25 April 2008

Friday Snippet - Mutagens #3

Here's another, more snippet-sized, bit of the Mutagens story. I just re-wrote it, but I'm still pretty zonked from the battle with the Evil Pollen Pixies, so things that suck or don't make sense, well - I blame the Zyrtec... ;-D

In case you missed them, the first snippet in this story is here and the second one is here.

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Einstein was worried. He’d called warning after warning from his perch on the lamppost.

‘Get away! Get away!’ his raucous voice urged. He did it again while Corva waited in line at the water monger’s stall. ‘Get away! Get away!’

She ignored him. She needed food and she needed water and she didn’t have a lot of choices about where to get them. It was the market or stealing, and she'd already pushed her luck stealing the eggs. The market was safer.

At least, it had been until she’d noticed the tall boy with the bow and arrows. She was sure he was following her.

She finished trading her eggs for a beat-up two-liter of water, and Einstein insisted they leave.

'Home! Home!' he cawed and soared over the causeway to scout ahead.

Corva hurried down the hill to follow him. They’d been away too long already.

Wild roses grew along the banks of the causeway. In the warm weather, they had bloomed again. The fragrant blossoms looked and smelled out of place, though, right next to the ripening rosehips. She ought to stop and pick some of those; they were loaded with vitamin C.

‘Careful! Careful!’ Einstein called, as he returned from a sweep behind her.

She took a surreptitious glance back towards the market. Damn!

The boy with the bow and arrows was loping down the hill. He kept well back, but Corva had been followed enough in the last year to tell when she was being tailed.

Well, he probably wouldn’t go through town without a gun. She didn’t want to go through town herself even with a gun.

She took a left a block short of the square. You didn’t go through the square, no matter who you were or what you had on you for firepower. Not unless you were part of a pack.

Einstein kept up a constant worry overhead. He didn’t like this part of town either – too many raven hunters hiding in the shadows.

‘Careful!’ he called, from halfway down the debris-lined street.

His call was answered by another raven, unseen but not far off.

Mid-glide, Einstein suddenly veered across the broken pavement. He called again, his tone urgent, but dramatically different.

‘Feast! Feast!’ he announced. The excitement in his call was unmistakable and was echoed by tens of others. A flock was gathering over a big white house.

‘Einstein!’ Corva called after him, but she knew it was useless.

He disappeared as the flock descended all together in a whoosh into the parking lot behind the house.

Irritated that he would abandon her for food, Corva marched up the driveway to retrieve him.


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8 comments:

Gabriele C. said...

Eek, the evil pollen pixies suck. I've got them, too. :(

I like Einstein, he's fun. And a post apocalyptic setting with roses is something new. Usually, those novels have a wasteland destroyed by nuclear power or something.

IanT said...

Gabriele's right... everyone seems to go for wasteland. But plants are rather good at the whole survival thing. :-)

I like Einstein.

And thanks for commenting on mine; sorry I haven't paid attention over the past couple of weeks!

Bethanie said...

Thanks for the comments, y'all!

I like Einstein, too... 'course he just got Corva into a heap of trouble (though she doesn't know it yet...).

And I hadn't thought of the plants as a unique aspect of the story, but I guess it would be. :) (Heh - I tend to miss the obvious...) Thanks for pointing that out!

Joely Sue Burkhart said...

Ha, abandoned for food! I really like Einstein too. The roses are definitely a nice touch.

Jen said...

Hmm... Quite interesting! I do like the roses touch.

Looking forward to more!

Jen, who seems to be late for everything anymore...

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Why do I think something bad's about to happen to Einstein?

cherylp said...

Nice depiction of a bird's attention span. When food is in the offing, animals, even talking ones, rearrange their priorities. :D

Bethanie said...

Thanks for the comments joely, jen, susan and cheryl!

Hopefully, I'll have a bit more for Friday...