Holy cow, we’re a third of the way through! Crazy. I, for one, have some major catching up to do, but this coming week should allow me a lot more time to write. I’ve barely seen my friends this semester because of how insanely busy everyone has been, so we’re trying to catch up on all of our socializing, which includes hiking, movie nights, and coffee shops. But this week has to be catch up week, so fingers crossed! Also, I am completely ignoring the plot holes that are popping up everywhere, and I will sort them out later.
For today, to mark the 1/3 milestone, I thought I would post some snippets of Shard. Normally I don’t like doing this, but these are short and will be tweaked again anyway, so it’s all good. Anyway, keep in mind that these are very rough and written in the NaNo frenzy 🙂 I hope all of you are still going strong and writing like mad!
Snippet 1: The Black Ghost catches fire and nothing helps to douse it until Adyah steps in.
Just then I spotted Adyah off to her side, standing dangerously close to the fire and reaching toward it with both hands. Instinctively I ran toward her, watching as the flames licked at her hands, and grabbed her around her waist to pull her back. But the moment I touched her, I was thrown into what seemed to be a different world. Everything was brighter and purer, and she was glowing like hot coals in a fire, but she was glowing a pure, white gold instead of red. I stared in awe at the ship before me, which was now bathed in black flame, more like poisonous smoke than fire, and the light coming from Adyah seemed to repel it. She was muttering something that I could not make out, and the fire roared back at her as if it were a beast, but it began to withdraw like smoke that the wind blows away. I was unable to let go of her, as if the hot glow had seared me to her, but finally I wrenched myself free and threw myself back. I landed with a crash into a stack of barrels and crates behind us, and blinked as the real world came back into sharp focus.
The vision was gone, and now only the ship remained, free of fire, and the world was back to normal, though now it seemed dull and colorless in comparison. I sat staring at the Black Ghost for a few moments, at its perfect, unscarred wood, at its many ropes and sails, still intact and without any marks left by the flames. Everyone was in an uproar; pointing and talking and shouting and demanding. Goulius and George were in some great argument with a group of pirates from various vessels, and Daan was holding out his arms, guarding some of the younger pirates from the pressing crowd who were demanding that he hand them over. Adyah walked over to me and reached down to help me up. I took her arm, a little cautiously, and stared at her.
“I’ll ask you what just happened once we sort out this mess,” I told her.
Snippet 2: The Kraken approaches.
Suddenly I was aware of someone else standing there, and I turned around to find Anaru, a young Maori man we had rescued from a slave ship, staring at the water. He did not seem to be aware of anything else, and his eyes were black, glazed over in what seemed to be some kind of trance. I frowned and reached out to touch his shoulder, and when I did, he suddenly blinked and looked at me.
“What is it?” I asked, concerned. His expression sent chills up my spine.
“Ta Wheke-a-Muturangi,” he said. “We have come to his playing place.”
“Who is that? What do you mean?”
He nodded at the dark water. The ocean always seemed to have a blacker look in cold climates than it did elsewhere. “He is sleeping now, but he does not sleep for long.”
I looked at the ocean. The water was still and calm for now, although that never lasted long in the Atlantic. But I saw nothing out of the ordinary. “The Kraken?” I asked, turning back to him. “Is that what you mean?”
“Why don’t we shout his name and hang out some bait, while you’re at it,” Goulius said wryly, coming up behind us. He handed Adyah and I a large mug of bumbo and shoved a smaller cup at Anaru. “And you of all people should know not to summon him by speaking about him.”
Anaru shook his head and gave the drink back to Goulius. “He will come if he wishes to come, whether or not we say his name. He answers to no man.”
Snippet 3: Elizabeth explains how Captain Shard really died.
“So he was not killed by Wellington?” Daan asked, frowning.
I bit my lower lip and shook my head. “No. He was not.”
“What happened, Elizabeth?” George asked gently. “You can tell us.”
I took a deep breath and tried to gather myself. “I told you that he had just come into my room when Wellington burst in with three of his men and there was a fight, and Shard was killed, and that I killed Wellington afterwards.”
“Yes, that is what you told us,” Daan said.
“That is not the truth.” I could not sit anymore, and I stood, crossing my arms. “The truth is…the truth is that I heard him in the room and thought that it was Wellington, and we fought, and somehow I ended up with a knife in my hand, and I killed him.”
The words hung like mist in the air, but somehow rather than worse I felt better, and the heaviness I had felt for two years was eased, if only a little. Still, the mere fact that I was not the only one in the world who knew this anymore was a great relief, no matter how they would react.