As you might remember, I’m taking part in the Clarion West Write-a-thon, and people actually went and sponsored me (!). So, accordingly, here’s a snippet from the novel-in-progress as a thanks to them (the first scene, in fact). Usual disclaimers apply–this is my alpha draft (aka I’ve revised it minimally so it looks good on the page but I’ve not taken a hatchet to it), it’s very much a work in progress and I’m not sure how much I’ll keep, etc.
Enjoy! (and if you want to sponsor me, it’s over there)
It is almost pleasant, at first, to be Falling.
The harsh, unwavering light of the City recedes, leaving you in shadow–leaving only memories of relief, of a blessed coolness seizing your limbs–nothing has turned yet into longing, into bitterness, into the cold that will never cease, not even in the heat of summer.
The wind, at first, is pleasant too–softly whistling past you, so that you almost don’t notice when its cold fingers tear away at your wings–feathers drift off, blinking like forgotten jewels, catching fire and burning like a thousand falling stars in the atmosphere. Some part of you knows you should be experiencing pain–that the flow of crimson blood, the lancing pain in your back, the burning sensation that seems to have got hold of your whole body–they’re all yours, they’re all irreversible and deadly. But you feel nothing–no exhilaration, no relief; not the burning agony of your wounds. Nothing; but that sense of unnamed relief–that knowledge you won’t have to face the judges in the City again.
Nothing, until the ground comes up to meet you, and you land in a jumble of pain and shattered bones–and the scream you didn’t think you had in you scrapes your throat raw as you let it out–like the first, shocked breath of a baby newborn into a universe of suffering.
Meanwhile, I’ll be off researching the history of Ile de la Cité, and renewing my subscription to the Paris Library network…