NaNoWriMo is finished and so is the first draft of Striking Balance. I also took a week off from Writing Wednesday, a rare event, but it was a holiday week after all.
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-eight, “Surely a Wherry,” and it immediately follows where last week’s installment, “The Sugarcane Fields” 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 sentence in orange comes from last week’s Writing Wednesday and it’s Ewin speaking.
“I’ll show you how they dispose of runts in the sugarcane fields.”
My ears roar and my head explodes in agony, but I cannot sound alarm though I try. Blow follows blow, and I am unable to reciprocate. ‘Tis unfair, ‘tis— I cease flailing when I feel his cold blade at my throat. “Stupid, stupid boy.” He pulls back to bash my forehead against the ground. The roar in my ears strengthens, and I gasp when my vision blurs then clears. If I can manage to roll over I can fight, I can— I bow to throw him from me, but he proves too heavy, more so when he presses his knees into my shoulders. “What’s this?” He rips the cord from my neck to hold up Mutti’s locket. “A charm? Did a girl give you this?”
“Give it back!” This rises as a whisper those I scream.
Ewin laughs and sniffs, a filthy hound on a scent trail. “No. ‘Twas your mother’s. Oh, how sentimental.” He flings Mutti’s locket, my only memory of her, into the tall grass. “Now her boy’s soon gone.” He curls his fingers into my hair as I rage beneath him.
“That Caribbean ship you boast on was surely a wherry!” If I cannot win I shall speak as I wish, but he knocks my head again for doing so, leaving me addled. “Fight… fair.”
Is Ben in trouble, you bet he is, but he’s also going to fight in every way possible, including with his words. If you’re new to the story, you can start from the preface via my #Rainbowsnippets posts HERE.
And if you’ll look to the right, you’ll see that Cleaning House (#1) and Keeping House (#2) in the main Appalachian Elementals series are receiving their share of accolades. They’re a great place to begin immersing yourself in the Appalachian Elementals world but certainly not a requirement for understanding this tale which is a prequel and standalone side tale.
Until next week.