Last day! It has been so fun reading your work. Thank you, Monica, Adam, and Rivkie for participating, and for all those who offered their comments. Shall we do this again sometime? I'm up for it if you guys are. (Also, Monica has sent me a new draft of her intro, so please go check it out. I should have it up shortly.)
And now...it's my turn to post an excerpt.
I'm pretty nervous about this. It's been a long time since I posted any of my actual writing from my vast array of WIPs. But I wanted to give you guys a chance to do your own full crits on something, and I didn't want to put that on a random person's work.
So, I better stop delaying this...*gulp*
This is from Spork, what Kiersten called "the illegitimate child of fantasy and steampunk." (Which still makes me giggle.)
If we didn’t have the same dark hair, purple eyes, and tan skin, I would have pawned my brother off as a very distant cousin. Maybe an orphan my parents took in. Anything but my older brother. He was supposed to be the responsible one, not the one dreaming of far off lands and fairytales.
“C’mon, Gil, come with me.” Adair sat on the counter in the storage room as I stacked cooling bowls. That was always how it was. Me doing the work—him watching with his permanent smile.
“Why not? Don’t you want to get out of Mont Dupré for once?” He hopped off the counter and grabbed me by the shoulders, like this was some kind of life and death situation. “Think what you could do with Nero. If we found the rebels, you could single-handedly free the country!”
I sighed. Why did he have to be there the first time I tested Nero? The metagun was my best work, but even now as it rested against my chest, I wished I’d never made the thing.
“You know The Guild is neutral, and you know we don’t sell metaguns to the armies. If I use Nero in ally with anyone—rebels included—they’ll revoke our membership,” I said.
Adair stepped back. “Fine. Point taken.”
I resumed my work, and Adair resumed doing nothing. “Besides, Dad would never let you go.”
“Who said I was going to ask?”
“You’re his apprentice—he could put out a warrant for your arrest if you ran.” I caught a flicker of déjà vu. We’d been through this exact conversation every month for the last three or four years.
It was Adair’s turn to sigh. “Mon dieu, I hate sitting around here doing nothing.”
“Then inventory the lightning orbs like you’re supposed to.” I pulled out the bowls Dad wanted stocked.
“No, not that kind of nothing.” He laughed. I wasn’t sure why; I didn’t think it was very funny. After fifteen years, I was sick of the dead weight, of the idea that he would inherit the Metaforge I cared about. “Haven’t you ever wanted to do something more than metaforging? Haven’t you ever wanted to matter?”
“We’re metaforgers—we do matter.” Without us, people couldn’t heat and cool their food without chopping wood and hauling ice. They couldn’t light their houses. The armies wouldn’t get their best weapons.
Adair shook his head, his smile shrinking just slightly. “You don’t get it.”
“Nope, and I don’t care to.”
“I want to change the world, Gil. Not just sit around watching wars break out my whole life.” He finally got off his butt and grabbed a crate of orbs. When he pulled the lid off, the mini bolts of lightning glowed bright white, making the hand blown glass glitter.
I squinted. “The world doesn’t change.”
Adair put a black cloth over an orb, and the room dimmed. Then he did the next, and the next. He was mad at me—he’d be talking otherwise. When he finished that box, he opened the next and the room went white again. “I think it can.”