The best part of the writing week is Wednesday, because Wednesday on Twitter is #1lineWed. The hashtag will lead you to a land of glorious lines, excerpted from the works in progress of writers all over the world!
Because I participate myself, and because Context is Key, today’s entry in the Secret Files comes from Haven, a WIP I’ve not shared from previously. It takes place at the meeting of east and west, covering nearly a hundred years, from the mid 1800’s to the end of World War II.
This bit comes from what is currently scene one of draft one….the very beginning!
P.S: If Casimir’s body movements seem strange, it’s because right now…he’s a Unicorn. Bwaha!
Casimir came following purpose, the nature of his being – the odor of a final sacrament. Out of the night of the summer forest, skirting villages, towns, civilized places, he came summoned by the need to act, to fulfill his own essential task. Yet he was drawn onward, needled through every wild place until he breached the borders of domesticated gardens.
He heard low voices, words in German and a language he did not know, quick and light and sharp, incomprehensible as the darting speech of birds.
There were nothing but human sounds from within the boundaries of the garden, and Casimir shook his head, pushed his nose through the edge of the green. Brick and white masonry, tall fences of fern and flowers plaited into webs against the walls – nothing unusual. In a clear space paved with white stones, there were a table and four chairs.
He caught the thin smell of tea, food odors, and focused on the four unfamiliar faces in those chairs. Mortal. Pale.
Empty. What was he doing here? What drew him onward?
I have nothing to do with men.
This was not the place or time for some great revival, for a fight against this world. The world of men and real things, the world of iron. And yet as he focused on the strangers – so foreign, the source of those bird-voices.
He heard a wail that did not come from this world, but from the world beyond. Purpose. Madness. Intention and price. The black eyes of a woman who stood behind one of the seated strangers opened for him, and showed him a land of mountains. Islands and sea.
How long since I have seen the sea?
But there was nothing clean in the salt or the wave, and over the green mountains, which first had beckoned him, there grew a haze of orange and gray. The vision expanded, focused, drew him down from the blue of the sky into jade canopies, the million leaves of an ancient forest. Then – terror!
Casimir reared back, but there was no escaping it now.
Wild justice. All that was magic turned to dust. Yes. Black eyes opened over a tea cup, and they were full of future reflections. In the east, a green land would fall to screaming fire. Even the land on which he stood would turn to brown ash.
War is coming. It comes with these men – fire from the sky.
He breathed sharp and deeply, and panted enough to dislodge the blossoms before his face. A gasp of surprise broke the trance that held him, shattered the vision. It was a gasp directed at him, but that was all but impossible.
Long gone, the days when mortals knew our ways, could sense us, see us.
Casimir hesitated at the edge of retreating, then remained.