The Alchemist's Kiss
A sneek peak at my WIP
(c) Amy Riddle-DeClerck 2015
My newest project is a rollicking action/adventure/magical steampunk romance called The Alchemist's Kiss, and I wanted to share a snippet of what I've been pouring my heart and soul into for the last few months. Take a minute and read it....COMMENTS ARE WELCOME!
In the moment that the storm was burned off by the aether I saw Icarus drop The Hand. I pulled open the wheelhouse door with the Captain quick on my heels. I must have screamed when Icarus went over the edge, because the Captain and all his men stopped to stare at the bow of the ship where their savior had only moments before been standing.
I thought I might be frozen in fear or grief, but I dashed forward and grabbed my talisman from the deck. I could feel my heart racing as I looked over the edge. Icarus was holding on, but dangling limply as the wind buffeted him about like a child's toy. I got to my knees, tucking The Hand into my bodice, and reached for him. I grabbed hold and he raised his head. He was pale and I knew only moments from unconsciousness.
“Grab my other hand, Icarus.”
“I cannot.” His voice was a whisper, raw and agonizingly rough. He was shaking, every muscle quaking with the effort it took to hold himself to the ship. My arms screamed in pain as I tried to hold him up. The Captain was across the way, tending to a fire that had broken out on the deck.
“Icarus, please.” I begged, pulling with all my strength. I could not hold him and concentrate enough to chant a spell to help me with his weight. “Take my hand.”
“I am not gloved, Fanny. I won't.”
I cursed as he quaked hard again, nearly loosing his hand from mine. My palms were sweaty and he slipped away from me a little more. “I am willing to risk it, Icarus! You're going to fall. Take my hand. Please.”
He smiled at me and I felt a sob escape. I'd seen that smile before. Sad and full of soft apologies that Icarus Kane never needed to make. I clutched at him as he opened his hand and slipped away from me. He fell, and all I saw was a speck of herringbone tumbling end over end toward the ground below.
“Adept Jenkins,” the Captain knelt beside me, his face pale. He gulped, his large adam's apple bobbing as he stared wide eyed at Icarus falling. “I cannot bring the ship down fast enough to catch him.”
I untied my hat and handed it to the captain. It looked ridiculous in his large-knuckled hands, but I clutched The Hand tightly and stood at the bow.
“Continue to follow the feather, “ I said with proper severity, despite the fear bubbling in my gut, “and Icarus and I will be along shortly.”
“Adept, what are you doing?” the Captain grabbed my arm as I leaned over the edge of the decking. I shrugged him off and something in the jut of my jaw or the fire of my eyes must have convinced him that I was not to be trifled with in that moment. He pulled his hand back and shook his head, “This is madness.”
I took hold of my skirts and held them tightly. The Hand burned in my palm and I wondered if my clothing could catch fire from the heat. The Captain was positively aghast as I raised my dress above my ankles and tensed.
“Good luck, Captain Levisque. Until we meet again.” Then I bent my knees and leaped from the side of the ship.