A fragment to prove that I am still forming jig-saw puzzle pieces of the Work-in-Progress. well, at least it proves it to me. For those who haven’t seen it before, the punctuation ~Quote.~ is the prose equivalent of a comic book’s thought bubbles. It represents the precise internal monologue of a character.
To the cave they bent their steps, through silent caverns green-brown carpeted as if by grass and leaves, until they came by a route so tortious that Duncan could not easily unweave their path, to a solid wall in the palace tower. There was no key hole, no porthole, no knocker, no bell, no bugles, no drum; but for the Hindu-Arabic numerals, there was scarcely a door to be seen. It was if a mighty oak or ash (who can tell the difference when the wood has been made into fibre-glass?) had been split and set in the stone’s face. An eerie hum crept behind them, brushed their faces with its frigid breath, and moved on to do wickedness to others who were less well dressed against such cold-hearted behavior.
The witch pulled out a white leaf with a thread of bronze hair set along one edge. She passed it over the cryptic door with practiced hand.
~Her powers are failing with age.~
A third pass, and this time a muttered incantation, the prex of passage, “Come on, you stupid card.”
Almost imperceptible came a click and the tree trunk rolled aside at a fingertip touch. ~There is no safety yet.~
A dragon snorted its icy breath from where its muzzle had smashed through the palace wall.
“Oh God, room service always put these things on sixty degrees. I have no idea why,” the witch said, as Duncan inspected the thermostat.
~I have knowledge of these things because I have been in these demon-haunted worlds before, where science is the only candle in the dark,~ he thought as he pressed a magical fingertip to the box by the mirror, the mirror on the wall. The dragon fell asleep, and the fluttering curtains fell in shrouds over his nose. ~A kiss and she will be free; a witch or a princess, the name is a choice for the historian, not a thing spoken by the voice of the beholder.~
* Carl Sagan’s book – The Demon-haunted world; Science as a candle in the dark. Brilliant. well worth reading.