribute or resell without permission. Exceptions made for ATTRIBUTED quotes as critique or linking to this blog. Credit for the cover image is © Ateliersommerland | Dreamstime.com
Interlude with Monkeys
Wolfe Merritt, Manufactories and Properties Manager for the Right Honorable Earl of Savage.
I hit so hard that for a moment I wasn’t sure at all I had survived.
I’d let go of the rope inside the gut of a fantastical beast, as I said a spell to restore us to our right world. Beneath me was a pool of acid. If the spell didn’t work, I was going to die in a horrible way.
And for a moment I wasn’t sure I hadn’t. I fell hard, and my brain rattled, and I might have lost consciousness for a little while.
At length I became aware of soft grass under me, of a smell of flowers, and therefore that I could not be in acid, in the gut of a monster.
But I can’t have been unconscious too long. Opening my eyes, I saw Lady Helen falling, just near me. She fell, as I had, onto a cushiony grassy mound, and rolled down, and lifted her head, glaring at me, “You!” as though she were surprised to see me, or perhaps as though I’d engineered her fall.
I was vaguely aware of her maid, Betsy, falling near us, and then another man, I wasn’t sure whom, but I caught sight of a human form falling.
This was followed in short order by the sound of chattering monkeys, and a lot of noise like tree leaves being ruffled. I turned over and saw that there were indeed trees. We were in a clearing. It was a good thing we hadn’t fallen through the trees. I suspect while not as lethal as the acid, it would be just as bad.
Betsy was gathering herself, and Lady Helen was still glowering at me. “You,” she said again.
I blinked at her, because it still felt like the tumble had made it impossible for me to think, and she said, “Where are we?” She crossed her arms. “Where did you bring us?”
I looked at her, then around me, then up at the trees, where Hannuman’s monkeys were chittering and swinging from branch to branch. “Somewhere,” I said, “not inside the monster.”
A male chuckle answered that, and turning around I saw it was Hanuman, himself, in human form, and I had a moment to rejoice he was wearing clothes. “Indeed, it’s not,” he said. “And you should be grateful enough for that, milady. An eternity I spent in that vile place. This is not it.”
I got a feeling he knew where this was, and a strong pit-of the stomach clench of anxiety that it was nowhere I wanted to be, but I didn’t say it. Instead I said, mock-cheerfully, “It could be somewhere pleasant,” I said. “it could even be your country estate, and your brother somewhere nearby.” As I said it I thought my mother and my son would be nearby too, and I longed for that with near painful need. To walk into mother’s kitchen, to have—
“I think not,” the Monkey-king said, at the same time that Miss Blythe said, “The power aura is all wrong!”
“Where are we?” I said with nascent alarm. The monkeys were approaching now, very quietly, walking like men, closing in.
“We’re in my world, Mr. Merrit,” the Monkey king said, and grinned ingratiatingly. “The Myth World.”