Yesterday, on my ‘Official’ Facebook page, I posted asking readers for good vibes, so that I could finish Chapter 6.
Now is the time where I thank everyone for such positive thoughts, because Chapter 6 ended strong at 2,629 words! Not only did Chapter 6 go well, but I wrote a good 700 words of Chapter 7!
So yesterday was ridiculously productive, both in my writing and in my workplace. Today is my Friday, which is always awkward because it’s actually Monday. But I have the next two days off. I have zero plans, except for quality gym and tan time with a friend on Wednesday.
And so, in celebration of general awesomeness, here is an excerpt from Chapter 7!
Val found herself jumping in the dark again. The physical exertion was making her cracked head ache. She didn’t have to feel it to know that a large bump had grown there. If she moved her head and neck around too much, her vision would swim and her stomach would lurch. Val always disliked jumping at night, but this was the worst jump of her life.
The night swallowed her, the cloud filtered moonlight adding to her difficulties. The wind ripped against her as she fell through the dark. The next mast materialized from the shadows, and Val grunted as she landed. Her ankle threatened to twist, so awkward was her landing. Once again she was thankful she wore tall boots. Once her balance stabilized, Val crouched to catch her breath. Her stomach lurched again, her body instinctively curling as it prepared to expel her stomach contents, but Val refused to vomit. She stayed there, hunkered down as she fought heaves and a wave of dizziness. Finally her stomach settled, and her head slowed its spinning. She took several deep breaths and then stood.
In the dark, Val closed her eyes and relied on her knowledge of Vessel groans. She knew that she was on Vessel Rayne because of its extended and deep groans. Its metal hadn’t needed repair or patching in nearly twenty years, so the old ship groaned with an old familiarity. Nearby, she could hear the higher pitched wails of Vessel Haas. As the metalworks ship, it had the newest parts. New parts weren’t well worn, and so squealed in protest of the pressures of flight. She opened her eyes and turned toward the sound of Haas. In the dark she could make out the vague form of the Vessel. The weak moonlight managed to reflect off the metal siding, giving her just enough sight to make the jump.
Val took another deep breath, planning the jump in her mind. The ships weren’t as close as she’d like. Her head was pounding out the increased rhythm of her heart, and her stomach would interrupt her thoughts with a flip every so often. Add to it her sore ankle, and this was the stupidest decision to jump in her life.
A part of her mind asked her to rest there, in the sails. But the rest of her refused. Vessel Rayne wasn’t one she was fond of. It was the incinerator for the fleet. Only the dead, and their caretakers, found themselves on Vessel Rayne. No, Val couldn’t sleep amongst its ash stained sails.
She drew another deep breath and sprinted toward the end of the mast. Sharp pain shot through her ankle, up into her calf. She limped for half a step and then powered through. As she reached the end of the beam, her left arm grabbed the rope that flapped in the wind. She hissed as the rope wound around her bad arm, but it was too late now, she was flying in the night.
She swung from the rope in a large arc. Her arm burned as the rope found the healing skin, and Val couldn’t keep from crying out. She heard the high pitched groan of Haas and looked down. She watched as the metal railing passed beneath her, and released her grip on the rope. Again the rope burned her arm as it unwound itself. Val cried out again, and rolled hard against the deck. She rolled twice before stopping, laying flat on her back. She looked up at the sky, though it moved far more than it should have. Her stomach lurched again, and this time Val didn’t fight it. She retched on the deck, the morning’s eggs making an unpleasant come back. She let her head thud back to the metal deck and immediately regretted it. An icy pain coursed through her skull, and Val curled into a ball, her head cradled in her gloved hands. She could feel her ankle throbbing beneath her leather boots, and knew it would be swollen soon. As she held her head, a warm wetness seeped through the tear in her glove’s fraying seam.
Crumpled and broken, Val gave in to her pain, and let the tears fall. She wasn’t sure how long she’d laid there, crying to herself, when she felt strong arms lift her up.
“I’m here,” he said, as she buried her face in his shoulder. “I’m here.”