Sunday, 24 July 2011

#SampleSunday – 24th July 2011

Something from The Invisible Hand. Still in editing mode with this but should be done soon.


Some food and another couple of beers and it was time to find the latrines. They were in a large building against the wall, the end result leeching under the walls and down to the lake to feed the fish. There are worse systems. There may even have been a pipe acting as a sewer. I didn't recall any stink as I walked beside the lake and I'm sure I would have noticed. Buckets of water and sponges on sticks and a fussy old man keeping everything clean and working hard at it. The latrines hadn't been built with this many people in mind. There were queues. I gave him a coin, not having any bits on me, and didn't resent the paying of it even slightly.

"You need help here, old man. Hire some lads."

He eyed me through the one without a cataract in it, his chin wobbly due to lack of teeth. "Young'ns don't know nuthi' of't, soor."

He was dressed in near rags, but clean. Of hair, like teeth, he'd none left, but his arms were bare and covered in tattoos and very old scars.

Gods, I thought. He'd been a warrior once. What a way to end up. How in the name of all the mythical hells had he managed it?

"We'll need to make the place bigger," I told him. "Get some help."

He chewed on the thought disdainfully and didn't answer before turning away with further wrinkling of his face that I took to be a scowl of negation. People were waiting. I was in the way. And, let's face it, latrines just aren't the place to hang around and have a chat, especially with a senile old git who cleaned them for a living. Then a thought struck me and I opened my mouth. "Old man!"

"Soor?" He turned from where he'd started cleaning my sponge.

"Who bought the sponges?"

"Who bought 'em? I bought 'em. They're mine!" He was suddenly quivering with rage. "Mine, do ya hear me?"

The stick he was waving was moderately clean by then, so it could have been worse.

"Git outa 'ere! I got a spear in the corner and I knows howta use it an all..."

I got. It wasn't the spear that concerned me, it was the other sponges, the not quite so clean ones. And the fact that I'd asked such a pointless question. It had just struck me that they looked new and the sea was maybe eight hundred miles away and the cost... someone was making money and it seemed odd that it would be a toothless old man who cleaned latrines for a living. And a native of Darklake by his accent. Doubtless deemed harmless by Meran and his centurions when the place was taken. But then there was that spear in the corner that he knew how to use. Odd. Or maybe I was drunker than I thought I was. Still, I'd eaten. How drunk could I be?

I dismissed the matter from my mind, not as easily as I'd have liked. I had other things to deal with. Things I had been putting off. Anista had mentioned a priest and I decided it was time to find him and deal with him.

But perhaps a change of clothes first.



  1. I like the excerpt. This is a historical novel, right?

  2. It's fantasy, LC, but using a strong base from two historical periods melded and welded to suit the themes, so I'm not surprised (pleased, actually) that it's sometimes mistaken for historical.

  3. The books in the series I've read so far are great. I think you should charge more. I can.'t wait to read The Invisible Hand. When will it be available?

  4. Hi Alex, sorry for the delay in response; I have been out of town and off-line for a few days. Glad you liked the first two - it means a lot to hear it. TIH is in edit right now and I hope to make it available in two weeks or possibly less. Hope you enjoy it as much as the others. :)