The Equinox and Yule are this weekend. Hanukkah begins on Sunday. Christmas is next week and Kwanzaa immediately follows that. I hope you’re enjoying or at least getting ready for your holiday(s) if you celebrate. My home is currently a mess of preparations because we follow multiple paths in this home, 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 forty, “Taking Flight,” and it immediately follows where last week’s installment, “Naemore” 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 section in orange comes from last week’s Writing Wednesday. The first sentence is Ben’s panic and the single word “Naemore.” – well, let’s see who’s speaking.
This is the night I meet my end. No Conall, no—
“Naemore.” I hear a familiar voice as Ewin’s grip on me falls away, allowing me to roll onto my back so I see that Master Gow holds both Ewin’s arms behind his back with but one hand. “I told ye naemore, man, but ye still persist, an’ yer singin’ one of them blasted chanties again while ye do so. These ones aren’t fer pickin’ or pleasure. They’re friends.” Ewin’s eyes are on me, but I still cannot speak or move. “I favor th’ lad, an’ ye made him bleed.” Master Gow grasps Ewin by the scruff as he had me, shaking him hard. My head swirls, but I swear I see Ewin bear his teeth and… They simply cannot be his. I blink hard but blood skews my vision once again.
“Yer safe, Benjamin. Ceardach is on his way. And Ah will take care of Ewin.” Master Gow pulls Ewin into the night, and I hear the rustle of slops alongside birds taking flight before I succumb to the pain in my head.
(tips their cocked hat and smiles) And so I leave you to your holidays, if you celebrate them, knowing that Ben’s going to be okay this time. And if you don’t celebrate, well, he’s going to be okay anyway, and I wish you well whatever your traditions and beliefs are or aren’t. Stay warm or cool depending on your location on this planet we cohabitate, may you be safe, comfortable, and surrounded by love.