Sunday, 9 October 2016

Forty Wolves

Yeah, I skipped a Wolfish update, just because so many other interesting things have been going on.

Just crossed the 40,000 word count on this one. Was hoping it would come in at 50,000, but now I reckon around 60,000. Still a novella-length piece. It's tripping off my fingers so easily. I think partly because it's the only story I have ever written with no basis in history, science, or the real world. This means absolutely no research required. It's amazing how quickly you can get through your word count when you don't have to read a dozen Wiki pages to get there.

I say it comes easily - all except for today. Had a monster night out last night. Started with quite sophisticated cocktails, ended with far too much gin at my friend's nightclub in town. Made it to another friend's house around half-five. We took a mattress out into the garden and lay watching the sunrise. Fell asleep for a couple of hours then crawled home.

Most of today I've felt like my brain is about to leak out of my eyes. Writing was a little tough. Still got through it though.

Going back to bed now.

I sat there until sunrise, afraid to close my eyes in case he left me in my sleep.
When morning came, Proudfood appeared at the door, calling to me until I fetched him some fish. I was grateful to have a distraction, someone else to take care of, someone very much in the land of the living. The smell of pus remained in the air, though thankfully faded. My friend was shivering a little less, but his eyes remained closed. I set about cleaning the cottage to clear my mind.
It was an hour past sunset when the woman in the woods returned. She paused at the gate, looking at me in the doorway. When we both smiled, she knew that he was still alive and I knew that she had brought a cure.
“Banshee Root,” she told me, removing a black glass bottle from her shawl. “It doesn’t grow in this part of the woods.”
She went straight to his bedside, placing her hand across his brow.
“You have done well,” she said. “His fever is down and his breathing is steady.” She glanced about at all of her herbs rearranged on the shelf, but said nothing. “Bring me a cup of warm water,” she instructed.
Emptying the bottle into the cup, she stirred three times and raised it to his lips. The liquid left a black stain on his teeth. I leaned in a little closer to see whether I could hear him breathing, and the next thing I know I landed on my rump beside the fire. 
He began to scream louder than I had ever heard a man scream.
I looked up at the witch, who was holding her sides with laughter.
“They don’t call it Banshee Root for nothing,” she said. “Help me hold him down.”
I climbed over and took one arm whilst she held the other. The screaming didn’t last long, but the shock of it lasted a lifetime. He took in great gulps of air and expelled them as though he were casting out a demon.

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