Ahoi! I hope this finds you still safe and well and enjoying life as best you can! I am trying to do Camp NaNo so I thought I would start sharing snips of what I’m writing for that 🙂 It’s not that organised into chapters yet so I hope the ‘parts’ will make sense! XD And still very much in the drafting stage so all criticisms welcome! 😉
This is a Mythpunk, dystopian, LGBTQIA+, monster-friendship novella based around a combination of Hungarian, Rromani, Hindu and Polish Mythology so I will try and get organised and post some more about the background myths on Mondays.
“The world ended, the angels and the devils took who they wanted, but some of us were left behind… so we opened an antiques shop…”
Soundtrack / Playlist:
Passing through the black curtain, they wound their way through the familiar maze of corridors crammed floor to ceiling with books, paintings, statues, clothing and other curiosities. Silk and Steel would buy and sell most things, no questions asked. ‘Though not Demonsong, apparently,’ Xander frowned, and he subconsciously balled his fists in vexation.
He had never intended they should be strutting around with bottles of the foul, lethal stuff in the first place. Had never expected to find such a dangerous treasure trove in a run of the mill up market town house. And although he had not had time to prevent Vraxi stuffing them into his shirt, as they ran for their lives with the unexpected security system showering them with hexes and corrosive acid, he was damned if he was going to hold onto them any longer than he absolutely had to.
The momentary flare of shock and anger on the Yag’s face had told him much. Vraxi had most likely known the bottles were there, and most likely had a buyer lined up for them somewhere in advance. But if the Yag wasn’t going to be candid about his plans, Xander told himself, then he couldn’t expect them to play out the way he intended. He allowed himself a small smile; doubting the Yag was under the illusion that his plans meant much to Xander at the best of times.
He nodded briefly to a child with short, dark curly hair who was dressed in velvet breeches and a matching frock coat and stood hovering in the doorway of one of the side rooms.
Vraxi paused and grinned at the wide-eyed girl. “Hello Ziga,” he said, planting his hands on his knees and bending down to her level, “want to see a magic trick?” The girl smiled and nodded enthusiastically and Vraxi reached behind her ear and pulled out a red and white striped candy. She gave an excited little skip as he dropped it into her hand. “Eating with us?” he asked, but Ziga shook her head once, popped the sweet into her mouth and skipped off into the maze of books and antique furniture.
The cosy kitchen at the back of the shop could not have been more discrepant with the company it held, Vraxi thought with a grin as he accepted the chair Spyro offered him and wriggled gleefully with anticipation, crinkling his nose at the delicious sights and smells around him.
“I defy even the Duke himself to revel in better company or cuisine than does Vraxanthrin Bane tonight,” he declared, suddenly jumping out of his seat and rearranging the platters of cooked meats and stewed vine fruits to make way for a large pot of richly flavoured stew.
Rosamund Noir, second half of the Silk and Steel partnership, smiled indulgently at the Yag as she set down the terrine and Xander frowned as he saw their hands linger just a little as they brushed past eachother. The petite, dark haired woman was in many ways more dangerous than her partner, Xander reflected, being careful to smile gratefully at her as he seated himself beside the Yag.
Silk and Steel had risen from obscurity in ten short years to become a pivitol hub in the city’s underground activities. If something or someone needed to disappear, Silk and Steel could make that happen and Xander was well aware that at any given moment that contingency could apply to himself and his ostentatious companion.
‘Whether it is in our interests to disappear, or in someone else’s interest that we do – that will be the rub.’ He thought grimly. Certainly they had made enough of a nuisance of themselves over the past few years for either eventuality to be possible.
“Stone the crows!” All eyes turned in Spyro’s direction as the plate he’d been holding clattered to the floor and smashed and every hand in the room went instinctively to a concealed weapon.
Vraxi suppressed a chuckle, and made a mental note to use a similar trick next time he was in a room full of cutthroats – it was always good to know from whence the daggers may be about to fly.
The enormous individual, who had caused the commotion by simply entering the room silently and standing quietly behind Spyro with his arms folded, showed no amusement however. “I thought those plates were your mother’s.” he said gruffly, “I should take better care handling them if I were you.” The alchemist – for that is what he was; a Ghani of imposing stature and even more imposing reputation – crossed to the sink and washed his hands, turning the water and the white porcelain red with blood in the process.
Spyro clenched his jaw and ground his teeth.
Interesting, thought Vraxi, for these two seemed in a constant state of imbalance and the Yag was ever anxious to know who currently held the upper hand. He had no doubts at all that his life, if it could be called such, could one day hang upon that tiny but vital piece of knowledge.