The Shortest Fight

This is easily the shortest fight scene I’ve ever written in one of my stories. It’s from “The Rooftop Game,” a 16K word novelette of mine that will be appearing in May in the anthology, “Worlds Enough: Fantastic Defenders.”

The basic premise is “Die Hard, on the roof of a castle tower.” While the King is away, the castle the royal family is staying in is overrun. Unable to escape, Lydio Malik, the Royal Bodyguard for the infant Princess Analisa, takes refuge on the roof of a tower where his enemies will have trouble getting to him.

This is the scene:

   The Kashmal fighter heaved himself over the edge of the roof, lunged to a standing position, drew his sword and took a step towards Malik.
   The fighter’s forward boot slipped on the wet tile where Malik had urinated only a few moments before. He fell forward, audibly cracking his chin as he landed face first on the orange roof tiles. Stunned, he dropped his sword, which slid off the roof, followed almost immediately by the screaming rebel warrior.
   A few seconds later, there was a thud and clatter as the fighter hit the ground below.
   Malik couldn’t help grinning. All of his fights should be that easy.

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“Bitter Days” Goes to Beta

Let the Beta Readers Begin!I just sent my latest story, “Bitter Days,” to my beta readers. Many thanks to those members of the Loudoun Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers who volunteered to be beta readers. The story is 14,500 words, so it’s solidly in novelette territory. It’s Episode 1 in the Pageeda & Scuffee serial, which I’m projecting to run for five episodes (for this first “season”). This series is, in turn, part of a larger canvas that I’m working on called The Thousand Kingdoms.

Here’s my elevator pitch for the story:

Somebody once said: “Our enemies define us.”

A young homeless girl, raised on the streets of a grim fantasy city by her older sister, vows revenge when her sister is seized by the Nazi-like religious cult that is steadily taking over the kingdom.

She’s so overmatched by her enemy, she has no choice but to become extraordinary. Anything less is unacceptable.

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