J.F. Posthumus

J.F. Posthumus

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Virginia, United States
A computer tech and artist that thrives on writing fantasy to escape the harshness of reality.
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Monday, July 20, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

A fun scene that ends up being a running joke throughout the novels. We typically try to weave it into each novel because, come on... Undead cats leading a horde of undead rats? how fun is THAT?? (Sorry, GG, but... it was thought up and written before AW...) Anywhos, thoughts and opinions are welcomed!!!
Quickly, she descended the side of the wall before crossing the yards to the trench. She wrinkled her nose; the smell was awful! A mingling of sewage, decaying flesh, and human waste wafted from the murky water. Swallowing hard, she closed her eyes and raised her hand, as trained by ArcC’ldd and Xantos, she spoke the words for raising a familiar. “Arwyrain ‘th chan ‘r farw adfer ail ackt buzheda.” The words flowed from her lips as though she had been born saying them. A sickly green glow flowed from her hand and sank into the trench, seeking out the dead bodies which lay within the brown, putrid depths. From the trench the once-dead bodies of rats and cats rose from the murky depths. The bodies, in various stages of decay, rose and waded through the cesspool to the ground she was standing on. She grinned impishly and pushed the hood back from her face. Well, she thought, might as well have some fun here. Her eyes swept around her and she realized, suddenly, there were more than three dozen undead bodies swarming from the trench. This is more than I expected! Her grin grew wider and brighter as she moved backwards from the edge as more joined the group. She stopped counting at fifty rats. Instead she chewed her lip and began thinking of how to properly phrase the command she wanted. Feeling eyes upon her, she raised her golden gaze to the room she had just departed; in the window she saw her brother and father. Her gaze narrowed and she gazed slowly around her. The number of rats was still growing, though the cats had stopped at around three dozen. Swallowing hard, she pulled the hood up around her head. “Seek out those who put you here... take away what is theirs.” From beneath her hood she watched as the rats and cats, ranging from skeletons to bodies with flesh falling off and innards showing, to barely appearing dead, streamed by her as though they were a river and she a rock in the middle. She waded through the stream of undead and made her way back to the side of the manor and, again, quickly climbed the side of the building. As she pulled herself up onto the sill, she tossed her head making the hood fall backwards. Sitting on the sill she looked at her father’s smiling face and asked innocently, “Will that work for a suitable distraction?” She glanced to the horrified expression on her brother’s face before furrowing her brow in confusion. “Something wrong, Cari? You look like you’ve just seen a ghost…or something.”


  1. Zombie cats and rats just gave me my first laugh of the morning! Cute ending, too!

  2. I love the undead cats and rats! Your POV is a little wavery here. For example "grinned impishly" seems like a very external observation about the MC, while most this section is more internalized. I'm always jarred when what seems like close third shifts to reveal evaluative appearance statements about the POV character.

  3. Glad you both enjoyed it!!!

    I admit it.... I didn't go over this with a fine-tooth comb, like I should have... and like Heiress, this one will need a rewrite and good editing before continuing onward with it.

    This IS one of my most favorite scenes I wrote, though, despite the editing screw-ups. :)

  4. Fun scene, but watch your constructions. Too many paragraphs start out with similar (or the same) clauses:

    Quickly, she descended...
    Swallowing hard, she closed her eyes...
    Feeling eyes upon her, she raised her golden gaze...
    Swallowing hard, she pulled the hood...
    From beneath her hood, she watched as the rats and cats...
    Sitting on the sill, she looked...

  5. Thanks! And thanks for the tip.

    Truthfully, I'm thinking Heiress and the subsequent novels will end up being rewritten since our writing has improved drastically.

    However! You gotta admit, we've got some FUN scenes!!!

    :D :D :D :D

  6. I love the "wading through the stream of undead" image--nice. (and hopefully one that won't give me nightmares, lol!)

    Fun yet creepy. Oh, and was going to mention the POV thing, but saw Red beat me to it.

  7. Fun scene - I like the concept, and the humor throughout.

    The quoted dialogue at the bit threw me and the unpronouncable names. Pet peeve, but it always feels a bit cliche to me.

    Also, the grin grew brighter put a flourescent smile into my head.

    Nice work!

  8. This is so, so, so much stronger than the first teasers of yours that I read months ago! Remarkable visual evocations here, and I like the sauciness of it, even though it's disgusting. I agree with Gretchen about the construction, but it really didn't distract me. Well done!