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NaNoWriMo Day 28: The Final Excerpt

nanowrimo-journal-2016

As I promised yesterday, I have the fourth and final excerpt from my NaNoWriMo novel to share with you.  If you would like to go back and read any of the previous excerpts, you can do so here:

Except one, excerpt two, and excerpt three.

This scene is the climatic fight at the end between a vampire hunter named Miles O’Conner, Matt, another vampire named Quinton, and Jordy.  Matt keeps having different songs pop into his head as he fights, and I thought it would be a nice piece for you all to read.

Once again, like all the other excerpts, please keep in mind that this is a vomit draft, and thus may have a lot of errors in it.  The only editing I did to it was enough to make sure it’s readable for you.  Enjoy!

As I fought, it dawned on me for the first time that I was in very real danger.  There were vampire hunters who were famous for killing three or four vampires in a single fight before.  Knowing how hard hunters trained, it was most likely true.  I realized that if I didn’t fight to kill, I was going to die.  I had never killed anyone before, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to kill O’Conner.  Yes, it would be self-defense, but at the same time, I would always have that blood on my hands.  That yummy, tasty blood.

I couldn’t smell O’Conner’s blood.  I didn’t realize until now that I couldn’t in my other encounter with him either.  What was different about him?

When I got close to him to deliver another blow to his face, I smelled the reason why.  He smelled like garlic, powerful garlic.  My stomach turned for a moment as I jumped out of the way of his foot aiming for my chest.  It wasn’t a strange cologne like I thought it was when I first met him, he had smeared garlic on his skin to keep me from biting him.

I had never realized that that was where the rumor came from.  Garlic was a poison to vampires.  The smell alone wouldn’t repel us, but biting a neck covered in it would cause us to get sick, thus one who wore the garlic would no longer be a viable target for a vampire wishing to feed.  Quinton never mentioned that one bit of vampire fact to me.  Maybe it was only a hunter thing and the greater populace of the world, who didn’t know about the existence of vampires as a whole, didn’t even know about where the myth came from.

O’Conner aimed a punch at me, and cracked me across the jaw.  He smiled and I rubbed my chin as Quinton attempted to stab the hunter in the back again.

I needed to get into the zone.  I needed to fight for my life, or we were both going to die, and then there would be no one to stop Jordy from being killed afterwards.  I needed to fight, not for me, but for him.  It was my fault he was involved in all of this in the first place.  Had I not confided in him, he would be at home with his family now, none the wiser about the crazy creatures of the night who lurked around the city feasting on whoever smelled good.

I started to conjure up a song in my head that I could fight to.  Queen seemed to be what I called to retention when I needed to run for my life, but, for some odd reason, it was dulcet tones of Bonnie Tylor who came to mind in this dangerous fight to the death.  Not “I Need a Hero” like one would expect, but “Total Eclipse of the Heart”.

I started to hum the power balled as O’Conner came in for another attack.  I blocked his blow with my arms, grabbed his wrists and twisted around, I bent over and threw him over my back at the ground.

I belted out, “Turn around, bright eyes!” as I spun to face him,

“What?” Quinton asked.

“Total Eclipse of the Heart?” Jordy said from across the street.  “Really?  That’s what’s stuck in your head right now?”

“Hey, what I choose for my battle music is my business, I don’t tell you want to sing when you’re fighting vampire hunters, do I?”  I watched as Quinton jumped at O’Conner again, but O’Conner was able to dodge it with ease.

I realized then that Quinton’s limp was slowing him down.  I continued to hum the song and I moved in to help Quinton.  He and O’Conner were locked in battle, and just as I reached them again, O’Conner jabbed at him with his sharp stick, missing his heart, but getting him in the chest nonetheless.

Quinton cried out in pain.

I grabbed O’Conner and threw him off of Quinton.  O’Conner elbowed me in the nose, and I felt it break, blood began to pore from my nostrils.  I gritted my teeth and ignored the pain.  “Nothing I could do, a total eclipse of the heart,” I sang though my teeth.

O’Conner lunged at me, and caught me in the leg with his stake, I yelped in pain and the ignored the wound.  It would heal in time.  All my wounds healed.  From what I understood, the only wounds that did not heal was something piercing the heart, and something being cut completely off, like an arm or a head.

O’Conner roared as Quinton jabbed at his heart again with his stake, but he also missed the man’s heart.

“Quinton!” I yelled to him.  “Stop thinking like a vampire!  He’s human, remember?  He’ll die soon enough from other wounds.  We don’t have to get his heart.”  Then I went back to humming.  It was a good thing the song was long.  I didn’t know what to expect would pop in my head when the song ended.

We continued to fight like that for some time, us getting in a few lucky shots here and there, but nothing large enough to stop the professional vampire hunter.  He also got in a few more lucky shots on us too, injuring us further.  Jordy was yelling advice from the sidelines, advice we ignored, because, honestly, he didn’t know what he was talking about.

We were fighting so long, that the song I had chosen as my battle music ended.  “No!” I yelled, mortified.  I needed that music, it allowed me to focus on the fight and ignore everything else around me.

Lucky for me, the song was replaced almost instantly, as if my head were an iPod switching tracks.  The song wasn’t epic death metal or awesome movie soundtrack like Dual of the Fates form Star Wars, but another power balled.  My brain and I would have to have a serious conversation about my internal playlist once I got home.  If I got home.

The song was “I Would Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)” by Meatloaf.  A great, long song, but not the kind of music you expect to fight for your life with. If my life were a movie, the audience would be so confused by the music choices the director agreed to, and would probably win a Razzy because of it.  Such a shame for that poor millionaire director and his Razzy acceptance speech.

I was bleeding from all over now, as was Quinton, who was in worse shape than I was, he was almost entirely covered in blood, vampire blood, which added to the horrid smell of my own blood and the weird garlicy smell of O’Conner’s.  Quinton was nearing the end of the fight, I didn’t know how much longer he could fight the hunter off.

I attacked O’Conner again, but O’Conner pulled his pistol out again and fired.  The bullet got me in the chest, but not the heart.  I could feel this more than the other wounds though, and the music in my head switched to “My Mamma Said” by Aqua the moment the bullet struck me, an oddly appropriate song.

I coughed and fell back, hitting the ground.  I looked up in time to see O’Conner attack Quinton one last time, and he too went down.

O’Conner limped over to his pistol, which he had dropped when Quinton attacked after he shot me, and picked it up.  He checked the chamber.  “One bullet left,” he said, panting.  “You two put up an exciting fight, I’ll give you that much praise.  I haven’t had this much fun in years.  It looks like I can kill one of you with a bullet, and reserve the stake for the other.  Wonderful.”

I knew I was done.  I was bleeding, my nose was broken, and I was pretty sure I had some cracked ribs too.  If O’Conner attacked me now it was all over.  Quinton didn’t look a whole lot better, in fact, he looked worse than I did.

The song was playing loud in my head.  “The drops of rain became a river, and now it’s time to end this dance.”  I didn’t want to die, everything I’ve done as a vampire was to keep myself alive.  But my energy was gone, my strength was depleted, I was broken and bloody.  I had no more fight left in me.  “So thank you,” I sang along with the words in my head.

“Oh, you’re welcome,” O’Conner said.  Without saying another word, he limped over to me.  He was hurt pretty badly too, but not nearly as much and me and Quinton.  He cocked his pistol and pointed it directly at my heart.

I closed my eyes, accepting my fate, wishing I had spoken to my parents one more time.  They haven’t hear from me in seven years, and the next news they would hear about me is that I was dead, if the hunter even allowed my body to be found.

A scream cause me to open my eyes again.  Jordy was bull rushing O’Conner.  Knocking him over just as he fired his gun.  But it was too late, his aim was off, and rather than hitting me in the chest, the bullet went through my arm.  I yelped in pain as O’Conner grunted from the impact.

Jordy was hitting him, but O’Conner recovered quickly.  He threw Jordy off of himself and proceeded to punch Jordy over and over again in the face, I heard his nose break.  Then the hunter wrapped his powerful hands around Jordy’s throat and squeezed.  Jordy’s face started to turn red as he struggled to breathe, he clawed at O’Conner’s hands, trying to get him to release him.

I felt a rush of energy, the song in my head turned from the Aqua funeral dirge to AC/DC’s Thunderstruck.  Finally an appropriate song!  I looked around me for anything I could use to help Jordy, and I found Quinton’s wooden stake, which he had dropped at some point during the fight.

I snatched it up, pushed myself up, and ignoring the pain all over my body, I leaped for O’Conner, screaming, “Thunderstruck!” in time with the tune in my head.  He didn’t have time to turn or react before I reached him.  The wooden stake sank deep into his back, past bone and flesh and into his heart.

O’Conner gasped and cried out as blood pooled, now that it was exposed in great excess, I could smell that he had B- blood.  Not that it mattered at all, I wouldn’t drink it when it was contaminated by the garlic he had rubbed on his skin.

O’Conner tried to stand up and turn to me, but he lost his balance and fell back, splattering Jordy with a little blood, and plunged the stake deeper into his heart.  He garbled some words that were unintelligible, then he took his last breath.  He slumped over, his eyes open and dead to the world.

I dropped back down onto the ground and just sat there.  There a low rumble in the sky, and it began to drizzle.  The rain was cold, but I didn’t care at the moment.  I had just survived an attack from a hunter.

-Excerpt from Struggles of a Modern Vampire; Chapter 26, by Andrew Ronzino

That will be the last excerpt for this year’s challenge.  I hope it was a fun read for you.  It was fun to write.

Current word count for Struggles of a Modern Vampire: 69, 300/50,000!

Until tomorrow comes,

Andrew Ronzino, Cthulhu’s Nightmare

NaNoWriMo Day 18: The Third Excerpt

nanowrimo-journal-2016

There were several subjects I wanted to discuss today, but I’ll get to those later, I wanted to share another excerpt.  If you would like to go back and read the first two I’ve shared this month, the first one is here, and the second one is here.

This excerpt is from the scene I wrote yesterday, the one where Matt had to say goodbye to Jenna.  Thus far, it’s my favorite part of the story, and I wanted to share it with you.  Please remember that this a a vomit draft and is likely to have errors, though I have read through it to eliminate as many of those as I could.

Matt walked into the Jenna’s room.  He sat down in the rocking chair next to her bed.

“What would Miss Jenna like to hear tonight?” he said reaching for the books on the small bookshelf.

“Mr. Matt?” she said in a soft voice.

“Yes?”

“Why are your teeth so sharp?” she said with the bluntness only a child could use.

Matt paused for a moment then looked at her.  “What?”

“Your teeth are sharp.  You don’t like to smile, but you do sometimes.  Your teeth are very sharp.”

Matt’s mind raced.  Obviously a five year old would have no concept of a vampire and wouldn’t be able to connect the dots of his pale skin, avoidance of the sun, refusal to eat garlicky foods, and the sharp fangs as signs of a vampire, but her asking this question showed how observant she really was.  This could be dangerous.  He was happy she asked him instead of her mother or father.

“That’s just how my teeth are, kid,” he said.  “What story?”

“But they’re so long.”

“Yes, that’s how they are.”  He wanted to make a joke about using them to bite children who asked too many questions, but he didn’t want her parents to think he had threatened her in any way.

“Oh,” she said.  She picked out a story and I read it to her.  I tucked her in and turned off the light.

“Mr. Matt?”

“Yes, Jenna?”

“Can I have a goodnight kiss?”

It was said with the innocence of a child.  She had never asked for a kiss before, this was something reserved for a parent, not the babysitter.  She hugged him all the time, she was an affectionate girl.  It never bothered Matt at all; he liked kids.

“Okay,” he said.  He walked over and kissed her forehead.  He couldn’t help but smell her blood.  When he was that close to her, he could almost taste her O- blood.

As a rule, he left children alone.  There was something terrifyingly immoral to him about drinking the blood of a child.  He ignored the smell of her blood like he did every time she hugged him.

“Thank you,” she said.

He smiled at her and said goodnight.  He walked out of the room.  He cleaned up the bathroom and hung the towels up to dry.  Then he plopped down on the couch and flicked through the channels he couldn’t afford at home.

The pay he was getting from the babysitting job was enough to pay rent and his bills, and a little more to throw into his small savings account, but he hadn’t quite have enough to start paying for things he didn’t need just yet.

He had this job for three months now and it was looking like Mr. and Mrs. Nessin were happy with Matt’s work with their kids and often spoke about how much the children liked him and didn’t pout when he watched them unlike a lot of other babysitters they had had.

These things, he hoped, would secure him the job for a lot longer.  Maybe he would eventually make enough to get a better place to live and maybe get a computer again.  He wouldn’t mind not having to go to the library when he wanted to check his email.  Or maybe pick up a smartphone.

There was the sound of wheels pulling up the driveway.  Matt stood up and looked at his watch.  It was far too early for the Nessins to have returned from work.  That was odd.  He walked to the window and looked out the curtain.  Stomping down the long path to the door was Mr. Nessin, he was on his phone and his free arm was waving about like crazy.

Something was wrong, Matt could tell he was angry.  He stepped away from the window and waited for Mr. Nessin to walk in.

The door opened and a well suited, slightly rotund man marched in, his voice angry and his face red.  “I don’t care, Dawson,” he was saying into his phone.  “Make this happen, I will see to it personally that she pays for this.”  A pause.  “Me?  I just got home.”  A pause.  “You’re damn straight I left her there.  I’m not driving with her in the car after that.  And get this, Dawson, you know my fine crystal pen?  She gave it to him as a gift.  A gift!  That pen cost more than the ring I gave her when I asked her to marry me!”

Mr. Nessin looked up at Matt, who tried to act like he wasn’t listening.  “No.  No.  No.  Dawson, no!  I want those papers drawn up immediately.  Yes, I know what time it is.  Why the hell am I paying you millions of dollars?  Are you my lawyer or not?  You get your ass to the office and draw up the papers.  I want them served as soon as possible.  No!”  He shouted into the phone.  “This has nothing to do with who I am or am not sleeping with, this is about who she’s sleeping with.  To think I trusted Mitchel.  I should kill him.  No.  No.  I won’t regret this.  Draw up the papers.”  He threw the phone across the room, shattering it.

“Uhh,” Matt said.  “Mr. Nessin, your kids are asleep.”

“I don’t give a damn what my kids are doing, Matthew.  I just learned my wife has been screwing my partner, for two years.”

“Uhh,” Matt said again.

“Not only that, but she’s done in it my house!  I’ll show her.  I’ll teach her a lesson.  She had the gall to bring up the several affaires I’ve had.  Which I only did because she refused to bang me, but rather Mitchell!

“So,” Matt said cautiously.  “You’re both cheating on each other?”

“She started it.”

I heard the patter of feet.  Jenna had woken up because of the noise.  “Daddy?  Where’s mommy?”

“I don’t know and I don’t care.  Go to sleep!”

Matt had never heard Mr. Nessin every talk to his children this way before, in fact, Matt would have said it was against his character, but he did only know him for a few months.  He didn’t really know the man all that well.

He looked at me.  “Have you screwed her too?”

“What?!” Matt said shocked.  “No, sir.  I would never.”

“Whatever, it doesn’t matter.  Get out, Matthew, I have work to do, and frankly, none of this is your business.  I’ll send you a check for you work this week.”

Matt was crestfallen.  He didn’t like the way that sounded.  “Sir?”

“You services are no longer required, get the hell out of my house.”

Matthew blinked.  He didn’t want to believe what he was hearing.  He was being fired for no reason at all other than Mr. Nessin was angry, and he was in the way.  He finally found a job he liked that worked with his vampire ways, and was paying the bills, and he lost it because the Nessins were banging other people behind each other’s backs and it all came out tonight.  What about the children?  What was going to happen to them?  They were about to get dragged into a nasty divorce that would likely last years, scarring them for life.  His heart broke for them.

Jenna was crying now because of the shouting, and Matt wanted to hug her and tell her everything would be okay.

Instead, he grabbed his jacket and hat and started for the door.

“Mr. Matt!” Jenna’s sweet voice called to him.

He turned, and she was standing there with tears in her eyes.  “Where are you going?”

I looked up at her father.  “Can I say goodbye?”

“Make it snappy,” he said.  He was pulling off his tie.  He stormed into the bathroom and slammed the door.

Matt heard a series of curses and what sounded like a shower curtain being tore off its rod.

Matt knelt down in front of the little girl he had been getting to know for the last few months.  He had not expected to feel like his insides were being ripped out when he looked into her tear-filled face.  He felt the burning pain of trying to keep tears in.  Jenna and Ryan had found a place in his heart.  He loved these kids as if they were his own, and he didn’t notice it until the moment he was asked to leave.

“I won’t be watching you and Ryan any more, Miss Jenna,” he told her.  “Your daddy asked me to leave.”

“But why?”  The tears were freely flowing now.

I smiled at her, willingly showing her my fangs.  “Because he’s angry at something else that happened.  You’ll understand one day.  I have to leave.”

She grabbed him and hugged him tight.  “Don’t go!”

I couldn’t stop the tears from coming.  I realized that these were the first tears I’ve shed since my first few tastes of blood.  I hugged the girl back.  “I have to, Jenna.”  I pulled away from her and looked her in the eyes.  “Do me a favor, okay?”

She nodded.

“Promise me that no matter what happens, you will always take care of your brother.  Always be his big sister and keep him safe.  Can you do that for me?”

Jenna nodded again.

“Say it, Jenna, tell me you promise.”

“I promise, Mr. Matt.”

Matt hugged her again.

“I love you, Mr. Matt,” Jenna whispered in my ear.

“I love you too, kid,” Matt said.

“Are you still here, Matthew?!  I said make it quick. Get out!”  Mr. Nessin was standing there with a wet face and a mostly unbuttoned shirt.  “Go to bed, Jenna.  Now!”

Matt kissed Jenna on the head again and stood up.  He looked at Mr. Nessin.  “With respect, sir, keep these kids out of the divorce shit as much as possible,” he said.

He didn’t wait for his response.  He walked out the door and to his bike.  As he rode back to his apartment he considered getting another babysitting job.  It was honestly something he enjoyed doing, and frankly, he was good at it.  But when he thought about the devastated look in Jenna’s face when he told her he was leaving forever, his heart broke again.

He honestly didn’t think he could do that again.  He couldn’t watch a child’s heart break over and over again, which due to his condition, someone would eventually find out and or he would have to leave for some other reason.  He couldn’t do that again; never again.

-Excerpt from Struggles of a Modern Vampire; Chapter 26, by Andrew Ronzino

A bit heartbreaking, in my opinion.  It was a little hard to write.  Sorry for the long excerpt, but I wanted to showcase most of what happened in that scene.  I very much enjoy it.  Poor Matt, he can’t seem to catch a break.

Current word count for Struggles of a Modern Vampire: 55,547/50,000!

Until the last leaf falls,

Andrew Ronzino, Cool McCoolster

NaNoWriMo Day 12: The Second Excerpt

nanowrimo-journal-2016

Today I was really busy, and I didn’t get nearly as many words written as I would have liked.

Now I want share another excerpt with you.  I’ve already shared a first one, so this is the second one.  This one features the previously mentioned Werp character.  This was the scene he was introduced in.  Again, just like with the first excerpt, please keep in mind that it’s a vomit draft so ignore any spelling or grammatical errors.  Let me know what you think of it.

Black Coat smirked.  “We want to talk to you, Donavan, your friend here is just to make sure you come quietly.”

I thought about that for a moment.  “Fine, I’ll go, you can ask me your questions, but you must promise to leave Jordy alone.”

“You hear that, Stephen?” Ascot said to Black Coat from next to me.  “He expects us to bring an O- with us and not have a taste.  He must be stupid.”

I spun around and smacked him in the face.  “Call me stupid one more time, I dare you.”

“Did you just smack me?”

“I’ll do it again in a second if you don’t shut up,” I said.

“He smacked me, Stephen.”

“I know, Werp, I saw it,” Stephen said.

“Werp?!  Your name is Werp?” I said with a laugh, then I smacked him again.

“Matt,” Jordy said with a warning in his voice.

“You…?” Werp said with his hand on his cheek.

“That’s for having a stupid name, Werp,” I said.  The other vampires smirked, and tried to hide laughter in their hands.  I looked at Stephen.  “I’ll go with you, but I want your word that Jordy will remain untouched.  His blood is not to be drunk, by anyone.  If you do not agree, we fight, and I will protect him with my life.  If words gets to the Bloodline Community that you killed another vampire to get to a human, it’ll be the sun for all of you, I guarantee it.”

I was bluffing.  I wasn’t sure what the Bloodline Community would do in the case of vampire on vampire violence.  But it seemed that these vampires didn’t know what would happen either, because they looked taken aback.

“You have it wrong,” Donavan,” Stephen said.  “We don’t want your friend, we want you, and he’s just a snack for the road.”

“I’ll come with you, but Jordan will remain untouched, do I have your word?”

Stephen looked at his cronies, who watched him, waiting to see what he would say.  He nodded curtly.

“Say it,” I said.

“The human will remain untouched.”

I nodded and said, “Okay.”

“Matt?” Jordy said, worried.

“We have to go with them Jordy, stay close to me, they won’t hurt you.”

“They already tried, Matt.”

“Trust me,” I said.

Werp grabbed my shirt and tried to push me forward, “Let’s go.”

I smacked him in the face for the third time.  “Get your hands off me, Werp, or you’ll lose them.”

-Excerpt from Struggles of a Modern Vampire; Chapter 10, by Andrew Ronzino

There it is, I hope you liked it.  That’s all I have for now.  Tomorrow is Day of Knockout Noveling (DOKN), and I’m excited for it.

Current word count for Struggles of a Modern Vampire: 39,239/50,000!

Until I smack Werp again,

Andrew Ronzino, Level 6 Warlock (who pretends to be a Sorcerer)

NaNoWriMo Day 4: The First Excerpt

nanowrimo-journal-2016

Good evening!  Today was an okay day of writing, but the scenes I worte were a little difficult.  I don’t know if it was the scenes themselves, or I just couldn’t get my head in the game.  With some effort, I was able to push through it and get those words written.

Tonight, I would like to share with you a small excerpt of my novel so far.  I know I haven’t given away anything about the characters yet, but that will come in future post.  Now, this novel is the roughest of rough drafts, so please keep that in mind.  It’s what I like to call a “vomit draft”, it’s literally just thrown up onto the page, intended to be properly edited later.  The point of NaNoWriMo is write a minimum of 50,000 words in 30 days.  Because of that, the story is being written very fast with (next to) no editing.  The only editing I’ve done to this excerpt is enough to make it readable for you.

So, without further ado, here is the first excerpt.  Please enjoy, and let me know what you think of it!

Being a vampire sucks, and not for the reasons you might think it does.  Sure, being a blood sucking monster dammed to the night is awful, and yes, not being able to eat my favorite Italian dishes is not cool, and of course hanging out at the beach is no longer an option.  No, it sucks because I’m poor, and have no way of generating an income when I’m a friggen vampire!

I read books, I’ve seen movies, and comics, television shows and posters.  Unless their inhuman monsters like in 30 Days of Night, or something like that, vampires are always depicted as suave, debonair, seductive masters of the night who drink fine wine, dress in expensive clothing, and live in massive houses or castles.

Nothing can be far from the truth, well at least for me.  I’m a vampire and I live in a decrepit one room, one bath apartment on the fourth floor and a dingy complex in one of the worst parts of the city.  Rent is fairly low, but too high for me.  My energy bill is through the roof, and do even get me started on my water bill.  Geeze, you’d think there’s no oceans or something.

Needless to say I hate being a vampire.  There are perks, but the downfalls are too much sometimes.  Unfortunately, there’s literally nothing I can do about it.  I’m stuck the way I am, and it seems like nothing in my life is about to change.  Things changed a little, but after everything was all said and done, not too much had changed at all.  And none of that minimalist change would never have happened if I didn’t go to the bar that one night.

I went to the Red Room Pub, one of my favorite places.  It was dark, warm, and served good beer.  Not that tap crap, real draft beer.  I don’t drink the draft beers, I drink the tap crap, and it’s cheaper and burns less of a hole in my pocket.  The Red Room also has a lot of dark corners.  I’m not one of those seen emo vampires, but I still prefer dark corners.  No one bothers when you sit alone in the dark, nursing a glass of PBR, people tend to leave the pale guy alone.

But this night, this really bad night, I needed something a little nicer than PBR, so I walked into the pub and stepped up to the counter.

“Evening, Matt,” William the Barman said a nod.  “What’ll it be tonight?”

I slapped a ten on the counter and said, “Whatever this will get me, Will.”

Will glanced at the note and nodded.  He grabbed a brown bottle with a yellow label and handed it to me with a glass.  “Now this microbrew was created by two brothers several years back—”

“Yeah, I don’t care.  Thanks, Will.”  It was true, I didn’t care.  Will cared a lot and was always ready to talk craft beers with anyone and their mother who would listen.  I, however, just wanted to drink it and maybe grab a bite to eat later on.  I wanted to wallow in my self-pity and think about where I would be had I never been turned.

I had just reached my preferred table in the dark corner and was about to open my Whatever This Ten Dollar Beer is Called and have a seat to scope out the menu when someone calling my name caught my attention.

“Matt?  Matt Donavan?”

I sighed.  No one in this bar knew my last name, which meant whoever was calling my name knew me from somewhere else.  Maybe from one of my several dozen night jobs I’ve had over the last few years.  I didn’t want to talk to anyone, I just wanted to drink my Yellow Label Beer and have a blood chaser.  Is that too much to ask?

I glanced up to see a fellow walking over to me.  He was a tall, muscular man with brown hair poking out from under his ball cap.  He looked familiar, but it wasn’t until he got closer that it clicked.

“Jordy?”

He nodded.  “Yeah, man.  It’s been a long time, I haven’t seen you since we started college, where’ve ya been?”

I shrugged.  “Trying to survive.  It’s been, what?  Seven years?”

Small talk is not my forte, and making it sound like I wasn’t sure of how long it had been was my way of acting casual.  I don’t like talking to people from my past, it brings up too many memories and too many questions.  I knew that it was, in fact, seven years since I last saw Jordan Polanski.

“Yeah, it seems like yesterday we were graduating.”

“High school was a long time ago.”

“So what happened to you?  You were enrolled at the University of Mchigan with us, and the next thing I know you went AWOL.”

“You know how I was back in school, Jordy, I’m not much for tests and education.”

Jordan sat down and sipped his Bud Lite.  “Your grades weren’t that bad, were they?”

I shrugged.  “I had some things come up, I had to drop out.”

Jordan looked me deep in the eyes.  “You don’t look good, are you alright?”

I hated that question, and everyone asked it.  What am I going to say?  “Oh yes, I’m fine, I’m just a vampire, so my pale skin is normal”?

“I’m fine, I don’t get much sun,” I said.  It was only a little less lame than what I should have said.

“Nah, man, that’s obvious.  You look depressed, I mean.”

I don’t know if “depressed” was the correct word, sure I was down on my luck, and of course I wasn’t happy, but I don’t think I was depressed, at least, not in the take-some-Prozac kind of a way.  I don’t even know if Prozac would work on a vampire, Tylenol certainly didn’t.

I decided to be truthful with Jordan.  “I lost my job tonight, I’m alright though.  I’ll look for a new one when I get home.”

-Excerpt from Struggles of a Modern Vampire; Chapter 1, by Andrew Ronzino

There you go, I hope you enjoyed that.

Current word count for Struggles of a Modern Vampire: 13,534/50,000!

Until tomorrow,

Andrew Ronzino, Master of the Hamsterdance

NaNoWriMo Day 29: The Final Excerpt

NaNoWriMo Jounrnal 2015

Today I hit 90,000 words!  This is the longest NaNoWriMo novel I’ve written yet!  Very exciting!

Well, I didn’t finish today, but the good news is that I have only one more small scene to write, an epilogue.  Tomorrow I will complete this year’s challenge!  Because I didn’t finish tonight, I’ll be posting the stats tomorrow, and today I’ll give you the final excerpt to read.  You can read the other three of this year’s excerpts by clicking the following links:

Excerpt one, excerpt two, and excerpt three!

Once again, please keep in mind that this is a vomit draft.  The only editing I have done to it was a simple check over to make sure it was readable.  I’m not going to give you the context of this scene, I believe it explains itself within.  Enjoy.

Symon had to control his emotions. He was joyful to be seeing her again, but blended in with that happiness was the knot of despair knowing that she was going to die in less than half an hour. Tears started to roll down his face.

He was struggling. He knew what he wanted to do, but he also knew that it would change everything. If he stopped her from going to the Mayor’s Lodge, she would not die. The Priest of Tears would raid the town, kill several people, and leave with the Mercy Blade. There would be a commotion, but by this time tomorrow, Symon and Beth would wed. He would never have the need for revenge that drove him to Kalvyn’s Crossing. He would never find a way to get into the Crown Masquerade, meet the king, and becoming the Mythic Cleric that would build a team that would lead to the downfall of the Priest of Tears. In short, if he stopped Beth from dying, the Priest of Tears would succeed in his plan.

But if he succeeded, Symon thought, he would never become the Priest of Tears and all those people will live, including Beth.

But that line of thought progressed to why the Five Divines chose him for this task in the first place. They obviously knew that something in the Arnyth’s plan would end up creating more problems than stopping him would. Symon had to trust the Five on that account. The Priest of Tears needed to be stopped. Symon had to be the one to do it, and the only way to set him on that path was the death of Beth.

But now that he was here seeing her walking down the street, he didn’t know if he could just let her go. While he wanted to be thankful for the opportunity of becoming a Mythic Cleric, the price for that was Beth’s life. He already paid it once, but now he had the chance to withdraw the transaction. He wanted Beth back. He had an opportunity to prevent her from dying, he needed to take it.

He stepped out of the shadows and followed her until he got closer to her. “Beth!” he called out.

She turned to him. “Symon?”

He had to keep in mind that from her perspective she just saw him moments ago, but be couldn’t keep his excitement out of his voice. “I uh…”

“Are you wearing a different shirt?” Beth said, eyeing him up and down. “Did Jey vomit on you again?”

Instead of trying to answer her question in ways he couldn’t explain he stepped up to her and kissed her passionately. She kissed him back with equal passion.

“You’re drunker than I thought,” she said when they broke off. “Maybe I should have had Culder take you home right now.”

“I’m more sober than I’ve ever been.”

She laughed. “That’s rich. I’ll remember you said that tomorrow when you complain about the hangover. I’ve got to go.” She turned to leave.

He grabbed her hand. “Don’t go, stay with me tonight.”

She looked back at him and gave him a tempting smile. “I’m sure you can wait one night, my love.”

“I don’t want to lose you, Beth.”

She arched an eyebrow. “I’m just taking care of a few things with Ellyn tonight. It won’t take long. I’ll see you in the morning.” She kissed him again. “Go have fun with your friends.”

Symon looked into her eyes, he wanted to hold her in his arms and never let go of her ever again. He wanted to steal her away, out of the line of danger. But if he did, he would have her, and countless people would still die, and time as he knew it could change forever.

The Five Divines chose him. They told him that themselves. His suffering spurred him into action, sent him to look for the Priest of Tears. He killed the Arnyth only an hour ago, and he was already abusing the power of the Mythic Blades in the same way…for the exact same reason. He even killed people to get them, granted it wasn’t murder, but still. That bloodshed lead to Symon merging with all five Mythic Blades, which allowed him to travel to his past and attempt to prevent the death of a loved one. He was just like the Priest of Tears.

That realization struck him cold. He needed to be the better man. He swore an oath to the Order of Faith and Honor; he was a Mythic Cleric. He needed to be the one to let go. He dropped her hand and gave her a tight hug, crying now. “I love you, Beth. I’ll always love you.”

“I love you too, Symon.”

He pulled away, and she reached up and wiped the tears away. “Look at you, you’re acting like a girl who was told she can’t court her first crush. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Symon let her go and watched her walk away, she turned to look back at him and blew him a kiss. His heart hurt, he would never see her again…she was going to die.

-Excerpt from The Priest of Tears; Chapter 33, by Andrew Ronzino

This is honestly one of my favorite scenes in the story.  Symon is literally letting Beth walk to her death.  It’s very touching.  I remember feeling a little emotional when I wrote it.

Current word count for The Priest of Tears: 90,759/50,000!

Until tomorrow,

Andrew Ronzino, Man of Mystery

NaNoWriMo Day 18: The Third Excerpt

NaNoWriMo Jounrnal 2015

It’s time for another excerpt, but before I do, I want to tell you that I hit 60,000 words!  I’m excited about that!  Now, back to the excerpt, if you didn’t get the chance to read the other two and want to check them out, the first one is here, and the second one is here.

This scene is from the interlude I mentioned the other day.  Please enjoy, and remember that this is the roughest of rough drafts.  I ask that you ignore any errors you see.

Habbo set down a saucer of warm milk and the Paw Paw walked over and started lapping it up eagerly.

“Good, kitty,” he said, standing up. He wasn’t the kind of man to own a cat, but the stray needed a home, and he needed something to occupy his time as he sat with his books.

The sounds of the tenth bell could be heard. He would be closing up shop soon. He sat back down in his chair and picked up his book and started to read. The store was filled with the scents of paper, ink, and old books. It was a comforting smell for the old Vaster man.

He never thought he would miss Vastervale, but after living in Fyld for over ten years, he had finally begun to think of this country as home. He preferred the quieter lifestyle. His life in Vastervale had been all work all the time, one bloody and dirty job right after the other. No, owning a bookstore in Fyld was a lot more conducive to his age and lifestyle.

The bell over the door rang, and Habbo looked up. It was only Slyine sauntering in. He was a tiny Fyldish man with a ruddy face, despite the dark skin. He walked up to the desk and plopped a book down. “This was hard to find, Sarawrro?

He glanced down at the book. “That’s not it.”

Slyine grimaced. “What are you talking about, Habbo. This is what you told me to find.”

“I asked you get me the book about the noble house of Ragark, Slyine, not bring me a frozen by damnation fake!”

“This isn’t fake!” His tone sounded insulted.

“I’ve been dealing with information and books my whole life, friend. I know when a book is made to look older than it really is. Now, find me the real book or you and I are going to have some problems.”

With a grunt of annoyance, Slyine snatched the book and put it into his satchel. “Have you heard?”

Habbo tried to go back to his reading and Slyine was now bothering him beyond the reason why he had come into the shop. “Heard what?”

“He’s here again.”

Habbo glanced at the small Flydish man. “Are you sure?”

“Positive. Maggo saw him this morning.”

“What could he want?”

The door opened and the bell rang. A cloaked man walked in.

Habbo nodded to him. “Be right with you, friend,” he said in Fyldish. He turned back to Slyine. “Keep a sharp look out. Get out of here. I have real work to do.”

Slyine nodded and stepped back from the counter, bumping into the cloaked man, which caused him to trip and try to catch himself. All he could grasp was the cloak, which caused the man’s hood to fall off. Slyine steadied himself, and looked into the face he unconvinced.

With one smooth motion, the sword was in the man’s hand and stabbing Slyine through the heart. Slyine didn’t even get the chance to gasp. He was already dead.

Habbo stood up in shock at the sudden murder.

The man lowered the body to the ground, sniffing the tears away. “I’m sorry. Forgive me,” he said. His voice was a rich baritone, but he whispered most of what he said, making him sound more menacing.

The Priest of Tears was huge man, powerfully built. His armor made him look even thicker. The left side of his face was covered in the grey mask with tears etched into it. The right side of his face was wet from real tears. His thick brown hair was showing beginning signs of aging. He cleaned the Mercy Blade on his victim’s clothing then held it loosely to his side.

Habbo got over the shock quickly. “Did you really have to kill him, Arnyth? He was one of my better informers.”

“He saw my face,” the Priest of Tears said in his slow, creepy whispered voice. “I don’t want anyone knowing I’m here, Habbo. You know that.”

“But now I have to do something about the body. You’re making my life a living frozen tundra of damnation!”

“The information you gave me about the Divine Blade was incorrect. It’s not in the Sazwa Temple.”

“My information is never incorrect, Arnyth. You didn’t look hard enough.”

“I killed thirty monks, searched every inch of the place, and burnt it to the ground. This time tomorrow most of the people in Fyld will morn their deaths, and I will not have the Divine Blade. This is a problem, Habbo. You have no idea how much I need the Mythic Blades. I will do anything to obtain them.”

He murdered the entire temple of monks? Habbo seriously underestimated this man. “Why does it matter? You have the Mercy Blade.”

The Priest of Tears slammed his gauntleted fist onto his desk, cracking the wood. “I need all of them, Habbo! Not one, not two, all five!” His voice was like thunder when he didn’t whisper.

He lifted the blood red Mercy Blade and pointed it at Habbo. “You have been useful to me, Habbo.” His voice was back to a whisper. “Your information on the location of the Mercy Blade was correct, it was in one of the small villages along the Crown’s Road. I was at the Crown Masquerade last week, and I learned some useful things there, though no one knew they were giving it to me, information about possible locations of the Banish Blade and the Wind Blade. Since leaving Kalvin’s Crossing, there are whispers of the return of the Mythic Clerics, but I don’t believe those rumors. I don’t want to kill you Habbo, but I know you’re more informed than you’re telling me. I need the location of another Mythic Blade.”

Habbo swallowed hard. It took a lot to frighten him, but the Priest of Tears did so without any effort. The man was terrifying with his mask of tears, crying as he killed, and whispered voice. He killed without mercy, not caring who his blade cut down. Habbo had heard rumors of him killing Vaster priests, Flydish monks, men, women, and even children. He didn’t seem to care when he murdered. But at the same time, he grieved for them even as he ended their lives.

He didn’t want to die, but he also didn’t want to give this man more places to go to kill some more. But his desire to live was too strong. He nodded quickly, eyeing the sharp point of the Mercy Blade. How is a man like him worthy of the Mythic Blades in the first place?

“It would seem that my information about the Divine Blade was wrong, Arnyth. Forgive me. I do have something else.”

He slowly crouched down and fiddled with the safe box he kept under the counter. He opened it, and ignored the dagger he had in there. Attempting to stab the Priest of Tears would be a mistake, and he knew it. He searched through the papers until he found the one he was looking for.   He stood up and handed it to the Priest of Tears.

“This is where I’ve heard the location of the Honor Blade is, Arnyth. I received this information four months ago, but I doubt its changed hands in that amount of time.”

The war priest looked at the paper. “Fallowway?”

“Yes, a merc there has the Honor Blade.”

The Priest of Tears stood there looking at the paper for a long time. Habbo started to get worried that the Arnyth would lose his temper and kill him. But the Priest of Tears simply folded the paper up and put it in his satchel.

“Thank you, Habbo. You have been a good help to me. But I’m afraid I won’t be coming back to you. Fyld is too far away for an informant. I guess you wouldn’t consider moving to Vastervale?”

“Not even if you offered me the crown,” Habbo said with a smirk. He was relieved that he would never have to see the Priest of Tears again. Dealing with him was dangerous business.

The Arnyth nodded. “I’m sorry to hear that.”

Before he knew it, Habbo felt cold steel through his ribs. He didn’t even see the Priest of Tears move. It happened so fast that he couldn’t feel the pain. Blackness was closing in, his life was fading fast. All he heard before death took him was crying and a whispered plea for forgiveness.

-Excerpt from The Priest of Tears; Interlude, by Andrew Ronzino

This was spawned from me not knowing what to write and I just started to tell Habbo’s story and that is what came of it.  Please let me know what you think!

Current word count for The Priest of Tears: 61,068,795/50,000!

Until tomorrow comes,

Andrew Ronzino, That Guy

NaNoWriMo Day 12: The Second Excerpt

NaNoWriMo Jounrnal 2015

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?”

“No.”

“You a knight?”

“No.”

“A priest?”

“No.”

“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.”

“No!”

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.

“Thanks.”

“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?”

“I did.”

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!

Until tomorrow,

Andrew Ronzino, One Cool Guy

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