First, I have to give credit to paranormal writer and terrific Twitter acquaintance Belinda Burke for showing me the idea of blogging an excerpt of one's work-in-progress from which one's #1lineWed tweets are harvested. I love #1lineWed, but often I find I can't tell enough at a time to make the line as enjoyable or even as clear as it should be. And while I don't want to tell too much or give away important details of the story, I think posting a bit of a scene from which a line is pulled can help pique readers' curiosity. So here is a bit of a favorite scene from which a line I used today for the theme of "Sound" was pulled. This is from act III, draft one of Fate's Apology. Enjoy!...if you dare. Mwa-ha-ha-ha.
At the far end of the room, the anonymity screen slid aside and Callos approached, the spherniture vibrating the hollow floor. Nala lifted her chin. She was forgotten, but not gone.
"Greetings," Callos said. "It is my understanding, Mr. Omadn, that you have requested the services of my favorite bodslav. May I ask why, when you had the opportunity, you did not do with her as you wish?"
Omadn stepped forward and bowed his gill-feathered head. "I wished'n not to raise the ire of her master, nor to influence her in any way. Besides, what better time to make such a request than when she believes she is free of me? It retains the element of surprise."
"Well said, my Idnardn friend. You have been advised of the rules, I trust?"
"Yes. All must take place in your presence. I have no issue with these rules."
"Good!" Callos slapped the arms of the spherniture. "Now then, what is it you require from my bodslav?"
"I want her to undress me."
Nala's pulse fluttered. This could not be happening.
"And'n then I want her to touch me."
Nala gulped. "No." She turned to Omadn. "No! He's going to—"
"Silence!" Callos bellowed, as he flung his arm at her.
A small, white object bounced at her feet. As it came to rest, spindly legs unfolded. It leapt onto the hem of her dress and skittered up the skirt, making staccato clicking noises. Nala gasped, backing away in instinctive horror at the crablike creature climbing through the material. She swatted it and was rewarded with a stinging nip from its pincers. It sprang from her breast to her chin, then clamped onto her mouth. Needle-like legs pierced, and a slippery protrusion pushed its way between her lips. Her teeth parted in a terrified scream, and the protrusion entered her mouth and embedded itself beneath her tongue. She clawed at the beast, ignoring its painful bites. The creature merely tightened its grip, pressing her lips together in an airtight seal. Nala's throat ached with her muffled cries, over which the sound of Callos's deep laughter penetrated her ears.
"I don't know of what use mutemites are to the Idnardn, but they certainly come in handy here," Callos said. "Now, begin!"
Nala's breath came in short bursts through flared nostrils as she stared in disbelief at the waiting salaphib.
Callos leaned forward, brandishing a riplash, a multi-thong whip edged with razor-wire. "Must I resort to painful means of persuasion?"
Before she could move, he lashed it across her back, slicing dress and flesh alike. She staggered against Omadn.
The salaphib grabbed her arms. "Do it!" he ordered.
With trembling hands she picked at the intricate fastenings of his moisture suit. Perhaps she should just press her face to him, forcing the muzzle-creature to its painful defenses. But the sound of the riplash slinking across the thin carpet as Callos withdrew it told her resistance would be in vain. He would protect his guest, her 'claimancer', and there was nothing she could do about it. At least the traitorous Idnardn was going to fail at his quest as well. At least some justice would prevail.
She tugged down the sleeves of the suit, the material making a sucking sound as it peeled from his glistening skin. An intricate lacework of tiny hosing lined the interior, allowing the fluids to flow and flesh to breathe. She pulled it open, exposing a creamy white torso, then moved behind him and pulled the entire outfit away from his body and down his legs, and she gaped at the vibrant purple and orange horizontal striping decorating his back. It wrapped around solidly-muscled, hairless arms and legs that sported not one shred of fat beneath the taut skin. He was a beautiful creature, and she wondered in passing if all were so brightly endowed.
The suit terminated in a pair of waterproof, form-fitted boots, and she pulled them off to expose large, striped feet with toes that spread outward, displaying the webbing between. Omadn flexed his right knee, and to her surprise a thick length of flesh separated from the back of his leg. It arched upward and a crescent of white, horizontal fin snapped open. He stood tall and spread his arms, stretching in the hot, dry air. Lowering his arms, he clenched and unclenched his fists, displaying more webbing between his long fingers. The heavy, golden ring restraining his finscythe glinted in the torchlight.
"Continue!" Callos barked.
Nala glared up at the naked salaphib. He gave a slight nod of his head, his gill-feathers bobbing. Something in his eyes…
The riplash rustled as Callos readied it for another blow. She reached up and fondled the fleshy feathers, then let her fingers caress his short, thick neck and sloping shoulders. A pungent, fishy scent penetrated her nostrils, and she pressed her hands to his rounded, ridged chest, fighting with her desire to push him away.
"L'wer," he mouthed, the word not even a whisper.
She cocked her head.
He turned his to the side, his mouth facing away from Callos, and repeated. "Lower."
She glanced down. A vertical groove ran the length of his torso, terminating in a large slit at the apex of where his legs met. It twitched. She fought back a gag, the mutemite pulling tight as her lips reflexively tried to part, and she shook her head.
He grabbed her wrist. Blood pulsed in her eardrums and her muffled cries escaped through her nose as she struggled, trying to twist it out of his grasp. Callos's laughter prodded her panic as the incredibly strong salaphib forced her hand downward and plunged it into the cavity. Hot wetness engulfed her wrist, and she cringed as her knuckles pressed against something hard.