In less than half an hour. I’ve set my word count expectations low at 20K so I’m more likely to reach the goal. I can’t bring myself to write it all over again, but I’ll make sure I only count those words I actually write and nothing from my previous drafts.
Here’s a little excerpt from my first chapter. You can expect these every couple of days. Feedback is much appreciated!
“No, she had an inn. After she died, I had to stay at a convent…” Her voice trailed off as the color drained from her face. She shivered as if cold.
“Siobhan?” Duff followed her gaze. They were passing an old church, made of stone. The roof had fallen in and signs of a fire still remained. The graveyard was overgrown; some of the visible headstones were broken or cracked. “What’s wrong?”
Siobhan drew in a sharp, hissing breath. She couldn’t tear her gaze away from the graveyard. The wispy gray-silver form of a man stood alone among the headstones. He stared at her, dark holes where his eyes used to be. She could almost see the edges of blurred ruined skin, telling more about how the man died than she really wanted to know. It wasn’t the first time she’d seen someone like this; she knew her companion wouldn’t be able to see what she had.
At last, she squeezed her eyes shut, shook her head brusquely, and turned away. When she glanced back, he was gone. Swallowing heavily, she rasped out, “Nothing. It’s nothing.” It took few deep breaths before she was calm enough to ask, “What was that place?”
Young Duff stared hard at the church as if noticing it for the first time. “That was St. Matthew’s,” he said slowly as if testing out the words on his tongue to see if they fit. “Yes, St. Matthew’s. It was a Roman church, like those your uncle tends. One night, before … services, I guess you’d call them–”
“Mass.” Her reply was a bare murmur. “It’s called Mass.”
“Ah, right.” His light brows came together as he thought. “Well, anyway, as the priest prepared for this Mass, an altar cloth caught fire. The whole building went up like that!” He snapped his fingers. “Nobody was there but the priest so he was the only one who died. But the church was gutted, as you see.” Shrugging, he sighed. “Some people say it’s haunted, while some say that the little men got to it. No one dared build it back up.”