For each of these NaNoWriMo, warm-ups, I will be sharing something that I’ve thought about and written. Most of this is done by hand, and is part of a “morning page” process. What that means is that this is thoroughly uneditted. The roughest of the rough draft, and extremely raw, explosive creativity written on pages. Since I am not trying to pick out what is “good” in these, it is up to the readers of this blog to do so. The more input I get from readers, the better this year’s novel will be. So thank you in advance, for helping my crowd source this. I am not looking for what you think is bad or terrible. Chances are, I see that too. I’m looking for what you think is good, and interesting, and then I will do more of that. That said, here goes.
Somewhere in Mons Istelle city.
Arcturo sat as stiff as the chair he was planted in inside a private, quiet booth at Green Imperial Inn. Across from him was Justine, his travel companion since leaving Northern Province. She fidgeted while staring at him. A knuckle cracked under her stress. To his right, sat Pitr -an elf from the far Eastern Kingdoms. He sat shorter than either Arcturo or Justine. One of his hands was stirring an iron skillet of, while the other was calmly folded in his lap. He inhaled deeply the aroma of delicious chicken and rare spices of the elven homeland.
“Arcturo, it is a dirty job,” said Justine, “but we are both going to be eating like this for a solid month after we do it.”
Arcturo’s toes curled in and he drew his arms towards his chest.
“Is there a problem, Mr. Rizenbalt?” said Pitr as he served a helping to both Justine and Arcturo, “You must know how much I depend on good people like you. Please, speak to me what burdens your mind so heavily.”
“Let me see if I understand,” Arcturo said, “you want us to enter the frieghter… the…”
“Old Sea Tusk,” chimed Justine.
“Right. The old Sea Tusk,” Arcturo continued, “We enter the dock hold and … steal… a package for Don Cosmino of House Venteralli.”
“Yes…” continued the elf with almost advuncular smile, “it is a black box with the Venteralli family seal on it. Please intercept this package for me.”
Arcturo took a moment to listen to pleasant, thought foreign sounds. It was some stringed instrument that another elf plucked away at with his fingers. It calm, civilized sound. A thousand years of refinement in a single flow of melody and chords.
“Tell me,” Pitr continued, “You are outsider here in Mons Istelle? So am I. You are stranger to aristocrat family? So is people here. And I no ask for killing. I no ask for kidnapping. I invite you here so there be no killing. And you no owe Mons Istelle aristocrat nothing.”
“He’s right Arcturo,” said Justine blunt as black jack, “No one can pull this job cleaner than us. It’s not thug work if we get it done.”
“Oh see?” said Pitr, “Your friend very smart. You think elves like filthy hobgoblin you fight on way here? No. We civilized people.”
“Well, yes, of course you’re not a hobgoblin.”
Pitr smiled and poured a bit of wine.
“Yes, I make poor joke,” Pitr continued, “Now what I do if you no help? Must get box somehow.”
Arcturo clenched his jaw, but only for a moment. Then, with a steady, relaxed hand, he drew his glass and took a nice red sip.
“Very well, Pitr. I agree” he said looking at the elf straight in the eye, “one job.”
“One Job,” repeated Pitr.
Justine heaved a sigh of relief.