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WEEKEND WRITING WARRIORS: Love Scenes From the Black Market (Black Dogs)

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors!

Click on the image below to check out all the authors participating this week!

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With Dead Planet now available for sale, it’s time to move onto my next project…which means stepping back to some material I’ve shared before.

My next release is Love Scenes From the Black Marketa dark anthology of 16 short stories and poems.  I’ve shared snippets from a few of these stories before, but the tales have since taken at least one trip through the edit grinder (and, on top of that, I last shared those snippets back in May of 2015).  Over the next 16 weeks I’ll share the first 8 lines from each story or poem in the order they appear in the anthology.

This week’s snippet is the opening 8 sentences from Black Dogs, a horror tale in an epic fantasy setting in which a pirate and his crew get more than they bargained for when they raid a coastal town to seize slaves to sell on the open market.

****

Tears in rain, the stench of iron. Dark stone buildings, monuments of shadow that stood to either side of a narrow lane, their old walls chewed and pitted. Clouds oozed across the sky like warm clay. Pale slivers of wayward sunlight glanced through the haze, barely noticeable with all of the smoke in lower Pitchtown.

Sarresh kept his blade close and watched the slaves march up the ramp to the ship. The war with Desh had taken longer than the Duke had promised, but while that had resulted in a lot of death and more than a few malcontents it also meant more money would wind up in the pockets of men like himself, men who profited off the tendencies of The Thirteen to wage battle with one another over everything from credit notes to the Grand Whorehouse in Beldeen to the mining rights in the Twisted Narrows. Those were hard men, with hearts of stone and souls that dripped cash, and Sarresh knew if he was lucky he’d one day buy himself into the favor of one of the Houses, but only if he helped them do what they loved best, which was fight among themselves.

His men hadn’t left much of Pitchtown standing, but that was the way things went when you recruited new stock.

***

Thanks for stopping by, and have a great weekend!

19 Comments

  1. Teresa Cypher

    Wow… I don’t know how you do it, Steven. You put me there. I could see it all. I like the names–the imagery that came with them, “lower Pitchtown” and “Twisted Narrows” Excellent–as always!

    Reply
    • Steven

      Why thank you, Teresa!

      Reply
  2. Kim Magennis

    Teresa is spot on Steven. Your scene setting is masterful. There is always this undefinable quality about everything you put out. Its what makes your stuff seriously awesome! I am on my way to get my copy of ‘Dead Planet’!

    Reply
    • Steven

      Thanks, Kim, and I hope you enjoy Dead Planet!

      Reply
  3. Ed Hoornaert

    Great description, Steven! …monuments of shadow that stood to either side of a narrow lane, their old walls chewed and pitted… Beautiful and evocative.

    Reply
  4. Monica Enderle Pierce

    Visceral and visual and as awesome as always! Love, love, love your descriptions, Steven.

    Reply
    • Steven

      Thank you, Monica, I appreciate it!

      Reply
  5. Cara Bristol

    You are a master wordsmith. Powerful writing.

    Reply
    • Steven

      Thanks so much, Cara!

      Reply
  6. Christina Ochs

    Echoing everyone else- perfect description and so much additional detail about the world and the situation.

    Reply
    • Steven

      Thank you, Christina! =D

      Reply
  7. Paula Millhouse

    I loved the line “Clouds oozed across the sky like warm clay.” Wow, your descriptions are stellar, Steven. Leads me right into your world.

    Reply
  8. veronicascott

    I remember this story, and the details are wonderful as always. You really paint the picture for us! Can’t wait for the next snippet, from another work. Yay!

    Reply
    • Steven

      Thanks Veronica!

      Reply
  9. erinc

    Great details and imagery here. Nice read!

    Reply
    • Steven

      Thank you, Erin!

      Reply
  10. amybraunauthor

    Happy release day, beautiful setting (if a bit creepy, as usual), and a fantastic opening to hook us readers. Awesome work!

    Reply

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