Here's a snippet from today's pages. As always, this is raw, first draft, so forgive any typos, echoes, grammatical mistakes, etc.
Clive winced as the darklings swirled. He forced himself to wait until Lydia and Aileen were still and the cloud coalesced around them. Aileen was a complication he hadn't counted on. If he were more like Oberon, he would leave her to the darklings. But if he were more like Oberon, he wouldn't be in this situation.
With a sigh, he plunged into the cloud, interrupting its feeding. The darklings buzzed around him like a swarm of gnats. He could have swatted any one of them with the briefest thought, but there were too many. As soon as he reached for Bright magic, the darklings would home in on him. It would also announce his presence in Shadow. There was nothing else he could do.
Clive let power bubble up from the ground to fill him. The buzzing rose to a high pitched shriek. The darklings pulled away from Lydia and Aileen, arrowing toward him instead. He counted ten heartbeats, until the entire swarm was oriented on him and created a shield around himself and the two prone Fey. With nothing to draw power from, it should return to Isadore and Callie. At least that's what Clive hoped.
The darklings flattened out against the front of his shield, clinging to it and turning it black. The longer he used Bright magic, the greater the chance Titania would find them here or Aileen would wake. He turned to Lydia and called her name. When she realized he had turned the darklings on her, she was going to be furious.
His head pounded with the effort to hold the shield solid and keep an eye on Lydia and Aileen. There was no way he could attend to what might be happening outside the small bubble of safety. Crouching next to her, Clive placed his hand lightly on Lydia's shoulder. "Lydia?" he whispered, turning back at the shield. It was still thick with darklings.
"Thorn prick me," he muttered. Isadore and Callie should have called them off by now.
Something struck him in the spine, just below his ribs and he slammed into the ground, his head rebounding off the hard earth. A heavy weight lay across his chest.
His ears rang. The shield buckled and the darklings streamed through.
"Clive!" Lydia scrambled away from him and his breathing eased.
A thick black funnel swirled around her as if she were the eye of a tornado. They were too close for him to shield her and she didn't know how to shield herself. She was swatting at them, but for every one she hit, two more filled the breach.
"Lydia, stay calm!"
The more chaotic her use of power, the more the darklings would feed. And she was fairly thrumming with power. She would be irresistible to them.
Clive had to draw them off her somehow. But he couldn't match her magic. Not unless she could let it bleed off the way he had earlier.
"Don't attack them, Lydia. You have to make yourself invisible to them."
"Get them off me!" she cried. "I can't breathe!"
"You drank power from Fairy when you turned into a tree. You have to let it drain back into the ground. You can do this." The more she fought, the stronger they would get.
The darklings were moving faster, vibrating as they fed.
He glanced at Aileen, hoping she could help him. She lay still and silent. The attack must have blindsided her and with as little power as she had access to, the darklings had drained her reserves easily. It was up to Lydia now.
Very nice. If I'd been reading other snippets along the way (yeah, I've been bad about following blogs), would I have any clue what struck him in the back?ReplyDelete
LOL--me not being very clear. It's actually Lydia who slams into him. She's a little disoriented when she wakes up. Must make that more evident. Thanks!ReplyDelete