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, September 15, 2009

Teaser Tuesday Retake

Ok, since I've been told I posted the other scene prior, I'll post this one.... another scene with Xantos, but with Xandra and Segav. This is after the Budtrizz debacle. Xandra has just broken into Segav's room to rid herself of her 'boredom'. Xantos, watching, decides to pay the pair a visit and terrify them both. (Just FYI: Xantos killed off Aly's suitors prior to Aly meeting Xolyn... Aly and Xolyn are Xandra's parents.) Since I'm lazy, I'm going to post what we use for our query, since it's a pretty good one for the background:

Alixandra Dredbourne is not a typical apprentice. Unlike most at the assassins guild, she excels at not only her lessons, but at breaking the rules. Alixandra believes that her greatest challenges are to escape the shadows of her famous royal bloodline, garner the attention of a young man she fancies, and try to keep boredom at bay while completing her training. Her pension for mischief and mayhem changes when someone starts assassinating the Royal Family. Frustrated by what she sees as a lack of concern or action, Alixandra decides that her budding knowledge of Necromancy may be the salvation of her family.

As her mother’s siblings are picked off one-by-one, Alixandra searches for a way to help. When her mother, a ranger of legends with considerable skills and power, is attacked, Alixandra realizes she is no match for a trained, professional assassin. Worse yet, the assassin will be targeting her brother next. In desperation, Alixandra makes a deal with a demon, but the price may cost Alixandra not only her soul, but also the lives of her family. Will she be able to save her family from not only a professional assassin, but the demon as well? Nothing ever comes without a price and Alixandra soon realizes the price is often more than you intended to pay.

The Scene:

Cautiously, Xandra raised her hand and brushed it along his cheek and into his hair, her eyes moving from his to the hair her hand was entwining itself into. She found herself moving towards Segav, and was elated to see that he was doing the same: Moving in for the second kiss.

Gods, the earth is moving… Xandra thought dreamily, feeling her whole body trembling. In Segav’s eyes, she saw the same things she was feeling: Excitement, desire, anticipation… fear? His eyes were growing far too wide, and the next realization hit her like a Dwarven war hammer. The earth shouldn’t be moving this much!

The whole room was trembling, and for all she knew, the entire school might be shaking. Small items; an inkwell, scraps of parchment, discarded clothing and such, fell from Segav’s desk and dresser. It was becoming more and more difficult to remain standing, and Xandra felt Segav grab her protectively, trying to keep her upright even as he fought to stand. His eyes were staring at something behind her, in the direction of the window. Xandra turned to look.

A sphere of hellish fire was hovering at mid-level in front of the window, within the room. It was already three feet in diameter and growing; from Segav’s reaction, Xandra surmised that it had appeared when the tremors first started, and grew larger as the tremors increased. Stunned and unsure what to do, the young couple watched the sphere grow to over six feet. This made the flames touch the bed linens and the wooden walls, but nothing charred or caught fire.

Magic fire, Xandra realized. The kind most used for a portal…but who could it be?

A pair of eyes became distinguishable within the swirling orange, red and green flames. They were orange eyes, angry eyes, and yes, familiar eyes.

This is going to be very, very bad, Xandra thought before the sphere exploded, sending the multi-colored flames to each corner of the room and washing over Segav and Xandra. Her eyes snapped shut instinctually, to prevent the glare from the explosion from blinding her eyes.

The explosion was accompanied by a single “pop” of noise that would not draw attention to the room. If the rest of the dormitories had shaken as Segav’s room had, no one would be in a position to notice a sound that registered no louder than a beaker shattering.

Xandra’s eyes opened with that sound. What she saw garnered mixed emotions: Great-Father, Xantos, was standing where the sphere had been; wisps of green and orange smoke wafting up from his body and long hair. His orange eyes were blazing at her. The room appeared to have suffered no further damage.

She looked away and found Segav glaring at her great-grandfather. She wondered at his courage, and then looked back to Xantos. The tone she knew would be there, casual and non-threatening, came from her great-grandfather’s lips.

“I don’t recall allowing you leave from my house, Xandra. I am certain the guild’s laws still forbid young girls breaking into the boys’ dormitory, no matter if the offenders are familiar with each other.”

“The laws be damned.” Segav spoke before Xandra could begin to answer. “Xandra is welcome at my quarters whenever she wishes, as she well knows.”

No, I didn’t know that! Xandra’s surprised mind exclaimed. Unfortunately, her face expressed this thought, and she fought to remove all traces from her features before her great-grandfather could discern what she was thinking.

“That changes nothing,” Xantos said dryly, “as you do not make the rules of the Guild. As for disciplinary action for such behavior, I don’t think the Guild will punish you properly. It falls to me, then. Are you prepared?”

“We can’t break the rules of the Guild, but you can alter them any time you wish?” Xandra barked at her relative. Her temper was getting the better of her, and she was not sure if it was because she had been caught, or because Segav was with her.

“When you have risen to the level of power that I have, darling child,” Xantos said with some small measure of impatience, “you may bend the rules of what you claim some ownership to.”

Xandra had no retort for that and when Segav did not comment, she was grateful. Xandra was beginning to suspect that any reply would have dire consequences at this point. The imposing figure of her great-grandfather held his right hand out to her.

“Come, Xandra. I will escort you back to your quarters at my estate. We will discuss any further punishment there.”

Xandra sighed heavily and began to step forward. Segav leapt in front of her, shielding her body from Xantos with his own.

“Any punishment to be given will be laid at my feet, not hers!” Segav yelled. “I shall not let you take her if she wishes to stay!”

Before Xandra could object or try to comprehend this unexpected, heroic gesture from Segav, she watched Xantos gesture, very subtly, with his left hand. The sound of snapping timber drew her eyes to the floor, where large tree roots were springing up from the floor boards. Grabbing Segav at the shoulders, she tried to pull her friend back. Before she could urge his body back more than an inch, the roots wrapped around his left foot.

Segav gasped, and then his teeth snapped together in pain. Within seconds, his left leg had become a part of the roots. It looked, in fact, as if his left leg had transformed into a tiny tree from the hip down. Segav uselessly tried to move back; he was, quite literally, rooted to the spot.

“Great-Father!” Xandra screamed, staring at him in fear and angst. “No! How could you?”

“The boy must learn that courage is useless until tempered with wisdom, and an understanding of one’s adversary.” Xantos explained in the same relaxed tone he had used while torturing and humiliating her now former teacher, Budtrizz.

Blind with anger and ashamed with what she had brought upon Segav, Xandra strode over to her great-grandfather and drove a hand beneath the elder’s robes. She pulled out the same obsidian dagger that Xantos had severed Budtrizz’s left hand with and walked back to Segav.

Falling to her knees in front of the polymorphed left leg, Xandra raised the dagger, preparing to strike down.


  1. Hey, thanks for the Comment Love, JF! Don't think I didn't notice that Segav is an anagram for Vegas. (Just kidding!)

  2. lmao!! OMG! I didn't realize that until just now!!!!

  3. You build up the scene nicely. I enjoyed it, but I think you need to stop using the characters names like, great grandfather, so many times in the same paragraph.

  4. He's a bit of a bastard is Xantos.

    I'd like to see you post a quiet moment. I liked the first couple of pre-xantos paragraphs and would like to see more of that.

    You have a very vivid imagination!

  5. Xantos is such a terd, lol! I'm dying to know if she has to cut off Segav's leg or not...

    BTW--your query letter rocks--seriously. When are you going to write mine for me? lol....

  6. lol, thanks for the suggestion, Ed. I'll keep it in mind!

    Thanks, Sue! I'll post something a bit more 'quiet' next week. I've got a bunch that would work, lol.

    yeah, Xantos is a cold-hearted, cruel S.O.B. but I still love him. :D He DOES mellow out a bit.... eventually. but the evilness doesn't go anywhere, lol.

    Thanks, Houndrat! you do NOT want to know how long it took us to get that one perfected. now, if we can just get the novel that good....