03/24/21 Snippet the Last, MARKET DAY AT THE PECZ.

Cliffhanger-y because the good guys didn’t prevail and didn’t really get a climax. I’m decreeing it done anyway. It’s for the sampler, which means by definition it’s not for purchase. I want it to ferment a while longer while I decide if it wants to be a novel or a novella when it grows up.


The demon contemplated the knives. They had been placed on a stump in the middle of the clearing by the surviving cultist. Her corpse would now be in the process of fertilizing the ground, but nothing lived in this part of the Devilwood. She was hardly alone, though; there had been many sacrifices and minions brought here in the last year, and Camio’s plans assumed there would be many more. And each corpse was as untouched as it was at its death; for nothing lived in this clearing. Not even rot.

Camio was not the sort of entity that had an internal monologue: the act of talking to yourself implies an ability for self-contemplation, and the demon had never seen the need. Why think about itself at all? Camio already knew it was perfect, in every way… except for how much power was its to command. By ‘now’ (whatever that means for a creature from Eternity) It defined itself by power, and its hunger for more.

4 thoughts on “03/24/21 Snippet the Last, MARKET DAY AT THE PECZ.”

  1. I feel like one of the questions is… what is the scale of terrible that gets unleashed by him having these knives? Like, we got the first act, where the villain manages to succeed, thus setting up something worse and uglier that the good guys are going to have to deal with. How far up his plot-defined power curve does that put him? You can’t just go straight from “I have the knives” to “I’m an immediate threat to the fabric of reality and every human still living on this earth” without multiple steps in between (which would suggest a longer arc as he uses them as an ingredient for setting further things in motion and the good guys try to figure out what’s going on and thwart him). On the other hand, if you have the protagonists working hard on the investigation and thwarting over the length of a full novel and in the end it turns out that the main villain capped out at being not much more dangerous than that first load of cultists could have managed by skipping the knives entirely and just smuggling in some explosives, that’s going to be a bit of an anticlimax.

    1. Valid points, both you folks. The bottom line is, I gotta tell this story before I can tell the story that’s gonna piss so many people off if they ever read it… 🙂

  2. So.. two things.
    I’m rather familiar with circa-2021 Stumptown (Rose City, Bridge City, Portlandia) and would be happy to provide local color as needed.
    The tale, thus far, lacks a strong protagonist. No Morgan Barod, no Tom Vargas. I suspect I know why, based on the Tom Vargas stuff.. but it’s hard to like a tale without even a tragic hero doomed to fall.

  3. It’s a hook, and I’d read more.

    But I am also compelled to nit-pick the language. You cannot in the third sentence describe the corpse as ‘fertilizing the ground’ and close the paragraph by stating corpses remain in situ since nothing lives there.

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