Today was a bad day of work, but a good day of writing. After work I went to my local write-in at Biggby. While there I had a great run of words, so I was able to hammer out another good chunk of book.
But as I promised yesterday, I’m sharing the second excerpt with you tonight. I’ve already shared a first one, so here’s another one. Again, just like last time, please keep in mind that it’s a vomit draft so ignore any spelling or grammatical errors.
But first, an explanation. This scene takes place in a drug house outside of the capital city. Before I started this scene I was challenge to include the word “forklift” into the story. Keep in mind that this is a fantasy story, there are no forklifts, so I used a drug called ralva as an excuse. Enjoy.
He reached the door, which was falling off, and carefully opened it. The inside was dark, which made sense, ralva made people’s eyes sensitive to light. There was enough sunlight coming through the sheet covered windows for him to see where he was going. The inside had the dank smell of rotting food, mildew, vomit, human waste, and sweat. Symon almost vomited himself. He saw a trashed living space, a filthy kitchen off to the side, a long hall with rooms lining each side, and a rickety stairwell leading up to more rooms. The whole place reeked of decay.
But the worst part was the people. Sad, despicable creatures were huddled in the dark shadows of the house, shivering despite the musty heat. Their skin was covered in ugly growths, and discolored. Most of their eyes were glazed over, a sure sign of someone who was high on ralva. Every single one of them ignored Symon and were muttering to themselves.
“I was a little girl only three years ago,” a fully grown man was saying before laughing with a sickening madness. “I was her doll too. I would look in the mirror and brush our hair.”
“The ball,” said a young woman with oddly clean and wispy blonde hair; it had a brown streak in it. “It’s bouncing.” Her head was bopping up and down as if she were watching a ball bounce. “Come here, ball. I won’t hurt you. I only want to eat you.”
A teenage boy, who was mostly naked, was spinning in a slow circle. “No, no, no, no, no. Yes? No. Yes, yes, yes, no.
Ralva was a hallucinogen, so Symon had no doubt that these people were seeing something related to their disturbing ranting.
A door opened from down the hall, and a tall, old, Fyldish man was crouched over with his arms, palms upwards, just inches above the floor. His skin looked untouched by distortions, which meant that he was probably a brand new addict. It took a few years of ingesting ralva for the deforming side effects to show up. He was swiftly crouch-walking towards Symon. When he reached him, he tried to pick Symon up by attempting to get his hands under his boots.
“I’m a forklift, friend,” he said. His accent was thick; he might not have been living in Vestervale all that long.
“You’re a what?” Symon couldn’t help but ask. He didn’t recognize the word.
“A forklift, a forklift! I must lift you and put you on a shelf.”
Symon stepped to the side, and the Fyldish man moved on to a piece of rubbish on the floor, lifted it with his arms, and, keeping them as stiff as they were when he was crouched, stood up and ran back to his room.
Symon shook the confusion out of his head and slowly examined the areas around the women he saw in the living room, looking for the painting. He was careful not to make any sudden or fast movements. Spooking a ralva addict during a high was dangerous.
The portrait of the woman with the violet streak in her hair was nowhere to be seen. Mycha had been confident that the thief who stole the painting was at this place, and he was positive that she would be here with it. He just needed to find the painting, and he would find the thief.
He walked into the kitchen, but the only person in there was one man gripping a steaming cup of tea. He was looking at Symon was clear, but fearful eyes. He was an addict alright, the tumors were all over his face, but he was of clear mind at the moment.
“Are you here to rob us? Take it away? Huh, huh, huh?” He spoke very quickly, though his voice was whispered. He had a strange accent to his voice that Symon couldn’t identify.
Symon raised his hands to show the man he wasn’t holding a weapon. “No,” he said. “I’m looking for a woman.”
“All of us are, even the women.” He giggled at his own joke. “You a guard?”
“You a knight?”
“We could use a priest. Azdro died last night. He had a lot of ralva, we fought over it. I won.”
“I could ask a priest to come.”
At his horrified shout, a few of the people in the living room turned, fire in their eyes.
“Alright,” Symon said quickly and softly. “Alright. No priests, no guards, and no knights. Have you seen a woman with a painting?”
“Do you have money?” He held out his hand.
Symon glanced at it. This wasn’t like the beggars, who had sad, pleading eyes that made one’s heart break for them. This man was crazed, the money would do him no real good. But he needed information, and maybe it would be easier if he paid this man.
Symon reached into his pocket, and tossed the addict a chil.
“The woman with the painting?”
“She carries it with her everywhere. What about her?”
Annoyed now, Symon had to keep his temper in check. “Do you know where she is?”
“Why would I tell you?”
“I paid you.”
“You were generous. Information costs more than a coin. Got any ralva?”
He resisted the urge to kick the man. “No. I thought you have all of Azdro’s?”
How was this man still alive? “Never mind, I’ll look for her myself.”
-Excerpt from The Priest of Tears; Chapter 9, by Andrew Ronzino
I hope you enjoyed that. Again, it’s rough, so I hope you’ll give me some grace. Let me know what you thought of it.
Current word count for The Priest of Tears: 38,205/50,000!
Andrew Ronzino, One Cool Guy