Woohoo! NaNoWriMo 2012! I have a new idea for this year, and by golly, I’m going to finish it. For your edification, here is the synopsis and an excerpt from my novel, Deadly (working title).
Society failed. The downward slide continued, growing exponentially worse, until no government could restrain human desire. Settlements are no longer formed around resources or strategic locations, but are merely large groups of people with the same desire.
Envy. Gluttony. Greed. Lust. Pride. Sloth. Wrath. Seven sins, in six American cities. But it is not as simple as it seems.
For when society descended into madness, our world became a much more suitable home for demons. They manifest themselves fully, in physical forms, wearing a human disguise like a second skin. Seven demons, each spreading the deadly sin they embody.
But all is not lost. A small band of holy warriors, cryogenically frozen at a time before debauchery became the norm, has now been woken, a single light in a world of darkness. Can this small troupe defeat the seven deadly sins and bring America out of the dark? Or will they succumb to the evil that the masses have so willingly embraced?
A little context for the excerpt: the first city they travel to seems to be the city of Wrath, and is centered around a giant metal/punk concert. They find the person in town who can help them (Charlie Daniels III) and then this:
Mark watched as the older man climbed the stairs up to the stage, fiddle in hand. He tapped one of the guitarists on the shoulder, ignoring the laughing and jeering of the crowd. With a flourish, he pulled the bow out of his belt and pulled it across the strings. He gave the drummer a questioning look, and recieved a nod in return, before the drummer kicked off the song.
The crowd’s jeers faded as they listened to an old, old song, one most of them knew, one that the true music fan in them all could appreciate.
“The Devil went down to Georgia, he was looking for a soul to steal. He was in a bind, ‘cause he was way behind, he was willing to make a deal. So when he came across a young man, sawin’ on a fiddle and playin’ it hot, the Devil jumped up on a hickory stump and said ‘Boy, let me tell you what!’”
Mark smirked beneath his mask as he listened, feeling the song was highly appropriate. He carefully watched the others on stage, looking for reactions that would indicate which of them was the demon in charge. The bassist and backup guitarist played when the time came for them. Nothing suspicious there. But the vocalist darted backstage to retrieve an electric fiddle and play the Devil’s part of the song. His smirk widened. Gotcha.
He pushed his way through the crowd, signalling for Kukri to get ready. As she slipped around the edges of the stadium, heading for the same stairs Charlie had used, Mark reached over his shoulder and pulled his grenade launcher out of its holster. He readied the large weapon, bracing it against his shoulder, waiting for Charlie to finish his last verse.
“Well the Devil bowed his head, because he knew that he’d been beat, and he laid that golden fiddle down on the ground at Johnny’s feet. Johnny said, ‘Devil just come on back, if you ever wanna try again. I done told you once, you son of a bitch, I’m the best there’s ever been!’”
As the last word faded, Mark fired. The shell slammed into the vocalist’s chest, exploding into an intense, yet compact ball of white fire, the shockwave knocking everyone on stage to the ground. The microphone picked up the explosion, amplifying it into a shockwave that shattered the speakers and slammed into the audience, sending the first few rows flying away from the stage. Mark leapt up as soon as the shockwave passed, flying over the dazed fans and landing squarely on the scorch mark in the middle of the stage. His gaze fell on the scorched, blasted body of the vocalist, his chest split open, revealing deep red beneath it.
The body twitched, and then lurched to its feet. “You… insolent… MORTAL!” The vocalist dug his blackened fingers into the edges of the gaping wound, tearing away the skin. He roared, bloody red light sparking out like lightning as the demon swelled to his full size, tossing the mortal coil away easily. He stood eight feet at the shoulder, his red scales rippling with the mighty muscles beneath them, his fearsome visage composed of four gleaming yellow eyes and a mouthful of razor-sharp teeth, all topped by a pair of deadly-looking horns. His spiked tail lashed behind him, shattering the wooden boards of the stage. “I shall devour you for all eternity!”
Mark fired his grenade launcher again, directly into the demon’s face. It staggered back, wiping the shrapnel away and bellowing in rage.
The crowd had long since begun to flee, and by now the stadium was mostly empty. Mark whirled when he heard running footsteps coming up the stairs onstage.
A man in a black and grey pinstriped suit and fedora stood there, scowling. “Dammit, Wrath! What the heaven did you do here?”
Wrath snarled. “This MORTAL attacked me! Wrecked my human suit!”
“The boss isn’t going to like this.” The man removed his fedora and tossed it aside, revealing small devil horns jutting out of his short black hair. “Well, mortal, since it seems like you know all about us, there’s no point in hiding.” He grinned wickedly, pulling a pair of katana out of thin air. “You’ve already met Wrath. I’m Greed. And you’re dead.” He leapt forward, blades whipping through the air.
Mark leapt into a backflip, avoiding the slashes by mere inches, only to land right in the path of Wrath’s powerful punch. He rolled with it as best he could and skidded to a stop at the edge of the stage, clutching his side. Greed moved in, thinking he could finish him off easily, his katana glinting as he struck.
Sparks flew as a pair of wickedly curved daggers blocked his swords, and then a leather boot slammed into his face. He staggered back, shaking his head to clear it, glaring at the newcomer. Kukri smirked at him. “That all you got?” she taunted him as she twirled the daggers that were her namesake.
Greed chuckled and lunged forward, his twin blades matching hers in a dazzling dance of steel. Wrath meanwhile bull-rushed Mark, his horns hooking under his arms and lifting him into the air as Wrath dove off the stage, slamming him into the stadium seating. Mark groaned and forced himself to roll away as Wrath smashed his fists into the chairs.
This one’s huge, but still fast. I’ve got to get some distance. He drew his twin pistols, firing at Wrath’s four eyes as he backed away, the fifty-caliber slugs hammering the demon’s thick hide. Two of the bullets struck home, piercing his unguarded eyes. He reeled back and covered his eyes as he bellowed in pain.
Mark took the opportunity to pull the minigun from its harness on his back, and to glance over to see how Kukri fared against Greed. She had several nicks on her arms, but she fought on, and Greed looked far more battered than she. But demons could take far more punishment than humans. He shifted back to Wrath, pulling the trigger on his minigun and waiting for the spinning barrels to reach the required speed. He needed to finish off Wrath and help Kukri fight Greed.
The big demon had recovered faster than he’d anticipated, and stood, beginning to charge him. Before Wrath reached him, the minigun opened up, a torrent of hot lead pouring into him, staggering him. He growled, holding up one large, clawed hand to shield his face, slowly fighting forward against the onslaught.
Mark let go of the minigun with his left hand, still holding down the trigger, and pulled out one his powerful pistols again, reloading it with one of the clips on his belt. As Wrath drew closer, he took careful aim at the demon’s vulnerable spots, which it was guarding from the minigun. Mark fired again and again, emptying the five shots of his revolver. Two to the eyes, three to the point on the demon’s underbelly where his scales left a small point unguarded.
Wrath bellowed in rage and fury, now completely blinded and bleeding from the wound in his belly. He thrashed about blindly, his spiked tail creating a large circle of destruction around him. Mark leapt away, landing on the stage behind Greed.
The smaller demon whirled, swinging his katanas at his head and chest. Mark held up his minigun, blocking both blades, and kicked the demon hard in the chest, sending him staggering onto Kukri’s knives. He coughed up blood, but twisted away, taking her knives with him. He lunged for her, expecting her to be unarmed, but she pulled two more knives and blocked his strikes, pushing his swords down and kicking him in the chest, where her knives had already left wounds.
Greed hissed in pain, staggering away, but he strayed into range of Mark’s metal knuckles. Mark took advantage of this, striking hard at his kidney with one hand and his temple with the other. Both connected. Greed stumbled, falling to one knee. Kukri straddled him from behind and pulled both knives across his throat, nearly decapitating him. He fell, blood pooling under him.
Wrath leapt onto the stage, his eyes leaking blood, but partially regenerated. He looked down at Greed’s body and roared, clenching his fists. “You killed him. YOU KILLED HIM!” He charged forward, claws reaching for them.
Mark rolled across the stage, grabbing the katanas and coming up in a crouch, under the beast’s hands, and braced the katanas against the stage. Wrath stopped short, impaled on the demon-metal katanas. He slowly fell to the ground, trapping Mark under his huge weight. Mark wiggled and shoved his way out from under it, slowly standing.
“Two down. Five to go.”
Please comment with encouragements, thoughts, critiques, questions, suggestions, or anything else you might want to say.