I keep plugging away at revisions on The Book Formerly Known As EEL’S REVERENCE. Its new name is THE WOLVES OF PORT NOVO. Better name? I hope so.
ANYWAY, here’s a scene from beyond the middle, so I’m making slow progress. Not changing much, actually, but I have to be careful; if I change one little thing early on, I have to be sure I change that little thing throughout, right?
I love Guerrero as a character. He isn’t in for very long, but he so bad. He just be so bad!
The Disappointed Looter
excerpt from THE WOLVES OF PORT NOVO
by Marian Allen
Clare loaded the crossbow. She was quiet, and she was fast.
“Loach! Guerrero!” she warned.
They and Uncle Phineas turned. Loach and Guerrero, being forewarned, jerked their mounts to each side of the road. Uncle Phineas tried to evade the shot, but he was too startled, and too large.
The quarrel buried itself in the flesh of his right arm. He bellowed in pain and outrage.
Clare urged her pony forward, nocked another arrow, and fired again. Her aim was good, but movement and agitation spoiled it again. The bolt broke through Uncle Phineas’ left collarbone. He gave a high-pitched grunt and toppled out of the saddle.
His head struck a fallen branch with a solid thunk, and he lay still.
Guerrero slid off his pony. “Let me have my knife back,” he said to Muriel. “He may not be dead.”
“Just rob him,” said Loach.
“I intend to. Come on, Muriel.”
Muriel dismounted, taking off the helmet and hanging it on the pommel of Clare’s saddle. Her olive skin looked as if it had been powdered with chalk, and her eyes were wide. “Don’t kill him.”
“You were going to kill that one.” He gestured to Clare.
Muriel shook her head.
Loach slipped off his pony to stand by Muriel. “We were twitchy,” he said. “Besides, we’d been fighting her; that always gets your blood up.”
“What are you talking about? Muriel, give me my knife.”
“What about our plan?”
“We could…. We could just tie him up. Rob the temple and get out.”
Guerrero spat in disgust. “I wish I’d never picked you two out of the desert. Days wasted on this scheme, and what do I have to show for it? I’m not robbing any temple with you. A partner who won’t kill when she has to is too dangerous to be around. – What about you?” he asked Clare. “You started this; don’t you think we’d better finish him?”
Clare had thrown back her hood. Her blunt features looked pinched and grim. “I have to get to his temple. Give me back my uniform. I’ll get my family and…. But what if Isabella does know? What if she’s got her wardens waiting for us? Oh, Micah, what am I going to do?”
“Well, of all the –” Guerrero tugged at Uncle Phineas’ rings. Some came off and some didn’t. “Could I have my knife back, if I promise I’ll only use it to flense a few of his knuckles? Not even that?” He grumbled a curse and gave up on the rest of the rings. A fat sack of money from Uncle Phineas’ cassock improved the looter’s mood.
Uncle Phineas groaned and stirred.
“There you are,” said Guerrero. “Now you’re in for it. I’m gone.” He swung onto his sandy mare and, with a last betrayed glare at Muriel, galloped back toward the desert.
“Never mind,” said Clare. “You’re both coming with me.”
“You’re both coming with me. I might need to use you to bargain for my family’s safety. I’m sorry.”
“This is getting on my nerves,” said Loach.
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A WRITING PROMPT BASED ON MY POST: A partnership breaks up.