Thursday, January 16, 2014

What are you up to?

It's always good to be up to something. Keeps the powers that be guessing and all. So, what I've been up to lately is tying up a lot of things and stirring up new trouble.

The second book in the Space Slugs webserial is only two episodes (or so) away from the end. I'm not 100% certain of the future for that series, but odds are, the third book I originally planned either isn't going to happen or won't happen for some time. Sad to see Slugs sign off, but it's had a very long run and the story has unfolded to a conclusion.

To fill the web fiction void of its passing, (because I don't have enough to do apparently) I will be kicking off a new web series asap. Probably before the final Slug Opera goes live. I'm pretty excited about it, and when the muse sings like that, I have learned to pay attention. Also, I have no patience.

You can find it and more info about it here: http://theearthtigers.blogspot.com/
and I thought an excerpt would be nice by way of introductions. Keep in mind the same webfiction rules apply. This is rough draft material and not a long edited/revised final version. If and when segments of the story tie up nicely, they may or may not be revised, polished bound and put up in one or more final versions to be announced at any spur of the moment decision on my part.

In short, this is just for fun, folks, and I'm a big fan of fun.

The Earth Tigers

The jungle shifted like waves in the early sunlight. The movement was ever present in the upper canopy. The activities of myriad birds and beetles, rippled across emerald fronds and made a seascape of the treetops. From the tip of the last standing pyramid, Horatch watched the world awaken. He shifted his rearmost legs, spun in a tiny arc to allow the sun's warmth to reach his carapace, and ran the tip of his foremost metatarsus through his chelicerae until each bristle lay as flat and smooth as velvet.
He groomed each foot in turn, eight soft, snow white toes tipped with hooked claws that could spear the tightest of tree bark without slowing him down. When he'd finished with his tarsi, Horatch turned again, reached one rear leg up as high as it would go and scrubbed it slowly across his bulbous abdomen. Soothing, always smoothing. The bristles that lay flat would keep the T'rant flying along his way, would keep him fast and agile, unlike his stouter, fuzzier cousins.
"I suspected I would locate you here." The words of his former mate vibrated through the pyramid stones. They reached him, tarsi first, and drove his long legs to a tenser, more upright posture.
"Niatha." He tightened his chelicerae and swiveled to face her. His abdomen raised to the sun, and he lowered his body, dipped toward the pitted stone in a bow of respect. "I was unaware you looked for me."
"Of course. I only realized who I sought upon finding you." Niatha dipped in return, less deeply and with a lowered abdomen. The gesture still honored him.
Once, he had tapped at the mouth of her burrow and she had happily received him. The eggsac of their mating had not proven viable, however, and their pairing could not continue. That she acknowledged him at all now, was testament to their lingering affection, one that her current mate would not find welcome.
"Has the council adjourned already?"
"Only for a short recess." She tapped her fangs together to punctuate the statement. Her bristles made an iridescent sheen in the early light, primarily olive, but with hints of fire at the right angle. Each of her tarsi bore an electric orange bolt that, he knew, flashed even in the darkness of her burrow. "We will continue once the sun is fully up."
"And what will they decide, do you think?"
"They will decide what I tell them to, in the end." Niatha sagged, looking older than he liked despite the fact that she would long outlive his own span. The weight of leadership wore on her. Her eyes shone with less brightness these days, and her voice vibrated with little force. "They cannot deny the future any longer. The burrows of the Great Ones are stirring..."


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