I woke this morning with a plot bunny running riot in my head and decided that I’d scribble some notes before I sat down to work. I grabbed the laptop, switched it on and…. nothing happened. Two frantic hours later I called our local computer repair guy. Really, there are days when I wish Jack was real and I could have just chucked the sick laptop at him to fix, since his skills are clearly better than mine.
The computer wizkid turned up three hours later – which is fab service, indeed! – but the laptop was dead. Killed, seemingly, by last night’s Windows update.
Not only did it not want to talk to me. It wasn’t talking to him, either.
Faced with a choice of a (maybe) working laptop and no data, or no laptop and (mabye) data, I opted for the latter. And the computer wizkid came through and got the hard drive out of the laptop and talking to us. Somewhat.
Enough to get the last seven days of Healing Glass edits, the book files for Sword Oath, and all the research notes I’d written for Jack & Gareth’s fifth book. Plus all the Scrivener files for Sound Judgement and Embracing Fire, even though I can’t read them until I’ve got a new laptop and Scrivener reinstalled.
Rescuing files wasn’t what I’d planned to do today. Neither was updating my 10-year-old Dell so it can tide me over until the replacement laptop arrives. But these things happen, and I was fortunate I had most of my stuff backed up, and the files I hadn’t were readable. All kudos to the repair guy who did his best to help me out.
And that plot bunny I mentioned at the beginning?
It is, predictably after this week’s release, a Madan and Serrai story, and seems to start with the two of them in trouble. Like this…
Madan pulled the hood of his cloak further over his forehead. The stinging cold that hung between the mountains hadn’t bothered him since he’d become a Shade, but the water dripping into his eyes was annoying. Sunset was close, and he didn’t carry nearly enough firewood or weapons to survive the night out here.
“You’d better not be late.” He tried to find a more comfortable space to rest his shoulders, but only traded a protruding spur of rock for a gnarly piece of root. One just as uncomfortable as the other. Why had he ever listened to Grace, or agreed to her proposal?
The Fates are fickle. Leonidas the Seer had told him that when Madan had offered his life in exchange for Serrai’s. At the time, Madan had feared the Fates wouldn’t accept his sacrifice. Now he wished he’d listened better, enquired more. Instead, he’d behaved like a love-sick recruit rather than a king.
Serrai was worth every sacrifice, of course, but the rest of what they’d found themselves in? The Fates were fickle indeed. And parsimonious with information.
When the only choices had been to die alone or spend eternity together, becoming a Shade hadn’t sounded so bad an option. They hadn’t known that the Shadow Realm wasn’t one world, but two. Neither had the Fates’ assurance that “there are other Shades wandering the space between worlds, but not many” been entirely accurate.
And yes, I’m annoying enough to leave it there, because I don’t want to spoil the surprise for you. And you didn’t really think that Serrai would be content to just sit there and watch what happened in his kingdom, right?
And for those of you who don’t know who I’m talking about… why not check out my latest, a quick little fantasty read?
I’ll die for you, or with you.
When Madan swore a sword oath to Serrai he was eight years old. He kept his promise while they grew to manhood and took their respective positions as king and general, even when it seemed that he was the only one fated to love, deeply and devotedly.
Serrai never declared his feelings, but his love for Madan was just as fierce. And quietly, in his heart, he swore his own sword oath: to die with Madan.
Until a battlefield death leaves both oaths broken, and two men fighting for a future that doesn’t see them forever parted.
An m/m fantasy short story proving that love can win an argument with fate.
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