Snippet Again

For those who missed the snippet I posted at The Deadline Dames, here tis again.  (Click on the link for the visual, music and comments that go with!)

I’m a little busy these days getting ready to move. My nights are spent writing–occasionally, when I’m not too tired– because all this brainless packing activity frees the mind.  I’m still working on my Norse trilogy and OMG, have I outlined some exciting scenes–but I’ve been moonlighting a tiny bit with the next series in planning stages now.  I work sooo much better when I know there’s another exciting story waiting to be experienced.  This is also YA and I’m giddy at the idea of exploring Rae’s dystopian future. Hope you enjoy!

Unnatural Selection

(A Surviving Scrap City novel)

            The greasy pall that settled over Scrap City thickened at dusk.

            My eyes burned.  Blinking, I let the tears fall. They’d leave crazy tracks in the dirt-caked oil on my cheeks, but I couldn’t care less. Besides, losing my death grip on this sweet piece of sheet metal wasn’t happening.  It was longer than my legs! I’d fought two other Scavs for the prize and had a bloody gash on my arm to show for it.

            They looked worse.

            Tugging on the metal, I propped my boot against the brick wall. The grungy piece of tooth lodged in the tip cheered me.  Scavs have to be a helluva lot quicker to make it in the warehouse sector.  My smirk slid into a grimace as the blood dripping down my wrist made my fingers slippery. Sharp steel sliced that tender, webbed skin between my finger and thumb.

            Maybe today’s take would be enough for another pair of gloves.

            The gnawing hunger in my little brother’s expression this morning flashed through my mind. Gritting my teeth, I tightened my grip and heaved, trying to tear the metal from the wall.  Stupid kid who’d attacked me had run off with my cutters.  It had taken me a good week to clear the brick and old newspapers piled in front of this find and now I couldn’t let go—not even when I heard the first warning siren.

            Curfew.

            Sweat poured down my temples as a cry of frustration built in my chest.  The Salvager’s doors would be barred in an hour!

            Floor grit crackled as someone stepped behind me. I sucked in a breath, let go of the metal, bent and kicked my left leg back. Hard.  A surprised male grunt sounded, followed by the crunch of a body hitting the piles of trash. Most Scavs hunted in packs, so I palmed my knife and spun around to fight.

            But there was only one.

            Squinting, I took in the long, lanky legs sticking out of the rubbish, the short, black hair with the splash of purple in the bangs.  “I know you. War or Bomb—something ridiculous like that.” I tightened my grip on the knife because it kept slipping in the blood. “The metal is mine.”

            “Bomb?” He lifted one dark eyebrow.

            I shrugged, eyed the tall piles of debris for his friends. I always saw this guy with one or more of his team.  It was a cool deal—two to pull the sheets and dig for remnants, two to keep lookout. “Don’t all the kids in your tribe have bad ass nicknames?”

            “Tribe?” He winced and put one gloved hand on his ratty shirt.  It had a wicked boot-shaped smudge across the red.  He climbed out of the pile of brick, broken furniture and newspaper.  Most of the paper was brittle, yellow and it stunk to Mount High from years soaking up the burning oil fumes.  All the metal from the printing presses had been salvaged long ago.

            “Are you capable of more than one syllable at a time?”

            “Some call me Chaos, but I don’t answer to it.  The name is Kerr, Rae.”  He took a step toward me.

            I brought up the knife, tensed my legs. I wore heavy, black boots for a reason. Scavenging built muscle, but I was still skinny. I’d taken down many a Scav with these clunkers. “How do you know my name?”

            “I asked.”  He reached into his pocket.

            I flipped my knife into a reverse grip.

            “Take it easy.” He held up a piece of blue material. “It’s for your arm.  Keep bleeding like that and you’ll attract the cats.”

            Fear skittered down my spine.  Can’t believe I hadn’t thought of that. We called the creatures cats, but they weren’t, not really. Heart pounding, I stilled the urge to scan the trash and looked at the scrap he held out.  It seemed clean, so I snatched it.  “I won’t put the knife down until you back up.”

            Kerr held up his hands, took a few steps back.  “Why don’t you let me help get that piece off the wall so you’ll get to the Salvager in time?”

            I leaned against the brick, slid my knife into its holder and quickly wrapped my arm.  “Don’t trust you, Chaos.” I couldn’t help the slight sneer that slipped into my tone with that name.

            “Fair enough. I’ll leave so you’ll finish. Don’t want to get caught out after curfew, do you?” As he talked, he tugged off his gloves and tossed them toward me.  “Be seeing you around, Rae.”

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About Rinda Elliott

Writer.I love unusual stories and credit growing up in a family of curious life-lovers who moved all over the country. Books and movies full of fantasy, science fiction and romance kept us amused, especially in some of the stranger places. For years, I tried to separate my darker side with my humorous and romantic one. I published short fiction, but things really started happening when I gave in and mixed it up. When not lost in fiction, I love making wine, collecting music, gaming and spending time with my husband and two children. I’m represented by Miriam Kriss of the Irene Goodman Agency.
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6 Responses to Snippet Again

  1. Sharon Dodd says:

    Packing (and unpacking) are no fun. But, like you said, they are somewhat mindless activities, so you can plan your next novel while you are packing. Try to remember that today is a treasure not to be wasted. Do not look forward to seeing your books on the shelves at the bookstores so much that you forget to enjoy the process of writing. and the joy of the everyday ordinary events with your kiddos and DH.
    You are all so precious.
    Love always,
    S.

  2. Love the excerpt. Can’t wait to the the whole thing. Hate I haven’t seen you lately. Good luck with the packing, never one of my favorite things, even when I wanted to move. Carol

  3. valkyrie1008 says:

    Good for you to keep on writing despite all the chaos of moving.

    Very intrigued by your Norse trilogy. Would love to know what it’s about and if it’s got a nice dollop of fantasy mixed in.

    I’m writing my own Norse based trilogy. Valkyries working in modern day Jorvik (aka York) it’s proving to be quite an interesting mix. Would love to hear your own thoughts on my amateur attempts.

    Good luck with the move and all the writing you do.

  4. relliott4 says:

    Yes, my trilogy is a mix of modern day and fantasy. It’s based on the stories of Ragnarok, only in today’s world. It has battling teens, gods, snow… I’m having a blast with them. 🙂

    Unfortunately, I have too much on my plate to do any readings. My critique partner keeps me busy outside of the craziness of regular life right now. But I wish you tons of luck with your writing! Have you looked into a local writer’s group for a critique group?

    • valkyrie1008 says:

      Well I was doing English Studies with Creative Writing until last June and so they were my critique group but sadly it all ended too soon when I graduated last summer.

      So I’m tending to rely on the few writing websites I’m part of (Deviantart and Writelink) but most of the feedback I get is just saying they enjoyed it (never why!) and that my grammar and punctuation needs some work on. That is one my weak point in my writing dream hehehe. Bit silly really when I’ve done a degree in English but I was taught so little about grammar and punctuation.

      Anyway thanks for the wish of good luckl 🙂 It’s greatly appreciated from such a well known writer as yourself. Your Norse tales sound very interesting and now I’m going to try and follow your good example and get some writing done! I was doing quite well writing each night after new year but when I finished Valkyrian Ventures part 3 I kinda of drifted from writing and become a book worm again.

      Thanks for taking the time to reply to me.

      May Frigg guide you and Freya guard you.

      • relliott4 says:

        You made my day. I’m not well known. Yet. Don’t have books on the shelves. Yet.

        It’s been a little while since I looked at online writing communities, but I think Absolute Write is still pretty active.

        And no worries, we all have punctuation and grammar issues.

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