October 30th, 2011
|07:33 am - This year's Halloween story, Part the Fourth|
I send sympathies for those trapped in untimely snow. Here in the subtropics, chilly air has blown in, but that just means it's now proper tea-weather, poss. with accompanying muffins.
Thanks to the chill in the air, the Blonde Dog is curled up in the armchair supervising my writing rather than sulking on the cool floor somewhere. It's a good start to the day.
And here, early, is the fourth part of my little Halloween-with-Guin-and-Jeffrey story. Tomorrow on All Hallows Eve proper, I'll post the conclusion. But for now....
We left off at And this was for the gun in the man's hand.
Guin had but a moment to decide what the worst possible outcome would be, and thus what her best course of action was. It seemed clear enough.
She whipped her blessed candle out of her pocket, summoned fire with a word, and cast a circle of protection with the lit candle's light -- but with their stripey-nosed creature inside rather than out, which was her usual practice.
When the creature hit the magic barrier, it shrieked in a sad, human way before dropping down on all fours. There it roamed about, pacing, growling, signaling its intention of getting to the man with the gun.
To be accurate, the public-house landlord with the gun.
"Smithie," Jeffrey said as he stepped up beside Guin, his broad shoulder warm and comforting against hers, "what do you think you're doing?"
"Vicar, might say the same to you and Miss James." The voice was steady enough, but the gun wavered in his trembling hand.
"There was a distinct smell of ale at what I assume to be the site of the murder, dear," Guin said to Jeffrey.
"How disappointing." Jeffrey fluttered the papers he now held. "And some similar stains on these, tucked away in the suit pocket of the dead gentleman from the Inland Revenue. It seems, Mr Smith, that you are in rather serious arrears -- but nevertheless, why did you kill the taxman?"
Here their agitated creature threw back its head and lifted a wordless protest to the moon. For the first time since her introduction to the Old Wood's Guin saw the rapid shifting of its faces -- badger to wolf to human to badger to wolf, in a loop of infinite anguish. She wasn't entirely sure if their creature cried out for its portion of blood thus stolen by the murderous publican, or if the moonlight called out what humanity was left of that mediaeval sorcerer whose last spell had gone so catastrophically awry.
Whichever it was, the sight frightened Smithie so badly that he dropped the gun. Said gun discharged, and he then fell to the ground, clutching his now bleeding foot and whimpering.
Guin felt only the slightest bit of guilt that a few words chanted under her breath had, one might say, encouraged the gun to fire. After all, Jeffrey had chanted the very same words at the very same time. Now her problem was the creature.
Hungry for blood, it threw itself against the wall of protection. The impact sent the moonlight shimmering all around them, sent the ground shaking. And then it turned on her and Jeffrey.
Fangs and claws and anguish, human to badger to wolf, hot breath and dark eyes that welled with tears.
And then it leapt for her throat.
May your Sunday be full of autumn joys!
|Date:||October 30th, 2011 11:38 am (UTC)|| |
Thank you thank you, L! :-)
[offers a good cuppa for this Sunday]
|Date:||October 30th, 2011 01:26 pm (UTC)|| |
I love the mix of magicks and Agatha Christie village mystery - at least that's the way it feels to me.
I definitely wanted to mix "magicks and Agatha Christie," so hurrah and many, many thanks. :-)
May your Sunday be a good one, A!
|Date:||October 30th, 2011 02:57 pm (UTC)|| |
Yikes! What a place to leave it! Really enjoying this :)
Thank you, K, thank you for reading and enjoying. I appreciate both v.v. much. :-)
Fear not -- Guin and Jeffrey have this
almost under control. :-)
Cheers and thanks, T, and happy Sunday!
Hee! Tomorrow the suspense will be over. :-)
Thanks, Stevie, and happy Sunday!
Perfect reading for a quiet afternoon in e dealerm's room (but we just sold a book to Ellen Kushner for Delia Sherman).
::bounces happily in mix of fangirl and bookseller pleasure::
(Eeeee, bookseller awesomeness! Which is unsurprising because you ARE awesome, but eeeeee! :-)
Thank you, ALH, thank you and cheers for what sounds like a very good Sunday afternoon!
The nature of the beast is creepy but excellent. Love the tears.
Thank you, M, thank you v.v. much for reading and commenting. :-) May it be a good transition into Monday for you!
No time to comment- I have to see how it ends.
(I love the word publican.)
(and the tears.)
(I love the word 'publican' too. :-))
Thank you, S, thank you! I'm grateful you're reading and commenting so kindly.