Okay, today is the ‘I hate you blogfest’, thrown by Tessa’s blurb. The rules are to share an excerpt where one of your characters hates somebody or despises something, when feathers are ruffled and people are nasty.
I’m contributing a passage from the climax of “The Way Back Home”, which will probably be totally different once I manage to find my way through this revision. But Naveli gets some nice temper in:
“Yes, I thought that your little weasel might be in here,” Merlik said, chuckling with honest humor as something shifted restlessly inside the pack. “He was a wild card in our plans to be sure – we had no idea that the Brussards had allied with the mustelid councils and were employing weasels as undercover agents. That’s fascinating.”
“She’s a ferret, and she’s a she, you freakin’ idiot!” Naveli screamed, taking a great deal of pleasure in being able to correct him on that score. Merlik just shrugged nonchalantly and didn’t try to speak. “What in tarnation do you want of me?” Naveli continued. “That’s what I can’t understand in the first place. Why did you take me from my home, and once we got out, why did you spend so much effort, cause so much devastation tracking me down again? What could I possibly give to you that’s worth that?”
Merlik smiled a slightly demented smile. “Well, I was wondering if you’d have figured it out now. But part of the point is for you to realize for yourself… after all, it wouldn’t help at all for me to paint the colors in for you. Just follow the numbers, little girl, and you’ll be okay.”
Naveli stared, completely puzzled by this remark, and happened to notice that the soldiers, who weren’t wearing masks this time, were expressing distaste at Merlik’s speechifying as well. Maybe they didn’t see the point in what he was leading them through, either, Naveli thought, and wondered if she could turn that to her advantage. “So what happens now?”
Merlik stared at her for a long moment, considering her question. “Well, we leave, and you go and try to find a medic who isn’t already busy working to save lives back at the train tracks who can save your friends’ life in time.”
Naveli stared at him. “So seriously, that’s it, you chased us down just to tell me some mysterious nonsense and shoot my friend?”
“That wasn’t the only possible endgame plan, but it seems to cover things nicely, yes.” Merlik sighed. “I was never going to keep you too long from your family in any case, I’ll say that much. Just wanted to make sure that you saw a few things, or at least that was part of it. Didn’t expect that you’d have shown quite so much initiative back at the hideout, but I’d left orders that the soldiers should let you escape if they could do that without it looking suspicious. All in all, things worked better that way than anything else I could have planned out. Oh, and was it really your ferret who stole the magikal pages that we found in your room?”
That was when Naveli really lost her temper. It was the casual way in which Merlik asked that last question, as if he expected her to give him the answer as a sign of professional respect, one spellcaster to another. Completely forgetting every caution that he had so casually dropped onto her, she stared at him, trying not to make it obvious that she was thinking a spell pattern, and prepared the heat ray.
“Sir?” one of the soldiers called, and Naveli wondered if she was about to get shot too, but that didn’t really make a dent in her anger. If Merlik was going to get away, they would have to shoot her or do something else to make her back down, because she was not simply going to stand there and fail to act while she had any weapon in her arsenal.
“That’s quite all right, Glondin,” Merlik said, casually, and the soldier who had spoken lowered his weapon. It was just a few seconds later before the heat ray was ready to fire – but no sooner had she let it loose than the heat was absorbed into a floating ball of water energy that Merlik brought into being, floating in front of him. Naveli kept up the heat beam for as long as she could manage, but she hadn’t taken extra time to reinforce the spell pattern, and it failed after perhaps ten seconds. Merlik idly dispersed the ball into a splatter of water droplets, and then fired off a small bolt of electrical power that knocked Naveli onto her butt.
She was hurt, and still plenty pissed, but as Naveli scrambled to her feet, she was horrified to realize that every spell she’d learned, back to that first floating on air pattern that Samantha had taught her, had fled her memory temporarily as the blood pounded in her ears like drums calling for payback. She felt humiliated at her inability to retain the magikal weapons that she’d gathered so far and use them all against that Merlik, but embarrassment only served to drive magikal thoughts from her mind, not sharpen her recollection of them.
“I can see that you’re upset with me,” Merlik continued, sounding annoyingly like Naveli’s father on the rare occasions that he lectured her. “It would probably salve your pride and ego somewhat if I dignified your attempt at a wizard’s duel and hurt you more seriously, maybe even gave you a scar that would be visible for the rest of your life. But that’s not the point, little girl. This world is much more complicated than you’ve yet seen, and maybe when you begin to appreciate that, what I’ve done this week won’t seem like such a horrible or crazy deed.”
“I don’t care how complex or deceptive the world is,” Naveli spat at him. “When I get older, I will search for you. I’m not sure whether or not I’ll find you, Merlik, because there are plenty of good places to hide. But if I do track you down, I will end your life. Trust me on that. You can overpower the few spells that I’ve learned so far, that’s not too hard really I suppose. But when I have the chance to really study with my Family, then you’ll be just as incapable of standing against me, as I am to resist you now.”
So what do you think? Is that really hateful, or just a hissy fit?