Saturday, October 5, 2013

Empires Falling, Speaking Demon Chapter 2.

Empires Falling, Speaking Demon Chapter 2.

The second chapter has been free at Wattpad for a week and I think that I will give each chapter a week before releasing it here. This seems fair to me.  Empires Falling, the first novel is in the rewrite process and I am still hoping for a holiday release this year, although some have suggested that I release the twelve short stories as a collection first. It would be a seventy plus thousand word collection and without the shorts it will take a while to figure out how all the characters relate to each other. I love epic fantasy, but had no idea how hard it is to pull this off. I suppose the thing that keeps me going is two or three characters that have to tell their story no matter what. Also I want to know how it will all turn out. Sounds strange, but I really do not know how it will all end. I know the story of one character from almost beginning to end, but the rest of it surprises me almost everyday. 

Here is the second chapter of the story. I can offer only this as a preview of things to come. The characters of Lanzo and Amelina are the ones who have surprised me the most. As I edit this short story there is a part of me that wants to cry out and warn them of all the trials to come. Of all the characters in the Empires Falling universe I have to say that these two will have to (Quoting Bram Stoker) go through bitter waters to reach the sweet.

Chapter Two.
Twenty minutes later Brando and Burkhard got out of their tubs and gathered their things, before they exited Burkhard stopped at the door turned and asked. “You two want us to guard the door so that you will not be disturbed?”
Amelina surprised them with her answer. “Ten minutes. We will need ten minutes.”
The two men nodded to each other and walked out.
“Get out of there and come over here.”Amelina said. “I would like you to help me get dressed. You can serve me like a lady in waiting.”
“Really.”Lanzo sounded angry. “I suppose the other ladies in waiting will be shocked by the fact that I have a few things that they do not have.”Lanzo stood up in his tub and folded his arms proudly.
“A small shock.”Amelina said and offered a complex hand gesture toward the tub that he stood in. The water in it began to heat up and bubble almost immediately.
Lanzo tumbled over the side and crawled away from the now boiling water.
She watched for the better part of a minute while Lanzo mumbled to himself as he got his pants out of his bundle and slipped them on. Then he got to his feet and began to dance and hop as he got his boots on.
“I was serious. I want you to help me to get dressed.”Amelina said.
“Yes Lanzo.”
Men were easy to lead around especially when you were near then and naked she thought as Lanzo, still bare chested, crossed the room toward her.
She had not planned on playing with him, but the way that he looked at her intrigued her. It was not with lust in his eyes as the others did, it was something closer to amazement. She doubted that she was the first naked woman that he had seen so that meant that it was something else and she did not like to be in the dark where anyone near her was concerned.
Stopping beside the tub, he stared down into it with a grin on his face.
“See something you like?”Amelina asked.
“Well I am breathing.”Lanzo smiled and before she could reach Lanzo dipped a finger into her tub for just and instance and jumped backwards.
The water reacted in an instance. Instead of thin layers of warm mist rising from the water it turned to thicker layers of frosted mist and ice crystals began to form around the edges of the tub.
The feeling of cold rose from the bottom upwards and suppressing a scream Amelina bolted to her feet as what felt like ice began to form around her toes. She threw an arm around Lanzo's neck and jumped into his waiting arms.
“What, what, what was that.”Amelina's teeth chattered as she clung to him to warm up.
“Uhhhh...”Lanzo seemed to hum as he stared down at her bare breast that had reacted to the cold by stiffening.
Angrily Amelina shoved out of his grasped. Landing on her feet she quickly yanked her skirt from the bundle on the floor and held it up to cover herself. This was not turning out at all how she had planned it.
“How did you do that to my water?”Amelina asked. She had watched him do it. Just a finger in her water and then the rapid freeze had started. She looked back to the tub and saw that it was now a solid block of ice. He had not spoken a spell or engaged in hand gesture magic as she had done to him.
“I was mad. I thought it and just did it.”Lanzo said as if that explained it all. “Can't you do the same?”
Instead of telling the truth, which was she could not imagine how to do it, she dropped the skirt from her breast and began to wrap it around her waist. The effect was as good as magic. Lanzo forgot his question and gazed at her happily.
It was clearly time to take control of this situation again. There was more to Lanzo than met the naked or the far seeing eye. A rival hid things from you while a friend shared everything. Amelina finished tying the skirt and turned her back to him.
“There is a scarf in the sack, take it out please.”Amelina said and turned her back to him. She heard him dig around for a moment in the sack and then the
red scarf was resting on her shoulder. “No. Help me to tie it.”Amelina took the scarf, pulled it tight to cover her breast firmly and waited until he took the hint by taking hold of the ends she held out and pulling them around to her back where he crisscrossed them before handing the ends back to her. She crossed the scarf once more over her breast and returning the ends back to Lanzo, and he tied a simple knot.
“What do you think?”Amelina turned to face him.
“Pushes them up, although they really don't need any help in that area. This could catch on. Maybe in leather with a hook or metal clasp.”Lanzo said. “You could call them something like milk bag holders.”
“Milk bags?”She smiled. “How old are you Lanzo?”
“My age. Seems like I am years older.”
“Maybe on the inside. People who do not laugh age inside faster than those of us who do.”Lanzo said.
“I laugh Lanzo. I just have to be careful who I laugh around. A woman like me? Well men can confuse almost everything I do with flirting.”She motioned for the next thing in the sack and Lanzo pulled her vest out of it. It was made of finely woven chain mail. The mail was silver instead of steel. It was made not for protection, but because she had found that silver enhanced her powers. It was not a wand, but it did help. Lanzo helped to fasten the vest without offering a word. She had expected him to be nervous and talk to much as nervous men usually did, but Lanzo was waiting for her to talk.
“I think that I should share a secret with you Lanzo. If you can keep it then perhaps we will be friends.”She turned to face him.
“The voice that you hear?”Lanzo said and Amelina stepped back as if she had been slapped.
“On the boat trip. At night. Sometimes you would stand by the railing and whisper. Then the voice would whisper back through you. I think that they call it channeling?”Lanzo said.
“You could have said something about that.”
“I just did.”
“You know what I mean Lanzo.”Amelina said. This was not going the way that she pictured it. He was not as off balance or as uncomfortable around her as she hoped.
“Amelina I think we should talk.”Lanzo said.
“We are talking.”Amelina said and the response he gave was the last thing that she expected to hear.
“Not me and you. Me and the one you talk to.”

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