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Considering this is going to be my last scheduled short story (I will likely have others I publish in the future, but they’re going to be more related to novel publications than random ideas) I thought it fitting I go back to the very beginning.
His Pitfall is a story I began writing at the same time I started writing in this genre/shortly after starting this blog. It was, in fact, the second MM story I ever began writing (the first is where the idea of the Merandin Empire spawned and thus I can’t publish it as a standalone). But I look at this story as one that speaks to that beginning time frame.
It’s been re-written heavily, but you can still get the old feeling of my writing style creeping in all over the place. I’ve grown a lot since I wrote this story, so I know had I simply started it over entirely rather than re-written it, the story would be even better. But for some reason, this old thing holds a strange place in my heart, like a reminder of moments when I thought it impossible to write full-length novels.
Most likely because the characters of Traice and Fiar feel very much like the precursors to Caliebb and De’vii from The Wilds Duology.
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A shadow stood above him. Far above him.
For a few seconds, Traice struggled to claim his bearings, his body aching from the fall and weakened branches cracking under his weight. He squinted against the sunlight pouring around the darkened figure of a man, then cursed under his breath as the shadow shortened to a crouch, only a spear left straight and tall, the weapon seeming to pierce the canopy above.
Then came a droll voice. “I’d been hoping to catch something worthwhile today, but that’s out of the question after that howl you gave when you fell. Scared off anything within the vicinity.”
Traice ignored the teasing as he gingerly touched the side of his head. He took stock carefully, but it seemed he’d managed only scratches and sores sure to blossom into beautiful bruises come this evening.
“Fiar,” muttered Traice as he sat up, popping the brush under his boot heels and crumbling dirt when he reached for the pit’s soil wall. He stood slowly before looking back up.
Vision now clear, he could see all of Fiar. The man, almost eight years Traice’s elder and boasting a sleeveless, dirty shirt and thick camouflaged pants, crouched at the edge of the pit, the butt of his spear resting upon the ground, the shaft resting casually against his shoulder.
Traice sighed, trying not to note the way Fiar’s skin shone in the afternoon sun. All gorgeously tan from being outside day after day. And that hair…a little bit of length up top and cut closer around the sides, was always a plethora of shades of brown from natural bleaching. Fiar’s eyes, too far away to see clearly—though Traice knew them to be a gentle green—bored into Traice in amusement.
“You going to help me out or just stare at me?” asked Traice.
“You can unravel a demon, but you can’t get out of a trap?” Fiar laughed and then leaned closer with a concerned expression. “You feeling all right? Break anything?”
Traice paused, pressing a hand against his side, then shook his head. “No, I’m good.”
An evil smile spread across Fiar’s face causing Traice to curse inwardly at his own stupidity. Continue reading