For the past week I've been rummaging through my notebooks and documents, trying to sort it all out. I've already published a few deleted scenes and there will be more to come, but today I decided to publish something else--a bonus content.
It's a short story of how Nyssa met Logan. It was never meant to be in the book. It was never even written. So it is definitely not a deleted scene. But I decided to write this down because:
Without further ado, here's Nyssa's first glimpse of Logan:
(and yes, this contains a few spoilers, so reading Till Death and Beyond first would be better)
Nyssa couldn’t understand the commotion. And as always, no one was telling her a thing.
Well, she would just find out for herself, she decided. She put on her boots and poked her head through the door, leaving the gap as tiny as possible. Her mother was outside, and the last thing Nyssa wanted was to be caught.
Sometimes she was tired of fighting. But fight was what she got every time she insisted on making her own choices. She might only be sixteen, but she hadn’t been a child since she was eight years old and the Order had attacked their town.
At ten years of age she was the one bringing food to their table because her mother had been too traumatized by the attack. She was the one working until exhaustion overtook her. She was the one caring for her brother when her mother insisted on leaving the baby in the woods.
For her, sixteen was only a number.
But of course, if her mother were to catch her sneaking out that number would be the sole reason for punishment.
What she saw through the crack both shocked and captivated her. It seemed everyone was outside. Hundreds of people. The broken conversations took her hostage urging to investigate, to leave the relative safety of her home.
The second Nyssa stepped outside she was pushed into the milling sea of people. The noises enveloped her. She was forced to dodge elbows and weapons as she navigated through the crowd, confused as to the purpose for such an uproar.
Was the Order attacking again?
The last time she and her brother had been ushered into the main mansion where women had barricaded themselves whilst men fought an army. Now the mood felt different. There was tension. Even anger. But there was no underlying fear. She didn’t see the dread in the eyes of the people. What she saw reminded her of the time the mob tried to execute a witch. But that couldn’t be it. The only witch she knew was the one master Raven protected. And few would dare to go against his wishes.
There might be some willing to risk his anger, but they wouldn’t do it in broad daylight.
So what was happening? Nyssa wondered, searching for the reason. She was about to ask when she realized that she ended her journey at the main entrance of the mansion where people formed a semi-circle.
The line was drawn, and no one was crossing it.
It both seemed bizarre, yet familiar somehow.
For a reason she could not fathom, Nyssa lifted her hand and placed her fingers against the imaginary barrier only to feel resistance. It was real. People didn’t advance not because they didn’t want to, but because they couldn’t. The anger and fragments of conversations she’d overheard made sense now. Still, why would they want...
Nyssa’s gaze drifted to the front steps and the train of her thoughts vanished. Sitting in front of her, maybe some twenty feet away, was a man she’d never seen before.
Granted, he had his head buried in his hands, preventing her from recognizing his face, but she could swear he wasn’t a local. One look at clothes he had on and the truth was plain to see—no one here had clothes this fine. Her own dress was adorned with multiple patches, barely fit for a scarecrow. But she wasn’t complaining. Some had it way worse.
She squinted, trying to determine the origin of the ring on his thumb and didn’t even notice how she took a step forward, crossing the boundary line.
Everyone else remained a captive.
Nyssa didn't stop to analyze the oddity. She saw the opportunity and took it—quickly, she slipped behind one of the three statues encasing the left side of the steps. She glanced around to make sure no one had noticed her and then concentrated on the stranger sitting less than five feet away from her.
It was as if he was one of the statues himself. Still. Lifeless. Only on closer inspection did she notice how tense his fingers were, or how hard his jaw was locked. For the first time, she began questioning her decision to come this close. He might not have a weapon in his hands, and there might be a lot of people around, but none of them would be able to help her if he attacked.
Sometimes, the difference between life and death was one wrong step.
Nyssa debated against returning to safety when the man lifted his head and she realized he wasn’t exactly a man. He couldn’t be older than eighteen. There was also no anger contorting his features. If anything, he appeared lost. And when he looked at the crowd, Nyssa was positive he saw no people. His clear green eyes looked glassy and unfocused.
Any other day she would have been thrilled to find someone her age. There was not a single adolescent living in this area. If one didn’t count the ones in the town nearby. Nyssa didn’t. Those in town regarded people here, her included, as trash. Or worse—witches and their sympathizers who deserved to be burned.
And those were people just like her, this one… she only needed to glance at his hands to know they hadn’t seen a day of hard work in their lives. She looked at her own chipped off nails and callused palms, and a laugh escaped her lips.
“What’s so funny?” the boy asked, his attention solely on her.
Nyssa’s eyes widened, and her heartbeat accelerated. She gulped and hid behind the statue. But it was too late. He had noticed her.
Please keep in mind that the scene hasn't been checked by a professional editor, but if you would like me to continue, leave a comment below.
I had plans of publishing the paperback version of Till Death and Beyond for ages. And finally I‘m so close, I can practically smell the ink.
As much fun as it was re-doing the book cover, formatting the text, or spending hours researching how to achieve all of this correctly, I’m looking forward to putting it behind me.
It’s a matter of days now, and I can’t wait!
Today is one of those days when every line I write is crap, every word I read—sleep inducing. A lot of it has to do with the flu, I suspect. Or at least I hope so. Otherwise, I probably should just quit right now. Not that I will. Somehow, I always end up coming back to my writing.
Today… today, however, is a day I needed a break.
Being self-critical might be an important part of writing and editing process, but it also has a flip side to it. Especially when one is under the influence of cold medicine. So, I closed my WIP and opened Photoshop.
I didn’t intend to work, but what started as an attempt to relax, turned into a scene I created because a few lines from Till Death and Beyond popped into my head and wouldn’t leave.
I walked through the night like a shadow,
I held no one close to my heart,
Until the day that you reached me,
Until you banished the dark.
Okay, so she is not exactly a shadow here, but I like the end result. Thought I’d share it.
That is how I see Amira. At least one side of her. There are many more, and maybe someday I’ll be able to illustrate them all. (Another is shown on the book cover.)
I write books I would love to read with fantasy worlds I would like to be a part of. Where anything is possible, but nothing more magical than love.