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23 June 2018 @ 12:39 pm
_Gates of Hel_ part 8  

Miles smacked his fist into his hand. “Damn them. They must have spies, they must know the Army troops are patrolling somewhere else.”

“Do they have a spy inside here? How did they know Adelphie is a widow?”

“Damn. At a minimum, they’ve been watching us enough to see her without a man. Or watched you, before you got here.”

Adrasos nodded. “Foolish of them to wait until we came here, though. Most of our camps have been less well protected, and with fewer defenders."

"More like, they thought we’d cast you out, and you’d lack Father Odeil and his three to help defending the women.”

In predawn, Adrasos snuck out to cover the water intake with spells of unnoticeable, stealthed to not be seen by another wizard. Of course, if they feel like some hard work and dam upstream, All the spells in the world won’t matter.

When he got back to camp, Father Odeil and his youngsters were burying the dead bandit. Adrosos stared down at the dead man’s mutilated head.

They cut off his horns. He looked over at Father Odeil.

“We send them to God, cleansed of the Demon, and the government pays a bounty on horns.”

Adrasos thought of Yainni, slow and innocent and swallowed bile. I will have to try to conceal his horns. “How does the government know they aren’t paying for steer’s horns?”

“They have seers, who can tell the difference. As a man of God I should disapprove of them—they too are demon touched—but somehow when the difference is invisible, it is not treated as proof of Evil.”

“Seers. They do magic?”

“God forbid! No, just, well, perhaps a touch. But they cannot do anything, just see things other cannot, mostly. They are approved by the Church.”

Adrasos nodded, and went to help dig a pond.

After a scant breakfast, he took a good hard look around beyond their flimsy barrier, then led out the horses and cattle to graze. With half his men on guard. And stayed out there himself.

At noon, his sister Adelphie brought bread wrapped around meat out to them all.

“I don’t know why I’m feeding you!” She shot him a bitter glare.

Adrasos sighed. “I am sorry you wound up tangled in this mess. But may I suggest that the thief and seducer in the family is to blame?

“Those were your troops. Your friends who raped me, and mother,” she snarled.

“They are the God-King’s troops. To have stolen the property of the God-King . . . everyone knows the Gods loan jewelry for the life of the woman, to placate discarded wives and lovers. They do not give away treasure. Not ever.

“I got permission to go in first and remove Peep. I knocked out Grandfather, so he couldn’t start a fight. Sent poor dumb Yainni off to buy wine. Dragged Peep away, so she didn’t see, didn’t hear, and especially so she wasn’t raped. Or killed. If there’d been much resistance everyone in the house could have been killed.” Adrasos sighed. “I am sorry. I did not know you were there.”

“But what am I to do? I’m a married woman. Endocrates . . .”

“Endocrates is a widower, by the laws of our people. The laws are completely indifferent to your plight. You will have to decide for yourself whether you are wife, widow or divorcee.”

“Endocrates would never have divorced me.” Tears started leaking down her cheeks. “No matter what Mama says. He knows the difference between rape and adultery.”

“Yes. But you are dead to him. Grieve, Adelphie, you have every right, for you will never see Endocrates again.”

“It’s not fair!” She shrugged off his attempt to hug her, and stalked away.

***

The night was broken by a quick warning and brief fight at the back of the Archer’s cow barn. The raiders failed to get into the barn. Cinnamon was hailed as a hero, not just for spotting the sneakers, but for hitting the leader with a club.

The stream of water entering their new pond stopped midday.

 
 
 
(Anonymous) on June 23rd, 2018 06:11 pm (UTC)
What's your goal and problem?
Usually when you've let something like this sit around, you have a writing problem - something like you don't know where the story is going, or that there's some element you don't really want to write at the moment.

Any thoughts on what you're missing? that would help us make suggestions. And, given the similarities to your Wine of the Gods stories, maybe you need to make some sharp differences?

Darqref
matapampamuphoff on June 24th, 2018 12:39 am (UTC)
Re: What's your goal and problem?
Nah, this is just a straightforward adventure/love story.

The writing problems are minor health issues ganging up on me.
Joe Wojo Jrwojorider on June 23rd, 2018 08:28 pm (UTC)
a scrambled world??
Reminds me of the effects seen in a few of your stories both Wine of Gods, zombies (i think). Is this a just not a world found by the One or "Earth"? I like it btw
matapampamuphoff on June 24th, 2018 12:37 am (UTC)
Re: a scrambled world??
This is no relationship to Wine of the Gods.

Zombies, with the mergeing and separating worlds? Yep this started on one of the other worlds, and moved to yet another. What I really need to do is rewrite the first book.

Actually what I need to do is finish _External Relations_ but I am currently (still) suffering from the combined effects of the stupidest minor health issues in existence and have trouble sitting for more than about fifteen minutes at a time. This does not make for good writing conditions. Maybe next week normalcy will return.
(Anonymous) on June 24th, 2018 12:47 am (UTC)
RE: Re: a scrambled world??
This is Delphi's universe, with the universes overlaping and people merging with each other and animals and then de-merging, right? Some sort of astrological cause, inspired by the Mayan End Of The World bruhaha, IIRC, that didn't really get written all the way, or maybe just not posted all the way.

Holly
matapampamuphoff on June 24th, 2018 02:27 am (UTC)
Re: a scrambled world??
Yeah, I procrastinated too long for the Mayan EOTW, so I started rewriting it to something safely in the future--2020--which I shall obviously have to reconsider if I ever decide to publish any of this tangle.
cnmckenney on June 24th, 2018 04:38 pm (UTC)
Re: a scrambled world??
I will be interested to see where this goes and will cheerfully shell out if you decide to publish.
There were two overlap stories and I'm not sure if they were separate or one was a rewrite of the other. The second one was definitely richer and while it needed the edges serged and the hems sewn in it was pretty complete. The only thing wrong is that it seemed to cry for further story, that the story arc was just getting started.
My opinion and worth every cent you paid for it.
matapampamuphoff on June 24th, 2018 05:12 pm (UTC)
Re: a scrambled world??
I've written, in very rough draft, (1)the main overlap, (2)the immediate aftermath main issue (zombies), (3)an adjustment period where they deal with all the effects in the area close to the "Nexus" or the "Thin spot" and especially the problems from all the people who evaccuated and come back to a really weird mess, then (4+)some longer term problems (A Vampire, Feds with a very bad attitude, a new Chief of Police, and a nosy newspaper reporter).

And Gates of Hel between two of the Overlap worlds seen in the first book, and two stories in yet another.