NaNoWriMo Update

I’m doing quite well…

 

Kind of cool this progress meter, don’t you think? I got it from Writertopia so if you want to use it too, you can! (The instructions are on the website at the other end of the link.)

Anyway, I have to get back to the keyboard. Just to tide you over, I thought I’d give you a taster of Book 3 so far, Enjoy!

* * *

Seeing with New Eyes

 

The darkness behind her eyelids surrounded her. It held and caressed her body in a warm friendly, even over friendly way that made Morgana sigh. She didn’t want to open her eyes yet.

“Morgana. Sweetheart.” Her mother’s voice seemed distant to her, the slight tremble of fear making Morgana feel a little ashamed.

“She may be a little Nychtophobic after this.” That was the doctor.

He sounded young and sexy, but to tell the truth, Morgana hadn’t ever seen his face. I hope that he is young and sexy.

“What’s that?” Morgana’s mother sounded more scared than before.

“Afraid of the Dark.” There was a pause and Morgana imagined her doctor shrugging. “this procedure has only been tried three times before successfully and each patient has been nychtophobic.”

I think it sounds romantic. Like something out of  those Victorian based romances that Jules reads to me. Morgana sighed. God, I hope he’s sexy.

“Morgana, I know you’re awake.” Her mother was trying to sound stern, but all she managed was worried. “Please sweetheart, open your eyes.”

Morgana considered drawing it out a little longer, but as the moment lengthened, she decided that she wanted to find out if her sight really was restored.

She opened her eyes…

 

 

Arkingham

 

The train blared out its warning as it entered the tunnel. Morgana watched the black mouth in the hill get closer to her and bit her lip. I hate this. Her carriage was swallowed up and the lights came on.

It isn’t dark, I am not afraid. It isn’t dark, I am not afraid. Morgana repeated the phrase over and over again, pressing her right thumb into the pad below the left, using the pressure to remind herself that everything was all right.

The train emerged out of the tunnel into a valley. Morgana sighed as the sunlight hit her and smiled.

“Beautiful place isn’t it?” the man in front of her said.

“Pardon?” she blinked.

“ArkingValley. I love coming here.” He stretched. “It’s one of the most unique habitats for wildlife in the whole ofBritain. Did you know that the whole area has been declared a Global Site of Special Scientific Interest?”

Morgana shook her head.

“The border runs for miles along the outside edge of the downs. Even the government has to get special permission to build anything in Arking Valley.” He sounded smug.

 

Morgana looked away from him, out the window. The train was curving around the edge of the hill and below the tracks, she could see marshes spreading out towards a sparkling lake. On the opposite side, the small hill that formed Arkingham rose, houses marching up towards the town centre in orderly rows.

Behind the hill was heavily forested and the leaves on the trees were a riot of autumn colour.

“They say that the trees inArkingForestare the oldest inBritain. It has Ancient Woodland status.” The man grinned as she looked back at him.” I suppose you’re wondering why I know so much about the Valley.”

Not really. Morgana shrugged.

“I’m taking up the position of Manager at The Arkingham Grange Wildlife Reserve and Conservation Centre.” he smiled again and this time, it was infectious with excitement.

Morgana smiled back. “Congratulations.”

“Thank you. You’re welsh aren’t you?” he paused for a moment, and when she didn’t answer, ploughed on. “This area was a hotly contested settlement during the border wars withWales. There are a large number of people here that are of welsh descent and the Lady of Arkingham is herself welsh.”

“I know.” Morgana bit her lip. I can feel her now. Just on the edge of my mind.

The man frowned. “Are you all right? You went very pale inside the tunnel and you still don’t have much colour.” He leaned forward, looking into her face.

“I’ll be okay. I just don’t like tunnels, that’s all.” She smiled at him and he seemed to relax.

“well we’re nearly to Sowthdon Station and the end of the line.”  He looked out the window. “In fact we’re just coming into town now. One of the things that I love the most about this journey is the fact that the train only goes this far.”

“Why?” Morgana busied herself with putting her things back into her bag.

“Trains make a lot of pollution, even if they are more economical for transport. Can you imagine if there were train lines to all the towns in the Valley? The place would be an absolute mess.” He stood up, balancing himself against the sway of the train as it slowed down. “Do you need any help with your luggage?”

“No, thank you. I’m fine.” Morgana patted the large rucksack on the seat beside her. “My father lives in Arkingham so I don’t need to bring a lot with me.”

The man blinked and frowned, looking at her face carefully. She could hear his train of thought in her mind: Platinum blonde hair, blue eyes, pale skin. Welsh accent. Father lives in Arkingham…

Rolling her eyes she stood up, hoping to forestall his conclusion. “Well it’s been nice talking to you…”

“Lady Gwynnhafr Arkingham?” he said.

Morgana cursed her sister silently. “No, that’s my sister. I’m Morgana Davis-Pendry.”

The train screeched to a halt in the station, throwing the man forwards into his seat.

Morgana grabbed her rucksack, threw it over her shoulder and headed for the doors as fast as possible. As she stepped out onto the platform, she spotted her dad and Walter the Manager of the Stableyard waiting.

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