Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Nano Snippits #2 Wolfsblood

Here's another snippet as promised! I'm also excited to say that last night I broke 50,000 words, so I'm pretty happy about that. Yeah, really happy actually :) I can only say that these characters have cooperated admirably and this story is writing itself. Now I'm going to see if I can finish the first draft by the end of the month. Hope you enjoy this snippet as well. As always, let me know what you think, good, bad, all of it. As last time, this is entirely unedited so there's likely typos abounding.

            Before I knew it, I was hemmed in on all sides, and at the head of the group was Festus, who had appeared from the other direction to cut me off, a wicked sneer on his face. All of them were looking disdainfully, almost hungrily, at me with their strange tawny eyes that seemed so prevalent among the auxiliaries here in the north.
            I tried to effect my aloof, unamused officer’s expression, but feared it was not so impressive as it had been previously. “I think you would do well to back away before you do something you’ll regret, Festus,” I said coldly.
            “I think it’s you who’ll regret it. Sir.” Festus snarled like a dog. His eyes flashed and he bared his teeth at me, his hands clenching, not into fists, but claws. I tried not to let it unnerve me, but I would be lying if I said it didn’t. There was just something not entirely…human…about Festus, and I had never noticed it more than at that moment.
            “Careful, Festus,” one of his cronies said, sounding slightly worried. “We should wait until the moon is full…”
            “I’d rather do for the whelp now and be done with it,” Festus growled, stepped closer to me and causing me to have to step back so that my back was against he wall.
            “Get back, Festus,” I commanded firmly. “Get back or, by Mithras, I will have you flogged.”
            All he did was smirk a wolfish grin, and lean forward with his teeth bared as if he would bite me. I grabbed for the pommel of my dagger, ready to use it if I was forced to, though knowing how detrimental that would be to the connection I had begun forming with the men, I hesitated.
            Fortune seemed with me that day, however, and from the most unlikely of places. I had tensed in the resignation that I would have to run my dagger through Festus should he get any closer, but a familiar ginger head appeared at the big man’s shoulder, a knife finding it’s way to Festus’ throat. A sudden look of fear crossed Festus’ face, and he froze as he felt the dagger touch his skin.
            “Now, now, Festus,” Justinius said in a mockingly scolding tone. “You know what happens to a soldier when he attacks an officer. It’s death, it is. Likely something entirely unpleasant. As a fellow comrade, I wouldn’t want to see you fall foul of that now, would I? So back away, man. There’s a good soldier.”
            Festus stepped away carefully, and the rest of his fellows moved with him as one. Once they were out of reaching distance of me, Justinius let the knife fall from Festus’ neck and he immediately clapped a hand to a red mark there. I was a bit surprised to see it, for I had not thought Justinius had pressed that hard. I quickly gathered myself, remembering my position, and stood straight, repairing my lost dignity as I glared at the miscreants.
            “You two,” I told Festus’ followers. “Latrine duty for two weeks. I hear there’s a back up. Best start now.”
            They slunk off and I turned to scrutinize Festus. “You on the other hand, I’m not sure of what to do with. I will decide soon enough. Until then, secure him somewhere, Justinius.”
            “My pleasure,” the Celt nodded and grabbed Festus by the arm, marching him off to the storage building. I followed him to see that everything was done properly and watched Justinius lock the glowering legionnaire away in a small pantry. He followed me back outside once the deed was done and I was left with just my ne’er-do-well rescuer, not entirely certain what to say.
            “Don’t mind Festus overmuch, sir,” Justinius said as he started to tuck his dagger into the back of his belt. “He’s just a hard bargain case. I’m sure you’ve seen them before.”
            “Where I come from, Justinius, even hard cases don’t go around threatening officers so readily,” I said blandly.
            Justinius shrugged as if it made little difference. “This is the north, sir, and things are done differently. May I ask what you will do with him, sir?”
            “That’s none of your concern,” I said sternly.
            Justinius watched me for several seconds before he reached behind his back again, to pull out his dagger, handing it to me. “On second thought, sir, why don’t you have this? It’s a fine dagger, sir.”
            “I’ve already got a perfectly fine blade, Justinius,” I said, making no move to take it.
            “With respect sir,” he said insistently with no trace of his usual smirk. “It’s not like this one.”
            “Very well,” I replied, taking the dagger to humor him. “Now be off with you.”
            He saluted and started off. I studied the dagger, seeing that it was a good blade as he had said. Locally made as well, as I could see by the carved wooden handle that had traditional knot work in what looked to be the shape of a dog or wolf. The only difference was that the blade was made of silver. It was pretty enough as a ceremonial piece, but would never hone as well as steel, nor would it be as strong. I tucked it into my belt and started off, puzzled over the events of the last few minutes. I had never expected anything like that from Justinius. Tiberius, yes, Marcellus likely enough, but not the red-headed Celtic renegade with the easy grin and wode tattoos. His actions today were, well, surprising to say the least, but also those befitting a comrade. I began to realize that I would much rather have Justinius at my shoulder than anywhere else. 

Also, later this week, or next week, I'm going to post pictures of my Justinius plushie I made. He's very adorable, I might add ;) I'll also hopefully be posting some character sketches later this month along with other snippets so stay tuned if you are interested!


  1. Wow! Congrats on getting to 50,000 words! That's super exciting. The story sounds really interesting as well!!

  2. Thanks =) I hope it will be interesting lol :P