Again, because this is a Saturday on a holiday weekend and because my dad and sister are in town, I didn’t feel like writing a whole long blog post. Instead, you get a writing sample from one of the writing exercises I did with a friend a few years ago. There’s actually a character sketch on this woman wandering around this website somewhere (here it is!).
Noah Hill has quickly become one of my favorite characters, and when I’m done with Martyrs, I’m going to develop a story around this beautiful woman!
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The man-beast screamed as soon as she presented her walking stick–her weapon–and it pointed. Its features were becoming steadily less human. Its voice, its human voice, sounded strange to her ears. As it spoke, she was aware of the demon inside, the demon it had to be. The demon’s language was a foreign one. Collectors had been incapable of understanding them, of knowing them, since the beginning of time. The race had been considered feral. Unsophisticated. Incapable of true intelligible feats.
This thing was proving their assumptions very, very wrong.
“You!” It’s finger was pointed at Noah’s chest. “I was expecting you to show soon.”
Her heart skipped a beat. He recognized her.
Oh, how she hoped she hadn’t beaten him to a pulp in the Pass. That would make for a very bitter, very dangerous, earthly demon.
He flicked his coin into the air. It hovered there. Noah could see the energy floating between the Pass and this plane spinning to keep the metal airborne. In time, it was sucked through the vortex. Noah saw it fall to the ground in the Pass. A demon rushed upon it and sniffed it. He moved it with one, long talon.
While Noah was distracted with the coin and the demons in the Pass, she had failed to notice Mick pull his weapon from his pocket. His speed, his agility, and his assuredness with his weapon made the movement so quick and flawless that she didn’t realize what was happening until she heard the loud, reverberating bang echo across the vacant garage. Someone on the ground floor screamed.
They needed to get out. Now.
The bullet did nothing. The man-beast caught it in one hand and crushed it out of existence. “This? THIS is what killed Dar’kuras? Pathetic!”
Noah sighed and briefly closed her eyes. She took a deep breath, focused. Noise down on the streets. Sirens in the distance. A hired killer to her left, a man-beast blocking their exit. Noah could get out–she would have four angry demons to fight off in the Pass if she did–but that would mean leaving her companion behind.
Noah didn’t want to do that.
“I don’t appreciate being ignored,” Noah finally said. Her voice was still low, still calm. She took another step forward and stood in front of the man in leather. She held the staff parallel to the concrete floor before her. Closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and pulled the energy from her core and stored it in the wood. She felt the power in her palms–a warm, benevolent force. The staff held a subtle, purple glow.
“And,” she whispered. When she opened her eyes, they glowed violet as well. “I don’t want to play with you anymore.”
Noah rushed forward. Her light, lithe feet carried her the seven meters to the demon’s side in a matter of seconds. Before he even realized what was happening, before the man-beast even recognized that this small, scrawny woman was rushing him with her weapon held forward, Noah was in front of him.
But he was quick. He registered just in time and leaned back. The wooden staff grazed by the top of his head and knocked his fedora to the concrete. He leapt backward and landed on all fours. He bared his human teeth. His feral side was breaking through. The side with which Noah was familiar.
Then he attacked. He fought like he was in the Pass. He jumped upon her, toppled her over, but Noah put her staff between them. She thrust it forward and up. As she fell backward, he tumbled over her shoulders. She somersaulted backward before spinning on her heels to face him again. He was mid jump, his long fingers reaching for her throat.
Her heart stopped. Fear. Intense, deadly fear.
The gem about her neck flickered and glowed.
She shoved the staff forward and caught him in the hollow at the base of his neck. He gagged and fell to the ground.
Noah’s hands shook. She stood and swung her staff in a deep, downward arch. The sound of the wood striking the man’s head was like a cantaloupe falling onto a concrete floor. He immediately lost consciousness.
The sirens were closer now. Noah turned to her companion. Her eyes were wide with fear and she instinctively touched the gem embedded into her leather choker. She could almost feel it beating like a heart beneath her fingers.
“We need to go. Now.”