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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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

Ok, I'm still trying to get over the trip back from San Diego. The Con was a blast, the beach was fun, the traveling was hell. Overall, a great trip!!! Next goal: New York Comic Con at some point. :-) What can I say... I'm a glutton for punishment. Right! Teaser Tuesday! This is from yet another novel we completed that will need editing for stuff, like usual. One of my favorite arguments between a character and Xantos. The setup: Vaania has gone to the castle decked out to the 9's so she can get the info she needs to find out who killed her best friend. (She's also been hired by the Royal Family to find out the same info, so she's killing two birds with one stone...). Anywhos, she went in disguise but was found-out by the king (former merc... what can ya do?) and the Family immediatly did what they could to keep anyone else from blowing her cover. (They like her, btw.) Xantos has his own agenda, like usual, and decides to pay the bounty hunter a visit. Xantos, for those who aren't familiar, isn't a nice guy. He's the farthest thing from a nice guy you can get.... though he does has the occassional moment... Teaser: "Tell me about that glorious cloak you were wearing." Xantos invited as he brought a small bottle from the depths of his cloak and opened it. "Bring me two goblets as well, Vaania. I have something for you to drink with me." Vaania crossed to a small cabinet and removed two pale green crystal goblets. As she crossed to Xantos, she answered his request. Or was it an order? "I was one my way to the castle and was passing Drakeshire when I noticed it in the tree line." She shrugged as she offered him the goblets. "I was lucky to bring it down with two arrows." "Do you know what you killed?" Xantos asked with a bemused smile. He poured an odd, green liquid into the goblets. He placed one before her, took the other, and sipped his beverage. Vaania tilted her head to the side as she took a goblet. "No, I do not. I do know I've never seen anything like it before." She glanced at the beverage then back to him and took a tentative sip. "It is a sagtral; one of the most ancient animals still living in these lands. You were lucky indeed." Xantos nodded to her. "They are weakest during their mating season... otherwise, even two arrows in the heart would not have felled it." "They live solely in Drakeshire?" Vaania asked curiously. "Why would it have been on the outer edge of Drakeshire?" "Drakeshire is, for the most part, one of the last untamed areas of Faedale." Xantos commented. "How is your drink?" Vaania eyed the drink with a mingled expression of curiosity and distaste. "It... is different. I mean no offense when I say I prefer the sweeter drinks to this type." She took another tiny sip, trying to ignore the taste of sour apples. If she wanted sour, she'd suck on a lemon. Xantos chuckled. "Few people enjoy it. I find that only being who have lived for over six centuries tend to find a taste for it, but I am always looking to see if someone new does. Now... tell me why you were at the party at Dragonsheart castle... in disguise." Vaania sat the goblet on a nearby table and sighed. "I went to meet a contact there; they didn't want to be seen talking to a known bounty hunter. My contact stated they would not be talking to the royals, either, due to fearing for their life." "Then you acted sensibly. And did you enjoy your dance with An'odd?" Xantos asked. Vaania blushed and she hated herself for it. "Yes, I enjoyed dancing with him." "You wanted to stay and be with him more, didn't you?" Xantos's smile was impish, and knowing. "Or did you want him to come here, with you, more?" Vaania glowered at Xantos, refusing to answer, though she knew her cheeks were answering plenty for her. "Regardless of how I feel, I'm not one to give in to my feelings for a single night. Can we please change the topic? I doubt my... feelings towards An'odd are that important when I won't be seeing him again." "I think your feelings are paramount, in this regard." Xantos said. "Now, your answers, Vaania." "As you wish, Lord Zaurahel," Vaania replied darkly, not liking having her answers forced from her. "I would have enjoyed spending more time with An'odd." She paused before asking smoothly, "Are you planning on killing me now, or shall I write out my last will and await the assassins?" "Not at all." Xantos said, his demeanor quickly becoming more jovial. "Nor would I object to him coming to your residence... although you should have some more flattering sleepwear for that occasion." He looked over her outfit. "Yes, something more intimate and flattering would be in order." "Perhaps I prefer comfort to beauty," Vaania retorted, her face growing warmer by the moment. Though the thought was enticing, she wasn't going to allow it to be anything more than a dream. "I have no intentions of inviting him here, let alone seeing him again. In case you haven't noticed, I don't exactly qualify as a suitable mate for him." "I have noticed a great deal." Xantos countered. "Most notably that you tend towards underestimating your worth in every regard except the bounty hunting trade." Vaania glanced away from the docelfar briefly before looking back to him. "It isn't as though I've had much encouragement to the contrary. I'm a bit jaded in that regard." She narrowed her gaze and asked bluntly, "Did you come to ask about why I was at the party? Or discover if I have any intentions towards An'odd?" She paused as an impish gleam flared in her eyes. "Or was this a social call to discover what sleep wear I possess and subsequently fuss at me about it?" "All of the above, and for reasons you are obviously too impassioned to comprehend." Xantos stood, draining his goblet. "I allow you one more question before I take my leave." He corked the bottle and placed it back into his robe. "What right do you have to dictate my, or anyone's, life?" Vaania snapped. "You intrude into my privacy, complain about my attire, and demand to know if I enjoyed dancing with someone who it's known you're protective of. Do I look like I have a death wish?" She snorted in a very unladylike way, adding, "Forgive me, that is two questions. I won't expect you to answer the last." "I work towards improving lives, whether the person has the insight to see it or not." Xantos smiled. "You look like someone who regrets sleeping alone." "I have many regrets, Xantos," Vaania replied. "Does it matter if that is one of them?" "Yes, it does." Xantos said, vanishing in a burst of green light and fire. "Bastard," she hissed, turning and stalking into her bedroom.


  1. What, no fight scene??? Just kidding. Great exchange between the characters. I love this line: "Are you planning on killing me now, or shall I write out my last will and await the assassins?"

  2. Xantos comes across here as very manipulative, and the scene as a cat-and-mouse one. Good job!

    One minor nit is a pov violation in this line:
    "Vaania eyed the drink with a mingled expression of curiosity and distaste."

    If you change it to "Vaania eyed the drink with mingled curiosity and distaste" you'll be fine.

  3. It's good! I really enjoyed the exchange.

    One thing... how heavy was the bottle that he kept in his robe? I would think it would be too heavy to hang properly.

    But overall, it was great :).

  4. Nice exchange, very waspish. Interesting chemistry between the two, will be interested to see how this shakes out.

    Glad to see you've toned down the adverbs :)

  5. Good job. I noticed a typo in this sentence:
    "I was one my way to the castle and was passing Drakeshire when I noticed it in the tree line."

    I think it's supposed to be "I was on my way"

  6. lol, thanks for the catches!!! I really appreciate it!

    Thanks for the compliments and glad you guys liked it! :-D

    Yeah, Xantos is VERY manipulative and devilish. Scary enough, he LIKES Vaania.

    As for the bottle, think of it as one of the older whiskey canteens. Enough for two people to share, but not much more than that.

  7. Nice back and forth here between these characters - I get a real sense of tension and intrigue. Watch the dialogue tags - "asked curiously" and "replied darkly." You really don't need the adverb in there, it makes sense without it and reads with more flow if you get rid of it. The opening used "crossed" twice, close together, it distracted me a little bit since it was a different way of describing her motion across the room.

    Overall, I like the voice here and all the intrigue. Good job.

  8. Very interesting dialogue exchange - lots of tension and some great lines. You do a very good job of conveying intrugue.

    Be careful not to overuse the dialogue tags, though. 9 times out of 10, "said" is your best bet.

  9. thanks, you guys! I'll keep those tips in mind when I go back to edit it. :)

    again, glad you all enjoyed this! :D

  10. Hey Jennie-

    I thought this was a great dialogue exchange, with some really funny lines! Besides the will one, I like the one about not havintg to answer the last question re: a death wish.

    I agree re: dialogue tags. They actually distracted me toward the end from your dialogue, which you don't want! :)

    Nice job!