Sunday, 29 May 2011

BIG SECRET PROJECT TEASER #2

Hello! Monday again - and for those of you not in the UK, you're back at work or school. Commiserations. For the UK-ers, it's a Bank Holiday, which means we get the day off. Unfortunately most of the British Isles is cloaked in thick clouds and pouring rain right about now. Which means none of us is probably feeling all that cheerful.

What's that, you say? You really need something exciting to brighten your gloomy Monday up?

Something never before seen on the internet?

Something exclusive to this blog?

Well, maybe today is your lucky day after all! Because today I bring you a tiny teaser from Big Secret Project. I hope you like it - tell me what you think!

**********
“What’s that?” Kylar asked.
"Part of my costume,” I said.
"It’s her mega-ultra-samurai sword!” Jack said, doing jazz hands. “I can’t believe I forgot. It’s like, a thousand year old family heirloom.”
“A real samurai sword? Oh my God, I have to see this,” one of the other girls said. “Come on, get it out!”
“I...I can’t,” I stammered. The loose, relaxed feeling turned to anxiety as I saw the number of eyes fixed on me. “It’s dangerous.
“She’s right. If you want to see it you need to get back and give her some room,” Jack said bossily.
I know she thought she was being helpful, but honestly? I could have brained her with Shinobu just then. Everyone scrambled back and the next thing I knew there were twice as many people staring, all trying to figure out what was going on. Someone snapped on the overhead light, making us all blink.
Just flash them the sword and get it over with. What’s the big deal?
Sick, irrational panic churned in my stomach, but I forced myself to get up and pull Shinobu out of the shinai carrier. The light flashed over the brilliant shine of the black lacquer and the gold flowers on the saya. The music was too loud for me to hear an ooooh, but I could sense it.
A sneaking feeling of pride helped to soothe my uneasiness, and slowly I drew Shinobu from the sheath. Light flashed along the curve of the blade like the sharp white smile of the crescent moon.
“Holy crap,” someone said.
“You are so hot right now,” Kylar said, moving a little closer. “Angelina Jolie hot.”
Jack snorted. “Dude, that’s not a compliment.”
“Anyway,” a boy called Simon interrupted, “she looks more like that girl from that vampire film, you know the one who had the leather pants.”
“That was Angelina Jolie,” Kylar said, annoyed.
Sarah from my tutor group shook her head. “No, it wasn’t. He’s talking about the one who was in the lipstick adverts. She’s Bulgarian, I think.”
Okay, well, that was less dramatic than I’d been bracing myself for.
I slid Shinobu back into his saya and the saya back into the shinai carrier, then settled him onto his place on my shoulder again. By the time I looked up, everyone was so busy trying to work out the name of the girl from the lipstick ads that they all seemed to have forgotten Shinobu completely. I was relieved, and then irritated at myself for being relieved. Why was I being so freakish tonight?
I turned to Jack to suggest more drinks – and saw the shadow coming out of the wall.
A dark stain unfurled against the bright terracotta wallpaper, tendrils whipping from the centre and hardening into claws as it dragged itself through the bricks, into the room. I gagged on the stink of it, wet animal, greasy fur, something long dead and rotting.
The seething mass dilated like the pupil of an eye, spreading up onto the ceiling, clawing across the plaster, leaving black streaks wherever it touched. Thick, glistening globs of liquid, like half congealed blood, dripped down onto the people below, staining their hair and clothes and spreading across their skin. No one seemed to notice.
The thing twisted, and suddenly – horribly – I could see a face in the black. A face that could have been human, except for the eyes. Yellow, cat eyes, with vertical pupils.
The thing blinked slowly, searching. Its gaze fixed on me.
It surged across the ceiling towards me.
***********

P.S. Two very interesting links for you to check out.

First: I was interviewed by the lovely Clover at Fluttering Butterflies for her Awesome Women feature. How cool is that?

Also immensely cool - favourite writer Jaclyn Dolomore, author of Magic Under Glass, read and reviewed Shadows on the Moon! Whoot!

34 comments:

Ashley said...

Oooh! That's intense! Must see more! It's a contemporary setting! Something I wasn't expecting! :)

Zoë Marriott said...

Heh heh. THAT'S why it's Big Secret Project. Trying lots of new things with this one.

Vivienne said...

You are such a tease! I want more. The creature!!!!

Zoë Marriott said...

Well, that is kinda the POINT of a teaser, you know :)

borky_qk said...

It's raining here too, so this was appropriate.
I LOVE IT! And Bulgaria is in the book!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Could not be better !!!... Or could it be?

P.S. How do you calculate how many words you wrote? (2k; 3k)

Zoë Marriott said...

I'm glad you liked it, Borky! I calculate how many words I've written using the Word Count feature in MS Word - that's the simplest way.

borky_qk said...

Zoe, have you learned to play the mandolin? If you have, upload a video on youtube. And if you haven't, upload a video on youtube. ;D :P :)

Zoë Marriott said...

No way! I've already humiliated myself on YouTube once!

borky_qk said...

Okay, but you should know it is a great loss. Your videos are fun. "The Writer's Brain" is hilarious... And true.

Rebecca said...

That sounds ace and I didn't expect it to be modern! Teasers are so good but so bad in a way because you want to read more! Lol. Yeh, I'm up in Scotland so it's non-stop rain. The moment we get a sunny day, even if it's windy, we all head outside with the sun-tan lotion on, lol. There's no need because it's probably only two more degrees warmer but we do it anyway, lol

Megha Z said...

SQUEEEEEEEEEE I LOVE YOU TO PIECES ZOE!!! *GLOMPS*

That was AWESOME, Zoe! It's so different from your other work (which is not a bad thing -- just making it clear ;)) and so... cool! I didn't expect it to be modern either.

It's Memorial Day in the US, remember? They don't need to go to work/school either! Hurrah for people in the US/UK!

It's kind of cold, but I'm going to my friend's birthday part at 3 (and coming back at 6, Isabel, in case you wonder where I am), so I have something to look forward to! Though it's not raining, the weather IS very gloomy...

Thanks for the teaser!

Isabel said...

Wow! It's so cool that you're trying something new, Zoe... and you seem like you're having a lot of fun with it! Great work! I can't wait to read more sometime in the future. :)

Like Megha said, it's actually the day off for Memorial Day here in the U.S.! And I actually completely forgot there was a new post today -- it still feels like the weekend, cuz it IS -- so I nearly fell out of my seat when I saw this post! ;)

Zoë Marriott said...

Rebecca: I love Scotland, but I sympathise with you about the rain. I live in the North, but I know you get even more wet and cold weather than we do. It's a wonder we're not all albinos.

Megha: You're welcome - and I'm glad you liked it. I'm definitely trying something new with this one, which is why I'm being all secretive about it.

Isabel: Since I don't have to go to school, or work in an office anymore, public holidays like this really pass me by. I get up at the same time as normal, write as normal, walk the dog as normal etc. I really only remembered that it was a British Bank Holiday because it was on the news. So it's no wonder I didn't even clock the fact that it's a US day off too. I'm in a world of my own over here, really...

a.u. said...

OMG!! NOOOOOOO!! I want more!!!! :) And responding to the pre-teaser post, when you posted it, it was actually Sunday for those of us in the U.S. And we, TOO, have today off for Memorial Day. Ha! :)

Zoë Marriott said...

a.u.: I'm glad you liked it :) And enjoy your day off!

Katie-Lynn said...

The weather is evil. It's a conspiracy I tell you. Here in Canada its sunny, on the radio this morning they recommended sun block... but do we get a holiday? No. Evil evil evil.

More importantly I've been dying to read Shadows on the Moon, have to wait a gazillion years (maybe I'm being a tad melodramatic) for it, then I get all excited for FrostFire, and now its going to be forever until the big secret project which so far I'm completely in love with, I mean really a samurai sword and a creepy monster thing in the shadows, what's not to love. Sorry for sounding like an impatient toddler but I want them NOW!

Isabel said...

Zoe: Haha, yes, I was thinking about that. Writers are kind of in their own separate world, right? :) Must be rather nice, if I may say so myself. ;) Tell me if I'm horribly wrong...

Liz said...

Oooh, this is super duper cool! Really looking fwd to reading more about it.

Zoë Marriott said...

Katie-Lynn: It's like the weather is PLAYING with us, isn't it? Toying with our emotions! *Shakes fist* Sorry for the long publishing wait, but just remember - it feels even LONGER for me.

Isabel: Sometimes it is. But it also means you get taken by surprise by things like ppl's birthdays and are always scrambling to get organised. So - up and downs.

Liz: Thanks! It might be a while though. You know the gears of publishing grind sllloooowwwlly.

Rosie Lane said...

I like it a lot. I enjoy stories where fantasy meets normal people who do jazz hands and talk about people in adverts.

Pressing all my buttons at the moment. Keep going :)

Zoë Marriott said...

Rosie: Me too! That's why I've always wanted to write my own urban fantasy. Let's hope someone wants to buy this one, that's all...

Emma Book Angel said...

Terrific teaser :D

Zoë Marriott said...

Thanks, Emma!

need-tea said...

Oh, awesome! That was funny AND dramatic. I really liked the names you picked for the other characters (Kylar, especially).

Zoë Marriott said...

Thanks, Krystle. You said exactly the right thing - one of the best parts of writing BSP is that I get to use humour and silliness for nearly the first time amidst all the angst and emo :)

Megha said...

Zoe, I'm super jealous of you.

YOU didn't have to wait for STARCROSSED to be released!

It's released TODAY! I'm not sure if my mum and dad will buy it for me or not... I hope so.

=D

Zoë Marriott said...

That is a perk of being an author who occasionally reviews books. SOMETIMES - not always - you can get hold of exciting books early. Not all the time, though!

Isabel said...

I was just thinking about that, Zoe -- you always said before that you were terrible at using humor in your writing, and you preferred angst. But you actually seem to be doing a good job at it! I suck at humor. ;) Very jealous...

borky_qk said...

Zoe, Can I ask - from where did you download the program "Microsoft OneNote"?

Zoë Marriott said...

Isabel: Well, it's not so much that I've sucked at humour, more that it never comes out in my epic fantasy work. I've been dying for a chance to be crazy and silly for once!

Borky: It comes as part of the Microsoft Office package, along with Word and Excel. You have to buy it, I'm afraid. It's expensive - I had to save up!

borky_qk said...

Yes, I'm afraid too. 0_o =]

Isabel said...

Zoe: Oh! Well, not much of a surprise. You're so hilarious in person/on the internet! (Well, I would think you were just as hilarious in person. ;) I wish I could meet you!!!) Maybe when I'm older I'll get better at it... although honestly it's not something I particularly enjoy writing anyway. And in my angsty fantasy novels it doesn't really work out. ;)

Isabel said...

I'm starting to miss writing... I've done some brainstorming and stuff over the weekend but hopefully I will go back into the physical writing of words soon.... In an ideal world, maybe some time this week! Wish me luck...

Zoë Marriott said...

Isabel: Well, that's the strange thing. In real life I think I *am* funny. People always tell me I am. But so far the epic fantasy voice I've been using, which is very lyrical and serious, hasn't allowed me to play with humour. If only you knew how I'd longed for some snappy one-liners! I imagine after a few years of writing very serious, angsty stuff, you might feel the same.

The more you miss writing, the easier it should hopefully be to slip back into your story. That's the idea of taking a break :)

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