I scared you in THE RELIC, intrigued you in SITE 27, and punished you in THE MARK. But can I write a novel?
You’re about to find out.
I was recently “tagged” by friend and fellow writer Candice Bundy for another chain letter type of award. This one’s pretty neat. It’s called “The Lucky Seven,” and requires the writer to post 7 lines from page 77 of their latest manuscript. As you know, my coming novel is called THE FOURTH CHANNEL, a suspense/adventure novel about the world’s worst necromancer and her deranged, talking knives, so that’s what I’m going to share.
When Candice tagged me, she specifically requested a scene with the talking knives. Unfortunately, that’s not where the page list fell. It did fall upon a fight scene, of sorts, which isn’t a big surprise since I have a lot of those. You know how much I love my fight scenes!
This fight scene is admittedly a little different. The danger is real, but the combat is a little more humorous. After all, we are talking about the escapades of worst necromancer in the world.
If you like what you’ve read and are curious to see more, the rest of the scene is posted. Just hit the arrow to read the fighting that ensues.
Scene from THE FOURTH CHANNEL:
As I turned to leave, I heard an exultant cry from the bedroom. I was so startled by it that I tripped and almost fell.
Loud and clumsy stomping started heading my way fast. I knew I wouldn’t make it out without being seen so I dove behind the couch. Once the stomping reached the room, my curiosity got the best of me and I peeked out from my hiding spot.
I couldn’t believe my luck. It was Veronica.
She emerged from the hallway, tripping and whipping an extraordinary long, blond ponytail around her head like a helicopter propeller. A white t-shirt was bundled and tucked up under one arm. She would have had an easier time pillaging the apartment if she had worn something more sensible than stiletto boots; the slender heels kept getting caught in the mess.
I jumped up from behind the couch. When I appeared, she jumped two feet in the air, let out a high-pitched shriek, and nearly dropped the t-shirt.When she came back down to earth, we shouted at each other.
“I’ve been looking for you, Kari Hunter,” she said, falling back against the kitchen counter.
So she had figured out who I was. I supposed I shouldn’t be too surprised since my face was all over the media and synonymous with assaulting hunky A-list actors. As long as I caught Veronica and stopped her from telling anyone I was a necromancer, it wouldn’t matter — this ordeal would be over and I could go back to my safe, secret life.
I said, “I’ve been looking for you, too, Veronica Lambert. And I found you first, so I win.”
“We’ll see about that.” She held up the bundled t-shirt. “I have what Ruairí O’Bryne wants and I’m going to cash in. When that’s settled, I’m coming after you.”
I nodded like I was impressed.
“You’ll probably get a whole two dollars for that t-shirt. Don’t spend it all in one place.”
Veronica’s cheeks flushed an angry red and she unrolled the shirt. A long dagger tumbled out of it. As it fell into the debris at her feet, I saw a yellowed, human bone with a crude, silver blade on the end. The handle was made from someone’s forearm, and the blade was about the same length. In an attempt to mimic a necromancer’s knife, the blade had been scorched black and crude etchings of foreign symbols were scratched on both sides. Up near the hilt, dark brown flecks that clearly weren’t rust had collected and dried.
Veronica picked up the knife and held it high. Her malicious smile informed me what the knife was meant for, though I had figured it out already. I felt sick just looking at it.
“It’s claimed quite a few necromancers already,” she quipped.
I shrugged and tried hard to look unfazed. “Since when have you been into voodoo?”
“I’m not,” she said, “it just pays well. Luucas had a ton of their crap and I sold it all.”
I immediately thought of the rock and stick Suzanne had almost killed me with.
I wondered aloud, “Who would want to buy that crap?”
She let the knife drop to her side. Every time she moved the knife, a wave of nausea washed over me.
“You’d be surprised. I found myself a buyer who is connected to Ruairí O’Bryne himself!” Her smile was so big, I thought her head might burst. “Just imagine what they’re going to pay when I deliver you.”
“That’s going to be hard to do,” I said, “since I’m going to get you first.”
Her smile hardened and her hand tightened around the handle. “May the best woman win.”
Neither of us moved. I wasn’t exactly sure what to do since physical conflicts weren’t my forte. Veronica was about ten feet away from me, and five from the hall. My eyes fell to the knife in her hand. Hers went to the door…
I dove for the couch. At the same time, Veronica launched herself at the door, but tripped and did a face plant that looked painful. My knee slammed against the couch frame and I flopped over, onto the seat. My purse slipped off my shoulder and the contents spilled. I looked around wildly for my phone and saw that it was just out of my reach. My choices were limited: Go for my phone and call Grandpa, or go for Veronica. My adrenaline was high so I chose Veronica.
She scrambled to her feet with renewed enthusiasm and started making tracks for the door. I leapt from the couch in an attempt to tackle her, but missed. I crashed into the remains of a side table and slid a couple of feet. It hurt like hell, but at least I cut her off from the door. She shrieked and backtracked back to the kitchenette.
I used a coffee table leg to help myself stand. As I climbed to my feet, a shadow loomed overhead. I looked up. Veronica was standing on top of the counter with the knife held high.
I realized she was going to take a flying leap. I couldn’t get to her in time to stop her and I didn’t know what else to do, so I threw the table leg at her. She let out a high pitched yelp as it hit her thigh and bounced away. The impact threw her balance off and her upper body pitched. Frantically, she waved her arms in circles, trying to keep her from falling. She looked like a deranged pinwheel. I started throwing whatever I could get my hands on, pelting her with every broken fragment within reach.
“Stop!” she yelled.
A look of determination crossed her face. She bent slightly at the knees, looked toward the door, and I knew she was going to jump.
“Don’t do it!” I shouted back.
Veronica ignored me and jumped — kind of. The maneuver was more like an awkward belly flop and she landed right in front of me, the knife still clamped tightly in her hand. I was afraid to touch such a powerful voodoo relic so I grabbed a lampshade and swatted at the knife, trying to knock it loose. Veronica squirmed onto her back. I slammed the edge of the lampshade down on her wrist but she still wouldn’t let go. She kicked out at my leg and sent my feet flying out from under me. I hit the floor hard, feeling two dozen broken pieces of Luucas’s destroyed apartment jabbing into my ribs.
I rolled over and scrambled to my knees, but Veronica was already through the door and standing in the hallway. She pointed the voodoo knife at me and my stomach rolled.
“Gotta run,” she said sweetly, “but I’ll see you real soon, Kari.”
Her ponytail sliced the air as she turned and fled. I climbed to my knees and vomited inside an empty planter.
Hope you enjoyed it! I will keep you informed as soon as THE FOURTH CHANNEL is ready for publication!
Model with Knife photo courtesy of atmtx.
11 thoughts on “Lucky Seven: The Fourth Channel (Excerpt)”
Man, I can’t wait to read this.
Thanks, Alan. You flatter me.
I found it easy to figure out who the characters were and what was happening half way through the page. (not an easy thing to do with some books) It really pulled me in… I like Alan, can’t wait to read more!
Wow, thank you, John! Really glad you liked it.
Great scene Jen! I love all of the imperfections of form, how neither of them are perfect fighters. I can’t wait to read more! 🙂
Thank you, Candice — and thank you for tagging me to participate in The Lucky Seven!
Nice scene! Every bit of FOURTH CHANNEL that I’ve read has been fabulous. (And I read a bunch before Jen decided to cut me off. Meanie-head.)
My message to you is the same as my message to Alan — HURRY THE HELL UP AND PUBLISH THIS, WOMAN! (Ok…I didn’t call Alan “woman”, but you get the idea…)
Good thing, since I prefer to be called “broad”.
I should have guessed. ;D
You know what I think already, but I’ll echo Steven’s comment.
Get to publishin’! 😉
Ooo, Veronica… Kari is going to get her!! I just know it!!
You shared a ton more than I did with my Lucky 7 Meme. Way to go!! Sharing takes courage – and you my friend have it!!