This 8-10 sentence blog hop is hosted by The Weekend Writing Warriors. (Click the link for the list of participants, or rules if you want to join!)
This is a snippet from my yet-to-be-completed NaNoWriMo story, Black Ink Plague, a fantasy about inkbloods, people who were left at the roots of a magic tree as babies, and can use charcoal from those trees to write and cast spells.
The main character, an inkblood called Liar, who works as hired killer, harvested a branch in the woods, is startled by a snapping twig–by another inkblood, with whom she has some awkward conversation about the weather.
I skipped over a few descriptive sentences, where Liar speculates the other woman might be from one of the settler families, who come from the middle east, mostly.
Liar picked up the thread of the conversation, “Have you been here long?”
“This spring will make two years,” she said, “and don’t worry, I’ve already been told that last winter was mild.”
“Perhaps you can leave the city for the coldest part of the winter? There’s not much to do, anyway,” Liar offered, though she found winter an excellent time for assassinations. People bundled up so much, no one expected to see your face, and even well-paid guards would find a reason to linger under the shelter of a roof, or near a fire when they were meant to be patrolling.
The only difficulty was the snow, which gave away your tracks if you weren’t careful, and the icy conditions made traveling the roof roads too dangerous to be considered. She highly doubted the woman next to her, who wore traditional black in expensive and well-cut fabrics, with little hints of color in her trimmings, worked at the business of ending lives, however.
“That’s a good point,” the other woman said, after a thoughtful pause. “Thank you for suggesting it.”
* * *
Black Ink Plague is set in a world similar to ours, with the addition of the Rakau tree, which has magical properties–charcoal or ink from the tree can be used to cast spells. However, only inkbloods, babies who were left overnight at a Rakau tree’s roots on their first full moon, can harvest and use the tree. The price they pay for their magic is that the ink infects them, staining their skin and eventually forming words from the spells they cast on their skin. These words change their lives in unexpected ways.