Friday, 3 May 2013

Saturday #Afterdark - Left for Dead

Another Saturday and a little more Owen and Irene. Be sure to check out the AfterDark Moments from Ray Sostre, Naomi Shaw and Pablo Michaels.

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Irene stalked toward the lake, desperate to get away from house and family. There was a small vessel on the shore. She would take it and row to the other side of the lake, away from all of them. No father trying to marry her off, no mother confusing her with talk of love, no brothers to antagonize her, and most importantly, no Owen trying to accompany her.
That last was too much to ask.
"Irene!" He called. She lifted her skirt in one hand and ran faster, her bow and knife catching on every other stride. Still she ran, not dropping her hem until she pushed the boat into the lake and jumped inside. Her bow and knife clattered to the floor of the boat as she took up the oar.

Still he came, splashing through the water and even diving in. That shocked her, making her oar hesitate across her lap. The water was freezing, fed by the mountains. Even in summer it was barely warm. Yet he dove under and swam with long strokes.
Her hesitation cost her, and she dipped the oar back in too late. He had grabbed the side and begun hauling himself up. She rapped his knuckles with oar, bruising them and sending him back to water. She rowed with vengeance then, paddling hard and quick to pull away from him toward the far shore.
How did he swim in all those skins and boots? Surely they would drag him to the bottom of lake. Then she would never have to face him again. Exactly what she desired.
Turning away from his splashing, she looked toward her goal. There was a patch of beach where she could land the boat. Hopping out, she cussed as the freezing water engulfed her bare feet. She dragged the boat and then ran inland.
"Irene!" Owen called, still following. What did he want from her? "Irene. Gods, I'm cold. I'm going to start a fire, Irene. Please join me. You'll freeze too."
She held her arms, already feeling the chill in the air. There was no way she was seeking his heat, however. She trudged on, bow and knife in hand.
There was more cursing behind her and a violent sneeze. She looked back to see Owen pushing through the trees, his breath coming in misty swirls. He was pale, which looked wrong in his dark complexion. Just as she was about turn and run on, he collapsed.
This was her chance. She could leave him for dead, find some sort of shelter and live free.
Lying on his back, breath continued to swirl over him in smaller patches, further apart. He was dying.
She wasn't hard enough. She couldn't leave him like that. Not when he'd gotten that way following her. Gathering leaves and branches, she started a fire right next to him with his own flint and steel. Then she let it burn while she sought larger pieces to feed it, building it into a roaring blaze.
Irene sat on the opposite side of the fire, watching him. His chest rose and fell so slowly. He was still dying. Approaching him again, she touched his face, feeling how icy he was. Closing her eyes to gather her strength, she pulled off his shirt. Beneath he wore a tunic similar to her brothers'. It was heavy with water and nearly frozen.
Irene left it in place for another minute, but couldn't leave him for dead. She pulled up on the tunic, sliding his arms out of the sleeves until it smacked on the ground near his head. Now she was faced with his broad chest covered in thick dark curls. It was different from her father and brothers with fine pale hair. She ran her hand over it, feeling how cold his skin was. Biting her lip, she rolled atop him. He had better not make her regret this.

As always, the rest of the AfterDark Moments are on the blog.

5 comments:

  1. This excerpt is the best so far. I can't see why she keeps running from a man so interested in her but then she needs her independence. "His breath coming in swirly mists"- very good description.

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  2. Excellent snippet. Deep down she needs time to think as everything is rather overwhelming. I hope she gets away for a while and makes some good decisions about her life

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  3. Another tantalizing snippet, I am loving their chemistry and Irene's character as fearless, down to earth, holding her own ground, i feel related to her a lot. The way she seeks and does everything to feel and/or be self-sufficient shows how great a character she's developed herself.

    As to Owen's personality, I believe he couldnt be more perfect for her. To me it seems like they're compatible with each other, he seems like he isnt like most men as Irene's mother described her, he is just as different and ever-intriguing as she is.
    I'm looking forward to reading a lot more of them.

    And about your writing, I am not expert nor do i want to appear knowledgeable by making a critic though I just wanted to say that I feel relaxed reading your posts, I dont find the strain of a vocabulary-laden work which although inspiring at times, gets on my nerves mostly. I felt at ease reading this and summing all this up what I mean is I like your writing.


    Regards,
    Tatiana.

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    1. Thank you so much for commenting, Tatiana. I only have a few more installments of Irene and Owen. I will try to find more to write in future. Sadly, I think the next place to go is after the first story to the attack on her village. It will not be a happy place.

      I hope you enjoy some of my other stories as well!

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