Sunday, May 1, 2011

"The Last Tailor" appetizer

Hey everyone,
As most of you probably know, I'm getting married in a little more than three months. As those of you who are or have been married (and weren't wed in a drive-thru line by a guy dressed as Elvis) know, that means that my fiancée and I have been up to our eyeballs in preparations. That, combined with the fact that my fiancée' and I found, signed a lease for and moved into a new apartment in the last six days, means I haven't haven't had as much time for writing as I would have liked.

But I still found time to finish a first draft of my novel, "The Last Tailor". Yippee!!
I'm currently in the process of proofing and editing it, and I'd like some more eyes on the manuscript. If you're interested in helping a budding writer out, please let me know.

Here's an appetizer that will (hopefully) make you want to read more.

"The Last Tailor" (excerpt)
Aaron M. Smith- May 2011

“I don’t know how you survived the airship,” the masked man said as he walked slowly toward us, “And I don’t care.”
“Don’t know how we survived?” I said, suddenly more stunned than afraid. “You threw yourself out of the window into the sea! I want to know what angel is looking after you!
“Please,” he said, and tugged on the loose garment tossed around his body. “They use these things all the time in your world, don’t they?”
“Is… is that a parachute?”I shook my head. “No way, it’s too small.”
“Colin!” Riza hissed. “Quit arguing with the man who’s about to kill us.”
“I’m going to ask you again,” I said, ignoring the urge to look away from his masked face. “Where is my father?”
“It’s not going to matter to you very soon,” he said. I watch his eyes behind the mask. They were dark, dark gray, and bloodshot. He was halfway across the dining car from us now.
“Colin!” Someone shouted, and I turned to see Alan and Carla in the door of the car. Alan threw my sword at me- I caught it on the grip as the kidnapper dashed the remaining distance between us.
Carla moved faster- her sword was drawn and the she struck two blows at the man before I could even blink, the sound of steel-on-steel the only thing I could follow.
I drew my sword and waited for an opening, but suddenly the man in the mask started moving, and I couldn’t see him anymore. The ring of steel on steel became a roar, and I had to fight the urge to cover my ears.
Carla and her attacker suddenly came back into view as the kidnapper’s foot snapped out, colliding heavily with Carla’s midsection- she cried out and was tossed across the car. She hit the edge of a nearby table and slumped over, still.
I moved in, bringing my sword to bear before he could turn around. At the last moment I vanished, moved behind him and came back into reality, slicing blindly through the grey smoke that had followed me from the Veil.
He slipped away, vanishing before my blade made contact, but I had him on the run. I followed him into the silent gray world and thrust with the point of my blade. I tried to remember everything that had been taught me, but my brain was running a hundred miles an hour. I was doing well to remember which end of the sword to hold.
He pressed me then, and suddenly his movements became a blur of fluid motion. I didn’t have time to think- I retreated into the Veil and tried to move around behind him, but it was no good. It was almost as if he knew what I was going to do before I did it. He brought his weapon down onto me as I slipped back into reality before the smoke had cleared from my eyes, and my clumsy parry made my shoulders sting and my burned hands scream with pain. One of my knees buckled, and I hit the floor.
Adrenaline screamed, commanding me to move, and I rolled away as his blade clove a deep gash into the hardwood floors of the train car.
Someone cried out, and when I rolled to my feet I saw that Riza had drawn her sword. She stood defiantly across from the kidnapper, who was holding his side. The tip of her blade was wet with red.
She’d wounded him.
Her amber eyes were narrowed. She squeezed the hilt of the sword with both hands and shifted her feet against the wood grain. Her white dress and oversized gray coat looked a little silly, but she looked as dangerous as the weapon in her hands.
The masked man roared in anger and lunged, thrusting with the tip of his broad, short sword. Riza’s weapon was longer, and she had the reach advantage- she backed away carefully, trying to keep the other fighter at a sword’s distance from her. She parried the blows from the kidnapper expertly, but I could see what was happening. The door to the passenger car was behind her. Another few steps and she’d be backed against it.
She was running out of time. I had to do something.

...and that's all you get for now! That's why they call it an appetizer- to make you hungry for the main course! ;)

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