As of Nov 24:
Total Word Count: 10,137
Target Word Count: 40,000
Well, I hit the 10,000 mark. It was like pulling teeth with the holiday, but I did it. I’m going to have to double down in order to get to my personal goal of 25,000 by Friday, but it is doable. Unfortunately, at this point I don’t think it’s possible to get to 50,000.
Disclaimer: The following excerpt is unedited. You will find spelling errors, grammatical errors, and inconsistencies. There is more telling than showing. I am well aware of the poor quality of the writing; however, fixing it is not the point of the exercise. The point is to get as much written as possible, and editing as I go will only slow me down. Know that I will take a month (or longer) to revise.
“We should be safe if we can get inside the shop,” Val said. “Open the door for me, will you?”
Nic nodded and scurried ahead, catching the key Val tossed him, and held the door open for them. As soon as they entered, Sal’s skin stopped smoking entirely and his blisters started to heal. Val snatched the keys back from Nic and locked the door behind them. The both of them watched through the glass as the white light burst against the door and reformed into Michael’s most common angelic form. He appeared in the shape of a man, well-built and dressed in a toga, with pure snow-white wings sprouting from his shoulder blades. His hair was blond and shaggy, his eyes a bright cold blue.
“Holy shit,” Nic muttered, taking a step behidn Val.
Val snorted. “You could say that,” she said. “Don’t worry, he can’[t hurt you,” she said assuringly. “Check out those sigils.” She pointed at the corners of the door jamb, where she had painted on certain protective sigils at the points. “Those represent Satan, Lucifer, Belial, and Leviathan. Theyre supposed to keep Yahweh’s forces out. So far it looks like it’s working.”
Michael glared at them trhough the glass. He pressed his hand against the door. Sparks jumped around his fingers, but otherwise nothing happened.
“Of course, we can’t urt him either,” Val mentioned. “The ward isn’t powerful enough to do any damage to an angel as powerful as him, but as long as those sigils are in place he can’t get us.”
“What if he tries to come in through another door?” Nic asked.
“All the doors and windows in this store have the same kind of wards.”
Nic visibly relaxed. “So he’s not coming in.”
“What happens if someone sees him?”
Val shrugged. “I run an occult shop,” she replied. “I attract a lot of people the general public would call ‘weirdos’. Anyone walking by and seeing him standing outside my shop will most likely assume he’s playing dress up or something.”
“But he won’t hurt them?”
Val had to think abvout that for a moment. “Probably not,” she said. “As long as they don’t bother him. He’s a little focused on us at the moment.”
Val continued to stare off with Michael. “Why don’t you go to the office and check on Sal for me,” she suggested to Nic. “He’s been in there awhile, make sure he’s okay.”
“Yes ma’am,” Nic answered, giving Val a jolt of surprise. He’d alwasy been very informal with her; she wondered where this display of formality was coming from.
Michael spoke as soon as Nic was out of sight. “Valerie Morningstar,” he said in a booming voice, “you have made yourself a reaper of souls and an enemy of God. Expect retribution.”
Val couldn’t resist rolling her eyes. “I’m Lucifer’s daughter,” she retorted. “I’m Yahweh’s enemy whether I want to be or not. Also, you calling me a reaper of souls is the embodiemtn of irony.”
If Michael had a response he didn’t voice it. He glared at her, his eyes filled with an icy fire, then disappeared in a column of white flame. “Extra son of a bitrch,” Val mumbled, then turned to join Sal and Nic in the office.
Sal was seated in her chair, slzthering his arms with burn cream, somthing Val liked to keep on hand given Sal’s nature and the nature of her shop (she burned a lot of candles, and fire safety was omething that was very important to her). Nic hovered nearby, helping Sal wrap bandages around the burns. He was unusually quiet.
“How’s everything going in here?” she asked to announce her presence.
“Nic has been helping with my burns,” Sal answered, accepting a roll of guaze and warpping it around his stiff arm. “He would make a good nurse.”
Nic blushed. “I guess,” he said. He took in a breath as if he were about to says omething further, but he cut himself off and fell silent.
Val was pretty sure she could interpret that silence. “Is there anything you need to talk about?” se prompted.
Nic shrugged. “What’s there to talk about?” he said. “My parents disowned me to save my dad’s political campaign. It’s nt like no one could see that coming.”
Val felt bad at the bitterness in his voice. She’d helped to libverate the boy, but he obviously didn’t feel very liberated. He looked more lost than anything. He seemed to shrink under her scrutiny, turning away to hide the tears in his eyes just after she saw them. That made Val feel any worse. “Any idea what you’re going to do yet?”
Nic glared at her, a glare far more effective than the one Michael was giving her. Nic’s glare was full of emotion; not just rage, but sorrow and despair, confusion and fear. She remembered what it was like when she was a teenager, trying to find her own mother after having been abandoned, remembered feeling those same emotions displayed openly on Nic’s face. “What the hell can I do?” he demanded. “After Nadia, none of my friends want anything to do with me anymore, so it’s not like I can stay with one of them. My aunties and uncles probably don’t want their scrawny little gay goth nephew around. I don’t have anywhere to go!”
“Not necessarily,” Val said. “Unless you don’t want to stay with me in the apartments upstairs.”