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Sample Sunday – Half Truth and Full Lye – Sample #2 November 20, 2011

Posted by shannonmuir in Books, ebooks, fiction, NaNoWriMo, novels, Sample, Smashwords, work in progress, Writing.
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This month has been very busy for me. Last week I spent the weekend participating in the Blog Tour de Troops with the Indie Book Collective. Yet I didn’t stop working feverishly on my seventh year in National Novel Writing Month.  My story this year, HALF TRUTH AND FULL LYE, is labeled as Horror & Supernatural for their site, and as Paranormal Romance on the Smashwords area where they are allowing works in progress to be uploaded. While those elements both exist in it, at heart is is about a young woman who wants to know who she is. A lot of my stories are like that. I don’t usually have science, magic, and Christianity warring so much though in them. That’s been interesting.

(Side disclosure note: I’m a Christian who was an agnostic until about only 10 years ago and I’m not that far from 40. The kind of stuff I write may upset some Christian writers, but I write about flawed  people who happen to be Christians, not Christians who happen to be flawed people. That’s all I’m going to say on that. Stories should stand on their own merits. So let’s get back to that stories thing, because it is Sample Sunday and that’s why we’re here…)

If you haven’t picked up HALF TRUTH AND FULL LYE totally FREE from Smashwords this month and downloaded throughout the month to follow along, here’s a taste of what you’re missing. Truth (her real name is Firinne, the Gaelic word for truth, but everyone gets it wrong) believes a man who has come to perform in town is her father whom she’s never met. So she (nearly) moves heaven and earth to go to his performance. If you like what you read, I encourage you to go to Smashwords where I’ve got the first 13 chapters available now and just around 5000 words left before I reach my NaNoWriMo goal!

“Prepare yourself to let Branduff Donagh be your guide into the world of paranormal phenomena!”

Branduff Donagh stepped out into the spotlight. Even twenty years older, he looked everything as Truth remembered from her mother’s pictures, except being twenty years older in age. His dark hair flowed shoulder length, and he wore a full thick black coat, pants, and shoes that made it hard to see where one piece went into the next.

Behind him another set of spotlights came up, and six young men stepped into those slots, ranging from eighteen to probably as old as thirty. Most seemed to have dark hair and complexions in the lighting, save one hidden off to the side behind Branduff. Even with minimal lighting, the bright red hair could not be missed – Lye.

“And now,” Branduff spoke with that deep, commanding, charismatic voice, “welcome Edana the Extraordinary!”

He gestured offstage where the light followed his move, a woman walked on to the stage, not much older than Truth’s mother. Her hair flamed red, and the woman’s eyes appeared to be green, though Truth couldn’t be sure. Edana wore a top hat, a black spandex bodysuit, and a flowing cape trimmed with some sort of gaudy faux fur. Her both toned trimand athletic, but most people, though, probably couldn’t stop staring at her face.

At that moment, Truth found herself overcome by another vision. Edana, about two decades ago based on her current age, holding a baby. Memorabilia of the Branduff Donagh traveling troupe completely surrounding her. This confused Truth. Her own mother supposedly couldn’t travel with the group because she’d gotten pregnant. This vision implied that Edena remained with the company.

As always, her vision at some point became shown as truth as Branduff and Edana took one another hand in hand on the stage. In the full light, her green eyes shone.

“Welcome,” Edana spoke, making it beyond a doubt that her voice was behind the commercial as well, as it brought Truth’s focus back to the present, “my husband and I both welcome you to the Branduff Donagh Company’s evening experience of medium, magic, and mystery!”

Truth needed to process a lot at once. First off, Edana just called Branduff her husband. She’d never heard Edana mentioned before by anyone in town. There were no clues how many years Branduff and Edana had been married so far. With the addition of the vision, Truth felt certain that they’d been together for probably around twenty years though not necessarily married for all of that. That did not necessarily, however, mean she hadn’t been with the group at that point. Maybe she started out one of the recruits alongside Truth’s mother. Still, that still didn’t explain the baby, if what her mother told her all those years ago rang true.

So much still didn’t make sense. A lot still needed to be figured out. Truth started to suspect something.

Quickly she looked over at Lye on the other side of the stage, whom she couldn’t see as well since he was away from the main spotlight. Lye’s hair and eyes matched Edana’s. Truth surmised Lye must be Edana’s son. The question remained unproven at this point of his paternity. To Truth that was extremely important. The pieces now raised the possibility that Lye might be the son of Branduff and Edana, and then in turn her half-brother; the same young man who sprung at attention, if you will, upon meeting her and hoped to see her backstage tonight. That made awkward an understatement, given what she believed about Branduff Donagh and her own parentage.

“Also with us tonight,” Edana announced, “our incredible assistants… Lye, Donnell, O’Rourke, Torvan, Roderick, and Darque!”

Truth recognized Donnell and O’Rourke as the other young men that she saw outside earlier in the day, and the remaining three stood head and shoulders – literally – above them as the older young men of the troupe. A couple of those name, like O’Rourke, didn’t seem to make sense for names. For some reason, she surmised they must be used last names as stage names in some cases, though she didn’t get that impression with Lye. From what he said, that seemed to be his actual birth name.

“And now, without further delay, relax and let the experience begin!”

The six assistants disappeared into the background and Branduff stepped off to one side, leaving Edana front and center of the stage. Truth began to realize that Branduff Donagh only functioned as the ringmaster of ceremonies of a sort, and that the others really provided the basis of the show. In fact, though she for some reason didn’t have star billing in her own right, it seemed that Edana the Extraordinary worked as the headline act. None of this matched Truth’s expectations, and she wondered what the billing arrangements were like two decades earlier. She needed to find someone who would know. How long Branduff and Edana married, and the level of her influence, definitely were not things to be discounted lightly.

Lye and O’Rourke came out carrying a table that they set out center stage, and behind them O’Donnell brought a chair which he sat behind the table, rather audibly. Upon hearing Donnell place the chair on stage, it appeared that Edana the Extraordinary took that as her signal to come around and sit behind the table, explaining why O’Rourke wasn’t quiet when he did it. Edana then looked out at the audience with what appeared to be a bit of a scowl. Truth feared meeting her in person, especially if she didn’t know about her husband having children with other women. She’d also heard rumors that red haired people tended to be more temperamental, but wasn’t sure how much fact lay in that; there were not a lot of red headed people in town, generally speaking. Truth couldn’t even think of one.

“Light crowd tonight, it appears,” Edana said, and the disapproval carried quite clear in Edana’s voice. “You’d think after waiting two decades we could pack the house a little more. Be sure to spread the word and tell your friends, there’s two more nights to see this opportunity that they will regret missing for a lifetime. Right now, I need a volunteer from the audience, so you can see the great wonders of the Branduff Donagh Company in action!”

Truth considered it but didn’t want to trip her hand too much just yet. If she got up on stage, it might scare Lye away later when she needed him, and she definitely couldn’t risk that. She’d come too far to mess everything up now. Truth looked around and saw several hands go up, including Verna’s significant other. At last, she’d get a public opportunity to learn more about him.

“You,” Edana said, pointing at Verna’s boyfriend, and speaking in what came off as a sultry, seductive tone that made her sound more charismatic than Branduff. “You look perfect for what I have in mind. Why don’t you come up here and we’ll work together?”

Verna’s boyfriend the lounge singer got up out of his seat. Probably so not as to let anyone anticipate that an audience member would be requiested, O’Rourke appeared with another chair and placed it near the table. Edana the Extraordinary gestured to it.

“Please come sit next to me,” Edana said. Verna’s boyfriend complied.

“Welcome to the Branduff Donagh Company’s experience,” Verna started to say then briefly paused. Immediately the boyfriend volunteered his name.

“Grant,” he said.

“Well, yes, hello then Grant,” Edana said, Truth able to see a wide smile on the woman’s face. While her pause may not have been intended to evoke Grant to introduce himself, he naturally assumed that it had. Truth really had to admire that, how Edana played on the psychology of expectation.

“I am sure you know that the Branduff Donagh Company is best known for its effective seances when you came here tonight. Is there anyone you’d like to find out about in the spirit world, then, Grant? Someone that moved beyond whom you would like to speak to again?”

Verna’s boyfriend – Grant, Truth worked on trying to memorize his name – surprisingly responded very quickly to this.

“My older brother. Man I’ve felt so lost without him these last couple months, ever since he unexpectedly died. If we could talk that would be so great.”

Truth wondered how Edana would do this, and do this credibly. She often felt her mother could kind of ‘fake it’ since she knew everyone in the town which wasn’t all that big. Yet Edana didn’t know this Grant person at all. On top of that, she didn’t believe in anything this Edana woman might say. She actually found herself saying a quiet prayer to God for truth and wisdom during all this. If she didn’t want to connect with Branduff Donagh so badly, she wouldn’t be here now.

 

Copyright 2011 Shannon Muir. Please feel free to link to this blog but do not post to other websites without permission.

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