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NaNoWriMo Day 29: The Final Excerpt

NaNoWriMo Journal 2017

One day left.  I’m so close to the end I can taste it.  But today, I have the third and final excerpt from my NaNoWriMo novel for you to read.  Normally I have four by the end of NaNo, but this year, due to how busy I’ve been, I only have three.

You may stone me if you wish, but I warn you, I’m rock proof.

If you would like to go back and read any of the previous excerpts, you can do so here:

Excerpt one and excerpt two.

This scene is between Symon and Rachel.  Symon is talking to Rachel about his former bride-to-be, Beth, who had been killed at the start of the first book, The Priest of Tears.

Once again, like all the other excerpts, please remember that this is a vomit draft, and thus may have a lot of problems.  The only editing I did was just enough to make sure it’s readable for you.  Please enjoy!

Symon saddled up Stormcloud and got the horse ready for a hard ride.  He mounted the steed and offered Rachel a hand up.  She accepted it and after she was hoisted, she put her arms around his waist.  He rode to the stables and helped her down so she could get her own horse out.

As she was doing that, Symon ran to the tavern and paid the tab he owed Haynk, which was a considerable amount of chils.  Symon said goodbye to Small Sal, the only one of his friends who was in the tavern at the time.

“Tell Culder I said thank you,” Symon said.

Sal promised, gave Symon a big hug, and then went back to drinking his ale.

By the time Symon returned to the stables, Rachel was ready to go.

He nodded to her then they rode away, veering onto the Crown’s Road.  They started off on a hard ride but slowed down for the horses’ sake.  Symon was sure to stop for meals, especially since he was traveling with someone.  At dinner time, as he was setting up camp and Rachel was cooking the rations he had bought from the Green Sky, Symon looked over at her.

“I never thanked you for coming here.”

“I don’t think thanks is necessary,” she said.

“I do.”

“I just stepped in for one of your knights because I wanted a small adventure.”

Somehow Symon didn’t think that was completely true.

“I’ve been thinking about what you said since I woke up.  “I think it’s what I needed to hear.”

Rachel smiled.  “Sometimes people need to be reminded of what’s important.  Tell me about her.  Beth.”

Symon sat down next to the fire and smiled at the memory of her.  “She was beautiful.  And I don’t mean for a common girl.   She could have put some of the nobles to shame.  She was funny; she always made me laugh.  She was strong-willed.  She knew how to handle my nonsense.  She’s the only woman I ever met who could drink me under the table.  She was kind and charitable, though she didn’t have much money.  She loved to help people.  She loved to work.  She liked my friends, which was a deal breaker if I ever knew of one.”

“How did you meet her?” Rachel said.

Symon’s smile never went away.  “I knew of her my whole life.  Everyone in Tiddleway did, it’s a small village.  But we only started speaking when her mother got ill and she needed to do the shopping for her.  We became friends through our chats in my store.  I didn’t fall in love with her instantly.  It grew over a few years.  When I couldn’t deny it any longer, I asked to go out with her.  She told me she had been waiting for a year for me to ask.  We were engaged to be married a year later.  Due to her mother’s illness, which she recovered from, we put the wedding off for about a year.  You know the rest, she was killed by the Priest of Tears on the eve of our wedding.”

“She sounded like a wonderful woman.  A perfect fit for you.”

“Perfect is the wrong word.  She had her flaws, Rachel.  She could annoy me at times.  She wasn’t perfect, she was complete.  A complete woman.  She was happy all the time.  I loved her for that.”

There was a long silence, the crickets chirped their song.

“That’s what you need to remember about Beth, Sy.  Who she was.  Don’t regret what didn’t happen, remember her life.  Never forget her.  Just move on from the tragedy.  Live how she would want you to live.”

Symon watched the fire dance, the light cast shadows on the surrounding trees and the horses.  He didn’t want to admit that she was right.  “It’s not easy.  I wish every day I could bring her back.”

Rachel nodded.  “Yes, that’s loss for you.  You grieve, you remember, then you live.”

Symon poked a stick into the fire, letting hundreds of ember fireflies loose into the air.  “Maybe.”

They ate, then they crawled into their separate tents and fell asleep.  It had been a warm day, but the night was chilly, so he he got up, walked over to her tent, and gave her his spare blanket.  She was fast asleep, so he just laid it on her.  He didn’t need it.  He could feel the chill in the air, but by being a Mythic Cleric he was able to ignore it and it didn’t bother him.

-Excerpt from The Wayward Witch; Chapter 13, by Andrew Ronzino

That will be the last excerpt this year.  I like this scene very much and Rachel’s words, “You grieve, you remember, then you live,” come into play later in the story and has a profound impact on Symon.

Current word count for The Wayward Witch: 65,256/50,000!


Until tomorrow,

Andrew Ronzino, X-Files Fan


NaNoWriMo Day 14: The Second Excerpt

NaNoWriMo Journal 2017

Today I finally had some time to write.  I was able to get a decent amount of words in, which is good because I work tomorrow.

It’s past due for me to share another excerpt with you.  I’ve shared the first one, so this is the second one.  This contains the confrontation I mentioned yesterday.  It ended up being a lot shorter than I expected it to be.  This excerpt is the entire chapter, and it’s a short chapter for me.  Again, just like with all my excerpts, this is a vomit draft so please ignore any spelling or grammatical errors that may have gotten past my quick edit.  Let me know what you think of it.

Symon and the other Mythic Clerics made it to the Cleric’s Tower in record time, due to their speed.  Rachel was fine with them leaving her behind with Sir Pallow.  They strapped on their Mythic Blades and left Symon’s house.

When they reached the tower, they found a decent sized crowd there.  They were being held back by several guards, who were keeping them at bay and out of harm’s way.  There were some Crown Paladins among them too.

In front of the tower, standing on the top step by the door was a woman.  She was wearing a light blue cloak that covered her whole body.  The hood was up, shrouding her face in darkness.  She was tall and imposing.  A strange figure.  She almost looked inhuman the way she stood there.

The crowd parted for Symon and the other Clerics.  When out in the open, Symon stopped and looked up at the woman who was still a good thirty feet from him.

“Hello, friend,” Symon said.

“Symon DeMyn, Mythic Commander of the Order of Faith and Honor.”  Her voice was impossibly loud, it almost sounded like it was coming from all around them rather than just from the woman in front of them.  It caused the crowd to step back a little.  But it was also smooth and confident.

Symon stood his ground.  His hand on the hilt of the Divine Blade, his hair blowing in the small breeze that passed by.  “I take it you’re the Wayward Witch?”

“I am,” she said.  Her face was still obscured.

“Then, I am placing you under arrest for your crimes against the city of Vastervale,” Symon said.  He took a few steps towards her.

The Wayward Witch waved her hands and they ignited in flames.  There was gasps from some in the crowd, and screams from others.  She held her hands at chest level, the fire licking at her finger tips, but caused no burning.  “And what of your crimes, Symon DeMyn?”

Symon stopped his advance when her hands lit up.  “Crimes?  What are you speaking of?”

“I have come here not to talk but to make a demand of the city of Kalvyn’s Crossing.”  The fire in her hands turned from orange and yellow flames to blue, they flared.  “This man,” she pointed at Symon, “is a scourge upon this world.  His hands are not free of blood, death of innocent lives scream for his own.

“This is my demand: DeMyn’s sword, or Kalvyn’s Crossing’s blood. Resign or watch the city burn.  Those are your only options.  You have one day to surrender your sword to the Craven King and return to the hovel you call a village, if you do not, I will rend this city apart, and everyone who dies will be on your head.  Let it be known, if by sunset tomorrow the Mythic Commander had not given up his position, he is responsible for the blood that spills.”

Symon drew the Divine Blade. “I will not be threatened by you, Witch!” he shouted.  He rushed the woman, his blade posed to harm her rather than kill her.  He wanted to question this woman.  He bounded up the stairs in a blink, but she was gone. She had vanished.  Her body, and the fire, simply vanished.

There was a gasp from the crowd again.  Then another scream.  The Wayward Witch was now on the street at the bottom of the stairs.  Symon spun and jumped for her, but he fell right though her, as if she wasn’t even there.  It was like she was a ghost.  But her body still stood there, blue flames flickering from her hands.  He hood was still up, and he couldn’t quite see her face.

“You are no match for me, Mythic Commander.  My magic is beyond your understanding.  You have one day.  Do you want more blood on your hands?”  She laughed, a high pitched, angry laughter.  She then faded like a mirage in the desert.  Her laugh died shortly after she vanished, and the square fell quiet.  It was eerie.

Symon turned to look at his regiment.  The Mythic Clerics were standing there with their jaws dropped, their swords loose in their hands.

-Excerpt from The Wayward Witch; Chapter 17, by Andrew Ronzino

There you go.  Even though it’s short, I like it.  I had no preconceived ideas of where that would go.  And I like the way it turned out.

Current word count for The Wayward Witch: 35,169/50,000!

Until the next post,

Andrew Ronzino, Assistant to Mr. Scrooge

NaNoWriMo Day 5: The First Excerpt

NaNoWriMo Journal 2017

Dear Paradigm Readers,

I’m struggling this year.  Between the play, NaNo, and life, I’m exhausted.  But I’m determined to get though this month with a smile on my face!

I’m going to treat you all to a small excerpt from the novel I’m writing this year.  You might not know any of the characters yet, but I’ll be introducing them to you in later posts.  Please keep in mind that this is a very rough draft.  This is what I like to call a “vomit draft”, it’s just thrown up onto the page, intended to be properly edited later on.  The goal of NaNoWriMo is write a minimum of 50,000 words in 30 days.  Because of that, the story is being written rapidly with little to no editing.  The only editing I’ve done to this excerpt is enough to make it readable for you.

So, here is the first excerpt.  Please enjoy, and tell me what you think in the comments.

The still air of the bright summer day was split by the banter of the men on the large wagon being drawn by a pair of hefty horses.  The wagon moved down the road at a leisurely pace, there was no rush for the riders.

“I don’t know, Evan,” Cad said.  “I don’t think it’ll work.”

“Oh, it’ll work,” Evan Stone said, glancing at his companion.  “It has to work.”

“I’m telling you, she won’t fall for it, nor will she fall for you if you try.”  Cad shook his head.  “You’re not that charming.”

“He’s right, you know,” Elyza said with a smirk.  “Trust me, brother.”

Evan looked at his twin sister.  “I don’t see you coming up with ways to woo the man you’ve been pining over for the last three months.”

“I don’t need to woo him, Evan,” she said, “He’ll come to me once he realizes that I’m everything he wants in a woman.  However, tricking Carla into an evening alone will fail miserably.  She may be the baker’s daughter, but she’s smart.”

“Carla?!” The surprised voice of Allyssa said from the back of the wagon as she watched the road behind them.  “You’ve been talking about Carla this whole time?”

“Why so surprised?” Evan said.

Allyssa shrugged.  “She doesn’t seem to be your type.”

“I have a type?” Evan said.

“Tall, blonde, red streak in her hair,” Allyssa said.

“You just described yourself,” Evan said.

“Too late, Sir Evan.  You lost your chance to court me when you nearly chopped my arm off with your sword,” Allyssa said with a smile.

“That was an accident,” Evan said.

“And it cost you my hand,” Allyssa said.

“Do we have to talk about this?” Cad said.

“Oh go on,” Symon said.  He was driving the cart, keeping an eye out for danger ahead.  “I love hearing how Evan blows it with women on a weekly basis.”

“Oh please, Commander,” Evan said.  “It’s not that often.”

“At least once a month,” Symon said.  “I had no problem with you and Allyssa being in a relationship, in fact, I encouraged it, but then you did nearly cut her arm off.”

“It healed!” Evan shouted.

“It hurt, and it also broke my heart,” Allyssa said with the hint of a laugh.  “Honestly, Elyza, I have no idea how you grew up with this man.”

“It wasn’t easy,” Elyza said.

Cad shook his head.  “Look, all I’m saying is that if you want to impress Carla, tricking her into a romantic evening is not the way to do it, you need to be straightforward.”

“You should listen to him, Evan,” Elyza said.  “Cad is the only one of us who is married, I think he knows what he’s talking about.”

Alyssa laughed.  “The idea of Evan asking Carla out straightforward is hilarious.”

“Silence,” Sir Symon commanded.  “I hear something.”

The Clerics snapped to attention.  Sir Cad looked around from the top of the wagon along with Sir Evan.  They peered into the surrounding forest with intent.  Dame Allyssa watched the back, her hand on the hilt of her sword.  Dame Elyza readied to vanish into the trees and flank the enemy if need be.

-Excerpt from The Wayward Witch; Chapter 1, by Andrew Ronzino

There it is.  Just something easy to start off with; some banter between knights on the road.

Current word count for The Wayward Witch: 15,139/50,000!

Until the sky brightens,

Andrew Ronzino, The Man Who Ate Earth

NaNoWriMo Day 28: The Final Excerpt


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


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.


“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


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


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.


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

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