Thursday, October 26, 2006

Excerpt from KISS OF BLARNEY, by Penelope Marzec

Excerpt from KISS OF BLARNEY, by Penelope Marzec

Available at http://www.newconceptspublishing.com/kissofblarney.htm

Until now, Ula had never seen Balor, though Meara had told her many tales of the druid. She knew he could assume the form of a dragon and she figured he would be much like any other animal in the woods—easy for her to intimidate. However, the sheer size of this creature had her feeling more like a midnight snack.

“This has to be a hallucination,” Shay muttered beside her.

“If it was, it wouldn’t smell so bad.” Ula commented. Inside, she could feel herself quaking. She had to get this over with—and quickly. Mustering up her courage, she walked with deliberate steps toward Balor—even though her heart quailed with each forward movement.

“What the hell are you doing?” Shay yanked her backwards.

“I must demand that he release Meara.”


She suddenly found herself tossed onto Shay’s shoulder like a full bag of flour. He started to run with her, but she pounded his back.

“Let me go!” She screamed. “I have to save Meara.”

“I’m thinking we best save ourselves.” He whistled for his dog and Bran limped after them.

“Put the princess down.” Balor roared.

“Go to hell.” Shay answered.

“Please, put me down. I have to talk to him!” Ula begged. “I must ask him to give Meara back to me.”

“I doubt that he’s in a conversational mood.”

Balor’s tail slammed into them, tumbling them into the snow.

“You will listen to me!” Smoke billowed from Balor’s nostrils as he let out a hideous laugh. The woods filled with the sound of his evil laugh and the smell of smoke. Ula found herself becoming nauseous. She clutched her stomach as she sat up in the snow. Beside her, Shay shook his head.

“Okay. We go to plan B. Do you have any ideas for plan B?”

Ula reached into the tapestry bag and drew out a fine saber.

“Why can’t you give me a gun?”

“I can pull out anything from this bag that is in our little bothy. We don’t have a gun.”

“Dammit.” He got to his feet and helped her up. “You run, and I’ll distract the dragon for a while. Maybe I can lop off that tail of his.”

“You mustn’t do that.” Ula wrung her hands. “He’ll listen to me.”
“I’m not about to become a hot hors d’oeuvre,” he raised the saber in his hand.

The demonic laughter ended. She saw Shay freeze with the sword high above his head. He stood as stiff and still as one of the pine trees. Ula realized that Balor must have cast a spell on Shay. Swallowing her panic, she straightened her spine and glared at the dragon.

“So my dear princess, what brings you out here in the snow?” he asked.

She focused on his smoldering green eyes. “Give Meara back to me.”

“What? Not even a please or thank you? I’m surprised at you Princess Ula. I do think Meara should have taught you better manners.”

It wasn’t working. He would not listen to her commands! Fright welled up in her. She clutched her hands into fists, digging into her palms with her fingernails. Maybe he cannot see me well. The meager glow from the campfire cast very little light. Clearing her throat, she dug into Meara’s bag and pulled out the small flashlight she had gotten from Shay’s friend. Turning it on, she focused it directly at her own face.

“Undo the spell on my companion,” she demanded.

Balor’s sigh rumbled the ground at her feet. “Yes, my princess.”

Hope sprang up in her chest. She turned to look at Shay. He blinked his eyes and glanced back at her.

“What happened?” he asked.

“He cast a spell on you so you could not move,” she kept her voice low, though she suspected that Balor could probably hear it anyway. “I asked him to release you.”

“Fine, then. I don’t want any more of his tricks.”

Before Ula realized his intent, Shay threw the blade at the dragon’s chest, but the razor-sharp saber bounced off the hard scales. Balor roared and blew out a stream of fire directed at Shay. The flames did not touch Ula, but she screamed with horror seeing Shay engulfed by the blaze.

The inferno withdrew. Ula’s heart stopped. Shay crumbled into the snow and lay still. She stared at Shay as her knees buckled and she sank down beside him upon the soft snow. Shay had not been turned into charcoal. Not a hair on his head had been singed, though the smell of sulfur clung to him.

Balor swore. Then with a roar that shook the ground, he blew out his volatile breath and the pines surrounding Ula, Shay, and Bran burst into an inferno. This amused the fiend.

“You will not escape,” he chuckled.

A RUSH OF LIGHT~ www.awe-struck.net
KISS OF BLARNEY ~ www.newconceptspublishing.com

A RUSH OF LIGHT~ www.awe-struck.net
KISS OF BLARNEY ~ www.newconceptspublishing.com

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