Today's snippet is from Impcatcher, which I am aiming to publish in roughly two weeks' time.
In this snippet, Tal, the impcatcher of the title, is about to make a very nasty discovery in the sewers.
I held the crystal in my left hand, pushing it forward into the darkness as I peered warily into the opening. My right hand reached automatically for the knife in the sheath on my right shin - saved my life more than once, that blade. But the void was empty of immediate threat.
It was a low, arched chamber, only a couple of hundred years old. I guessed it dated back to the Meraxian occupation, when our then overlords had insisted on improvements to the town's waterworks. The area was only ten feet across. A small, artificial cave, probably intended for the crew who had, in the distant past, maintained these depths.
I moved the light to illuminate the other side of the chamber, and my throat choked up. The occupants were both here. One was sprawled on the floor beside the makeshift bed, skin tight across her skull and shoulders, eyes staring blankly upwards, dirty teeth revealed by half-open lips in a rictus grimace. The other body was contorted on a slew of papers making a mound against the wall, all-but-skeletal hands clutching a long knife. His skin, too, was pallid, like parchment stretched over dry stone. His tunic was torn and patched, his breeches held together by old twine. He looked as though he was ninety.
Except that I knew he was sixteen at most.
I finally have the design for the cover - it may be tweaked slightly, but the fundamental design is settled.
As always, comments welcomed!