This is a month of holidays, isn’t it? I hope you’re enjoying or at least getting ready fo yours. My home is currently a mess of preparations, but that’s to be expected.
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-nine, “Naemore,” and it immediately follows where last week’s installment, “Surely a Wherry” 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 Ben speaking or, rather, fighting for his life.
“You’ve strength to speak with all I’ve pushed into you,” Ewin says with a haughty laugh. “But you’re still a fool to pick a fight with the likes of me. And fair would mean you had hold of your knife.” He tears it from my belt and tosses it in the opposite direction. “I’ll scalp then hang you from that tree over there. You’ll dance at a prop’er Beilby’s Ball while I provide the music.” He pushes harder into my shoulders and draws my head back, chanting, singing my coming end.
Yo hoi ho heave
Little shite’s ‘bout to leave
He laughs and scrapes his knife along my hairline. Dear God! I have no recourse this time! Please, spare me! I scream but nothing rises from my throat. This is the night I meet my end. No Conall, no—
“Naemore.” I hear Master Gow’s voice as Ewin’s grip on me falls away.
Is Ben saved? Maybe. Until next week…
Cleaning House, a novel set in the same world as Striking Balance, and the first novel in my Appalachian Elementals series, won a Rainbow Award this past weekend. You can read more about this HERE.