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The Crappy-Passthrough

Today was a harder day of writing. I started late because of two previous appointments, and the scene itself was never one of my favorites. Sometimes as a writer, you just hit one of those scenes that feels absolutely cringing to write, yet at the same time, you know that if you don’t write that first draft, it’ll never be good. So you hold your nose and put words down on the page, trusting that the crappy pass-through you’re working on end eventually be refined to the point where it’s actually good. Anyways, as promised, here is an excerpt, which is presented completely out of context, and with no prior revisions:

“This is a mistake,” she heard Nik say as she excited the meetinghouse. He was leaning against the wall in typical Vaqueran fashion, appearing just as casual and disaffected as usual. Only a very perceptive observer would have noticed the tension lurking beneath his drawl. The drapo cape she had gifted him the other night was thrown over his shoulders in dramatic fashion.

Sophy waved a hand dismissively toward him. “Now you decide to voice your concerns?”Nik glanced around. The others had all dispersed. He came closer, till their faces were inches away. Just like it had been the night before by the riverside. “Inside, it didn’t seem like my place. Being a parcher and all,” he said sardonically. “But now, just the two of us, I’m telling you in confidence.”

“And just what do you think is happening between the two of us?” She asked, and Nik honest-to-good blushed at that question.
He looked away. “I just thought you cared about your krewe. I thought you cared about Juana.”

“You’re insulting me by suggesting that I don’t. But Arceneaux’s right, this is a boon that’s fallen in our lap, and I intend to make use of it.”

“Arceneaux isn’t krewe. He may have shacked up with Kemah, but he could care less about the rest of us.”

“You’re not krewe either,” she added. “You said it yourself. Just a traveler passing through the night.”

He looked at her, hurt. Just the night before, they’d been this close, laughint together under the light of the feu follets. He’d looked so handsome then in his drapo cape that she’d almost kissed him on a whim. Even now, as his face roiled with conflicted emotion, he looked so handsome.

But the barrier from before had come back up. The night by the riverbank was passed now. All that remained was the cold aloofness of two professionals who could tolerate one another at best, and who hated each other at worst.

Right now, Nik was watching her with a pained expression on her face. “All I’m saying is that killing Letiche won’t bring Kemah back. Take my word for it: it’s never worth it to sacrifice the living to appease the dead.”

Before she could offer a retort, he had thrown the drapo cape back across his shoulders for dramatic effect, then he turned on his heels and walked away. He looked real handsome doing that as well, and she nearly ran after him for just that reason. Instead, Sophy stood planted in place, feeling the tug of resolve against compliance in her heart.

Dammit. She muttered. Get it together, Sophy. You’re a marsh-captain now, not so starry-eyed belle eager to please the first suitor to take notice of her. Besides, she had responsibilities to take care of.

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