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NaNoWriMo day 28

Word count: 51,230
Today's goal: 48,333

Made it!

NaNoWriMo 2009 winner graphic

The story's not quite finished. It'll probably be about 60,000 words altogether. But it is very close now!

And here is another excerpt, for your potential reading pleasure....

The last bow and greeting of the day was finished. Her caller Shindo had been dismissed a few minutes earlier. Qi swallowed a sip of water to ease a throat hoarse from singing and stepped aross the threshold of her private chambers.

She stumbled as the soles of her feet latched themselves to the ground, looked down a second too late at the chalk circle hastily scrawled on the floor. Her uza, her magic, flashed out to break her free, and rebounded off a foreign ward.

Fear swamped her senses as someone wrenched her arms behind her. The water glass flew from her hand and shattered against the wall. Rope burned her wrists. Shouting for guards, Qi thrashed in the attacker's grip. Her uza flared blue-orange as she arrowed her focus against the circle ward's rough hold. It began to give, buckling.

An arm round her neck. Air choked off.

Panic. It was amplified by the alien uza crawling her mind. Fragments of her dark bedchamber traced themselves on her retinas in exquisite detail. Sound roared, faded.

A flash of thought: it's not my panic!

Training kicked in. She slammed up wards, shut the foreign uza out. Rode the worm, grabbed its signature – midnight blue – followed its sparking trail of retreat along a half-remembered neural pathway.

The attacker groaned and doubled over.

Gasping, Qi pulled free of the grip and wrenched her wrists out of half-tied knots. She staggered out of the circle while the foreign wards were still weakened. Half her mind maintained the pressure in the ambient that kept the attacker bent double while the other half fumbled for ropes dropped on the floor. The attacker was curled on the tiles now, muscles taut, moaning. Easy to take her wrists and ankles and pull them together; easy to drag her into her own circle ward and reweave the unravelling barrier with Qi's own signature.

Only then did Qi loosen her grip on the bottom of the other woman's mind.

She stood outside the circle with one hand pressed over her mouth, her stomach heaving, her vision slashed across with the image of the woman's face twisted in agony. Her caller's face. Ua'shindo.

Lin would approve.

Qi could barely keep from throwing up.

From somewhere echoed a faint scream and running footsteps, and reason took hold.

“What is the meaning of this?” Qi asked.

“Awa mzawa,” Shindo replied, and spat on her feet. Greet the revolution.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 30th, 2009 12:26 am (UTC)

Nov. 30th, 2009 01:25 am (UTC)
Thank you! I can't believe we pulled it off.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )