Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday Snippet

This is a piece from another Flow-verse Borderwatch story. (Not fully edited, so forgive a little roughness.) Brianna has just learned that her sister is pregnant ... while she and a group of agents are hunting an Alastyn (a waterhorse fairy) living as a mortal. They confront "Adam" on a beach, and the following ensues:

Carter slammed into Adam from behind and drove a fist into his lung. The skinny kid was a powerhouse and that blow would have incapacitated a human – but Alastyns have the lungs of a horse, and it only slowed him. I drew Adam’s attention with a feint of the knife. His head jerked around, teeth snapping, but he was too far from the water to transform. He kicked out at Carter, who mewled as the blow caught him below the kneecap.

We kept Adam from the water, circling. My thoughts whirled, already imagining sleepless nights spent nursing my niece/nephew – a hazy hermaphrodite – and miles driven as Greta forgot appointments or lingered to exchange coy words with a clerk.

“Brianna!” Marcus bellowed. Adam was upon me, far too fast. I drove the blade forward in a belly-thrust. It glanced off his ribcage, but the shallow cold-iron knick drew a shrill scream.

I locked my thoughts on the present. Unprofessional, sloppy … now to correct my mistake.

Marcus stayed back, blocking the retreat as Carter and I closed in. A technical specialist, Marcus knew enough fighting to stay out of trouble, but we were the enforcers.

Adam bared his teeth. “Who are you people?”

“Does it matter?” I asked.

Carter and I exchanged looks and moved in tandem. He kicked Adam’s legs out from under him as I lunged. The Alastyn hit the ground; I landed on his chest. I pushed the blade against the side of his throat.

“Ahhh …” The aspirated hiss of pain hung suspended, as if Adam were afraid to close his lips.

“Nice work,” Marcus said. “Finish it.”

Adam made a sound of disbelief. “If you know what I am, you know what kind of allies I have.”

“You want to give us names?” I said. “We’ll be happy to take care of them, too. Otherwise – shut up.”

He sank against the sand, but the smirk flitted back. “You should have her name it Dalia.”

I stiffened and – before I could catch myself up in questions – drove the blade home.

“What was that about?” Carter asked.

“Nothing,” I said, rolling off the body. I left the knife in place. We would bury him like that, with the remains of his victims.

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