Tuesday, November 27, 2007

WIP Excerpt

Presenting an excerpt of my current WIP. This is an original work of my own creation within the genre of homo-erotic fantasy. If you don't mind I'll set up the scene for you. The two protagonists meet in the library where the first protag, a young man named Vanlyn, lives. There is a war going on and the second protag -- Dane -- is at Vanlyn's home attending a war council. Vanlyn is unhappy with his life and Dane tries to convince him to do something about it. Vanlyn feels he shouldn't bother because he's being sent on what basically amounts to a suicide mission. There's more too it of course so I ask for your patience in representing something out of context. Useful comments are welcome and appreciated. Rated PG. I will be posting a second excerpt in the near future.

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As always, Vanlyn found himself alone when he visited the library. It was the only other room in estate where he was comfortable. His father and brother never came here, only guests used the library and the servants but only when they wouldn’t be seen. Despite the fact that neither man was what one would label well read they would enact punishment on any servant who dared use something meant for the nobility. It was arcane thinking in Vanlyn’s opinion. Of course Vanlyn didn’t care and often encouraged them which was why he got along better with them than with the people of his so called class.

Vanlyn loved books. The feel of the aged leather under his fingers and the scent of the yellowing pages were familiar and as comfortable as the library itself. Of course more important than their feel and scent was what was contained inside.
Now he was ensconced in his favorite chair, several tomes spread out on the table around him and his nose deep in a book of ancient battle strategies. At the same time he wondered why he was bothering.

A soft tread had him lifting his eyes to the open door and moments later, Minister Tanderes stepped across the threshold. He halted in surprise upon seeing Vanlyn.

“Oh--,” Tanderes hesitated, “Your Highness. I’m sorry, I’ll--,”

“Please come in,” Vanlyn had no idea why he’d offered. Their last meeting earlier that night had left him shaken. He didn’t understand it. It had been as though Tanderes had some unseen power over him. Yet now Tanderes seemed just a harmless man encroaching on his solitude although he was apparently going to allow it.

“You’re up rather late.”

“I could say the same of you.”

Tanderes approached the table. “I couldn’t sleep. So I came to get a book.”

Vanlyn’s interest couldn’t help but be piqued. “What do you enjoy? Perhaps I could recommend something?”

Tanderes sat across from him and leaned back in a casual manner, his arm draped loosely across the chair back. For some unfathomable reason it made Vanlyn straighten in his. The half smile the minister gave him made him shift in his seat.
“Well I’m partial to histories I suppose.”

Vanlyn unconsciously glanced at the book he had in front of him.

“I also enjoy epic poetry and stories of the supernatural as well as adventure. I’m an admirer of Talrain, Norin and Harros.”

“But--,” he leaned forward and grinned conspiratorially, “for true entertainment I enjoy the works of Mara Galir.”

Vanlyn drew in a sharp breath and felt his face warm, “Sir that is inappropriate.”

“Oh?” Tanderes went back to the casual stance, “So inappropriate that you’re familiar with her works?”

His blush deepening, Vanlyn averted his eyes, “The book was a gift to my sister. A lady friend gave it to her. Apparently stories of – of that nature --,”

“Of men loving men?”

Vanlyn winced, “--were becoming very popular with the young ladies at court.”

“And how pray tell did you get your hands on it?”

Vanlyn sighed, embarrassed by the whole situation, “I was a little brother messing about in his sister’s room hoping to find an appropriate place to secret a garden snake.”

Tanderes looked taken aback then moments later a burst of rich laughter filled the room. The minister slapped his knee in his mirth and a few moments later, Vanlyn found himself chuckling wryly as well. It occurred to him that Tanderes had a nice laugh. It came from deep within his chest and was filled with sincerity that Vanlyn hadn’t heard in a long time from anyone he knew.

When their laughter faded the ensuing silence reminded Vanlyn that he would never see his sister’s smile or hear her laughter again. Yes, pranks had been played and arguments had ensued but he truly missed Eselda.

“You miss her?”

Vanlyn startled. He’d almost forgotten Tanderes was in the room with him. “Yes.”

“I’m sorry.”

Many people had told him they were sorry but the soft tone of his voice and the true compassion in his eyes made Dane Tanderes the first person Vanlyn truly believed.

“Thank you.”

But the memories filled his mind and with it came the pain. He could barely remember them now. His mother and sister so much alike, filling their estate with joy. People loved to be around them. Even the servants willingly ran to do their bidding, catering to their every whim. For years they had been a buffer against his father and brother. Argent was afraid of Eselda, Vanlyn knew that much. She blackened his eye once much to their father’s displeasure but Argent had been bullying a small servant girl no older than seven and he a strapping teen at the time.

Now they were gone. His father and brother refused to talk about them. It was as though they never existed. Vanlyn slammed the book shut only barely aware that Tanderes was watching him without comment as though he’d known Vanlyn was awash in memories. Vanlyn pushed violently away from the table. “It doesn’t matter,” he muttered aloud.

“What doesn’t?”

Vanlyn stood and turned away. He hadn’t been speaking to Tanderes and was now annoyed the man was there. “Tomorrow I will travel to Ciarri. They both know I’m to die.”

The sound of the chair scraping back made him turn. Tanderes was carefully making his way around the table.

“Then do not give them the satisfaction.”

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