Fantasy Novel Excerpt

This is an EXTREME rough draft. I haven’t even spell checked or anything because I will completely rewrite and make stuff I decided to add to the story in Chapter 5 slots into place from the very beginning.

 

“Oh my dearest sister,” Leighton said. “Scream all you want. You’re all alone, the guards are under my control. No one will save you.”

The doors slammed outwards, striking the guards in the back, sending their weapons flying from their hands as they fell and hit the floor.

A woman clothed in tan, with large sprays and patches of blood on her garment, and with black hair, rushed through the opening. She spun to her right, and ran one guard through with her katana before spinning back to her left and killing the second guard as he tried to reach his weapon.

Oh thank God! Rochelle thought.

“Princess!” Simone Silva said.

 

#

 

Simone spun her sword repeatedly as she took in the scene before her. Leighton held his sword in a relaxed but ready position as she eyed the Princess. If he wanted to kill his sister now, he’d have to do it himself and he’d have to go through her first.

If only I’d been able to save the King, she thought bitterly.

Guilt washed over the warrior, threatening to break her concentration on the task at hand. She’d been entrusted with the safety of the monarch and his family and failed miserably. The King was dead; most of the troops were backing Leighton, and the coup wanted to kill Princess Rochelle too.

“Simone!” Princess Rochelle said as she jumped to her feet and ran over to stand behind Simone.

“Sorry I’m late, My Lady, but I had some nuisances to deal with.”

“Simone,” Leighton said as he walked through the blood flowing from the King’s dead body. “I’m surprised you’re here. I wanted you dead. Oh, well, I guess it’s hard to get decent soldiers.”

“You always were arrogant, Leighton,” Simone said, intentionally dropping any respect for him or his title. “And too stupid to realize you can’t always get what you want.”

“Am I now?” Leighton said. “Look at what I have accomplished. I have a kingdom and an army-”

“Fraud,” Simone interrupted as stepped back to keep distance between her and Leighton. Who know what else the sociopath might do next. “The rightful heir is the Princess.”

“Not anymore. The Kingdom is mine.”

Don’t remind me, she thought bitterly.

“You talk too much, Leighton,” Simone said as she reached back and grabbed the Princess’ arm. “That’s your problem.”

Leighton just looked at them.

Simone spun on the ball of her foot and then started to run towards the door. Princess Rochelle gasped at the pain caused by the warrior’s grasp and a part of Simone’s heart broke. Never in a thousand years did the young warrior think there’d be a coup and she and the Princess would be running for their lives.

“Come on, My Lady!” She snapped as the entered the main throne room and then started to run towards the door to the corridor outside.

“Where do you think you’re going, Simone?” Leighton called out. “You will never leave this castle alive. The troops are loyal to me and they will hunt you, they will find you and they will kill you.”

“Not bloody likely,” Simone muttered.

One of the worst things a person can do during a crisis is start to break down, even if somewhat delayed. It did nothing but muddy the waters further, making things harder for the ones trying to put things back together again.

Simone found herself in one of those muddied situations when they emerged into the corridor. The Princess started to sob and then came to a stop outside the throne room. Tears ran down her face and she bent over, placing her hands on her knees, as her body started to shake.

Her reaction was understandable to the warrior; in fact, a part of her wanted to cry over the failure to protect the King. However, neither of them had the time to waste on it. While she couldn’t hear them, Simone knew in her heart that the soldier would’ve found the one’s she killed and would know she still lived.

“Why?” the Princess said. “Why did Leighton kill father?”

We don’t have time for this, Simone thought.

“My Lady, we don’t have time for this! Even as I speak, the soldiers are closing in. We’re going to be lucky if we escape with our lives.”

“Promise me you won’t leave me, Simone,” the Princess said.

“I will give up my own life to protect you if I have to,” she said, “but we need to move!”

Once they got moving again, Rochelle started to move stronger and more confidently, allowing Simone to let go of her arm. Getting out of the castle would be a problem in and of itself, but what to do if they reached the village below? The soldiers would have vehicles and catch them before they could reach the safety of the mountains.

Leighton couldn’t have corrupted every soldier and turned them against her and the Princess. In fact, she estimated as many as fifteen percent still remained loyal to her. If that held true, then they’d be laying low, staying out of sight and hoping for her to give them orders.

If they haven’t killed my men, she thought, then I think I have an idea for getting the Princess out of town safe.

Ever had those times in life where you just think things are going too good to be true? That you’re accomplishing something so easy that there just had to be a catch somewhere? The bad thing is; when things are that easy, you can just about guarantee trouble lay around the nearest corner.

This thought filled Simone’s thoughts as they entered the fog filled courtyard. Around them lay the bodies of the soldiers she’d killed earlier. If Leighton’s supporters found them, they certainly didn’t lift a finger to move to corpses. Of course, the fact that she still lived probably influenced those actions too.

“Stop!”

The familiar voice of her second in command Thaddeus Brindle sounded muffled due to the fog, but close enough Simone stopped running then looked around her. Coalescing out of the fog were ten soldier, with swords drawn. Brindle and Leighton followed a respectful distance behind.

“Simone,” the Princess’ voice shook. “What do we do?”

“You die, my dear sister,” Leighton said before turning his attention to Simone. “I said you wouldn’t get far, Simone.”

“I’m not done yet, Leighton,” Simone said.

“From where I’m standing, it looks quite the opposite.”

“Where your standing is full of shit to be honest.”

“Dear me, is that how you address your King, Simone?”

“You’re no more a King than I am a Princess.”

Leighton’s eyes grew wide and he made a theatrical display of thinking. “Last time I checked, I am the King. Disarm her.”

Two men walked towards Simone with weapons drawn.

“Give it up, my lady,” one said.

“Me? Give up? I don’t know the word!”

“Just kill them,” Leighton said. “This is getting boring.”

“Boring, eh?” Simone said. “Tell me how you really feel.”

Dense molecular gas disks drive the growth of supermassive black holes: Are supernova explosions the key?

Astronomers have revealed that dense molecular gas disks a few hundred light years in scale located at the centers of galaxies supply gas to supermassive black holes situated within them. This finding provides important insights on the growth of supermassive black holes over cosmic time.

Source: Dense molecular gas disks drive the growth of supermassive black holes: Are supernova explosions the key?

Life with Mental Illness

It’s not often that I open up myself like this publicly or on my blog. It’s always seemed to me best to keep business/politics/person separated. However, this time I’m finding things different.

Why?

Your humble blog owner has bipolar and I’ve decided to also blog about and express how I feel each day or week as I continue to live with something I was diagnosed with in 2001.

As of Today, I have been out of work for a week and won’t go back for another 3-4 more days. This time, while seemingly relaxing to people who would kill to have to time off, has been miserable. It’s been a time of what the mental health professionals call “mixing,” which is particular to my type of Bipolar Type II. It’s when you want to scream and yell and run around and burn energy while at the same time you’re depressed and want to cry. It’s a very miserable feeling-and is the part that is most responsible for suicides by people with bipolar. Luckily for me, I don’t find that attractive or useful so I never let it bother me to that point. Doesn’t mean it’s not miserable mind you.

I’ve finally stopped mixing and now feel tired, depressed and sedated. This keeps me from having flash temper issues since I’m a rapid cycler. However, it’s in some ways interfered with my writing abilities and in other ways it has not. I’ll keep you abreast of that.

Today has been an okay day…just like I said above: tired, sedated and feeling down.

However, I try to keep a good attitude and keep slogging through it because it *has* to change one day-and it will. So, this too will pass. It’s just another speedbump in the road of life.

Will post again tomorrow if I’m able to.