Discover more from the vampire shift
13. My Best First Chapter
The boy was proving exceedingly difficult to kill.
Hi everyone. I write to you from beneath an unjustifiably smothering aegis of shame at how long it’s been since the last update. This is a totally pathetic and tired way of starting a newsletter update, which is why I said ‘aegis’ to distract from it. Hi.
(Also, I just googled ‘aegis’ and found out I’ve been using it Wrong. I’m leaving it in though. #authenticity) (anyway!!””!!!—)
My last update featured a ‘worst first page/chapter’ and for this update I’m going to do an about-face and share something much more terrifying, i.e. writing that’s meant to be earnestly good in a non-overwhelmingly-comedic way.
‘But Sunny,’ you might ask, ‘isn’t that what you’ve been trying to do with all the other bits of fiction you’ve been sharing pre-Johnny-Hard-Drive?’
To which I say, ‘Yes.’
To which you might say, ‘Was that terrifying?’
To which I would reply, ‘Not really. I think I was too obsessed with creating and enjoying the emotionally crippled horny vampire sex to feel particularly self-conscious.’
And wow, would ya look at that! Somehow through this dialogue conceit thing, I’ve actually stumbled across a useful message/idea, i.e. get over the creative block I’ve been experiencing lately by returning to my old friend Self-Indulgence. This is not a new realisation at all, but it feels somehow refreshing to have had the thought again. Thanks, imaginary audience/myself.
Okay, now, onto the writing. This is something I wrote because the first line popped into my head one day and I really liked it, and then I polished it up to perform at a ‘Best First Page’ event.
It’s a version of Killian and Rae meeting for the first time. It’s not the first thing I ever wrote of their meeting, but is one Possibility. The first thing I wrote of their meeting is from Killian’s perspective and features a hilariously adorably saccharine meet-cute at a record store.
Now with that in mind, here’s something (almost) completely different:
The boy was proving exceedingly difficult to kill.
To be fair to me, he was more of a man than a boy, but only just. And yes, any casual spectator to this fight would’ve put their money on him — on the tall, leanly-muscled figure with stubble and a sharp jaw and eyes like black holes, not on the girl in a velvet dress and heels who looked like she’d been waylaid at a club on the way to a steampunk convention.
It would’ve been a poor bet on their part.
Still, he was putting up a remarkably good fight, an irritatingly good fight, given how distracted I was by the dizzying scent of his blood, sweet as sin and absolutely saturated with magic — by the shape of his body even as it came at me with a spelled blade — by the taste of his mouth on mine, the moments-old memory singing like a freshly-opened wound —
I caught his eye and grinned, running my tongue along my teeth as the ancient magic hummed through my system.
At least he would make a pretty corpse.
This had not been the original plan when I’d spotted him across the bar earlier that night. And maybe it should’ve been — maybe I should’ve caught the warning signs earlier and saved us both the trouble, but the simple truth was that the last few months — years, decades, centuries — had made me as complacent as I was lonely.
Which is how I’d found myself alone with him beneath a starry sky with no-one else around for miles, warm from half a bottle of red wine and staring at the boy’s high cheekbones and charmingly crooked aquiline nose. I’d been enjoying the way the moonlight turned his brown skin silvery-gold, even managing to relish the torturous temptation of his heartbeat, when he’d leaned in toward me, one arm draping around my waist, the other thrusting a blade beneath my ribs.
I experienced one final moment of blissful confusion before awareness and understanding thudded into my mind with the whistle of a guillotine, hand in hand with a wave of nausea at how I could’ve possibly been so bloody foolish —
He twisted the blade as he ripped it out, tearing through the soft flesh of my torso with vicious, practised ease as the arm around my waist tightened, holding me close like a lover.
I saw the knife come free with a spray of crimson, my inhuman eyesight capturing every glint, every drop, every arc of red, even the few black threads of my dress that had been torn loose and were now clinging to the blade. Heard the sound of tissue and fabric and bone meeting steel, heard my own pulse roaring in my ears —
— registered, finally, a terrible cold that burned like fire, spreading out from the entry wound and filling my system with something that hurt far worse than physical pain as I sensed the magic that sang through the metal, a curse as old and familiar as mine.
I stirred in his grip, tried to break free as his hand blurred toward my neck — was that his moving fast, or my vision faltering? — but my limbs refused to cooperate, and now there was a blade to my throat, slick with blood.
My mouth opened to scream out a spell, but the words got caught in my throat as the poison spread and smothered my magic — and so I just stared up, paralysed in his arms like a parody of his beloved, his face inches from mine.
Up close, he was still beautiful.
Something flickered in his eyes as the blade pressed harder against my skin, not quite breaking it yet.
‘I’m sorry,’ he said.
Icy rage swept through me.
Hunters who apologised were the fucking worst.
AND THAT IS THAT! I just read it again for the first time in ages and you know what, I like it. I hope you liked it too. Pretty awks if you thought it was shit, huh. But also kinda funny.
I’ll end this update with some Thoughts From The Author (I know this is weird title case but it’s For The Bit) because! I want to!! so uh
wow, Killian’s really getting a good write-up so far. the two substantial things I’ve shared here are from Sasha and Rae’s perspectives and they’re both like: he’s super fucking hot wow i hate it. …it’s almost like at some point when I designed him, I had hotness in mind!! and almost like i’m writing a romance where the people involved are meant to be attracted to each other!! wow!!!!! what a shocker! ….somehow, it is still amusing. probably because this one is ‘he is literally stabbing me (not in a sexy way)’ and it is still so fucking complimentary lol
to be honest, if i were in Rae’s shoes then i’d probably be like this too i mean it makes total sense actually, charm/attraction was part of his strategy as a hunter and for that to work, she’d have to think him a looker and also it’d be really annoying getting betrayed by a handsome stranger like that, the handsomeness would twist the knife for sure and be definitely high up in mindi have this unbelievably unsexy urge to justify my grotesquely self-indulgent decisions apparently, which is just like. NOPE NOT GONNA DO THAT ANYMORE. fuck that. (i will definitely still do that. i am pathologically unable to shut up and also i cannot rid myself of all shame. believe it or not.)
also wow i sure do write about heartbeats a whole fucking lot maybe i should do something about that maybe it’s a little much (or maybe you’d have not noticed if i hadn’t mentioned it and now you’ll never un-notice it shit shit shit) (or you’re like ‘lol sunny as if i didn’t notice. you write about heartbeats SO FUCKING MUCH)
ever since i saw a few seconds of a scene from the movie Mr and Mrs Smith as a child, i’ve been kinda fucking obsessed with hot people (who are into each other) who try to kill each other and who also make out, the two happening seconds/minutes apart. i guess that scene with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and the guns was real formative! fun : )
the above point applies to fiction, not real life. i presume this is an unnecessary clarification at this point, given the nature of my audience (small + cool people) but i’m adding this here for posterity in case. in case it becomes necessary. wow i am a coward
…i publish self-written self-confessed!self-indulgent vampire smut on the internet, i’m not that much of a coward
THIS! is turning into an unsolicited therapy session!
<3 i love my readers genuinely thank you so much for being here and especially thank you to those who share their gobsmackingly complimentary/generous/positive thoughts with me it is so. like. i’m so lucky. SO LUCKY. academy award winner speech and crying here. BYE