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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

#3 First Page

Title: The Magic Withheld
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Three agents have partials of Magic but I don't have a lot of hope that it will continue along the traditional route. I am considering E-pub.


The concert was over, the bulk of the crowd long gone. Stragglers paused then hurried by the two men that circled each other like predators under the streetlights. A third man crawled and hitched forward out of the light. His skinny legs scuffed the ground in sandpapery hisses, desperation in his movements.

Like a slow dance, Justus Aubre mirrored the steps of the mugger. When the night breeze lifted a tuft of hair into his eyes, Justus brushed it away in one quick motion.

Another scrape and groan came from the victim inching away but Justus ignored the old man’s struggle to escape.  Distractions made for sloppy defense. But his emotions…that was a different kind of cat. Irritation and anger built in waves and, after witnessing the attack on the old man, it melded with his outrage.

Wrath threatened to overwhelm him.

His grand plan to avoid attention, shot to hell at the sight of a mugger accosting an old geezer. For a goddamn watch.

What an idiotic thing to do, getting involved in someone else’s problem.

A whisper of magic escaped his control and coursed to his fingertips. He firmed his grip, placing the volatile emotions into a mental vise.

Calm, stay calm.

Justus chanced a look at the old man. The guy had made it to the shadowed edge. Relief, despite his internal rebuke, softened his irritation.

Good. One less thing to worry about.

The mugger chose that moment to engage with a hiss of metal.

Light reflected from a saw-toothed blade and made a barred pattern of the fingers holding the knife. Justus angled away, shifting to the side as the mugger’s stroke flashed wide of the mark. Justus shoved then danced out of the way. The mugger fell on the concrete and into an epic -- and very satisfying -- face plant.

It was the break Justus needed. He cast his senses into the dwindling crowd and prepared to gather the energies swirling around him. Comet trails of elements that only he could see spiraled in answer to his will. He began the first appeal, called to them in a soft exhalation, as a child blows to see their breath on a cold morning. The glittery energies brightened as he named them.

A deeper chill stroked his skin, lifting the small hairs of his arms. A sensation thrummed and vibrated over his forearms as if thousands of bees wriggled to break free.

His stomach dropped. Another magic maker, using the anonymity of the crowd to hide, was close. He released his will before touching the elements and the sparkles faded, mingling with the misty fog of his breath. Why hadn’t he listened to that little voice, the annoying one that warned him away from public concerts? Even in Iowa, others like him lurked in secret.

3 comments:

Halli Gomez said...

Very interesting story. I definitely want to read more.
You seem to have two different ways of writing. Some sentences are short and concise and others are much longer and filled with adjectives. To me the difference affected the flow of the piece.
I would like to see more of the shorter sentences, leaving more to the reader's imagination.

Overall it pulled me in and I wanted to read more! Thanks.

Charity Bradford said...

I love the slight changes you made. Justus is much more likeable now that you have those sentences showing his concern for the older man.

Other than that, I feel I shouldn't comment because I know the whole story. I really do like the subtle changes though.

mshatch said...

Like Charity, I've read this but I do have one comment. How about you start with Justus, like this:

Like a slow dance, Justus Aubre mirrored the steps of the mugger. When the night breeze lifted a tuft of hair into his eyes, Justus brushed it away in one quick motion.

The concert was over, the bulk of the crowd long gone. Stragglers paused then hurried by the two men that circled each other like predators under the streetlights. A third man crawled and hitched forward out of the light. His skinny legs scuffed the ground in sandpapery hisses, desperation in his movements.