Briefly (let’s hope) stalled on latest project and I’ve been noodling with the idea of a short story. I keep starting stuff then stopping again. To wit:
“Time for another fight. His muscles still ached from the last brawl. He’d been pounded but good last time. He’d won, of course. He always had to win, but it had been an uphill climb. He rolled his shoulders, loosening muscles, warming them up for the next bout.
“Ladies and gentlemen!” The master of ceremonies repeated it a few times, to make sure everyone was awake and paying attention. Good. Roux hated fighting to a sleepy, somnolent crowd. His performance would wake them up sure enough but it was easier if they were paying attention from the start. He hated to waste a good performance.”
And Maddy the Mad Murderess:
“Maddy’s night had gone from bad to worse. First wine stains on her new dress and now blood. Fan-fucking-tastic. It was Gandalor’s fault, of course. Dirty fucking pervert. Couldn’t keep his hands to himself, and now here she was, up shit creek and her life in flames all around her. Bastard. Thrice-damned bastard.
Well, at least I’ll look fabulous as they toss me into the clink for the rest of my natural born days. Ooh, and if they’re feeling strange and unusual maybe they’ll give me life-enhancing drugs just so I can rot all the longer.
She stood by the side of the pool and stared down at the lifeless body of her late lover dispassionately.”
And a short to flesh out more of Tessa’s backstory:
“Angela Raintree had been dead a week. Her worries were over.
‘Course, the worries for her two daughters were just starting.
“I’m sorry, Tessa, I wish there were something I could do for you girls, I really do. But this house belongs to the new colonial admin and their family.”
Tessa folded her arms across her chest and stared down the slimy bureaucrat that was busy trying to evict her and her sister from the only house they’d ever known. “Kay, you know it’ll be months before anyone’s even appointed, probably longer for them to get here. It shouldn’t be necessary for me and Mari to vacate the premises for months yet.”
Kay tucked a finger into the too-high collar of her uniform and gave it a little tug. Tess could see little runnels of sweat pouring down the woman’s face and pooling in the fat rolls of her neck. “Tess, the new admin is supposed to be here next week.”
“Next week?” Tessa almost staggered back as from a blow. “One week? Your bureaucratic shitheads expect me and my sister to clear out of the house we’ve lived in our whole lives in less than a week? Kay, tell me you haven’t been eating the sand mushrooms again.”
Kay narrowed her eyes, “Tessa, I’m sorry I couldn’t give you two more notice. But that’s how it goes. You and Mari don’t live here anymore. Deal with it. I’ll be back before week’s end to make sure all your gear’s out.” Kay turned away and started out the door.
Tessa followed her out and hollered after her retreating back, “Yeah, and just where are me and Mari supposed to go?”
Kay turned and kept walking, backwards now. She shrugged. “Single ladies’ quarters should have space.”
Tessa glared and then slammed the door. “That shithole? Over my dead carcass.”
“So that went well,” Mari said and stepped in from their food prep area.”
Grrargh. Why’s the muse always gotta dry out at inoppurtune moments?