Sunday, February 18, 2018

Six on Sunday - LUCIEN, The D'Jacques Dynasty, Book 1

Six paragraphs from LUCIEN, The D'Jacques Dynasty, Book 1

1. Lucien bowed his head. Four years ago he hadn’t been able to fight alongside his family and the others. He’d been an untried kid who’d been forced to stay inside the lodge, along with several others, as the rest of his family waged that terrible war. True, he’d been given the task of protecting his Aunt Keelor and his cousin, Surisam. But it had been a long, bloody, and disgusting nine days. And what followed afterwards had dire consequences for the entire compound for years.

2.  “We all know that there are no aftereffects if a Normal contracts the virus and survives. But we have no such reassurance when it comes to Mutah. We know it’s impossible to tell if a Normal or Mutah has suffered the virus. In either case, there are no outward visible signs resulting from the disease. There’s no pock marks or lingering disabilities, nothing which would alert us to the fact that the person has contracted the virus. Which is why we can’t tell, until the Mutah reacts, if he has battled the virus, or that he’s been Damaged as a result.” Yulen motioned to Pechard. “I will let the emissary explain further.”

3.  His grip on it was solid, but because he was holding onto the thing with his right hand, he couldn’t draw his sword with his left. Somehow he found the dagger in his waistband and wrapped his fingers around the hilt. With a swipe, he sliced through the thing’s breast, and hot blood splattered across his face and into his eyes and mouth. Mortally wounded, the creature doubled its efforts to free itself. Pain streaked across the back of Lucien’s head and neck as it struggled in its death throes. 

4.  Johna lay inside the doctor’s bedroll that he had loaned her and listened to the sounds of the forest that surrounded them. She and Lucien were in one of five small tents which surrounded a small fire pit outside. With her back to the flames reflecting through the fabric, she could watch him as he tried to sleep on his back. After a while, he rolled over, turning away from her. Either he was aware of her observing him, or he sensed it. Regardless, his actions made her smile.

5.  He had no knowledge of how long he’d been out. Sound faintly came to him, and he turned his head to see Johna lying on her side next to him, facing him. Rolling over, he checked her for signs of breathing. He didn’t hear the gurgling he was expecting. Alarmed, he rose up on one elbow, and a wave of dizziness hit him. It took a couple of seconds for his head to settle, and he reached over to touch her cheek. It was cool but dry. There was no sign of fever and she appeared to be breathing okay. But it didn’t mean she was out of the woods.

6.  Sensing this was his chance, Lucien scrambled to crawl away. Once he was free of the extra weight, he turned to find Johna straddling the Blood. She plunged her knife repeatedly into its back and neck as it fought to get free of her, but she held on, keeping the creature in a vise-like grip between her legs. It wasn’t until the Blood stopped squirming that she finally sat back. She was breathing heavily. Her face and clothes, and the dagger she held, was covered in gore.

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