Wednesday, February 13, 2013

23 In 2013 Update

Remember the 23 in 2013 Challenge I decided to do? This is my latest update post, now that February is well under way. I got the short story I was working on out to readers, and got some really good feedback. I'll be working on editing and revising so it can get out to where it needs to be by the end of the month. I started a new short story that is coming along very nicely right now. That will be ready for crit reading soon, I hope. I'm pleased with this one, and I hope it feels that way to others. The short piece I wrote for this month is actually just a quick scene. I had an idea for a much longer story (I'm going to say probably novel length) that I started basic plotting on early this month. I doubt I will get to starting it for a while yet, but I needed to get the idea on paper so I don't forget. That also allows me to start outlining a bit at a time, as I can fit it in. Meanwhile, I wrote a quick scene that will probably make it into the longer work in some form, but for right now, it gives me an idea of the main characters and a little about the story itself.

Here it is:

Mary Alice Kropp 
            Father Tim pulled the stiff white band out of his shirt collar and let it fall to the side table. He picked up a crystal tumbler and swirled the amber liquid inside, making the two ice cubes clink against the glass. He sat slowly in the upholstered arm chair and settled back. Taking a sip of his drink, he regarded his companion, seated across from him on a matching sofa.
            “What do you get out of all this?” he asked. “I know what I do, but what about you?”
            The demon sat with his legs crossed, one cloven hoof resting on the dark mottled carpet; the other swinging gently. He was muscular, deep copper-red in color, with a blocky body and thick, corded neck. His face was lined, with eyes that glowed red-gold in the light from the fireplace. His head was bald, with two straight horns growing up from his forehead. When he smiled, he showed two rows of short, sharp fangs. He raised his glass toward the priest.
            “Good Scotch?” The demon’s voice was a deep, rumbling bass. Fr. Tim sighed and shook his head. The priest was in his mid-thirties, with short reddish-brown hair and beard, just showing traces of gray. He had blue eyes behind dark rimmed glasses. He was in good physical shape, although next to the demon’s corded muscles, he looked almost puny.
            “Seriously, Oscar,” Fr. Tim said. “This can’t be an ideal situation for you, but here you are.” The demon grinned again, and drained his glass in a gulp.
            “You ask a question of one you call the Great Deceiver, Trickster, Liar, and you expect a serious answer? C’mon, Timothy, we make a good team, don’t you think?” Fr. Tim opened his mouth to say something more, but the strident ringing of the telephone interrupted. He set his glass on the table, and walked over to the desk in the corner and picked up the receiver.
            “Yes?” He paused to listen. A frown creased his face. “Another one?” He listened a moment. “I see. Okay, w--- I’ll be right there.” He hung up and turned around to see Oscar standing at the table, finishing Fr. Tim’s drink. He gave the demon a look.
            “You need your head if this is real.” The demon spoke with a shrug of huge shoulders. Standing, he was slightly shorter than Fr. Tim’s almost six feet. “I gather we’re on assignment again? This is getting to be an epidemic, isn’t it?” Fr. Tim walked around to the other side of the desk and picked up a black leather briefcase. He came back to stand in front of the demon.
            “Ready?” Oscar asked. At Fr. Tim’s nod, the demon began to fade to a thin column of smoke. Fr. Tim inhaled deeply, and the smoke was drawn into his body. He gave a slight shudder as the demon settled, and opened his eyes. There was a faint scent of brimstone and incense hanging on the air.
            “Do you have to do that every time?” Fr. Tim muttered as he picked up the briefcase and walked to the door. A bellow of deep laughter echoed in the back of his mind.

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