...several years ago called Scars. It's the first story in my multi-genre anthology, Motley Tales. At the time I had no idea it would become the story that most readers ask me about. And, the questions aren't the usual kind such as: "What inspired you to write it? Or "How much research did you do?"
No, the question I get most often is -- "When are you going to make Scars into a novel?" I usually smile and tell readers that I ended the story where I thought it would make the most impact. Readers typically smile back at me, shake their heads and urge me to re-think that.
Well, I have been re-thinking things or rather the characters in Scars seem to be popping up in my thoughts lately. They're telling me the rest of their story. I guess it's time I told my readers the rest of their story as well.
Don't get excited just yet. I'm in the middle of writing three other books, but I will return to Neva and Gilroy's world soon. In the meantime, here is an excerpt from the original short story to introduce new readers to Neva and Gilroy.
Excerpt from Scars:
Neva caught Gilroy square in the jaw with a left uppercut, while the strains of a Gregorian meditation chant hummed in her head. She ducked and weaved past his wild, flailing right hook to come back with a flurry of body punches to his right kidney. She stuck a punch into his ribs for good measure, hoping to break one or two.
Her barrage of punches had Gilroy backed against the ring's force field. The energy burned his shirt and fused with his shoulder flesh. She prayed that would keep him out of the Judgement Matches for a few weeks. A month if she was lucky.
Gilroy pushed her off and grunted in pain. He moved to wrap her up. Maybe get a few seconds of rest, sneak in a close punch or two to her ribs, or offer a spit laden whisper about his hatred into her ear, but the Judge moved to stop him.
He stood, shaking sweat from his one open eye and vaguely listened to the Judge's warning. Mostly he noticed Neva's calm demeanor. When the time-out ended, he caught her square on the jaw. She went down. He felt better.
Neva felt her face bounce on the canvass. The meditation chant in her mind turned into war drums. She took Gilroy down with a hard leg sweep, scrambled on top of his body before it finished bouncing from the fall. She unleashed a battery of punches on his swollen eye socket while wedging a sharp knee into his throat.
The Judge called technical knockout. Neva won. Gilroy protested.
Two tribes seethed.
Judgement had been passed.