Thursday, 13 September 2012

5 Mins in a whole lot more - Bonds of Fire Novel Scene Preview

Yesterday through Literary+, Shen Hart challenged us to write for 5 mins on any subject we wanted and to post it. I was in the middle of a scene for my current WIP, the full novel version of Bonds of Fire, so I wrote a section of the scene for the challenge. Since then, I've finished the scene, so I thought I'd post it all, marking out my 5 min challenge in bold (I have corrected spelling etc outside of the 5 mins, which was allowed :P). The scene is introducing a new character to the reader...

Walking down the backstreet, Drekken rubbed his thigh self-consciously. He wouldn't have noticed the slight ache that Astren's exercises had given it if she hadn't mentioned the weakness specifically and he tried to ignore it again, instead sinking into the bustling life around him. He liked the alleyways of the old city with their corner vendors of food and anything else a stranger could want. They reminded him of the past, when life had been wilder, times he remembered with a smile and what he knew were rose-tinted spectacles. Still, he was grinning to himself as he strolled on his way, exchanging conversation with every person who tried to sell him something.
It had been at least ten years since he'd spent more than a few days in the city and, although people knew his name, they no longer knew his face, so Drekken enjoyed the freedom, concealed behind civilian clothes and a young face, just another rich man to be conned out of his gold.
Drekken had let himself be parted from a few coins for the sake of lively debate on the merits of everything from pancakes to prostitutes by the time he had decided that the ache in his leg was not going to go away without a rest and had chosen to head towards home. He had a beautifully carved bone rattle in his pocket for D, a small gem for Miri's collection and he was on the lookout for something for his empaths when Drekken came to a sudden halt.
The reason for his stop was a cool, even drawl from his right, "Well, well, look what the dragon dropped on us."
Drekken turned slowly to the owner of the voice, a smile on his face, but his emotions mixed. He laid eyes on a short, slender woman, blond with hard, bright blue eyes and a face younger than his own. Yet, all was not as it seemed, and Drekken's attention flicked to the small, angular dragon behind her. He stood on his hind legs, shorter forelimbs resting on her shoulders and sharp eyes regarding Drekken closely.
"The same goes for you," Drekken quipped back, noting the woman's travel cloak and stout boots. "Still preferring to walk, I see."
"Nature's way," the tanned face suddenly broke into a broad smile and arms were flung just as wide as the woman strode quickly over to Drekken.
"Hello, Leysel," Drekken greeted, not holding back the wariness in his tone, but taking his very old friend in his arms anyway and then kissing her soundly.
Hundreds of years of familiarity welled up inside Drekken and old passion held him in the embrace for a few moments, but, used to the reflection of time, he pulled back and took the hand that was offered to him.
"Well, well, you haven't lost any of your touch, General," Leysel leant in to him and whispered, her eyes no longer so cold.
"Neither have you," he returned the compliment. "Have you picked my pocket yet?"
Leysel laughed and held up his wallet, waggling it at him like a trophy.
"Have to keep my hand in," she winked and slipped the object back into his pocket.
"Come to think of it, wasn't there a warrant out for your arrest last time we parted?" Drekken checked, it was always best to note such things with Leysel.
"Statute of limitations is ten years, Darling," Leysel slapped him for that reminder. "We're upstanding citizens again now and Bayard is here to accept a post at the university."
Leysel walked back over to her dragon, who finally came out from the shadow in which he had been waiting.
"Hello, Bayard," Drekken inclined his head respectfully to the Sylka.
'Drekken', the dragon replied, equally formally.
"So you finally decided to take up that offer?" Drekken checked on the standing invitation that had been waiting for the scholar for many centuries.
"Oh stop it, you two. We both know if it hadn't been for me, Bayard would have taken it up years ago," Leysel quipped, rubbing the dragon's neck and giving Drekken a heavy look laden with that old passion. "We're here now, and we need somewhere to stay."
Drekken should have remembered that Leysel never did anything by accident and he saw opportunity in their 'chance' encounter. It should not have come as a surprise, but now he knew why Bayard was being so reticent: as far as Sylkas went, Bayard was typical, very private and did not like asking for anything. It was therefore more for Bayard's sake than Leysel's that Drekken did not ponder the prospect Leysel had left between them.
"You will have to apologise to mother for stealing her best jewellery," he reminded Leysel of the reason for the warrant.
"Oh, she doesn't hold a grudge," Leysel waved the moment away and Drekken was glad when he saw Bayard visibly relax.
Drekken was not at all surprised when he found an arm through his own and he started back on the path that had been interrupted. Bayard fell in next to them, staying close to Leysel.
"So, I've read all those newspaper reports of your wondrous exploits, but what have you really been up to in the last fifty years?" his friend dove into conversation like it had only been a few months since they had seen each other.

I'm interested in what you think :)

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