Excerpt 1

A portion of my NaNo from Day 1 of NaNoWriMo:

There was a plan! A good plan…

The ballroom of the Obrian Palace was a large room with a high, vaulted ceiling.  White sheers hung from the ceiling down to the floor, encircling the room.  Someone had cut large branches of pink and white flowers and set them as centerpieces and as decorative displays around the room.  The result was to give the room an almost ethereal quality.  It looks like an enchanted forest had been moved inside for that night.

Normally, sounds echoed in the large room.  Tonight was anything but normal.  It was the young king’s birthday celebration and it looked as though everyone in Obria had turned out to honor him with their presence.  The room seemed to be filled with both tables and people.  Some people were sitting at one of the tables around the perimeter of the room, enjoying the food.  Others were standing in small groups, chatting.  The center of the room was cleared, so that people could dance to the music played by a group on a stage at the head of the room.

Ilya leaned against the wall in an attempt to look casual.  It shouldn’t have been so difficult for him to do that.  After all, he was an undercover agent.  He should be used to seeming to be one thing when he was really the exact opposite.  It was his job.  Right?

The problem was that so much was riding on this mission going off without any mistakes.  Both Rail and Cedar had impressed upon the team the importance of their success.  That pressure made Ilya nervous.  He checked his watch.  When he looked up, he saw their target stepping across the room.  Angie Hogancamp held a small bag in one hand and a drink in the other.  Her bag was exactly the same as the one Ilya had tucked under his arm.  That was part of the plan.

Ilya looked away from Hogancamp and then frowned.  Jefferson was not in position.  He was meant to be finding Andrien and giving him the drink that he would need for the plan.  Instead, he was on the other side of the room, holding a tray of fancy crab cakes.  The faint frown on his face made Ilya think that the other agent was struggling with how to proceed.  Biting his lip, Ilya slipped across the room.

He snatched one of the crab cakes off the platter.  “Where can I get some champagne?” he asked.  His question came out in a light, casual tone.

Jefferson rolled his eyes.  “Not from me,” he said.  He shrugged and shook his head.  In a softer voice, he said, “Earth’ll just have to drop food on the bitty.”

“You can’t get drunk on crab cakes,” Ilya snapped, his voice a low hiss.  “The plan was for him to appear drunk.  How’d you end up with a tray of food anyway?”

“You’re not the boss of me, Tanner,” Jefferson said, becoming angry.  He looked at the near-empty tray and then flung it out the window.  “I’ll get myself a drink tray now.”

As Jefferson swept away from him, Ilya heard a peculiar noise.  It sounded like a cacophony of percussive beats combined with a high whistle.  He looked out the window and his eyes widened.  Wolfie’s ducks had taken flight.  The tray had spooked them.  “Shit,” Ilya breathed.  He whirled back towards the room and bit his lip again.  Where had Hogancamp gone?

Ilya keyed the little speaker in his ear and whispered, “Cedar, the ducks have taken flight.”  His call wasn’t answered and he knew that could only mean one thing: Cedar was nearly in position.  He’d gone to silence, so that he wouldn’t deafen any of them when he began to play.  Ilya breathed a curse.  This was bad.  This was all kinds and various ways of not good.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Forward, to victory! | Heather's Fancies

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