Guardians, Inc. has given me a lot of space to play, over the years. Until a few years ago, I had bunches of random scenes all collected in a series of notebooks I keep for when I free-write (that’s an exercise to keep the creative juices flowing when I get bogged down by something, or I experience a writing lull where I just can’t focus). I knew I wanted to do something with them, but my hands were tied by an early publishing mistake I made.
When I went back and decided to undo the mistake, to return a book that was virtually destroyed to its original glory, the floodgates opened, and Guardians, Inc and its sub-series came pouring out, from the notebooks, drawing forward a flood of fascinating characters I hadn’t realized introduced themselves in those free-writing pages.
Here’s a brief snippet from one of those stories, the creation of which comes from a free-writing session done in early 1991. Enjoy! 🙂
“Dead Pirate Walking” — excerpted from Lady’s Lament (Guardians, Inc)
There was someone up there. A chill of awareness slid through Alie, pulling her gaze to the upstairs window of the old manor, even as her brain called her an idiot for believing Mrs. Tolliver’s stories. She dealt with Paras every day, and she’d never encountered a ghost. She didn’t even believe in them.
She was about to turn away, when the curtains stirred again. The air left her body in a gasp of disbelief as a shadowy figure passed behind the curtains and disappeared. There was no one in that wing of the manor; not at this time of night. But it was exactly where the chatty town historian told her rumor said the pirate appeared, keeping look out for the lover who once betrayed him.
A new shiver passed through Alie, and nausea gripped her. There are no such things as ghosts.
But what if there were? Were the stories true? After all this time, had Captain Sawyer come back from the grave? Or had he simply never left?