Friday, November 20, 2009

Helping Rayna live on

Thank you to Liana, who included our cat Rayna in her NaNo novel. She shared the excerpt on her blog.

She now lives on in my story as well. Here is her introduction:


Tilara stared at the broken bodies Sable had left. She had seen so much death, she didn't know if the tears streaking her cheeks were sadness or merely result of the smoke stinging her eyes. She turned to leave.


The sound came from above. The loft. Flames shot up between her and the ladder. Tilara took a deep breath. Her own injuries would heal, but the cat wouldn't have any future without her. She dashed through, flames licking at her bare arms and legs. She pulled herself up the ladder. The thick smoke obscured even her elf vision.


Tilara held her breath, ducked her head, and crawled toward the sound. A bundle of fur huddled against the far wall. Tilara scooped it up and kicked the weakened wood. She jumped through the hole down to the ground. Her throat burned as she coughed. She stumbled to the trees nearby, upwind.

The cat trembled in her arms. Tilara found herself petting the smooth coat with its unusual markings. It was mostly black, with patches of orange and cream. "You're safe now. I'm sorry about your family and your home. I guess you're on your own now." She set the cat on the ground. It sat on its haunches and looked up at her. Tilara couldn't resist the plea in those golden eyes. She sighed. "I saved you, so now I'm responsible for you. Is that it?


The cat turned her head, hearing the approaching footsteps a moment before Tilara did. Its tail poofed as it arched its back. It hissed as Daon dragged a reluctant Sable past.

"Found him cleaning up at the river. Thought he had lost me. Thought wrong." Daon, the strongest of the three elves, pinned Sable against a tree trunk. "There's twine in my pack. Bring it over." Between the two of them, they tied his hands together, and then to a branch over head. Then tied his feet together so he couldn't use them to climb up.

Sable spit in Tilara's face. "There's no point fighting what we've become. We can't stop the war."

Tilara wiped the spit off her cheek and put her face close to his. "If there's war, wouldn't you want to be on the winning team? The elves?"

His laughter had a hint of madness. His breath was rotten. "How can the elves win if they stick to their lofty morals? Humans will do anything to survive."

Daon pulled Tilara away. "Leave him. Hopefully a night of discomfort will return his senses."

They set up their hammocks in a nearby tree. Tilara relaxed as the netting hugged her. With another meow, the cat climbed up beside her. Tilara got quite a view as it, she, walked over her face to wedged itself in between her chest and legs. She felt the purring, and it steadied her own heart.

"A warm ray of light in the gloom my life has become. I will call you Rayna."

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