“You’re a damned idiot,” said a familiar voice. “Seven lashes were more than enough and you struck too deep. Now, he’s out of commission for at least a month. What use is he now, eh? I’ll be paying for his upkeep and getting no work out of him.” Arekan placed the complaining voice as Etharin as he came to consciousness face down in a bunk not his own.
“I’m tired of his attitude. He won’t do a damn thing I tell him.” Grokin said belligerently.
“And what about you, eh? You disobeyed my order. Should I give you ten lashes, eh?”
Arekan thought that was a great idea. He’d love to see Grokin get a slice of his own treatment.
“Sorry, sir,” said Grokin. He didn’t sound penitent but Etharin didn’t seem eager to prove a point.
“You damn well better be sorry,” said Etharin. “We are short men as and he is a good blade. We’d be the ones spaced if it wasn’t for him.”
“Aye, sir,” said Grokin. His voice was rough with reluctant agreement.
Arekan kicked out his leg and clocked the intruder in the jaw. The man staggered back, sword in hand, but he did not fall. His gaze fixed on Arekan with a murderous expression.
“I’ll kill you,” the pirate growled.
“Better men have tried,” said Arekan with more bravado than he felt. “But you are welcome to give it a go.”
The man’s face turned a beet red as he pushed himself toward Arekan, his sword pointed toward the nineteen year old. As the man’s sword came within Arekan’s reach, the youth stepped to the man’s left, away from the man’s dominant arm, whipped around in a full three hundred and sixty degree turn, and slashed man’s torso. The man halted in his tracks, and then tottered falling to the deck groaning and bleeding. As miserable as the man looked and sounded Arekan could have aimed higher and severed the man’s neck.
“He did not just say that,” said Arekan. He knew the first mate was a hard man, but he didn’t think Grokin would be cold hearted enough to let a member of his crew die.
“I’m afraid so,” said Egren. He had pressed a button at his neck on his spacesuit, and Arekan could not hear Grokin. “Our first mate has a ‘let ‘em take prisoners’ policy. It deters those that try to use extortion to get our goods.”
“Creator,” muttered Arekan. He peered out over the edge of the hatch to see Obon clutching the swaying tether. “We need to get him up here.”
“That’s exactly what those pirates want. They’ll be right in back of him to board this ship with us too afraid of killing our own man to do anything about it.”
Here is the last cover for Arekan’s War. I’m not printing the blurb yet because there are too many spoilers to Book 3, Tour of Duty. But in book 4 Arekan finds out the hard way that “no good deed goes unpunished.” Suffice it to say he is placed in a situation where he has to make some very uncomfortable decisions to satisfy matters of honor. Can he swallow the exigencies and imperatives of command and lordship even if they go against everything Arekan believes? Will he sacrifice his integrity to kept his promises? And can his heart bear the ultimate price of his compromises?
I took the morning to finish up the covers for the Arekan’s War books. Below is the one for book three which is written but needs one more good going over before I release it. But here is the blurb.
Tour of Duty
Arekan’s first days in the Windshadow Complex are so disastrous that both Santir and Captain Raden Irlu agree its best for everyone if Arekan puts some time and distance between him and the Mor’a’stani lords. Irlu, who quickly became Arekan’s best friend in the complex, persuades Arekan to go with him on the last patrol before the snow flies, a tour of duty that spans part of the vast Windshadow vale. Here Arekan learns about the life of the people of the vale, long thought to be the staunchest supporters of the Mor’a’stani. He finds a people very much split on the whether the Mor’a’stani are their saviors or their enemy. At the same time he takes an interest in the young woman, Katlia, that Raden sees as his, but hasn’t made a formal offer of marriage.
Can their friendship survive Arekan’s meddling in the private life of his best friend?
Author: We are happy to have with us today, Arekan Mor’a’stan, the main character in two science fantasy serials, Arekan’s War and the newest, Pirate’s Luck. He also has a supporting role in The Mor’a’stani Chronicles, the series of full-length books about his daughter, B’yetishen Mor’a’stan. Thank you, Arekan for being here today.
Arekan: (irritably) Why are we doing this?
Author: We are participating in Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction Challenge where we are to present a piece of up to one thousand words representative of social media. We are doing a blog interview.
Arekan: What is a Chuck Wendig and what do I have to do kill it? For that matter, what is a social media? Can I run my sword through it?
Author: (In an urgent hushed whisper) You aren’t killing anyone or anything today.
Chuck Wendig posted his most impossible challenge of all:
Grab 1000 words of your NaNoWriMo work-in-progress (or, really, even if you’re not participating, any WIP of yours), and slap those 1000 words online for all to see.
Eeek. I mean, I’m just not ready to do that. It’s still working, foaming in the vat of writerly inspiration, not quite ready for public inspection. Instead I give you the first thousand words of Forced Labor, which I’m happy with.
I don’t know though. My twenty-eight year old middle son read the first four hundred words and thought it was pretty cool. (I didn’t know he picked up a copy.) But he has been too busy to read the rest of it. How do you get too busy to read your mother’s work? There is no good excuse. Ahem.
Forced Labor (2/3’s of First Chapter)
Arekan sat on his narrow bunk in the bowels of the aging space vessel stitching his forearm. It was a nasty gash, but nothing unusual for him. It would be just one more scar in the litany of scars that scored his body. He winced as he threaded the needle into his flesh, wishing he had liquor in him before he did this.Continue reading Chuck Wendig’s Newest Challenge: First 1,000 Words
Day 11 into NaNoWriMo at 9,500 words in I am seriously behind. Life happens. Kids have birthdays and there is pizza cake to make.
Why pizza cake? It is a new thing. Some restaurant chain in Canada came up with the idea, and it spread into the U. S. I’m not sure where in the U.S. but my son posted it on his FB page, and I thought I’d give it a try.
There were…uh, challenges to making the pizza cake. First I had to find a high round pan that would handle the beast. Turns out my cheesecake pan is missing, as well as my 8 inch round and 9 inch round cake pans. It is theft, plain and simple, but getting which adult child admit her or she “borrowed” them is nearly useless. I settled on my 8 inch dutch oven. Fortunately, it did the trick.
The recipe called for parchment paper. I thought I had parchment paper, but I was wrong. So, a trip to the grocery store was necessary.
The internet instructions were incomplete. I couldn’t find what temperature set the oven on in the 10 pages of instructions, with pictures, that I printed off. So I winged it and the top got a little brown. Okay, more than a little brown.
Here is the pizza cake and below that the progress of Arekan’s War.
When Arekan Mor’a’stan is annoyed, he is likely to do outrageous things, like try to retake the ancient throne lost by his ancestors three hundred years before.