Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Character snapshot--Shishali/Qatja

In my novel, I have dragon/human hybrids that...well, they actually don't do as much as I had hoped. They do play a part, but it is secondary in my current WIP. I took a break and wrote a 50K history about them and learned many fascinating things. Unfortunately, I can't use them in the WIP, and I don't think I will seriously go back and revise the history, so I think it would be alright to post a clip from Draguman.

This is a first draft that I stumbled on today and it didn't make me want to puke. All you need to know is that the Draguman were created by magic on Sendek thousands of years before the current story takes place. The dragons exiled them to a distant planet and thought mistakes were mended. Because of magical intricasies that I won't go into here, they stop aging or dieing of natural causes. They steal technology and slowly make there way across the galaxy in search of Sendek with the sole purpose of claiming it for there own. This scene takes place after they reach Sendek. As I mentioned above, it did not actually make it into the WIP. Instead of doing an interview with Shishali (None of the reporters were willing to take the chance she would let them live), I decided to post a character snapshot.
The men of Sendek retreated into the forest and Shishali worried she might not catch one of them, but as she entered the edge of the trees, she saw a small group through the trees. These people were not dressed in the military uniforms of the other men, but that did not matter to her. She wanted to feel blood on her hands and any Sendekian would do. She used the cover of the trees to close the distance between them and then rushed them. She killed two of them quickly by breaking their necks. The satisfying sound of snapping bones sent a thrill through her body. The other three men split up and ran in different directions. Shishali chose the largest one to follow.

The man looked back several times and when he realized he could not outrun the demon following him, he began to look for a weapon. Scooping up several stones, he hurled them in Shishali’s direction. Most missed their mark, but a couple of them hit her on the chest, arms and one on her leg. It hurt and bruised, but her scales still protected her from serious harm. Each time a stone hit her, she became angrier. By the time she reached him, the man had found a good sized tree branch. He wielded it like a club and Shishali let him take a few swings at her. She liked playing with her prey, but when one of the swings swiped the side of her head she yelled in anger.

“Enough playtime!” The whole side of her head throbbed from the strength of strike. She dove under his next swing and barreled into him knocking them both to the ground.

Although the man was not as tall as Shishali, he weighed more and he was a fighter. Every time Shishali thought she pinned him, he used his weight to flip her off. His survival instincts were very good, but Shishali was a hunting machine. She pounced on him as he tried to scurry to his feet and threw all of her weight into his leg from the side. She heard the crunch of bones and the man cried out in pain. Shishali held onto him and rolled until she had him on the ground pinned beneath her once more. The man’s eyes filled with pain, but he was still determined to fight to the end. His large hands wrapped around her neck and started to squeeze. It impressed Shishali that he was strong enough to make her feel concern. She began to feel a light headed, so she decided to end the game. Forcing her arms up violently between his, she broke his grip on her throat. In the same smooth motion she grabbed his wrists and twisted, breaking them.

Now the man’s pain grew so intense that all he could do was moan. He could not even keep his eyes open, but Shishali wanted to see his life disappearing.

“Open your eyes and I will make all the pain go away.” She made her voice as soft and soothing as possible, but the man would not comply.

“Go back to the hell you came from!” He spat the words out between ragged breaths.

Shishali wrapped her fingers loosely around his neck, and began pushing her talon like nails into his skin slowly. At first, there were just pinpricks of blood, but as she pushed deeper in she found the carotid artery and punctured it. Another finger found his windpipe and perforated it. The man bled out, drowning in his own blood. Shishali held him there with the warm blood flowing onto her hands until he was dead.

“Too bad for you that this is the hell I came from.”
UPDATE: A revised version of this did make it into The Magic Wakes (WiDo Publishing 2013).
It is still a first draft and so would benefit from more thought and work, but all in all I surprised myself. Proof that sometimes writing without thinking can bring about some good stuff. What do you think? Should I hang onto that 50K rough draft, try and work it in or write it off?

Character Theme Song--Pain by Three Days Grace. Shishali is all about the pain and the use of it to get what she wants. If Shishali were human, she would be the short haired girl two minutes in. The really angry intense one.