Ethandune [Etc.] Excerpts | The Setup Phase

I'm going on 13,000 words in the Ethandune rewrite, and for the most part I'm pretty encouraged!  I felt pretty rocky at the start - you know how that goes.  But once I hit my stride I was swinging strong.  I'm still in that avalanche stage of setting up the questions, and I may be the story's first casualty before I crawl out from underneath them to answer them all...

VERY SMALL PERSONAL UPDATE: thank you - THANK YOU, EVERYONE - for all your super encouraging, banding-together-ness comments on my last (first??) Ethandune update post when I mentioned my yucky sleep/headaches/depression.  I have a brilliant, super-chill, wonderful doctor + she
  • gave me a muscle relaxer which helps me sleep WITHOUT BEING FULL OF PAIN + TENSION ALL NIGHT
  • gave me a semi-caffeinated painkiller which ACTUALLY MAKES ME FEEL LIKE A REAL HUMAN BEING
  • and, in the main, my depression has ebbed to a much more manageable level - not gone, but not "regular" + crippling as it had been
 So thank you SO MUCH for caring for me.  It really means a lot.

{because that's why you're really here + i need to think of a better term than "snippets"}

We waited what seemed a full ten minutes—mayhap only five, it seemed long, and the sunlight was growing hotter on my neck the while—when at last there came a backflung report of bootsteps on wood flooring within, a bolt drew back at hand, and the door was opened.
I jumped—even Golightly, beside me, made a small gesture of surprise. Goddgofang’s brows kicked up in a way that made his ears move, like a horse’s when it catches wind of something interesting.
Dammerung himself made no motion.
The figure in the doorway was built like a wrestler: hugely shouldered, lean at the waist, and thickly muscled. The man was clad, like Dammerung himself, in a gentleman’s clean shirt with a light buckskin jacket overtop, skimming his knees where he wore breeches and a pair of brass-capped paddock boots. But there all semblance of a Maresman ended. He had a wrap of linen round the crown of his head, swung down in a coin-plated sheath which obscured his face and left only his eyes to sight; his left arm held the door, but his right arm, at right angles with his body, was cast in steel to the fingertips and attached by a stamped pauldron to the shoulder.
“Ah,” said Dammerung lightly. “That would explain the illegibility.”
“Lord Dammerung.” The hawkish, green-grey eyes flickered from the Overlord to the rest of us, and back again. His voice was one which made you want to cough, somehow to clear the speaker’s throat. “It is my Lord Dammerung? I did not know if you would come.”
“I would have come in any event,” said Dammerung coolly. “You needn’t mind about that.” 

“Is there anything more I can get my lords?” asked Youngblood Ireton, hands in his breech-pockets, head cocked back to eye Dammerung, who was leaning through the open doorway of his little bedroom to look round at the view.
Dammerung pulled back and swung round. There was a curious light in his eye, as though he and the butler had shared a joke which neither had needed to speak. “Oh, I don’t think so. We’ll see you in a trice at dinner.”
“Very good,” said Ireton. He gave a passive, satisfied nod, and strolled out, pulling the door shut in his wake.
“Was that—” began Goddgofang.
“It was,” finished Dammerung. 

Youngblood reached behind Coeur de Leon’s head, slipped his fingers beneath the coil of linen, and, wholesale, lifted the headgear off with a tinselly jink of coins. The mask was set aside, and I had a blood-curdling view of the man’s face.

“He hasn’t any of the charm in his blood,” he went on presently; “not Golightly—he’s loam-and-bone to the core of him. But he’s like that one old dog you’ve got that won’t make a noise, so that a prick of the ears is no cry wolf, and it’s best to heed him.”

We came upon the workers at last, in what must have been the oldest tract of the orchard. Here the light was greenest, the trees thickest, tallest, mingling in a mare’s-nest of branches within each other, overhead, all around—like walking in Pan’s antechamber. 

Little boy blue
Come flash your spur
The nightingale’s calling
From the stoop o’ death’s door
Where is the boy
Whom grim comes to reap?
Under the opium,
Fast asleep.

He whirled the winnowing flail in his hand, with a whoop and whistle of the dream-coloured air; and with his off hand pointed at the ring of them, saying with a shine-toss tone of halfway formality, “Come ye, any one of you, who will abuse the feyless white-haired chit—for I’ll stand proxy for her, and let ye see, who dares of you, whether the teeth of the Blue Lord Duke have been trimmed!”
Round the back of him, in a pulsing, fretfully semi-opaque mass, the Good Dog swelled and faded and swelled in view, eyes hot coals and teeth, completely solid, grinning like insanity over his shoulder.

“I was delivered to ye by a devil, and ye made of me a slave, without home, without clothing, and without name. Now, lo!—it is for this I am come, for such a crisis as ye face, to be what ye cannot be, to do what ye cannot do. Now shut up your mouths and stand aside, else, if ye bar my way, your destruction will be on your own heads.”

Like a lion you came down
From the nighttime sky,
With stars in your mane,
And sparks in your eyes,
And light at the tips of your teeth.
Like a lion you came down,
Like a wolf, like a fox;
Like a lamb, like newfallen snow;
I caught you on the ends of my lashes,
And you star-teeth I kissed with my lips.

11 ripostes:

  1. I am so glad to hear you are feeling better and that things are more manageable. Praise the Lord! *hugs!* I am so very glad for you!


    Ireton intrigues me.


    Your style is beautiful and I'm SO EXCITED FOR THIS BOOK.

  3. Yay for poetry bits!
    Yay for feeling better!
    Huzzah for Dammerung!

  4. I'm so glad you feel better! I've been praying for you. Headaches and depression ain't no fun.
    The "Snippets" are exciting and your poetry is fabulous. I have the "Men Touched Mad" poem for my laptop background. I like the word "Snippets," by the way.
    I've always had a fascination with the whole Middle Eastern, desert, stallions, veils and turbans vibe thing, and now you're putting it in a story. (Happy dance)

    1. While I would probably not happily survive in a bedouin setting, their aesthetic has always fascinated me too. It's certainly not a one-to-one translation to Plenilune, because the demands of the weather are basically completely opposite - but I ADMIT, BEDOUIN CULTURE IS KINDA COOL TO LOOK AT.

    2. Yeah, the weather would be what I couldn't stand. For all that I live in the South, I am not real fond of it being so hot that you step outside and you're immediately drenched in sweat. Not elegant at all.

  5. I'm so glad you 've got something to help with the headaches and depression! It's good to hear that you are doing better!

    The snippets are very good. The stranger in the first one sounds intriguing! The second to last snippet is also intriguing! I like the poems too.

    I think "snippets" is a good word.

    I am sorry for the late comment. I didn't read the post till tonight.