It’s finally rained here in Northeast Tennessee, and it’s beginning to feel like fall!
Happy Wednesday! My Wednesday shares have become shorter and serialized, and they’re coming from my current WIP (work in progress), Striking Balance. You’ll be able to find all the ones that pertain to Striking Balance under the Categories drop down to your right.
Striking Balance is a Queer Historical Paranormal Fantasy story set within my Appalachian Elementals series. It’s a freestanding tale, so you don’t need to have read the other stories within the series to delve into this one.
This is installment thirty, “Stupid Boy” and it comes from the beginning of a new chapter, one scene after where the last installment, “Plantain Weed” ended. The main character in Striking Balance is Benjamin (Nub) Schnell, the possessor of secrets twice his size and seeming age. He’s been working for nearly a decade on the same small farm as his friend, Conall Baldwin, who acts as the farm’s manager. This story begins during the American Revolutionary War years, 1779 to be precise, in the Nolichucky river basin of Northeast Tennessee.
The setup: Again, we’re skipping ahead a bit, straight into Chapter Four to be exact. When we last left Ben he’s become curiously sleepy early in the day. Now it’s evening, dinner is over, and everyone’s gathered around a fire, but there’s anything but pleasant company to be had.
Evening, 8 May
“What in the name of God?” Conall pulls me from Ewin, who rubs his jaw and growls at me, adding the strangest of hisses as he steps back. ‘Tis late evening, and we have been sharing that jug Master Gow began earlier today. I have not overly indulged, but Ewin has, becoming more a blackguard with each swig. He has harped on my size since we were in the tobacco bed, and I have taken all I can swallow. “Hush!” Conall covers my mouth with his hand when I launch a string of curses aimed at Ewin.
“Stupid, stupid, boy. If you had any—” Ewin closes his mouth with such strength I hear his teeth clatter. He glares at me then turns slowly toward Master Gow, whose eyes reflect the firelight until they look ablaze.
“Ewin’s goin’ tae guard th’ new transplants this night tae keep th’ night crows an’ grazers away.” Master Gow flicks his hand and Ewin rises, turning toward the field, rubbing his head as he goes. “Tell Ewin g’night, everyone.”
So Ben’s made an enemy of Ewin? But what has he done? Nothing really, at least in my opinion, but you know how some people are. It takes little to nothing to fuel their rage, and Ewin is apparently full if not quite utterly fueled by his rage.
Until next week…