Joshua wrenches himself awake, gasping for breath. He’s drenched in sweat and…the light. The red light. It’s coming from him.
I have a friend visiting so my posts this weekend will be brief.
It starts with a nightmare that’s spikes and flashes. Tsubasa knifed, whining as she dies. Breaking glass. Wings and sharp teeth. Red light. Screaming. Screaming. Screaming.
Suddenly, Joshua realizes he’s the one screaming.
Joshua is asleep by the time they reach the safe house. Since it was only a 20 mile drive that Dominic took at well past the speed limit, this only increases Dominic’s worry. He’s never heard of a human surviving power infusion from a creature of the in-between. Not once.
Parking the car in the garage, Dominic reengages the security systems – both supernatural and technological. They will be well hidden here from all who would seek them, no matter what kind of being they are.
He carries Joshua inside, placing him in the larger of the two available beds, leaving all the lights off. He doesn’t need them.
“I’m so sorry this happened to you,” he whispers on his way out of the room.
Dominic hides Joshua behind the bushes off the side of the road and tells him to wait there. Joshua does, peering through the branches and leaves as the man makes his way to the center of the road and simply stands there. It’s hard to see in the dark but that’s what it looks like to Joshua.
They wait. Joshua isn’t sure for how long. Eventually, a car approaches with its headlines turned on. It being night and an unlit road, the driver doesn’t see Dominic until the headlines hit him. There’s the screech of slammed brakes, a swerve to the left. Simultaneously, Dominic jumps straight up in the air and lands next to the car with speed a human wouldn’t be able to match.
Joshua can’t see what happens next., the car blocks his view. A minute later, Dominic emerges carrying a woman in his arms. He sets the woman on the dirt next to the wreck of their own car, turning the headlights on so that the next driver will see the accident and presumably call for help.
“Get in!” he calls to Joshua, jogging back to the running car that’s still sits diagonally across both lanes.
Joshua hastens to comply.
I wasn’t able to post yesterday because my website was partially down – some people could access it but I couldn’t. <sarcasm>Yay for changing domain registrars without updating the DNS.</sarcasm>
Finished getting my edits and notes for Part Two in tonight. Once I get Part Three in, I have several things to fix. I think I’m going to start with the timeline. Originally this novel was going to take place over much less time than it does. It’s been extended, but not everywhere so there are still places where it talks about months passing when it’s been over a year. It’s not going to be difficult to fix but it is going to be tedious. I love my writing app but I can’t just tell it to find every single reference to the passage of time. Maybe someday.
Moving on to some Red fun:
“What the hell does that mean?” Joshua demands.
“Creatures from the in-between have tremendous power.,” Dominic explains. “That power doesn’t die with them, it gets released. If they die in the in-between it gets reabsorbed into the balance. If they die in your world, it finds the nearest compatible host.” He frowns. “You shouldn’t have been compatible.”
Joshua can’t help but think of software and hardware. The comparison doesn’t reassure him. “Why not?”
“Humans are weak. The power would burn most of them.”
“I… So I’m strong for a human?”
Dominic opens his mouth, shuts it, and nods. “Yeah,” he says eventually. “We’re not safe out
Entered my edits and notes for Chapter 8 through Chapter 16 of Part One and Chapter 1 of Part Two. I had less time to work on the novel today because of annoying adult responsibilities like having to make food and wash dishes. The struggle is real.
I’m thinking of calling my recent Joshua/Dominic or Joshua & Dominic writings Red, after the color theme that’s emerged across the images and text.
Dominic catches Joshua before his legs give out and lowers him to the ground, prizing the blade from his hand to set it on the dirt beside them.
The light is gone. Joshua feels a tingling throughout his body, stronger in his head, and then he doesn’t hurt anymore. The pain from the car accident injuries is gone. He touches his forehead, exploring. His fingers still come back sticky with blood but it doesn’t seem to be flowing and he can’t find a cut.
It’s not until Dominic waves a hand in front of Joshua’s face that he realizes Dominic is speaking, that Dominic has been speaking this whole time. There’s a buzzing. Now that he’s aware of it, it’s all Joshua can focus on. What is it? There’s nothing out here except for their wrecked car and the smoldering remains of whatever Joshua just killed.
Abruptly, it’s gone.
“Can. You. Hear. Me?”
“I can now,” Joshua says. “What just happened?”
“You absorbed the power of a wraith from the in-between.”
Working full time and going to bed early really get in the way of finishing a novel. I’ve input my edits and comments for the first seven chapters. There are several chores that I would normally have handled over the weekend that still aren’t done. Looking at my upcoming weekends in bulk, I have a lot of plans that are going to get in the way of my novel. It looks like it’s mostly going to be evenings after work for a while.
Before I forget what I envisioned happening next from my Joshua/Dominic (or maybe Joshua & Dominic) blurbs:
The scream it gives is bone piercing. I fall to my knees, almost pass out again from the way it digs into my headache. It’s fear that keeps me conscious. Not fear of this beast because it’s already dissolving to ash, but fear of whatever is making Dominic shout at me.
I can’t make out his words though and I don’t know what he wants me to do. Then the red light comes, emanating from the dead thing’s remains and pouring into…me.
Joshua opens the car door and staggers onto the dirt by the side of the road. Somewhere beyond the pain are grunts and shouts, clangs and clatters. He wipes the blood from his face, grits his teeth, and tries to focus.
Dominic is fighting something enormous and red, covered in feathers, with claws and fangs and three sets of wings. He’s wielding a silver blade. There’s another one on the ground a few paces away. Dominic must have started with two. The creature is blocking Dominic’s attacks with its claws, snapping at him with its teeth.
Joshua picks up the fallen blade without thinking about it. The motion makes his headache flare and he almost falls, blotches of darkness obscuring his vision. He blinks several times, squints his eyes. The creature has its back to him. His attention is drawn to the base of its wings. They’re vertically stacked on its back and between them is an opening where he sees no feathers, just fur.
Fluidly, as if he meant to do it from the moment he saw the blade, he raises it above his head and swings it down with all his force, straight into space between the thing’s wings.
I got an SSL Certificate for my website and installed it, so now there won’t be any more warnings from browsers that my site is not secure. Though, in my defense, I’m not actually collecting sensitive information here.
I also went back and updated the tags on a bunch of my posts to be consistent with the (improved) tags I use now. I was hoping to finish that process tonight but it’s taking a while what with my posting tons of tiny posts instead of a few longer ones.
This is going back to the snippets from the last few days. It occurs to me that I need to find some way of referring to them, like I did with the Don’t Bleed and Unheired Prince ones. Unfortunately, nothing is occurring to me at the moment so I’ll have to think on it.
The only time Joshua was in a car accident, he saw it coming. Not for long – just a second or two – and certainly not long enough to avoid it, but enough to know it was coming.
That’s not the case tonight. The car is racing smoothly through the night and suddenly – terrifyingly – there’s the screech and force of an impact and Dominic and Joshua are thrown forward into expanding airbags.
Joshua must have blacked out because the next thing he knows, he’s blinking through sticky moisture, taking in shattered glass and crumpled plastic, metal, whatever cars are made of, and the absence
A continuation of yesterday:
“Two warlocks surprised me at home.”
Joshua gives him a beat to continue. He doesn’t. “I’m sorry about Tsubasa. You had her a long time, right?”
“She wasn’t exactly a dog. A lot like one in spirit and love and joy – still a pack animal – but even smarter, more loyal, and with some magical abilities. She was a baby when I got her.”
“When I was 7 my cat died. Got hit by a car. I bawled.”
Dominic doesn’t say anything but his hands seem to spasm around the steering wheel.