The Rose Shield – Whitt

Whitt

The Rose Shield is my current WIP.  I’ve introduced a couple characters with a bit of a snippet: Raker (Here) and my main character Catling (Here). Whitt is Catling’s adopted brother. When his search for her fails, this is where he ends up…

A Snippet of Whitt

Whitt crouched at the water’s edge where tangled roots rose in smooth arches, tall and wide as doorways. He’d wrapped his feet and shins in camgras cloth to discourage leeches and protect his skin from curious razorgills. There were fiercer predators in the swamp, though less stealthy and readily avoided.

Sheer veils of fog drifted above the water. He shifted his weight, spear comfortable in his grip and poised to thrust. Though the Kull Sea lay hundreds of leagues south, its tides altered the waterways in Ava-Grea’s swamps no less than the Fangwold snowmelt. Nearly two years after entering the world of the Fenfolk, Whitt navigated the changing landscape with minimal need to drag his raft through the mud.

A pair of reptilian nostrils peeked from the luminescence, two black holes in a sheet of liquid light. Fire-winged blackbirds shrilled warnings through the vaulted branches. Whitt needed to cross the waterway, and the crajek epitomized patience, content to wait a week for a human meal.

With his free hand, he unhooked the snared river rats from his belt. He’d caught the scaled rodents for supper, but at this point, his need to cross the channel outweighed his hunger. Holding the end of the lead, he dipped them in the water not far from his perch and dragged them from side to side. Razorgills surfaced from below and nibbled at the dead flesh. The lethargic crajek sank from sight, a good sign.

He braced himself in the roots, eyes peeled for movement in the channel around the rats. Waterspiders skimmed the surface. The razorgills flashed and fled as the dark shape neared. Whitt licked his lips, steadied, and when the crajek snapped, he rammed the spear’s sharpened point into the rear of the spiked head. The animal whipped around, dislodging the weapon. Jaws still clamped on the rats, it dove, yanking the lead in Whitt’s hand and ripping him from his roost. He splashed into the water up to his knees and froze. The line floated, slack. His spear cocked at his shoulder, he searched for ripples or bubbles, anything to indicate the creature’s location.

At the center of the channel, two wide-set nostrils surfaced, a second larger monster. Whitt retreated a step. The water erupted at his side as a set of jagged teeth gaped and the first crajek leapt at his leg. Whitt slammed the spear into its head. The point scraped over the thick skull and sank through its eye. Splashing backward, he yanked the spear from the body, without any idea where the second creature had gone.

“Foul!” He tripped blindly on the tree’s roots and fell on his ass through an arched gap. His feet flipped out of the water as the second crajek burst from the swamp and clamped its steel jaws on a flailing razorgill. Whitt crabbed backward as the crajek chewed on the spiny fish no more than a foot from his right toes.

The creature ogled him as if contemplating his next course.

(Spring 2017 – I hope)

102 thoughts on “The Rose Shield – Whitt

  1. Steph McCoy says:

    Spring 2017? I hope so too, the build up is more than I can stand. Great stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. […] the man who hears voices in the fog Catling, a six-year-old with a rose birthmark around her eye Whitt, the boy battling crajeks in the swamp Gannon, captive in the belly of the Wandering […]

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  3. […] my six-yr-old protagonist on Hanging Day.Whitt, her adopted brother, battling crajeks in the swamp.Raker, the half-mad rafter who kicks off the […]

    Liked by 1 person

  4. […] my six-yr-old protagonist on Hanging Day. Whitt, her adopted brother, battling crajeks in the swamp. Raker, the half-mad rafter who kicks off the […]

    Like

  5. Kristen says:

    I could not refrain from commenting. Exceptionally well written!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Kristen. So sorry for the delay in replying. Somehow your comment ended up in my spam folder and I found you there this morning (you weren’t alone either). Glad you enjoyed the snippet! Have a great weekend.

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  6. Antonia says:

    You are such a good writer Diana! Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. thelittlelai says:

    Another well written piece from you Diana. Your words and how you convey your imagination always amazed me.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wonderful snippet! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  9. tedgiffin says:

    When I was a little kid, I used to spend a lot of my time, hiding away, reading Fantasy and Science Fiction. I want to let you know that your writings make me feel like that kid again. Thank!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Another Peach classic, by the looks of it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. reocochran says:

    Oh dear, the crajek and razorgills, really scared me. Wearing a special kind of leather like cloth to make sure leeches don’t suck on Whitt’s ankles is another brilliant detail.
    Your alternative fantasy world is dangerous and you have to be on your toes to get through it alive, Diana! I like how he doesn’t just trip and fall prey, but he crabbed backwards. Even my grandies would enjoy this frightening adventure! 🙂
    Whitt joins his sister (through adoption), Catling and fellow warrior, Raker who all have fierce spirits.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. noelleg44 says:

    Some snippet! Bring on the book!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I enjoyed meeting Whitt in this exciting snippet, Diana. Happy writing!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. inesephoto says:

    Love these snippets, love your Rose Shield!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Nitin says:

    really nice Diana. And thank you for sharing these snippets. these give an insight into a writer’s mind. really helps. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Annika Perry says:

    Diana, as always you bring the reader straight into the story. I hope
    Whitt is okay and not the next dinner course! Love your writing, so physical and immediately and great inventive names too.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Excellent piece of writing certainly makes you want to read more..

    Liked by 2 people

  18. dgkaye says:

    Your writing is so eloquent Diana. I may have mentioned something to that effect in my review of the Sorcerer’s Garden. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  19. I love the detail. as with all good writing it left me wanting more.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Love it! Great imagery, characterization and superb detailing! Hugs 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Well done, Diana! I had to put my feet up on my sofa, to get them out of the “water.” 😀 Thanks for sharing this with us. Mega hugs!

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Ali Isaac says:

    Sigh! Such stunning writing… as ever! It’s a treat for the senses and amazing imagery. I cant wait to read it! I’ll beta for you if you dont already have a team lined up. 😁

    Liked by 3 people

  23. I love the way you write Diana, so descriptive, so real 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  24. The flower close-up is stunning. Love the colors. The arms are reaching up and out awaiting the next visit from a bee or some such insect.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Great excerpt, Diana! Another addition to my TBR list when it’s ready. Have a great weekend!

    Liked by 2 people

  26. From now on, whenever I read a superb bit of writing, I shall call it a Whitt Snippett.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Mike 😀 😀 Thought I’d throw out a bit of an action scene and this one is pretty fun – well, maybe not for Whitt, but for the rest of us! Hope you have a fun weekend without any leeches and crajeks 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  27. C.E.Robinson says:

    Wow, Diana! Love the vivid description and new words! Look forward to more! Happy Writing! 💛 Elizabeth

    Liked by 2 people

  28. I loved the suspenseful segment you shared with us! You left us hanging from a cliff, lol!

    Liked by 2 people

  29. balroop2013 says:

    Interesting! I would like to know why Whitt is trapped in this swamp and how long would his scary adventure last… hope he comes out alive.

    Liked by 2 people

  30. I like that “I hope” on the release date. Helps remind people that even with deadlines, writing can be a fickle thing.

    Liked by 2 people

  31. Kev says:

    Excellent! I love the way you pull me in with clear imagery. ☺

    Liked by 2 people

  32. babbitman says:

    Can’t wait! I’m just approaching the finale of The Melding of Aeris, so the sooner you can get these out to me the better!
    😉

    Liked by 2 people

  33. Bernadette says:

    You have an amazingly creative mind and if vivid imagination. Can’t wait to read more.

    Liked by 2 people

  34. As always, your writing is sharp yet descriptive, detailed yet emotional. Excellent.

    Liked by 2 people

  35. Heartafire says:

    marvelous “Fire-winged blackbirds ” brilliant.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. That’s an attention grabber 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  37. Excellent. A promising start. Definitely an attention grabber.

    Liked by 2 people

  38. This is so gripping! I was holding my breath!

    Liked by 2 people

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