First of all, let me announce that I do believe I have come up with the working title for all the books in the series I am working on, but definitely the first one. Yay! Accomplishment!
Second, work on the new book, let’s call it MG for now, continues. I was a little concerned that I would be really screwing myself over and lose all that momentum, but I haven’t. I am still focused on the end goal and I’m having fun while getting there. Boy Wonder and I have joined a new gym. I can’t wait to see how I am able to write/edit while using the treadmills or the stationary bicycles which is something a dear friend of mine does. A dear friend who agreed to be a member of my cast of characters. It’s kind of an honor. I hope I do her justice!
Anyway… I have a question. Or a tease. You decide…
Does this excerpt portray the venom between the two characters, or does it come off as trite?
February 15, 1888
Outside, thick fog had covered the sun, casting ominous shadows in which one could disappear. Knightsbridge was slowly sinking into the filth and grime plaguing the poorer parts of Lower London, though her resilient citizens fought hard to stave off the darkness and despair. Several prominent social clubs had once called this home; now just one prevailed.
The Valentinius Society building stood alone; away from its neighbors, away from the street; as if it had need of distinguishing itself from its surrounds. The white stone gleamed, even in the midst of the oppressive fog that typically slicked and oozed over Lower London. Though the inhabitants decried magic as a ruling force, even if only to each other within the confines of Valentinius House; well, even they were not averse to a spell or two ensuring comfort and safety.
Inside, the club was unusually quiet as most members had been told the building would be closed temporarily. In reality, Lord Tosca had asked a small handful of members to meet him for the unveiling of his most recent experiment. Standing in front of one of the square four-paned windows of the second floor, he presented a well-cut figure to those around him as he watched for the last of his invited attendees to arrive. Behind him, the others murmured quietly to each other, circling the spacious room just like the vultures he thought them to be. No, not vultures he amended quickly – sheep. Mindless for all their collective intelligence. Sheep all too willing to follow the wolf to slaughter. And he was definitely the wolf.
Catching sight of the woman running toward the Valentinius, skirts in hand and ankle flashing, a cruel smile played across his lips, twisting them, masking the banal face he presented to the world. Today he would finally put that smug bitch in her place. Today, he would show them all why he was the head of the Episteme Society – oh yes, he was changing the name soon, and the thought brought him immense pleasure. His invention was pure magic, but these fools would never know.
Within minutes, Therese was gliding into the room, her hair mussed and skirts dripping as her heeled boots beat a staccato across the floor, chest heaving as she fought to catch her breath. Running in a corset was almost impossible, but she was not about to miss this meeting for anything. Mumbling an apology to the room at large, something about her mistress’ wardrobe malfunctioning, she sat down and placed a leather journal upon the table. No one paid her any heed though, as Lord Tosca was gathering their attention to him, intent upon starting his meeting.
“As you know, I have invited each of you to join me today specifically because I feel that you, above all the others, will appreciate and understand the magnitude of my accomplishment,” oozed Tosca as he stood at the head of the large table. He wanted these people on his side; wanted to own them; wanted them on their knees and begging for his benevolence.
The men and women gathered at that table instantly puffed up, including Therese. They were special; Lord Tosca, the current head of the Valentinius Society admired them, wanted him for his revelation! Exactly the effect he had wanted, had expected.
Therese looked up from the leather book she was absentmindedly rubbing between her hands. Hew certainly was laying it on thick today – even more so than when he had begged her to be his mistress, as if that was somehow desirable or, as he seemed to think, an honor. Whatever he was scheming up in his tiny little man brain, she assumed she would at least be amused for a while. If he could keep her attention, that was.
“And what, exactly, is this accomplishment you bring us here to celebrate, Lord Tosca? That devil-spawned witch of a Queen still sits the throne. Her precious Mageborn whoresons still rule the lands. Did you not promise us a way to end the rule of the Mageborn when we elected you,” said Andrew Wellison, the wealthy weapons crafter. It would have been a question from almost any other Society member; not him. He did not question. He commanded, and outside of this building he was obeyed.
“All in due time, Wellison. As you know, part of our failure has been due to information delays or leaks. We took care of the last known leak, yet still our secrets get out. And with only science and knowledge on our side, the Mageborn have had a decided advantage when it comes to sharing information with each other. What I present to you today should eliminate both concerns,” he stated smugly, taking in the awed looks of his rapt audience.
Damn it! That woman wasn’t even paying attention to him. How could he show his superiority, grind her into the dirt, if she would not bother to even listen. Once again, she was focused on the little book she had brought in with her. Anger roiled through him, threatening to bubble over but Lord Tosca reined it in. He could not afford to lose his temper now, not as he stood on the cusp of Godhood. Soon, she would pay attention to his every word.
August 24, 2014 Laura Michaela Banse
(Not sure if it is necessary to post both the words and the symbols but whatevs)