Wednesday, August 3, 2011

WIP Wednesday

My current project is my entry for the werewolf pax coming this fall at Amber Quill. It's called Moon-touched, and it's about a werewolf on the run who ends up helping a small-town woman with Alzheimer's whose son comes home to see if she needs long-term care, only to discover this stranger in the house he grew up in. This is a snippet from the first chapter:

*****

At the first line of pink along the horizon, the shift began.

It started in his bones, in the very marrow, the core of who and what he was. When he’d been young, his father had terrified him with stories about how their kind was captured so scientists could harvest their marrow for their vicious experiments. It was better to be killed than to be caught. That was the lesson learned. He still lived by that creed, though these days, it was more out of certain terror of what Perry would do to him should he slip and get captured again. But somewhere in the back of his mind, he always wondered if there was truth in the old tales. Because when he changed, whether from wolf to human, or human to wolf, it always began in the same deep pits of his being.

It hurt, too. Both ways. Whether bones had to shrink or muscles had to stretch, the eruptions beneath his skin burned away everything else until he thought he’d die from the transformation. The pain was the reason so many of his kind howled as soon as the change was done. Baying at the demonic moon responsible for the rhythms of their bodies released all the pent-up anguish to make the night manageable.

The fact that Andre couldn’t had forced him to find other ways to cope with the pain. Not all of them were healthy. None of them banished the aches like howling did for the others.

But he managed. Reverting to his human form was easier, if only because he could turn to pharmaceuticals to help deal with the residual pains.

It wasn’t swift. He often wished for the magic of Hollywood, where glittery dust would shower down upon the writhing beast and transform him into the naked hunk of the month within the blink of an eye. How much better would his life had been if he could have withstood the change with more grace, more efficiency? Instead, he was trapped in this endless game of hide and seek, waiting for the jaws to snap one final time. There were only two ways to end it, and he wasn’t strong enough to make the necessary kill.

So he endured the transformation. The rising sun bled over the edges of the world, rousing both beast and beauty, and quelled the silent howls trapped inside his skin for another cycle. He lay curled into a tight ball beneath the bushes and focused on his breathing. In. Out. Another day to live. Another night survived. Whether he liked it or not.

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