This week has been much better for writing now that I’m back on my feet. So, the post today should be back to its normal length. Since I’ve been out of commission for about a week, this week I’m working on several projects, but the one I’ve been working on the most has been On Anarchy’s Wings. So, this week’s Work-In-Progress features the most recent snippet from the work I’ve been doing on that. It picks up where last week’s left off. I hope you all enjoy!
Til grunted. “Might not have a choice, sir.”
He hated to admit it, but Til was right. If they ran into any trouble getting back to the Gate, Til would drag them all down. Saving him might cost the lives of others on the team. But then, only one of them was going back anyway, according to the Oracle. And the Oracle was never wrong. He grunted, supporting almost of Til’s weight. “Well, hopefully I do.”
Til cast him a rueful smile. “If the gods smile on it.”
The two of them made their way back to where the torch was. Sibhor grabbed it and handed it to Til. “I can’t hold the torch and support you. You hold it.”
Taking the torch, Til nodded. “Thank you for not giving up on me, sir.”
The other men crowded around the two, offering support and protection. Aeanor took the lead with a grimace. “If we’re going to get answers, it’ll be down here. But keep a close eye on your surroundings. The priests liked to curse books with special knowledge to ensure thieves couldn’t steal secrets.”
Sibhor rolled his eyes. Of course they did. After all, nothing could possibly go wrong with a curse on a book. His lips pressed into a thin line. Well, he’d just have to hope nothing would go wrong for them. Did curses have an expiration date? He opened his mouth to ask Aeanor, but the man had already forged on ahead and was browsing the shelves.
“Guess he’s pretty focused on the mission.” Til hefted the torch higher. “Never seen him quite this intense. And he’s pretty intense normally.”
“Is he?” Sibhor shuffled forward, letting Til lean on him as they walked.
“Yes, sir. Probably one of the quietest, most serious men you’ll ever meet.” Til shook his head. “Honestly, the men he’s worked with say something awful must have happened to make him like he is. He’s a dependable sort, but something’s broken inside, sir.”
Sibhor had gotten that impression. The man seemed to be missing some essential part of himself. It’d almost felt like speaking to a shade. But Aeanor was still living and breathing. Shades didn’t do those kinds of things. “Maybe. He certainly seems more on edge right now. But I haven’t worked with him enough to know for sure.”
“He’s more on edge than usual, alright. Just wish I knew why.” Til eased a dust-coated book off the shelf and leaned his weight against the stone bookcase to look at it more closely. “Maybe it’s because of that curse he was talking about.”
Sibhor peered at the cover of the book Til had removed from the shelf. “That would put anyone on edge.” He bit his lip. “Gives me a shiver just thinking about what else might face us down here.”
Til handed Sibhor the torch and blew the dust off the book’s worn vellum cover. “Well, put it out of your mind, sir. That’s what I’m doing. If we’re going to trigger a trap, then we will. No helping it if we’re going to get what we came for.”
He was right, of course. Sibhor ran his fingers through his shaggy locks. “Fair enough. But let’s not touch anything we don’t have to. I’d just as soon remain alive a bit longer.”
A smile touched Til’s lips despite the pain etched into his brow. The leg had to hurt, but as usual, Til was just soldiering on. The man was one of the strongest men Sibhor had served with. Leaning more of his weight on the shelf, Til flipped through the book. “Looks like this might have some information we need. And, on the bright side, no traps.”
Sibhor grimaced. “That we can tell. And what’s the dark side, anyway?”
Til heaved a sigh. “What this book says, that’s what. According to this, those things out there are demon spawn. Unholy creations made from the matrimony of Riladian science and demon possession.”
It just kept getting worse. “Does it say how they can be destroyed?”
Til rifled through a few more pages then shrugged. “Not that I see so far. But there isn’t exactly a table of contents. Just lots of diagrams and information on how they performed the experiments.” He tapped the page he was reading. “Mentions the woman who created these things a lot. But it sounds like she died after one of them turned on her in an experiment.”
Sibhor shook his head. “That’s what happens when you experiment with demonic forces. Embracing evil never ends well for anyone.”
“Not in this case, certainly. Do you want to keep this one, sir?” Til snapped the book shut and offered it Sibhor.
Sibhor took the book with a frown. “I guess we should. It might prove useful. But we can’t take everything that mentions the creatures, or we won’t be able to travel with it all.”
Til grinned. “You could always have Aeanor shrink them. That way, we can carry everything with us.”
Well, that’s it for this Wednesday on my end. What have you guys been up to? Working on anything you’d like to share? If so, feel free to leave your preview or snippet in the comments below!